Refurbished book cabinet

How it all came about is, I found my cabinet on Kijiji first, and when I showed my Mom what I had done with mine, she too wanted her very own book cabinet. For the next month we kept an eye on the local auction websites and low and behold she ended up finding the perfect cabinet one weekend.

The only major difference between our two cabinets is that mine has a drawer in the middle and hers doesn’t. Truth be told, I actually like the overall shape of my Mom’s cabinet better, but I really love that mine has a drawer. Mine is still a keeper!


When I set out to refinish my Mom’s cabinet, unfortunately, I was unable to salvage the fretwork in the glass doors. There was just no way to remove them to paint without ruining them. My Mom was fine with it as she really wasn’t too keen on having to clean behind the fretwork every time she wanted to clean the glass doors.

And now for the “after” photos…


It was difficult to take really nice pictures of this cabinet because it is so dark in my Mom’s living room even with all of the lights on and the curtains open. If you look closely in the photo below you can see me trying to hide from view again. Obviously, I am not very good at it!



My Mom’s cabinet was painted in the same paint colors as my cabinet. It was first primed with two coats of Glidden Gripper tinted in Behr Dark Gray. Then it was painted with three coats of Benjamin Moore Natural Linen. Before top coating it with three additional coats of Minwax Polyacrylic, it was distressed so that parts of the original stained finish and gray primer would show through the distressed areas.


Don’t you just love the chunky moulding at the top of her cabinet and the curved design at the bottom? I sure do!


I also used the same old brass drop pulls from Lee Valley on all of the doors and the same two wooden appliques on the bottom doors. Why mess with a good thing?


Of course I had to take some photos of some of her books, keepsakes and decorative items inside the glass doors.


I have to tell you, this cabinet had an unfortunate “mishap” while my Mom and I were carrying it from my truck to her back door. She had one end, I had the other. The fact that she was walking backwards down a skinny, uneven sidewalk was my first mistake. You can see where this is heading! She turned the corner; I thought she still had the cabinet. She dropped her end and fell over and badly bruised her hip on the edge of the sidewalk. I had to put my end of the cabinet down and make sure she was ok. Thankfully she didn’t break her hip!

Her cabinet ended up a little worse for wear too. It cracked on the back at the bottom but it can only be seen from the back. Good thing we were moving just the shell of the cabinet because had the glass doors still been in the cabinet, things could have been much worse for all involved. Live and learn!


So, what do you think of my Mom’s book cabinet? Do you have something similar to this cabinet in your own home that you use to display your books and other treasures? I would love to hear about it

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