I love hidden potential, kinda like rooting for the underdog, you know? I love when I find a piece that has been completely looked over because of it’s obvious outer flaws, but is something that still can have a new life with some good TLC. This handmade cabinet was one of those pieces.
I found it tucked away in a garage at an estate sale a few months ago. I can’t remember exactly what I paid for it, but it was under $50. And because I am in the business of flipping furniture for profit, under $50 is always music to my ears!
It was not an expertly-crafted primitive piece, but was still sturdy, solid, and would provide fantastic storage. I knew a few coats of milk paint would go a long way to transform this into a quality storage piece for someone’s home.
I started by sanding off the marker writings with my orbital sander, and then gave the top a good, all-over sanding as well. The top was one solid piece of wood, but was stained in several places and also had a few deep scratches.
I wanted to work with those flaws and keep it very primitive looking, so instead of staining it, I just rubbed on some 3:1 mineral oil and vinegar mix (read more about this process here).
Is that not amazing? Something so simple brought out the beauty of the wood and took less than 5 minutes to do. It’s awesome.
Next, I painted the whole body in MMS Milk Paint Shutter Gray, then heavily sanded certain areas to make the finish less smooth and allow some wood to show through. When I applied the wax, the wood underneath the milk paint also deepened in color and produced a really beautiful effect.
It had some missing veneer on one side and some that was pulling off on the front door, but I decided to leave those places as they were. Those imperfections don’t impact the stability of the piece, so I left them to add to the primitive character of the cabinet. I did add new hardware and fixed a broken interior shelf so that it now has maximum storage capacity.
Here it is all finished:
Look at all that potential that’s not so hidden anymore!
It’s a fantastic piece with the milk paint now. The uneven coverage of the milk paint and its quality of being easily distressed fit perfectly with a primitive look.
The new knobs are from Hobby Lobby, and add just a little touch of upscale class.
And look at how gorgeous that wood top is! All with just mineral oil and vinegar 🙂
I can easily see it in a kitchen, holding tableware and cookbooks. Or in a child’s room, with books and toys tucked away inside.
This cabinet was definitely the underdog! It was old, ugly, and broken. Not anymore though:) I hope you like it as much as I do.