Sweet old cabinet!

One Memorial Day weekend, I was driving down the road just taking my son to the park. Well! What do I see? A  YARD SALE! Oh my! Trouble again -here I come!

Now mind you, I am no yard sale rookie. I can cruz by and spot the goods…or lack of them from the roadside without holding up traffic. I’m like a yard sale shark. If I spot something I will do a Starsky and Hutch wheel squealing’ spin around in my lil’ mom car like nobody’s business!

BUT….I’m taking the kid to the park. You just don’t stop for yard sales when the kid is on his way to play at the park. Not if you know what’s good for sanity.Now at the time he was 4 when the park was paramount. Best to do the park first…..

Mantra…if it’s meant to be, it will be there when I come back. I promise myself to stop on the way home and IF it’s still there I will drop off my son at home with dad. I will come back.

So I do stop on the way home, and I do see what I like and I drop of the tired out son with a happy meal at home and I COME BACK.

It’s a cabinet…Not something expensive but charming none the less. And on a blanket, among some unimpressive stuff is a clock.

Oh. Did I mention I have a clock thing? Umm….yea it’s bad.

But that’s another post.

Ok let’s knock on the door and get the home owner out for a little negotiation.

No answer…..knock on the neighbors door….no answer. So I’m standing there. I didn’t know what to do. This is not the norm for yard sale etiquette. Getting back into my car I look at the big yard sale sign. Can it be? The homeowner flipped the sign over and scrawled in spray paint FREE.


Well I couldn’t get the goods in the car fast enough!

I brought it home and cleaned it up. Happily found a spot for it. And there it stayed for 4 years. Here’s a look…..

Charming -right?!

Charming -right?!

Look at that sweet little lock and key detail.

Look at that sweet little lock and key detail.

Sweet lil’ thing. But now that some time has gone by, I keep looking at some things that are bothering me. I’m feeling a project coming on….

Let’s look at some of the not-so-cute things.

Cracks on the top. Hmm.....

Cracks on the top. Hmm…..

Now what happened to the chipendale harp like thingy? Gone but certainly not forgotten.

Now what happened to the chipendale harp like thingy? Gone but certainly not forgotten.

Oh and look at this….


How clever! When a decorative piece came off of the top piece, someone just turned it around to face the back. Brilliant!


I dunno, Bad Kitty. This is in need of some love. How have I let this go for so long?   Stop looking at me like that! Don’t judge! I have a busy life!

But, in truth, you get used to living with things. After awhile, you don’t notice them anymore. Then one day you do notice and that starts to work on one’s nerves…..and the wheels start turning…….

Before you know it, a transformation is in the works.

First let’s spackel the cracks with wood filler.


Fill and sand -pretty standard.

Now it may sound odd but I wasn’t sure if I wanted to paint the entire piece. The reason was because I like this “pineapple” lacework and I wasn’t sure if I would be able to appreciate it without a dark wood behind it. It’s the trend to do some stain and some paint on project pieces so I played around a little before I made a final decision.


Just another thing I tend to collect. Someone made this lace lovingly by had many years ago. Then one day it ends up discarded in a heap at the thrift store unappreciated. If you have ever crocheted you can surely understand the delicate work of tatting and the patience it must take. This is called “pineapple”.


So after seeing with the first coat how it might look……I just decided the wood wasn’t really quality grain and the piece wasn’t substantial enough to pull off the dual look.


I also decided I could still appreciate the lace white on white.

So I proceeded with the all white in chalk paint that I mixed up at home.

Now for some fun!

This is my first attempt at GRAPHICS!

I have been gathering up some graphics from THE GRAPHICS FAIRY who so generously has a plethora of amazing graphics for free on her site.Thank you Karen!

You can look up all kinds of techniques to transfer graphics. Amy from CANARY STREET CRAFTS has a wonderful tutorial which helped me figure out the best way for me to accomplish this. Thank you Amy!

I downloaded the graphics and sent them to Sir Speedy printing company close by via email and had them printed onto plastic sheets. Then I used an overhead projector scored from craigslist to show the image on the cabinet to trace. I used two different graphics combined to do this.


Ok so here it is sketched on with the water color pencils my artist daughter Sarah gave me. This was one of the things Amy at Canary Street Crafts suggested to use. Genius!

Now, let me warn you. From here I need to paint with acrylic paint. However, the projector doesn’t give a real crisp picture of all the fine details as you enlarge it on your project. That’s fine if you don’t have a lot of fine details or you choose to eliminate them. If you are confidant in your skills or are not a perfectionist it’s no problem. But if this is gonna make you panic?  Find an alternative to do your transfer.

Personally, I’ve had some art classes in my past. You don’t need that to do this. Just use a fine brush and your creativity and remember mistakes happen.  It’s called “artists liberty”.


This looks so much better with all the details painted in!


So here we are all painted up!

So now a lot of people say to distress the artwork. That may be true. But I like the way it looks just the way it is. There’s not really anything I’m trying to undo like lumpy paint or imperfect lettering that the distressing would fix.

This is not going to be sold. It’s for me.


Not bad for a shabby little freebie, huh?

For now I’m just going to wax it to seal it. Sometimes I like to live with something for a while before I decide to change it.

Right now I like the bold contrast of black and white. But perhaps I will want to soften it in time. The freedom to decide is mine.

Distress or not to distress- that is the question. What’s your opinion?

Hope you enjoyed this post! There’s so much out there to inspire you. There’s so much free stuff being discarded that can be refurbished and loved again. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Keep your eyes and mind open to the possibilities!

Thanks for stopping by!






4 thoughts on “Sweet old cabinet!

  1. This is so pretty, Lenore! I love the graphic you chose and I can’t believe you were able to pick that cabinet up for free! Thank you so much for the shout out. I’m glad you found the graphics tutorial helpful and I appreciate that you mentioned it. Hope you have a great week!!


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