Refinished Antique Kitchen Cabinet
Hey there and Merry Christmas!
It just so happens that almost exactly one year ago I was writing an article about this massive antique shaker style cabinet we scored 🙂 Today I’m happy to say she’s found her way into into our kitchen and looking beautiful might I add 😉 Now let’s get into the details of this refinished antique kitchen cabinet!
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Antique Kitchen Cabinet
This is what the cabinet looked like when we first got it home in all its chippy glory. It was originally built in to a home near Chicago in 1900. Then it was removed and stored in the garage of that home until we got it. I had sent inspiration photos of cabinets like this one to my friend Barry, who I’ve mentioned before is an architectural salvage dealer, so he could keep a lookout for one for us.
It’s safe to say he delivered! He also offers to strip and seal pieces, but I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to do with it so I took it as is. I had thought about cleaning it and possibly painting over the top of it to seal any chipping paint. I also wasn’t personally a fan of the yellow color 😉 One thing was for sure though this cabinet is awesome!
If you’re ever looking for a specific piece of furniture, including store counter islands, or pretty much anything else that a house may have you can get ahold of Barry through email at email@example.com. We’ve also gotten doors, door hardware, beadboard, transom windows, lighting etc from him. He’s local to us, but does deliver anywhere in the US.
Refinishing the Antique Cabinet
Once some other pieces of our house fell into place, aka the flooring, I had a clearer idea of the new plans for the kitchen. I definitely wanted to strip it and show off the warm pine I could see peeking through. And aside from ripping out the kitchen floors (insert noise of shock and horror) it may have been the most controversial thing I’ve done all year. Oh yes people were mad, big mad lol!
Buuut anyway haha Ed and I loaded the cabinet on a trailer so I could work on it outside, and then pull it into the barn for cover when I was done. It had many layers of paint, and because of its age I just assume there’s lead based in the mix and take the proper precautions. Lead paint was used prior to 1970 and is harmful if ingested or breathed in as dust.
Removing Paint from the Cabinet
This was definitely a trial and error paint removal project. Starting with the doors I tried several brands of stripper, and none worked in a way I was overly impressed by. Citristrip is good because it has less harsh chemicals if that’s something you’re conscious of. However, it took several applications of every stripper I tried to remove enough paint to sand. I would add a thick layer of stripper with a paint brush, cover it with plastic wrap, wait as long as the instructions said, scrape it off, then immediately apply another coat of stripper.
Finally after the majority of the paint was stripped off the doors I sanded them then moved onto the upper cabinet frame. This was quite a tedious job. You may have noticed, but this cabinet is big! Lol! Then someone recommended using a heat gun. Lemme tell ya if I had used it from the beginning it would have saved me SO much time!
Stripping Paint with a Heat Gun
I’m sure every piece of furniture is different, but in this case all those layers of paint just glided right off! It was so satisfying! Left behind was an orangey varnish, and my square hand sander made quick work of that! Then I went into all the details, cracks, and crevices with stripper. I gently used a small wire brush and utility knife to scrape and pick out the remaining paint. I also sanded the smaller areas with a mouse sander.
The results were worth the effort!
Sealing the Cabinet
Before we put the cabinet together I used Minwax wax paste in Natural to seal it. I’ve used this product before. It’s user friendly and I really like the results. The wax adds just a bit of richness to the wood.
The cabinet hardware was a whole other project. I used a wire wheel to remove as much paint as possible. Then I used stripper for anything remaining. The cabinet latches were brass coated. Whatever finish the pulls had was removed with the paint.
I buffed the latches. Then I spray painted the pulls black and added European Gold Rub N Buff to them. As you can see below it looks very similar to the latch finish.
Product Run Down
Here’s a list of some of the things I used for this project.
Refinished Antique Kitchen Cabinet
It took us a solid weekend to get the cabinet in place and fitted back together. Ed also built a back for the base cabinet and a shelf. We’ll be adding a trim around the top as soon as I pick one out from Barry. We’ll also either be making or finding a cutting board to fit in the slot you can see on the base.
It was a lot of work to get her here, but it’s finally home! We both couldn’t be happier with how it turned out! I love how it carries that warm wood tone all the way to the ceiling. I love the simplicity of the shaker style. I love the little latches, and the corbels, and well all of it really 🙂 It feels it was meant to be here!
We’ll be building a base cabinet similar to it for the other side of the kitchen, beside the oven too so stay tuned for that! 😉
Let me know if you have any questions about the cabinet and have a very Merry Christmas from all of us here at the farm!