Repurposed Again

Repurposing is not a new thing. Humans have been doing it for a very long time and I have just done it again in my home. When we moved into our 1974 side split part of the basement was unfinished and had been used as a workshop. In the one corner hung a very old ugly kitchen cabinet which I assume the previous owner had repurposed from an older home.We kept old newspapers to start fires in our wood stove in it. It was a bit of an eye sore. Red Cabinet Open Before Last year we decided to change from electric baseboard heat to a furnace and that meant removing this cabinet. Once it was off the wall I thought hmm I could use that at the Studio for storage. Off it went to the back of my studio and I started working on it. I used a heat gun to get a lot of the paint off. Red Cabinet Sanded   As I continued working on it my feelings toward this cabinet started to change. It started to grow on me and I wasn’t sure I wanted it as just a storage cabinet hiding at the back of my Studio. I decided not to sand it completely smooth. The rough well used surface had character. As always I fall back to my favorite FAT Paint colour Red Barchetta. I started painting the exterior and the dark wood and uneven surface look shined through the paint colour giving it that old barn red feeling. I had been on the hunt for a cabinet/dresser for our front entrance but it needed to be fairly shallow and most dressers are not. I started contemplating using this cabinet as our entrance storage solution and talked to my husband about it. We both agreed I could make this work for us. in between projects for customers I plugged away at painting the cabinet and decided to use Cast Iron for the interior as I finally had a vision for the finished product. I couldn’t just have an old kitchen cabinet sitting on the floor in our front hall. I needed to get or make feet for it. I went to one of our local hardware/renovation stores and found some nice plain feet I felt would be perfect with a little creativity. unfinished feet 1   The feet come with brackets that screw to the bottom of your item and then the feet screw into a hole in the middle of the bracket. They are very easy to install but these needed to look old. I needed to make these feet look as old as the rest of the cabinet. I thickened up the Cast Iron paint to a consistency of drywall mud with a test product from The FAT Paint Company. Using a palette knife I applied the paint to the legs  to achieve the look of years of being banged into and layers of painted over chipped paint. Cast Iron Extra FAT feet 1   Now I decided the red needed to be deepened a bit and I wanted a satin finish so out came the varathane. I applied two coats over the exterior and interior of the cabinet. I then lightly wet sanded the entire piece with 600 grit sand paper. The next step was to rub espresso stain over the entire cabinet inside and out, then using a clean rag remove the excess stain. I waited until the next day to apply two more coats of satin varathane (polyurethane). Red Cabinet Bottom   Now I needed to find new handles because the handles on it just were not speaking to me. Well they were speaking just not what I wanted to hear. Red Cabinet Original Handles   The hunt was on. My husband and I both looked at all the stores in our city that carry cabinet handles and nothing worked. We looked on line and nothing caught my eye so it was time to call a gentleman I used before to make me handles. I called Mr. Giroux’s home but his wife answered and advised he was retired but he had trained someone who lived just out of town and got his number for me. I called and he was able to start on the handles almost immediately, we did however exchange a few pictures in order for him to know what I wanted. Having a blacksmith create something for you is amazing and since I have a love of hand forged items it was the perfect choice. Please pop by Pat Taylor’s Blacksmith page and give him a like. He does amazing work. Red Cabinet One Handle In order to attach and support the weight of the handles he had to create 8 holes in each back plate for me to screw it in place. I certainly didn’t want to use regular wood screws that are shiny silver so I opted for black drywall screws. To make sure the screws did not go right through the door I had to cut them down. I held the screw with a pair of pliers and used a cutting disc on my Dremel to cut down the length of the screw. My husband and I put the cabinet on its back and I place the handles in position so I could drill the holes for the screws. Some of the cut screws needed a little help screwing into the hole so I first screwed an uncut screw into the hole creating the grooves for the cut screw to follow. With out the pointy tapered end it can be difficult for them to catch on the wood and screw into place. With the handles in place we now have our completed cabinet. Red Cabinet 1   All our baskets from the closet my children could not reach are now in the cabinet for their mitts, scarves and other paraphernalia. I am extremely happy with how this turned out. Red Cabinet Open

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