Monday, April 18, 2011

The Little Cabinet That Could

Once upon a time, there was a little cabinet.  He was solid wood, probably built in a woodshop.  He had good bones.

And then he was painted, first white and then taupe.  And then he was covered with thick, shiny brown paint.  He did not like the brown paint.  And he did not like his outdated hardware.  "I'm stuck in 1992," he sighed.

To make matters worse, someone set green foam on his top before the paint was dry!  When he thought things couldn't be more horrible, he was eventually packed into a truck and abandoned at a thrift store.

At first, he was scared.  He saw mountains of clothing.  He was deposited in the back of the store, between the mismatched lamps and the dusty shoes.  People walked by him all morning and scoffed at his glossy brown paint and picked at his fuzzy green bits.

He wanted to shout at them, "Look, I have a lovely drawer and spacious storage behind my door."

The people would walk away.  The little cabinet sniffled, "I COULD be beautiful, just give me a chance."

A woman approached the cabinet.  She was dressed in a skirt and heels.  The cabinet wasn't feeling too optimistic until she said,  "Well, you're an interesting little fellow."  Gently, she tipped him over a little.  "You look like solid wood."

The cabinet stood a little taller.  He wished he could shout, "Yes, yes I am!"

She tested the drawer and popped open the door.  "Indeed, it is unfortunate that you were painted over and over."  She peered at his price sticker.  $9.99.  In her hand was a 20% off coupon.  For only eight dollars, she'd take a chance on this little cabinet.

When he arrived at the woman's home, she carefully removed his door and the ugly hardware and brushed on goopy gel that smelled like oranges.  He wasn't too sure about things as he felt the goo seep into the pores of paint.  But when she gently scraped the goo away, his wood began to reappear.  Oh, it feels so good to be rid all these layers of paint, he thought.

After a good scrubbing with mineral spirits (which tickled) and a night to dry, the woman approached him with a paint brush.  "Don't worry," she assured him, "I'll be gentle."

She primed him, then gave him three thin layers of paint.  He was so pleased with his new self, but he was a little worried about his hardware.  He secretly wanted new hardware, but he hated to be greedy after all the woman had done.  She did not let him down.

"Oh!" he gasped.  Delicate yet sturdy oil rubbed bronze hardware.  And she even painted his hinges to match!

She carried him from the garage to his new home in a bedroom.  "I hope you like music," she said.  "You'll be living in my husband's music room."  She set him next to the day bed and stood back, frowning slightly.

"Do you know what you need?  You need a friend.  How about a lamp?"

Memories of the scary mismatched lamps flooded the little cabinet.  "Um..." he started to say, but the woman had vanished.

In a flash, she was in the garage.  With a little black lamp.  And a can of spray paint.

A few hours later, the woman peeked in to check on the cabinet.  "Guess what I have?" she asked.

The little cabinet could only imagine.  But he perked up to see the spunky green lamp with its jaunty silver pull cord.  He knew immediately that they'd be great companions.

And so ends the story of The Little Cabinet That Could. 

He could be beautiful.

Some people have asked what kind of paint stripper I used.  I used CitriStrip, which is more gentle than traditional paint strippers.  I've used KleanStrip Paint Remover in the past, but the fumes are intense and if you accidentally splash some on yourself, YOU WILL KNOW IT.  Ouch!

I'm linkin' up...
Metamorphosis Mondays at Between Naps on the Porch
Amaze Me Mondays at Dittle Dattle
Thrifty Treasures at Southern Hospitiality
Nifty Thrifty Tuesdays at Coastal Charm
Wicked Awesome Wednesday at Handy Man, Crafty Woman
Transformations and Treasures at Pink Postcard
Wow Us Wednesdays at Savvy Southern Style
Transformation Thursday at The Shabby Chic Cottage
Flaunt It Fridays at Chic on a Shoestring Decorating
Frugal Friday at The Shabby Nest
Inspiration Friday at The Picket Fence
Saturday Night Special at Funky Junk Interiors
Paint Projects Party at Centsational Girl


  1. Great job refinishing the cabinet! I hardly recognized it. That brown color was pretty ugly and takes a good eye to look past all that thick paint to see the inner beauty. What type of gel stripper did you use to remove the paint? It sounds like it came off pretty easy.

  2. Great post and awesome makeover!!!


  3. love it! so much better than the brown- it looks very fresh and brand new! thanks for sharing this at Transformations and Treasures~

  4. Very beautiful. I'm also looking for nightstands that are made of solid wood and hope I can have the same fortune as you to find something so nice.

  5. That looks so great Heather! And the sagey green lamp is perfect with it. Great job!
    Thanks so much for sharing the story of the Little Cabinet that Could with us at Inspiration Friday last weekend! :-)

  6. Hi Heather! I just wanted to let you know that I featured this project at Transformations and Treasures today! Thanks so much for linking up. Enjoy!


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