Over a year ago we pulled up to my sister’s in-law’s house and found a dilapidated cabinet they had left at the curb. To my left I heard, “Oh-what-do-we-have-here?!” and I knew it was going home with us even if it meant there was no room in the car for me (this thing is massive).
It had been in my brother-in-law’s family for decades, but no one remembered where it came from or what its original use was. It’s from City Built Refrigerator Company, but I couldn’t find a stitch of information on it. We both suspect it was used as some sort of pharmacy display case. We had something different in mind for it, but first to remove the layers!
My husband brushed coats of Klean Strip, a very effective paint stripper, and then scraped away the years of lead paint with putty knife. Now, my man is used to working with dangerous materials and equipment and always exercises the utmost precaution. Until the day he was about halfway through the project and got a little careless. While brushing on a layer of the toxic liquid, the brush bristles got caught in a wood groove and splashed him in his unprotected eye. I’ll spare you his stream of consciousness and cut to where he and his red, puffy eye were done for the day. Wear your protective gear, folks!
Mr. Detail, having recovered from his little setback, returned with scabbed eyelid to the refurbishing and gave the cabinet a good sanding and smoothed out some of termite damaged areas.
It has sliding glass doors and shelving, which needed replacing. He cut door tracks to fit, removed the rust from the hardware and then stained them a light green.
We opted for stain instead of paint because we liked the pattern in the plywood. Then we sanded the green stain to mute the intensity and replaced the sheet of glass shelving. As it turned out there was a lot more work to be done, but I won’t bore you with minutiae.
Fast forward to a year and a half later and we were finally ready to put her up! We found the studs in the wall and made sure this beast was secure with 3 sturdy L brackets and added a few screws behind the metal tracking and drilled those into the wall.
We dressed it with some of our midcentury glassware and crystal and filled the decanters with our favorite liquors: whiskey, tequila and vodka. Any recommendations for the fourth?
This poor project was a long time coming due to interruptions and setbacks, but I am so happy with the way it turned out and think it was well worth the wait! Cocktail anyone?