This project is also featured in a roundup of my 10 best painted furniture projects.
Make Over a $10 Flea Market Cabinet
A few weeks ago, I put out a post showing how I upcycled a ratty old piano bench into a pretty little table for our apartment. Well the same day that I found that bench I found this $10 cabinet, which I thought had a lot of potential:
It was an interesting shape and built very well, and for $10, I figured, why not? But restoring it to its previous glory took a lot of love (and sanding). It looked like it had been through a lot…it was covered in scratches and had what seemed like minor water damage around the base. And some random blue paint.
(Remember to wear a mask and eye protection while sanding, and wear a mask while working with oil-based stains and finishes. Follow the directions and warnings from your particular brand. This post contains affiliate links. You can read more about that here. Thank you!)
I knew I wanted the top of the piece to be the focal point, so I decided to re-finish it with a fresh stain. I did this by sanding the finish off using an electric sander. It was so rewarding to sand that top off! I really lucked out with how beautiful the wood was.
The rest of this project is somewhat of a blur. Why? Because I finished it in the week before we moved! So I’ll just go ahead and tell you what I did. After the stain dried, I did three coats of Minwax polyurethane semi-gloss finish (with a very light sand between the first and second and second and third coats). Two coats probably would have been enough, but I wanted to do a third coat for extra protection. The wood is just so pretty.
After I finished the top, I did a light sand over the entire piece (excluding the top, of course). Most of it was just hand sanding, but I did use the electric sander on the front of the door, which had some really deep scratches and blemishes, and on the base’s bottom corners, which had a bit of water damage. Then I wiped the piece down and painted a coat of primer (this kind). After that dried, I painted three coats of Folk Art Home Decor in White Adirondack. I am satisfied with how this piece looked after three coats of Folk Art, but based on experience working with other similar paint lines, I do think that two coats of Americana Deco Art Chalky Finish in Everlasting would have been enough. Alas, I had a 50% off coupon for Jo-Ann, and Jo-Ann only sells Folk Art, so I used that. One extra coat didn’t kill me, and the finished product looks great.
I also scouted high and low for a piece of hardware to use for the door. I ended up with a pretty little piece from Silk & Burlap, which is a little shop in downtown Frederick, MD.
I love the finished product!
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