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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Nonnie's China Cabinet

Several years ago my father gave me my maternal grandmother's tiny "extra china" china cabinet.  I was thrilled, not because it was a beautiful piece - it is not- nor was it in good condition.  But I remember as a child getting the everyday china out of it when we would visit and I remember playing on the hardwood floors beside it in the corner of her HUGE kitchen.  I have never used it as a china cabinet, but as a book/what-not shelf.  And to be honest, the poor old thing was sort of embarassing!  Wanna see?

Rather reddish finish

Close up of the front detail  and lots of chipping - and not in the cool shabby chic way

You can really see the damage here.

View from the side - note that the door will not shut on the drawer.

Ok - here is the bad part.  In my excitement to get this done, there are no "during" pictures.  But you probably all now the routine.  First I removed everything that I could.  Sanded it down to the bare wood anywhere I could and used stripper in the small details.  And then I stripped again.  Really old varnish is stubborn!!!    Then I sanded again with 220 grit.  Following Miss Mustard Seed's instructions I stained it with Minwax Dark Walnut Stain and several coats of minwax rub on poly in the satin.  I did not want it too glossy.  I removed the top detail piece because it was damaged.  I tried the soap on the drawer trick I had read about, but no luck.  So I sanded the side of the drawer until it fit.  Probably the very wrong thing to do, but it worked!!
And here she is now.

Ahhh - soo much better

Obviously I have not mastered staging or photography

Close up of the detailed area and the cute knobs - half price at Hobby Lobby.  No more damage!!

Close up of the new none-damaged leg!!

I redid the inside,too.  I found vintage looking scrapbooking paper and covered the books that stay in there and brought in some sentimental decorations.  My grandmother crocheted this sweet little coaster and this is the Bible my dad had from WWII

 - side note - I am not THAT old.  My dad was a teen in WWII and my parents were almost 50 when they had me.  Just sayin' -

And one last one so that you can see - the drawer is shut!!

I know this does not compare to so many of the INCREDIBLE projects out there.  But this one gave me alot of joy because of the wonderful woman it belonged to.  There were no markings on it to indicate how old it is but I know it is over 60 years old minimum.  And this was my first project to "move mountains in my home."  And it gave me the confidence to conquer that nasty front door!!!

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  1. Beautiful refinishing! You're becoming an expert! I love the new wood tone...dark work = my favorite. Great job! :)

  2. So nice that you didn't paint it, but made it look like it has its original beauty. And I really like the book covers--great idea. And sweet to have meaningful family heirlooms on display, too. Very nice job.

  3. Oh, what an amazing piece! It's beautiful and extra-special now with all your hard work in it.

  4. Thank you all so much for your sweet words. Your positive comments are so encouraging!

  5. SO beautifully done...and LUCKY YOU to have such a meaningful piece from your past!

  6. it really doesn't even look the same! it looks so much better!!!