Monday, August 17, 2015

Hoosier Cabinet Makeover


I'm so glad to be able to put this post up. This ol' beauty is where I keep all my fabric and other sewing notions (at least, the ones that don't go in the desk). And it's got a history to go with. This cabinet was my great grandmother's (possibly my great-great as well, but I know great for certain). My mom said she remembers her grandmother rolling out biscuits on this thing. How awesome is that?!

Just in case you don't know what a Hoosier is, these were used back before built in cabinets were a thing that all houses had, around the mid-1900's. There would be a table (usually), a sink, and one of these. This cabinet would house most, if not all of the kitchen's utensils and often a lot of the food ingredients. The "counter" actually slides out to provide a pretty big work surface, and it's slick enamel. Unfortunately the roll door doesn't work on this one anymore, but that's ok. 

My aunt has had this on her porch for as far back as I can recall. It was subjected to a little bit of the elements on one side, but nothing too damaging. And when I started putting my craft room together, she offered it to me. My parents hauled it up here and my mom and I spent a day painting it an making it pretty again.

Here's where we started:
Obviously needed some serious TLC...
First thing we did was clean it out of any stray cobwebs and accumulated dirt. My aunt had it stripped a while back, so it was down to unfinished wood already (yesss!!! No sanding!). In the above photo you can see the corner of one of the doors sitting in the cubby hole. Mom glued that back in place and we let that dry while we got the paint ready. I bought some of the walmart brand of chalk paint, just to try it out and so we wouldn't have to mix and remix all day.

As an aside, it worked fine, but I think I prefer my homemade recipe better. This stuff still left some places where the coverage was "meh" after 2 full coats.

We took off the doors and removed the drawers and painted the inside first. This particular color is called "peacock." I just couldn't resist...

We decided painting pretty much everything was the way to go. That way none of the "gunky" showed through and it felt fresh. I'm glad we did. I love the inside of this cabinet. It's so cheery in there!!

Painting in a house with cats comes with it's own set of risks. Winry decided she needed to "sign" this piece. We know it was her, we found a trail of Winry-sized paw prints in the hallway and some teal paint on her feet. ^~^ She looked remarkably unapologetic.

Next came the outside. I went with the "ivory" color for the outside. It turned out warmer than I expected, but I like it. It definitely gives it an aged feel.

We found some contact paper that matched the interior color almost exactly. All the shelves and drawer bottoms got the contact paper treatment. This is also the contact paper I used in my Sewing Desk's drawers.

I also got some finishing wax. It brings out a nice luster and deepened the color to a slightly warmer/darker ivory. It gives a nice effect. The knobs aren't original, my aunt replaced the originals some time ago. But they're very nice white porcelain and they go with it perfectly. 

And now for some finished photos:

And just because I know we all love Before/Afters, let's end on that:

Have you given any heirlooms a makeover (or does anyone have a hoosier of their own)? I love antique furniture makeovers! Please link any you've done. =)


  1. Love your heart - love your work - Keeping an heirloom alive and in the family. You have restored it to live another generation.

  2. Looking for inspiration as i purchased a hoosier this summer at a yard sale. Love your color choices. Thanks for sharing. I also redid my great great grandmothers dresser and removed 7 layers of paint and brought back to original wood and stained it and freshened inside of it with paint. Labour of love bbut i smile every time i look at it.


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