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Thursday, December 9, 2010 paint or not to paint?

Gun Cabinet
As you all know I have this was my Honey's gun cabinet he made in high school...I have always loved it...just not the gun part or the 1980's finish on it! Well...keeping everything in storage for so long, it got mildew damage on most of it...I bleached it, I washed it...I even sanded it a little trying to get the mildew off. Nothing I ended up priming it with Kilz Primer trying to stop the damage...and that is how it sat for the better part of a year...

Primered repurposed Gun Cabinet
 I put on my best Honnaaay Hat and begged for repurposing this cabinet...well, being the generous, loving sort my Honey is? He gave it to me to do what I would...
I took it apart and took out the "gun racks"...and put in two shelves from the wood I had taken off the wall upstairs...the planks are fabulous! They are 1/2" thick cedar with beveled tongue and groove. They have remnants of this house on them...paint, paper and knicks...rough on one side, smooth on the other...loads of character!  I was at a loss as to what kind of finish to use to incorporate it into my house...I wanted white but I didn't want everything to be matched...I like the crackle finishes but my patience level is low...I could paint the whole thing bright white, cream...but then we are back to picking paint.....uh uh...that is the worst thing someone could go thru while trying to redo their house! I love the time worn finishes..chipping paint...worn corners...but it is hard to achieve the affects of time and have it look like it is authentic...
In my internet travels, I have saved pictures of various cabinets and display units...I have had this picture for the whole year I have been here:
I just love's old..worn...beautiful! and it suits my aesthetics and my plan for furnishing my English/Cottage style living room...

As I have referenced before...I have a heat gun...they are the most wonderful things! They zip paint, varnish, any kind of finish off anything...they make nice, neat little paint chips to vacuum up or sweep into a bag...and they also burn your fingers...:) I am a testament to really have to pay attention to what you are doing...Anyways...I decided to go with the above has everything...wood...white...old...worn...character!
Shabby Chic paint job
And this is what I ended up doing...taking the paint off...

repurposed weathered wood cabinet
White shabby cabinet

reused weathered cabinet

I am going to ask Santa for a palm I can finish sanding it down to bare wood with only flecks of white like my inspiration poor lil arms are tuckered out! I also think it needs a beadboard backing or a color inside?  My Honey LOVES it... 


  1. I'm LOVING it, too.
    A suggestion for the inside back might be gift wrapping paper.
    Check out the nearest Hallmark store, I found a beautiful toile print paper, 20 sq ft for $1.25. I cut the pieces to fit the inside back of my old pie safe, watered down some good old Elmers glue, slapped it on the back of the gift wrap and papered the inside. Because the glue is water soluible it should come off easily if I get tired of the toile. (But I really don't see that happening soon.) Just be sure that the wood on the inside has been primed as the glue will be sucked into the raw wood.

  2. Have to agree with Vanessa, the toile would make the cabinet awesome.

  3. I LOVE TOILE! What a fabulous idea! Thanks you guys!

  4. love love love the gift wrap idea!!I am thinking about "stealing it for my dining room built ins - just what I have been looking for!!



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