Thursday, January 24, 2013

Vintage Wood File Cabinet

I am in the midst of creating a design plan for my girls bedroom. Since my three year old moved into her big sisters room over a year ago, we've never done anything to make it "her" space, too. So, I am finally getting ready to re-decorate the bedroom so that they have a shared space to sleep in, play in, and get ready in the morning.

First plan of attack is to make their closet more functional. Daddy shares a closet with them which needs to change. And, with the constant opening and closing of closet doors, they are always breaking. I've never liked exposed closets, but at this stage in their young life, we just need to be rid of the closet doors and have everything a bit more accessible. The good thing about that, it will force us to keep the closet clean and orderly because I am totally neurotic and refuse to look at messy clothes draping out of drawers or falling off of hangers. 

So, a few weeks ago when I went to the Irvine Antique Market, I spotted an awesome 12-drawer, wood file cabinet. Immediately, I thought that this would be perfect in the girls exposed, door-less closet! 12 beautiful drawers for clothes, toys, and other odds and ends!



The only problem was the price and general condition. The ladies selling wanted well over $100 (which is waaay more than I like to pay for a piece that needs a lot of work) and the paint job on it was TERRIBLE! I mean, atrocious! I mean, it looked like a gigantic piece of blue poo!

I started perusing other things in their booth and another group of people started seriously examining the file cabinet. I was like, "HECK NO, THAT'S MINE!" That's how I know I really want something. When I get all possessive about it before I make a firm decision. 



We rolled it out to the truck where it BARELY fit between the wheel wells. But, when there is a will, there is a way!

I didn't have the endurance to tackle this project right away, so it sat in my driveway for about two weeks. But this week, with 80 degree temperatures, clear skies and a gorgeous view of the mountains from my front yard, it was perfect for an outdoor project!



I took all of the hardware off of the drawers with the help of my next door neighbor and stripped the paint off of them....and the hardware. 



Yep...each drawer had three pieces of hardware on it smothered in thick, goopy, blue latex paint. The patina on the original hardware was totally worth the effort of the stripping. (Oh..and I stripped the original screws too. Now that, my friends is plain madness!!!!)



Then, I sanded them all down to a smooth finish, added two coats of Dark Walnut stain and Annie Sloan Dark Wax.


Now...let's pause here for a moment! At this point, I have invested about 8+ hours, just on the drawers and pulls. I saw all 12 drawers sitting in a row on my driveway and thought, "Wow...those are really deep." I decided to measure the depth. At 28 inches deep, there is no way it is going to fit in the closet that is only 25 inches deep. 

So here is a piece of friendly advice from a nimrod such as myself. When you plan a refinishing project for a certain spot in your home, it's generally a good idea to make sure that the piece you are working on will in fact fit BEFORE you invest oodles of time. Because, had I know that this wouldn't fit prior to the stripping, staining, waxing, I would have just done a quick and easy two-tone paint job. 

At this point, the hard part was over and all that was left was painting the framework. 


Since this wasn't going in the girls room anymore, I went with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint® in classic Old White and a very heavy Dark Wax. 

And, this is how it turned out:



I spent a lot of time on this piece so you are just gonna have to suffer through all of the glorious pictures!







Don't those screws look great? Hardly any blue left on them and all that original worn patina still perfectly intact!



I lightly distressed the edges with a palm sander so that it would eat through the blue paint down to the original wood. But, you know me! I love some of the original color peeking through just to remind me of what it was!



The distressing and dark wax makes all of the little flaws pop!

I am bound and determined to find a place for this in my home, but in the meantime it's up for grabs at the shop!  

Thanks for stopping by and don't forget to like us on facebook. My facebook followers all got the step by step progress of this particular project during the week!


16 comments:

  1. It looks wonderful! Bummer it didn't work for your girl's room.

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  2. Sometimes you just have to buy something even if it is more than we want to spend.

    You did a great job!

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  3. Absolutely gorgeous! So glad that you restored the drawers to their beautiful wood finish! Great job!

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  4. You did a really beautiful job! The wood drawers came out nicely and were worth all the elbow grease!

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  5. This is so pretty! I think this would look so great in an office! Stunning!

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  6. Saw this over on MMS. Love it!! It's perfect and worth all the hard work you put into it!
    Nancy

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  7. OH MY GOSH!!!! That's BEAUTIFUL!!!! I love rustic and industrial pieces. I am a bit jealous that would look awesome in my new work studio. I have never seen a piece like that! Great work. Love it!

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  8. I think a $100 was a steal. A piece like this in my area would be well over $300.It looks great. Great job. Lisa

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  9. Love it, Love it, LOVE it! I'm so jealous of this piece! What an awesome find! Beautiful work!

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  10. I love it!! The wood and paint contrast is great. Found you on MMS. Next time I'm in southern CA, I'll have to find your shop! I'm near Sacramento. Used to live in Orange County. MISS IT!!

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  11. Wow, it looks fabulous now! Well done- i wouldn't be parting with that little beauty!

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  12. That is a unique piece and you did a great job. I hope you find a place for it in your home rather then selling it.

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  13. LOVE YOUR REDO, I WOULD LOVE TO FEATURE IT, IF THAT WOULD BE OK PLEASE LET ME KNOW,
    LAUREN

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  14. Not sure if you caught the feature , you can see it here.
    http://westfurniturerevival.blogspot.com/2013/02/revival-monday-98.html
    thanks agai

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