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  • Writer's pictureRoz Moran

Kitchen Solution

Uninteresting Backstory


When we bought our house in 1993, I bought one of those enamelled, tubular bakers rack for our kitchen. I learned to hate it as it never looked tidy and neat. It was a cluttered catch-all. In 2017, we renovated our kitchen - new cabinets, appliances, and tile floor. The bakers rack went to live with Jesus. I needed a replacement storage solution. However, I needed something small (18" deep x 42" wide). I wanted something with clean, simple lines that provided a lot of storage and looked tidy. Of course, it had to be affordable. I looked in brick-and-mortar furniture stores, on-line stores, thrift stores, antique stores, Craig's list, Facebook Marketplace, etc. If I did find something I liked, it was cost prohibitive ($800-$1500). For months, I looked for IT. One Monday, I was making a quick survey of my favorite thrift store when something caught my eye. It was two storage cabinets that were companion pieces of two desks. They were made by Thomasville and seem to be linen cabinets that Thomasville decided to market as storage cabinets to go along with these desks. They were made of solid oak and other hardwoods and were sturdy. Once I saw them, I knew they were IT. Within minutes of laying eyes on them, I knew what I would do to "transfigure" them. At this particular thrift store, everything was 50% off every Monday. Those cabinets were $50 originally a piece. So, I got both for $50.


Before


Unfortunately, I did not think to take very many pictures of this project. However, this is what one looked like when I found it at the thrift store.


After




Process and Products


Preparation
  • Removed old cabinet pulls from drawers and doors

  • Removed old glides from them bottom of the cabinet

  • Removed doors and hinges

  • Removed cork inserts from the doors. (There were kept in place with turn button picture frame tabs.)

  • Sanded all exterior surfaces using medium-grit sandpaper to degloss the old finish so the paint would adhere. The interior was clean-looking, so it was left as-is.

  • Thoroughly vacuumed all sanding dust from exterior and interior.


Paint Case and Drawer Fronts

Note: This is great paint. It goes on smooth with no brush strokes, and it very, very durable. After five years of constant use, the piece shows no wear or nicks.


After coat #1 and coat #2:

  • Allowed paint to dry overnight.

  • Buffed all painted surfaces with 0000 steel wool.

  • Vacuumed exterior and interior of case and drawers to remove all bits of steel wool and paint dust.

  • Wiped down all interior and exterior surfaces using a lint-free cloth dampened with denatured alcohol.


Note: Typically, I would remove the drawers for ease of painting the case, but the drawers were not easily removed. So, I had to open them halfway and painted the case around them.


Paint Doors

Note: I painted them flat on a table as opposed to still attached to the case because it helped with managing drips and pooling of paint in the crevices.


After coat #1 and coat #2:

  • Allowed paint to dry overnight.

  • Buffed all painted surfaces with 0000 steel wool.

  • Vacuumed exterior and interior of case and drawers to remove all bits of steel wool and paint dust.

  • Wiped down all interior and exterior surfaces using a lint-free cloth dampened with denatured alcohol

Reattach Doors to frame

I reattached the hinges and door for one cabinet in the original location. However,

although these were two separate pieces, I wanted them to function and look like a double-door cupboard when placed side-by-side. This meant that I had to move the hinges on one of the cabinets from the left-hand side to the right-hand side before reattaching the door.


Door Inserts

I decided to use punched aluminum for the door inserts. M-D Building Products Aluminum Sheet. However, I kept the cork inserts and decided to flip them around so that the cork would be on the inside of the door. It would be useful for tacking up notes, lists, recipes, etc. The plywood backer board that was originally visible on the interior of the door would be used as a background for the punched aluminum.

  • Using the original plywood backer board as a template, I traced the outline of the board onto the aluminum with a black Sharpie.

  • Cut the sheet along the template lines using tin snips.

  • Painted one side of the original plywood backer board with 2 coats of very dark brown acrylic craft paint since durability was not an issue here.

  • Assembled the inserts in the door by first inserting the punched aluminum sheet, then the painted plywood so the painted side showed through the punched aluminum, followed by the sheet of cork. I kept the original turn button tabs to keep everything in place.


Replace Door and Drawer Pulls

Replaced the door and drawer pulls with ones with a brushed nickel finish from my local hardware store.


Casters

I wanted to be able to easy move the cabinets so I could clean behind and beneath them. Once I filled them with cookbooks and other items, they would be heavy. So, I attached small casters in place of the original glides. However, the hole for the glides was a little bigger than the stem of the caster and wiggled a bit. So, I stuffed epoxy putty in the hole before attaching the casters, and it worked like a charm.


Project Cost

Cabinets

$50

Punched Aluminum

$36

Paint

$28

Door and Drawer Knobs

$20

Casters

$36

Sandpaper, steel wool, paint brush, etc.

$15

Total

$185




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