My birthday was a few months ago and because it happens to fall pretty close to Mother’s Day, I usually don’t expect much as far as gifts. As much as my husband truly does try, he’s a “guy” and just doesn’t take those little hints for things I like. So, you can imagine my surprise when he came home one night with this beauty.
I’ve always wanted one and was more than shocked when I walked into my garage to see this lovely lady sitting next to my car.
(Before you ask, no there is no machine in it, so if you find one for a good deal, let me know! Something similar to THIS would be perfect.)
Now, as much as I love this cabinet, it doesn’t really go with my home decor very well, and I’m definitely not afraid of a good DIY. I’ve seen a few different ideas for what to do with these, so I took some of my favorites and put it all together to come up with my own.
Isn’t she gorgeous?! I am so in love! I just stop and stare every time I walk into the room.
It honestly was so easy to do this and today I’m going to share with you exactly what I did, you know, just in case you are wanting to try something similar.
First of all, the top is done with a black tea/vinegar stain technique. If you’ve ever made your own wood stain, you know how simple it really is. If you haven’t, do it now!
This particular stain was made by putting a bit steel wool in a quart mason jar and adding some plain distilled vinegar. Place the lid on, but not too tight, and let it sit for a least 24 hours. The steel wool will oxidize with the vinegar and create this nasty looking stuff.
Trust me, this is right and what you want it to look like. The longer you let it sit, the more yucky it starts to look.
Now, 24 hours may seem like quite a long time to wait, so in the meantime you can prep your wood. Start by removing your hardware. This cabinet has a “door” on top with a few different pieces to open it up. Remove all of the hinges and screws, but keep them in a bag. You don’t want to loose them. If you are refurbishing an old cabinet, it most likely has a finish on it from before and you NEED to get that off. You need to get that wood fresh and raw so use some elbow grease and get that finish O-F-F!
Before you get you sander out, I’m going to show you my lazy way of doing this. Paint and Varnish Stripping Gel. No joke, it will save you so much time! You can find it at any hardware and paint store and I even found mine at Walmart.
You just paint that stuff all over your project, let it set and once it kind of bubbles and changes color like this, it’s ready to scrape off. I used a wide chisel, cuz to be honest that’s all I had, but you can use about anything to scrape it off.
Notice there were a couple places that didn’t quite work. I used my chisel to just scrape those off. I probably could have repainted my varnish stripper, but I just wasn’t in the mood to wait so, that was my way of doing it. You can do what you want.
Once you have your wood all fresh and raw, you’re ready. I let my cabinet set overnight at this point, mostly because I wanted that varnish stripper to be completely dried off of my wood, but also because my stain wasn’t ready.
The next morning, I got up, got my breakfast, and brewed some black tea. Not to drink because I’m just not a tea drinker, but for my project. I know, it sounds kind of weird, but this step is crucial if you want the darker wood stain. If you want the stain to be closer the the original color, stick with the just the steel wool and vinegar stain mix. I like the darker wood so I used the black tea.
Get a paint brush and paint your wood with tea. You are not going to see a color change at this point. You wood will just look a bit wet, but not for long. It dries within 15 minutes.
Next up is your vinegar stain. Get your jar and swirl it around a couple of times, just to mix it up. Then, using the same technique as your tea stain, paint all over the wood. This is when you are going to notice your color change.
This picture was taken immediately after brushing it on.
This one was a few minutes later.
This one was taken when it was almost dry.
Depending on the color of wood you started with, will depend on your finished color. Just play around with it.
After your stain has dried completely , finish it off with some type of sealant. You can buy it with a gloss or matte finish. Again, depending on your preference will depend on what you want to use. I had some gloss varnish on hand so I used it. I’m not usually one for a gloss finish, but this one looks really good after a couple of weeks and I’m happy I used it.
Notice, I only did the stain finish on the top. I’m kind of a fan of this huge chalk paint craze that’s going on right now. I also like the lighter colors and didn’t want my cabinet to be completely wood finish. After letting the cabinet top set and dry for a few days, I turned it upside down onto a trash bag (I didn’t want anything on my garage floor scratching that finish I just worked so hard on). My husband helped me to disassemble all of the hardware and remove the table legs and pedal. I’m going to warn you now, it is heavy. If you aren’t very strong, or just hesitant to do it on your own. Get an extra set of hands to help you.
-Oh, and before I forget, you may be wondering why I did the top first. I didn’t want any of that stain ruining my paint. You can tape everything off if you want, but that’s your call. Really, you can do this in any order you want, but that was just how I chose to do it.-
Pull the drawers out of the cabinet, wipe everything down with a damp cloth and get to work with your chalk paint. I used Fairy Chalk Mother’s paint in the color “Parchment”. It took about 3 coats to get it where I wanted, but I wanted to make sure it had great coverage.
Once your paint is dry, use a regular chalk paint sanding technique to smooth out your paint. This doesn’t take long, but you will need to do it EVERYWHERE you painted. Glazing is also an option with chalk paint if you like that look. My cabinet has a lot of little details and I wanted to bring them out. However, as much as I like a rustic look, I’m not a huge fan of the “shabby” look, so I took my sanding block to the details and was more than happy with those results.
After I got the look I wanted, I finished the entire painted area off with a chalk paint sealer. You can use wax if you’d like, I just had some actual chalk paint sealer on hand so again, that’s what I used. HERE is a link to the product I use when doing anything with chalk paint. When it’s all dry, put those cabinet legs back on, stand it up, reassemble the top, and admire your work.
I’d love to see any of your DIY projects! Link up in the comments below and share with all of us your fun projects.