1950’s China Cabinet

This project was a challenge, but it was also a special project that meant a lot to me. My grandparents recieved this cabinet and matching harvest table (post seperate pics of table later) as a wedding gift in 1943. The cabinet sat in the dining room up until the 80’s – replaced by new dining room set. This was then placed in a storage unit (no climate control) until 2011. Needless to say it was in rough shape. It was a complete restore and I was able to salvage most of the damaged wood. Anyhoo…once I reached bare wood, this project began to come together just like the day it was built in the 40’s. I used a Red Mahogany stain with a semi-gloss poly – stain gives the wood that ‘POP’ when you walk into the dining room. Finished it off with brushed copper hardware and antique bubble glass. Finished it in time for 2011’s Thanksgiving dinner. We had the entire family over, including my garndparents. My grandma when she saw the table and cabinet cried for about an hour and my grandma says…”I’ve been meaning to tell you I would like to have the table and hutch back.” LOL…always a character. Enjoy…Happy Woodworking-

This is a “before” picture of the cabinet. It was in pretty bad shape. For the past 25 years it had been used as a tool cabinet. This picture certainly does not show the challenges that I faced with this project.












I started disasembling the drawers and doors and began stripping all of the stain/finish down to bare wood. Once I did that, then next step was sanding. The trick here was not to take away too much material.

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Here is the cabinet completely sanded and back to what I call it’s basics.

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Now it was time for my favorite part….Stain. I chose a dark mahongany stain to really help the pine grain POP once the poly was applied. I chose brushed copper hardware for this project. The only hardware I salvaged were the hinges, which were brass. I ended up sanding them down and spraying them first with black paint. I then sprayed them from above (approx 12″) with copper spray paint to give them a spackled look. I finished the corners with copper and rubbed them slightly to give them a worn/rustic look. I also replaced the old coke bottle glass with antique bubble glass.

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Finally, the after product. Overall this restoration turned out beautiful and looks amazing.

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