I am so pleased that I have been able to revive two Hoosier Cabinets this year alone! If you’re unfamiliar, Hoosier Cabinets were used in the early 1900s before kitchen cabinets were built-in. They provided storage and a work surface–often including flour sifters within the cabinet.
My client contacted me to save this cabinet because it was the first piece of furniture her grandparents had purchased after they were married. I discovered that the manufacturing and retail tags were still affixed to the bottom! (I framed them out and attached them to the “backsplash” of the upper cabinet.)
This particular cabinet was in very rough shape due to water damage. The legs were rotted, the casters rusted, and the bottom of the base unit was warped and molded.
With all restoration projects, I like to salvage/reuse as much of the original piece as possible. Due to rot and mold, however, I needed to replace the legs and the bottom of the base unit. Once the damaged wood was replaced, I cleaned and repainted the entire cabinet back to its original color.
The hardware was a big obstacle because, as I mentioned, the wheels were seized with rust, the drawer knobs were rusted, but the hinges were in decent shape. I started by cleaning up the original hardware and removed all the rust. The door pull on the base unit was not original to the piece, so with the client’s blessing, I ordered a knob that matched the other drawer knobs. I ended up with several different finishes and needed to find a way to make them all work together. My solution was to paint them all metallic dark metal, and custom “age” them to create a cohesive but period-appropriate finish.
I hope that this cabinet can live on and be appreciated for generations to come.