Unique Details–and Unique Challenges

I’m always excited to work on furniture with unique details, and this was no exception. It did, however, come with some unique challenges as well.  The client asked for this beautiful cabinet to be stripped and refinished to what was likely its original stain color.

Brown antique storage cabinet with shelf

old cabinet in need of repair and refinishing

When the client dropped off the piece, she said she had just realized that the bottom shelf was broken.  While generally not a problem to repair, I additionally discovered that the veneer was lifting off of almost every edge of the piece.

Brown antique storage cabinet with shelf

To say that this cabinet spent the first night with me in “traction” would be an understatement.

Brown antique storage cabinet with shelf

I ended up using most of my clamps to hold the repairs and did another set of repairs once the glue dried. Once everything was stable, I started carefully sanding down the veneer to remove the old finish and discovered that the veneer almost disintegrated.  At this point, I called the client to advise her that restaining was not going to be an option, but with her permission, I could paint the cabinet and still create a beautiful piece.  She was more than willing to give her blessing and pretty much gave me free rein to be creative.  We discussed some general color preferences and left me to it!

We went with grey accented with olive green, and I knew with some light dry brushing of black I could make all of those beautiful details pop.  The patina on the hardware blends beautifully the the olive green, and the color combination is simultaneously interesting and neutral.  The character of the original piece is highlighted while the finish is fresh and updated. Family pieces like this deserve to be saved and treasured.

Painted antique storage cabinet with shelf

Painted antique storage cabinet with shelf


Hold My Wine, I’ve Got This…


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