Renovating a cabinet

We acquired this old chemistry bench from when we lived in Kansas. This cabinet was sitting abandoned. And we think it was under an open window or a hole in the roof, because there was quite a bit of pigeon droppings on it. Honestly someone probably would have looked at it and said “no way” and threw it in the trash. But, since my husband’s research advisor was also very talented in wood working he knew there was pretty oak underneath.

When I was decorating for Christmas, I typically put a few things in this cabinet. I have a collection of Santa’s that this same research advisor started for me in 2000. I think he thought I needed a hobby of collecting things! I had just finished our staircase https://foxwit.wordpress.com/2019/12/14/renovating-a-staircase/ and I wanted another project. I kept looking at this thinking it could look so much better painted. But, for one thing its huge and extremely heavy, and its also very old. I believe circa 1910 it says on the back. So I didn’t want to compromise the integrity of the piece but wanted to do something to bring it up to date. I decided on painting just the inside of the top.

Choosing the the type of paint was easy. Fusion Mineral Paint https://fusionmineralpaint.com is the easiest paint to use. It goes on smooth and there is no need for a top coat. I used it on my staircase project and it still looks great after 6 months. I didn’t want to paint the outside so we decided that a stark white would not look right with the warm oak. I chose Raw Silk. It is a little softer in color and goes well with the rest of the piece.

The first thing I did was remove the glass doors and wipe down all the surfaces with TSP. I wanted to make sure there was no grease or anything on the inside.

I put the first coat of Zin primer on the bottom of the cabinet. If you notice there is some bubbles in the middle of it. I think there may have been some acid or base possibly that was spilled inside this when it was used in a chemistry lab. There was some kind of black stuff on the bottom, but it wasn’t paint, not sure if it was some kind of laminate inside to protect it from scratches or chemicals. It was a little damaged, and it showed up pretty well once it was primed white. I didn’t want to leave it like that so I found some ordinary wood filler, and used a scraper and some 120 sandpaper to get the surface smooth.

This is a pretty awful picture, but I wanted to show you that I filled the holes with wood filler and sanded it. It took a couple days to get it smooth, but it worked.

I put two coats of the primer on the bottom and inside of the cabinet. There were a couple other places that needed filled and sanded. The back of the cabinet was plywood, and it had a small gap in the middle that I filled. For the most part it was pretty easy. I used an old $2 brush to put the primer on. I typically use foam brushes, but a cheap one worked fine.

I applied two coats of primer and let the primer dry for a day before I started putting the @Fusion Mineral Paint on. https://fusionmineralpaint.com

I applied two coats of the @Fusion Mineral Paint.

Once the paint was dry I put the glass doors back in and found new hardware for the front. I am pretty pleased with how this turned out. I love using this paint and it has no odor and cleans up so well with soap and water.

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