Are you ready for some fun? It’s Trash to Treasure Tuesday and my blogger friends and I love to show you some awesome makeovers. In honor of my husband’s grandmother that passed away this time last year, I decided to give her old enamel cabinet a much needed TLC makeover.
Normally at this time of year we would be celebrating my grandmother-in-law’s birthday. However, just after her birthday last year she quietly passed while sitting out on her porch…her favorite thing to do in the evening before bed. What a way to go! I mean, not to make light, but if I had a choice of how I was going to meet my Lord, that would be it.
Dear Opal is missed by her 7 children and all the family left behind, including us. She was a tough little lady that knew how to work hard, and get a good laugh. Gardening was her passion and she worked in an Amish furniture store where her smile was thoroughly enjoyed. Her and her husband built their home and managed to make it through raising their brood, while sadly burying their 6 month old baby boy. That is one of the many things that her and I had in common – saying goodbye to our babies far too soon.
Like all of us who pass from this world, we leave all the “things” we acquire for those left behind to sort through. One of those items was this enamel cabinet that was…well…pretty rough.
When I was asked if I wanted it, I was like, “Ooh…is that an enamel top? YES!” Little did I know that the cabinet would be so in need of love. meh. The top had some rusting and chipped spots and that is no biggie. I removed the top and all the hardware. I’ll get to that later.
The inside, however, was another story. The bottom was rotted out and the front skirt and bottom of the sides were made of veneer that had suffered from moisture damage being in her basement.
So, the plus side is the enamel top is in great shape, and I only had to replace one caster that had been eaten by bugs. Then, it’s demo time. See the skirt at the top of the picture below and how it’s separated?
*post includes affiliate links so you can find the products I love to use too. (see full disclosure)
The sides and bottom of the cabinet are made of a 3-ply veneer. The bottom was nothing but a flaked mess and came out easily. Once that was removed, I used some scrap wood, clamps, and wood glue to clamp each side for a few hours to see if it would do the job. It worked!
While each side was drying, I decided to work on what I could. The hardware was awfully rusted and the chrome had damage. First, I soaked every bit of screws, hinges, brackets, and closures in CLR. (ya know, that Calcium, Lime, Rust remover) Then, cleaned with a scouring pad and toothbrush to get into the tight spots. I lubed the hinges and closures with oil and they were good to go.
After that I used a trick to repair the chrome that I learned from my friend, Heather at The Heathered Nest (she’s one of the most talented and hilarious bloggers I know). I took aluminum foil and water and rubbed each piece to give it a fresh new shine.
As for the enamel top, I went to one of my favorite tools, Bar Keeper’s Friend. I could have also used this on my chrome parts, but didn’t see the need. However, when it came to the top, I knew that it needed this stuff. It took out a bazillion scratches and removed the rust like a dream. So much so that my kids kept walking by going, “Whoa! That’s incredible!”
Now, back to the cabinet. The drawers were in great shape and even had the metal bread box too. It was just missing the sliding lid and needed some rust-be-gone love. That was an easy fix.
A new piece was cut to fit the bottom and I attached it with my nailer.
After that, I went to town on that cabinet with my sander. Since the original paint was in immense flake state and had nasty stains, I decided to give the cabinet a new color I knew Opal would love. She and I both thoroughly enjoy aqua. While my go-to color is in these posts, I decided to give another seconds sample I found a try. It’s kind of a minty blue and went on like a dream with my favorite brushes.
After a few coats and reassembled, here is Opal’s enamel cabinet. Sniff…I sure hope she likes it.
To say I’m pleased with it is an understatement. It came out far better than I expected and am so glad I was able to restore this little gem. No more wavy and damaged sides, and spruced up for new life.
All of the interior got lined with a vintage wallpaper that I felt fit the style. Remember, there was foil laying over that rotted out bottom…bluck. Wahoo for the new and improved look!
As much as I tried to figure a way to keep this, we have decided it needs a new home. You can find it available in my shop. (SOLD)
We sure do miss Opal and know that we are blessed to have known her. It’s a treat to recall memories with JC and our children. Time flies and we need more time with those we love.
I’m all about inspiring you, and my goal is that you come away feeling inspired to give DIY a try. And, don’t forget that my blogger friends have some fun projects for you too. (see below)
Do pin and share Opal’s enamel cabinet makeover because you never know you needs to see it and ignite that spark of creativity.
Oh, and here’s the other piece I received from Opal’s basement. It will be a bit before I decide what to do with it. It is one dirty, hot mess. I have at least cleaned it for now.
WAIT! Before you go…check out these fantastic makeover by my blogger friends.