Cabinet Restore

Mike and I are currently knee-deep in renovations. I use the term “renovations” loosely, as we’re in a rental so our DIYs are pretty limited. I’ve watched a lot of Extreme Home Makeover-type shows throughout the years and honestly thought, “hey, renovating our little apartment will be a slice!” Let me tell you, a slice it is not. It’s messy, takes forever, and requires way more upper body strength than I have (I now understand why all those TV carpenters are so ripped). Long story short, our place is “under construction” and my arms hurt. There has been some progress, though. So far we’ve plastered, did a bit of priming, and experimented with spray paint (note to self: do not spray paint on a windy, rainy day).

We also revamped this little retro cabinet. We found it at Habitat for Humanity’s Restore, an outlet that sells used furniture and building supplies/materials. When I found the cabinet I instantly knew I needed it in my life. I love the funky wood details and cutouts, and at $5 it was a steal. The only thing I wasn’t so in love with was the colour, so I decided to do a little furniture makeover. Thankfully, it wasn’t terribly difficult and the whole thing only took a lazy Sunday to do. Here’s what we did (Disclaimer: All of my reno knowledge comes from TV and the internet. I’m posting this not as a DIY, but more of a “reno-diary” for those who are curious what we’ve been up to).

1.  I first sanded the cabinet with an electric sander. I used a pretty coarse sandpaper, but only sanded enough to get the shiny lacquer off.
2. Removed handles/hardware. Looking back I probably should have done this before the sanding. Ah well, live and learn.
3. Wiped down the cabinet to remove any dust and dirt. Let dry completely.
4.  Spray painted the (existing) handles. Two of them broke off so I have to buy new ones, but the others I spray painted black.
5. Painted! Some people may prime first, but I didn’t because the colour I was painting was fairly dark. I used Painter’s Touch in Apple Red (or Netflix Red as I call it) in High Gloss.
6. Painted again (and again and again). It took four coats before we were both happy with the coverage. I guess that’s what that whole priming thing is about.
7.  Waited to dry completely and then reinstalled the hardware. I’m still on the lookout for two new handles, luckily I’m at Home Depot almost every other day so it shouldn’t be too hard to pick up.
8. Stood back and admired our craftsmanship (and tried not to focus too much on the little imperfections).

Hello new cabinet! You look fabulous.


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