Monday, July 11, 2011

Judging a Book by Its Cover - Restoring a Cabinet

A few years ago I accepted some old cupboards that came out of a local daycare.  My intention was to hang them in my garage, but as everyone knows the world is filled with good intentions.  As the years passed by the cupboards just collected dust in my garage.  Slowly I would hang a single cupboard until all of them were hung, except the smallest one which was intended for my laundry room.

My wife wanted to refinish the cupboard (they were pretty beat up and painted an ugly brown), but once again it was just a good intention.  As the years continued to go by the small little cupboard was kicked around, left outside, filled with sand by the kids, and finally moved back inside.  By this time the cupboard was in pretty bad shape.

One day my wife decided enough was enough and figured it was finally time to refinish this cupboard so it could be hung in our newly refinished laundry room.  She started out using the sandpaper that was on the palm sander (it was 220 grit) and it produced little results so I bought her some 60 grit sandpaper and in no time she had the old ugly brown paint removed to reveal a lovely solid wood cupboard below.

By the time she finished the outer doors and walls of the cupboard her ex
citement had worn off, and it was up to me to finish up the project.  Once the sanding was done I cleaned the cupboard with mineral spirits to remove all the left over sawdust. We were not sure at this point how we wanted to proceed.  Should we stain the cupboard a dark color, should we paint it, or just clear coat it.

We decided on putting  a clear coat and so I pulled out the Miniwax Fast-Drying Polyurethane clear coat and went to work.  It really was amazing to see the transformation of this once dark dirty and dingy cupboard turn into something amazing once again.

Those who knew the cupboard from the before days were amazed that, first it was actually wood and second that it could be cleaned up to look so good.  It only goes to show you that you cannot judge something by its cover, and that many of the things we throw away can be reused to make something beautiful and useful.

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