Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Vintage Cabinet Upcycle - Part 2

My vintage cabinet is finally finished!  It's been living in my kitchen for a few weeks and it is already proving itself to be quite useful.  The first post about the beginning of the job can be found here.  The remainder of this post will explain how I finished painting and fixing up the cabinet.

Once I finished sanding enough of the old paint off of the cabinet, it was time to take apart the wheels and clean them.  There was an awful lot of old gunk built up around the wheels, so it definitely needed a thorough cleaning before I could use it in my kitchen.  It took some work with pliers to loosen the bolts, but they finally came off.  You can see a cabinet leg minus the wheel below.  I also used the Mouse sander to take a good bit of rust off that part of the wheel, though I forgot to take an "after" picture before I reassembled everything.

I brought the wheel bits and the drawer pulls inside to clean them off.  I soaked everything in a mixture of warm water and CLR to help clean a lot of the older gunk off.  All of the pieces were then individually scrubbed with a toothbrush before I rinsed and dried them.  The handles shined up nicely while still retaining some of their weathered patina, which was perfect.  I wanted them to look clean, but not like they had just come off the manufacturing line.  The wheels looked much better, and the cleaned bolts also allowed the wheels to turn much more freely once I reassembled everything.

I put the wheels back on the legs before painting the primer coat on the cabinet so that I could move it around easily when needed.  I didn't want paint to get on the newly cleaned wheels, so I covered them with aluminum foil.  The foil was much easier to mash around the wheels for proper coverage instead of trying to tape them off.  

I used a Rust-Oleum spray primer to cover all inside and outside areas of the cabinet.  The surface of the cabinet looked patchy, but was smooth and level for the primer paint.  I ended up using almost two and a half cans of primer (the one half can was left over from a previous project).  Below is a picture of the primed cabinet and the drawer.

At this point, I had to delay painting for several days to weather - I live in a second floor apartment, so I try to do projects like this either out in the garage or the driveway.  However, I wound up becoming impatient with waiting, so one day I moved the cabinet inside for painting.  I made sure to open windows and set up lots of fans so that the apartment wouldn't smell like paint.  I also covered the floors so I wouldn't drip any paint.  

For the colors, I purchased two small cans (30 fl. oz.) of Behr's Low Odor Zero VOC paint.  The darker color is Teal Zeal and the lighter color that I used for the door, drawer, and cabinet interior is Jamaica Bay.  I used a small foam roller like this one to apply the paint, which allowed me to get a nice even coat.  Two coats of paint was plenty for getting the color even.  I have a decent amount of paint leftover, but that was the plan because I want to use these colors for a few other projects as well.

I let the paint thoroughly dry for a few days (the weather was still very humid and I wanted to be very sure that the surface was dry) and then moved everything back outside so that I could apply a spray coat finish to seal everything.  The paint probably didn't need a sealant, but since I planned to use this in the kitchen I wanted to apply a sealant so that the surface could be properly cleaned when needed without damaging the color.  I used Rust-Oleum's Crystal Clear Enamel spray to coat the surface.

When the clear coat was dry, all that was left was to re-attach the hardware and the cabinet countertop.   Ta-da!  I'm quite happy with how it turned out.

The cabinet is now in my kitchen and is being put to good use.  I use it to hold recipes on the countertop while I'm cooking, and I'm working on how to best utilize it for storage.  It's currently holding my teakettle and immersion blender.

I also bought three plastic placemats for $1.99 each from Target and trimmed them to fit the drawer and the interior shelves.  I had thought about lining the drawers with contact paper, but then decided on plastic placemats because I can easily remove them for cleaning in the future when needed.  

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