Thursday, February 16, 2012

Changing Direction in Midstream

In late October, I found a wonderful deal on a large Hoosier cupboard (a Sellers, if we want to be perfectly correct about it) on Craig's List.  Having a Hoosier is a Bucket List item for me, so I convinced The Husband to come along ... to Waynesboro, which is an hour and a half away from here. 

The cupboard was everything I hoped it would be, though it was filthy and tired.  The deal was completed, the Hoosier loaded up, and we brought it home.

We unloaded it into the driveway, and proceeded to spend the rest of the afternoon with Simple Green cleaner and scrubbing pads and buckets of water, cleaning the filth off of it enough for us to be comfortable bringing it into the house.

"Much better, Mommy," says Alice.

I wanted so badly for this to look good in this one particular spot in our dining room, but it was not to be.  At only 72" tall, the Hoosier looked squatty and small against the 9 1/2 foot ceiling.  One day, I got a brainstorm and decided that this would be a wonderful cabinet for the sewing room (my cutting board fits perfectly on the enamel top) ... so up to the sewing room it went.  And it's been there ever since, waiting to be refurbished.

My initial plan was to match the original color of this cupboard, which is a dark greenish grey, and repaint it.  In its history, it's been grey, then white, then this awful aqua ... it's terrible if you see it in person, and I usually LOVE aqua and turquoise.

This side must have been up against a wall when the cupboard was painted green.

Yesterday, I was in the workshop and I decided to see if I could mix up a comparable grey using my Annie Sloan chalk paints.  I took equal parts of Olde White and Graphite, added a bit of Olive to green it up, and it looked pretty good.  Not perfect, but acceptable.

... and I proceeded to paint the side of the cupboard ... then I removed the upper doors and moved on to the front frame.

The color dried a little bit darker and it was not as green as I thought it would be, and the cupboard began to look a bit like a WWII era army desk.  I convinced myself that I could make it work, and I kept painting.

I removed the drawers and doors from the base, and I noticed that there was some loose paint that needed to be scraped off.  With my trusty carbide pull scraper in hand, I quickly realized that there must have been no surface preparation done before this piece was painted white, and I could easily scrape ALL the paint off ... down to the original, which was stuck on tight.

About half an hour of scraping later, I had the whole front of the base clean as a whistle.  I'm really liking this scraped, chippy, original look.

After I cleaned up my mess on the floor of the sewing room (tiny chips of paint EVERYWHERE), I took one of the doors outside to see if I could scrape it, too.  If I could, my plan to chalk paint this cupboard would be shelved in favor of scraping it down to the original finish and waxing it.

As I scraped the door, I found this ...

The original stencil was still perfectly intact!  That seals it ... there will be no chalk paint transformation for this beauty, and I will scrape off the little bit of chalk paint that I applied.

Now I just have to go to the paint store and get a new scraper blade, because the one I have is pretty dull.

This is a project that I can work on as I get the time and inclination  (which means, don't look for it to be finished any time soon).  That's okay ... with what little I have done, I can already see that I will love it. 


  1. Pie Safe's and Hoosier's look great hung on the wall.

    A board put at their feet for another shelf.

    Have posted pics about this !!

    Thus, you get the 'scale' you need.

    Need to talk with you about ordering roses. Exciting yes?

    Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

  2. Oh my! When the photo of the stencil appeared I gasped...yes! That is gorgeous! Can't wait to see it finished....this is gorgeous! hugs, Linda

  3. That piece was definitely worth the drive! And what a lovely surprise to find that lovely stencil!

  4. I just adore it, Connie! Finding things like that make my heart jump!!
    Cannot wait to see it finished :)
    xo, misha

  5. Yay! I need something like this for my kitchen. Maybe I'll find something on Craigslist here, or at an auction this spring!

  6. You're a treasure hunter. Or should I say finder! You might as well have a safari hat with a flashlight, a shovel and map with x marks the spot! This is wonderful! I know I would sit and wonder about all the people/families/generations whose stories could be told if this gal could talk!

  7. That piece was made for you and scraping it down just proved it!

  8. I LUV it when you find some sort of history beneath paint and inside drawers! What a beautiful discovery, Connie! :)

    xoxo laurie

  9. oh wow! That is really neat and so pretty!! Glad to see you are keeping it.
    Both my daughter and dil bought Hoosier cabinets to use in their babies' rooms. The table top was a changing table and all the diapers, etc, went in the cabinets! I thought this was such a neat idea. I told them both that I want their cabinet(s) willed to me when they die. LOL

  10. Love this post! You found a treasure. It's so fun. That's why sometimes the antique pieces themselves let us know what we need to do with them. Can't wait to see it all completed.

  11. I was liking the new color gray until "WWII era army desk" Ha..

  12. Love, love, love it!! Having a Hoosier is also on my bucket list. Hadn't thought about using it in my studio area, but I really like that idea. Cana't wait to follow its progress!

  13. What's NOT to
    love? {Except all
    the hard work to
    maker her shine!}

    xx Suzanne

    PS: Not every guy
    would "get" the need
    to own a Hoosier cabinet.
    Kudos to yours!


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