Opening a door to the past.

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As most of our regular readers know, we like to recycle as much as possible and incorporate found and salvaged materials into our home and garden.

A friend rescued this old small cabinet from a skip and he gave it to us as he thought we might like to do something with it.

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We thought it would make a great storage space for our essential oils and some other small items and set to work.

The first step was a thorough clean with a damp cloth, some disinfectant and a small brush to remove dust and cobwebs.

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We dried it and painted it all over with a layer of chalky furniture paint from Rust-Oleum in a green shade called Bramwell.

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When it had dried we added a layer of Annie Sloan chalk paint in Old violet. We have enjoyed using chalk paint in the past, as you can see in this post, where we renovated an antique wooden travel trunk.

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A few hours later it was time to wax the entire cabinet, inside and out with Annie Sloan soft wax. The next morning we used a sandpaper to remove some of the paint and create a worn, vintage feel. We worked mostly in areas that would naturally show wear, like around the doorknobs.

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Our cottage was built in 1924 and the story goes that our neighbour’s Grandfather, who built it, went to America to find the money for the build. When the building work was almost complete, he realized he was five ponds short and had to make an additional trip to America to earn enough money to complete the build. During our renovations we have found layer upon layer of old wallpaper in each room. The parlour, which was only used on Sundays, had many different variations of green patterns and this is our favourite. We think it might be from the 1940s or 1950s.

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We love a bit of history and decided to use a couple of rescued paper pieces almost big enough to cover the back wall of the cabinet. We used another paper design in thin strips to make up the edges. PVA glue was used to stick it all in place. We are planning to add some matt acrylic varnish to the surface later for a durable, easy to clean finish.

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After that all that was left to do was to buff all the waxed surfaces with a lint-free cloth to create a hardwearing, slightly shiny finish. Unfortunately one small drawer knob is missing so we will keep an eye out for a suitable replacement.

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We are very happy with the finished result and it is always nice to create a useful, decorative and unique item from components that would otherwise go to waste. Now all we have to do is finish our kitchen renovations, and paint all the cabinets with chalk paint as well, so they will match our spruced up little cabinet. It is a great inspiration, and will hopefully give us a push in the right direction and we will finish the kitchen before too long.

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3 thoughts on “Opening a door to the past.

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