Friday, May 15, 2015

Salvaging a Vintage Radio Cabinet

shabby chic backporch

Sometimes if you don't like something it gets ignored. Most people have something around the house that they can't get rid of for some reason, but don't quite know what to do with. In my case it was this vintage radio cabinet with art deco lines that my mother in law used for a phone stand. After using it in the same spot for a few years I replaced it and this piece got moved out into the storage building to hold fishing tackle and baseballs. When my husband and I recently organized that space this piece was left homeless and sitting in the way in the potting shed.

radio cabinet

It wanted a second chance to be useful, but it's odd shape and size hindered me from finding just the right spot. Then last week while sitting on the porch I realized I had the perfect place for it. I had already started stripping the paint on top when I remembered to take a pic with my phone. Here's a pic with the first layer of paint nearly off.

After applying two or three layers of paint remover I realized I really didn't like it as a plain wood piece.

refinish radio cabinet

The inside was a mess, so once I got the outside stripped down I cleaned up the inside. Then I taped off the outside so I could spray paint the inside. You can see what was on sale at my local Kroger last week.

With the inside cleaned up I began applying the first coat of chalk paint. Remember, one of the benefits of chalk paint is that we don't have to prime first! Here's the recipe for the chalk paint!

paint cabinet

I kept the top taped off because I wanted to leave that bit of wood showing. I finished applying the paint. This project took 3 coats. When I finished I pulled back the tape...

refinishing project

I had a bit of cleanup to do to perfect the top and then applied a coat of stain.

refinished wood

When the stain dried I put a coat of wax on it. Then I sanded over the paint a bit and added a coat of wax with a bit of stain mixed in to tone down the finish.

radio cabinet

I was pleased with the outside but the inside felt dull. I decided it would be nice to have the inside painted like a niche. I used the leftover chalk paint and mixed in some lime green craft paint and turquoise saved from another project. Don't be afraid to experiment! Remember, it's only paint. I had a statue that had been on a pedestal in the corner of the porch and I thought it would look charmingly old world in that bottom part.


 Making the inside a different color was definitely the right choice! Here's the finished product! The back porch is becoming a cozy space for cocktails and bee watching.

shabby chic porch

shabby chic

Do you have an unloved piece of furniture that needs a second chance?

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