This summer, I decided to refinish our pantry/cupboard. It is an heirloom, passed down from Sarah’s parents; her Dad had constructed it many, many years ago. We currently use it to store our cookbooks and serving-ware. Over time, the heritage piece has taken some abuse: scuffs, crayon marks, stab wounds that Sarah insists come from her brother, NOT her. I resolved within myself to give the cherished old furniture some time and love, to reveal what new vigor could emerge from the tarnished legacy. The process will unfold below, largely in the form of images…
This is the pantry as it was, after being partially disassembled. Note the hole punched in the cardboard backing in the top right. That happened during the move to Pikeville. These are the pieces I removed.
Hardware was removed, bagged, and labelled. Another look at the back. See that torn hole? It will not happen again. I removed the cardboard backing. But, what did I do with it? Ah; gone, but not forgotten… The hardware was carefully stored in this bowl, until it was called forth into service. When I was not actively working on it, I stored the pantry along the wall in our living room. Those cardboard boxes had been in the attic since we moved here. They found new life as make shift work-tables. The sanding station was outside. I have no pictures of the finish-stripping stage, where I tried using a chemical stripper. It was a real pain. The one on the left has had the finish removed and is sanded. The one on the right is in progress. That big box was my go-to “work bench”. Here, I am attaching the lauan backing. No more punched holes! Sawing through that was a tedious process. Coincidentally, I received an electric jigsaw for my birthday a few weeks later. I call it the hillbilly woodshop. The backing is cut to size and being sanded flush! Impressive transformation so far, right? Back in the storage location, but now with an armored back, like unto an armadillo. Everything is set out to be cleaned before being painted. The first coat! A pleasant shade of brown. Not every surface was painted. The crackle coat turned out great! Later, I learned you can get the same effect by using glue. The back is un-crackled white. I put one coat of satin finish polyurethane on the crackle surfaces and the shelf tops as a protectant. Once I put the hardware back on, I thought its tarnished appearance looked better on the crackle paint, than it did on the previous stain. A glimpse into the interior of the pantry. Almost complete!
The finished product. An heirloom to pass on to the next generation.