Can you handle another furniture makeover? The Chapel Market is less than a week away and we’re getting to the end of the furniture I have worked on for the event. I picked this dental cabinet up last week while I was shopping for accessories and “smalls” for my booth. I saw this and just couldn’t pass it up. All of the little drawers and glass knobs caught my attention and the low price convinced me to not walk away, even though I wasn’t officially shopping for furniture.
The piece was structurally sound, but it had clearly been neglected in a barn or somewhere moist for several years. This makeover wasn’t going to be about dramatically changing the appearance of the piece, but about making it look and function better.
The original trim on the bottom had rotten away and many of the drawers weren’t functioning as well as they should be. There was some good repair work, like the boards that replaced the trim on the bottom, which made the piece very sturdy and it wasn’t a noticeable repair. There were a few things I wanted to fix, though. First, it had a sloppy coat of paint and needed some sanding to smooth out the drips….
…and the joint compound at the bottom that filled in where the veneer had come off looked pretty messy.
My dad and I tag-teamed on this one and sanded the piece down, got all of the drawers functioning and glued the loose veneer on a few of the drawers and the cabinet door.
Here’s how it looked after all of the sanding and repair work. Ready to paint!
I liked the piece in a creamy white, so I painted it in MMSMP Linen. I did have some chipping on the top, which I didn’t really want, but there was clearly something oily on the surface that the paint was resisting, because it stuck well everywhere else. I was going to fight it, but I decided to let it be chippy. This piece was made in the 1920’s and it doesn’t need to look new. In fact, it’s better, in my opinion, if it doesn’t look new.
Some of the veneer damage is still visible, but it’s not flapping around anymore and it’s not noticeable when you look at the piece as a whole.
And here’s the result…
I cleaned up the glass on the cabinet and the mirror and cleaned paint off the original knobs. Some of the knobs were replaced before I purchased it, but they looked nice, so I left them alone.
The coolest thing about this dental cabinet is that it still has a lot of the cubbies, dividers and instrument holders.
This piece was fun to style with anything I could find that would support a sort of vintage-lab look.
I’ve really enjoyed working on this piece and having it in my studio, but it’ll be making the trip down to Alabama with us and will be for sale there. I plan to do a post before I leave with pictures, measurements and prices of all of the large furniture pieces that are for sale, so if you’re coming to buy furniture, you can plan for it.