craigslist counter

by | Feb 13, 2017 | All Things Home, Antiques, Favorite Finds | 153 comments

Over my years of buying and selling furniture, I have learned to trust my instincts on pieces.  If I’m all a-flutter when I see something, I know I should jump at it.  If it elicits that response in me, it probably will in others, too.

Such was the case with this antique hardware counter I spotted one night as I was browsing craigslist…

It’s 7′ long and I knew it would be a beast, but I couldn’t shake it out of my head, so I e-mailed the seller and asked my dad if we could go pick it up in his truck.

The piece is an antique counter out of an old hardware store in Resisterstown, MD.  The seller knew the owner of the store and offered to take the counter to sell when they were considering throwing it out!  So, it ended up on craigslist and then it ended up with me.

It does have a few cosmetic issues.  It’s missing a proper top and the left side as well.  That side must’ve been against a wall or something, because it just has three boards nailed on the side.

I’m guessing the top had either another cabinet set on it or perhaps some kind of divider?

Anyway, the drawers are all in amazing shape and are on rollers, so they slide in and out well.  They also have great dividers in them of differing sizes…

Now, if it had a left side, I would leave it alone, but since we have to build and install a new side, I am going to paint it.  Yeah, I know.  I’ve thought and thought through this one.  One thing I might try first is stripping one drawer front to see how the oak looks.  Then, I would just paint the body of the piece and leave the drawers wood.

But then, I have to think through the top.  I would absolutely love a piece of white marble and that might be the route I go, but a piece of butcher block from Ikea would be much more economical.  And then the butcher block wouldn’t work with the stripped oak drawer.  And the wood drawers, painted body, and all of that hardware might just be too much going on.

Hmmm…  so, I need to make a decision.

Just to start, we removed all of the hardware and I’ll mull it over a bit more…

What would you do if this were your piece?


  1. Jenni

    I would try stripping it and add a marble top – but won’t that be pretty expensive?

    • Jenni

      Thinking about it a bit more, I still think that marble would be worth this piece. It’s so unique, and it’s almost like you want to bring it to its full potential, because how many other hardware cabinets will you come across like this?

      • Kate

        I bet the missing top was marble and taken away for other purposes. My parents have an old printers oak counter – it’s much taller than Marian’s piece since a printer stood at it to work and it has the narrow drawers for lead type. The top is marble. I often tell my mother if she decides to get rid of it, she could sell it piece by piece and make a killing with the two dozen linotype drawers and a huge marble top.

      • Nadine

        I agree, that would look amazing!

  2. Robbyn Mendleski

    Stripped and oiled with a marble top The interior dividers are to die for! That much organization in one piece – be still my OCD heart

  3. Kelly

    The marble sounds lovely, but maybe a soapstone top would be more appropriate for an old hardware cabinet?

  4. Kate

    Don’t paint it! Look around for a piece of oak that matches. What does the back look like? Maybe you could take some wood from there. You know, kind of like doing skin surgery.

    • Hali

      That was my thought. Or even easier, just glue up some pieces of oak to make a top. I’ve done that several times for table tops and it would look pretty original.

  5. Jessica Derstine

    I never comment on here but this compelled me to. Don’t touch it! Clean it nicely and put that hardware back on. Put on whatever counter top makes you sing, buy please don’t touch it. It’s too perfect to mess with.

    • Vanna

      I am soooo with Jessica! That patina is the soul of this piece! Add the marble top and it will be killer! 🙂 Vanna

    • Celia

      I agree!! Don’t paint this piece! I think it’s the charm of it! A marble top would be beautiful!!

    • Sarah

      I never comment either, but I completely agree! I love the patina of the drawers as they are. Almost any top option will look great. But pleeease don’t touch those drawers! (I love everything you do though, so I’m sure it will be beautiful in the end.)

    • Patsi

      I agree with clean it well and top it off with a wonderful piece that gives it grace 🙂

  6. Mary Virlee

    Have you considered using old table boards from an oak table for the replacement end? Should supply you with adequate length and width to replace side with same vintage wood.

  7. Vibeke lippold

    Please don’t paint it!!!!
    It’s so besutiful and rare. A marble top would be so nice and maybe if you find a pease of wood and stain it in the same color, it could work.
    Best regards

  8. Sandra Anderson

    Oh, please, do not paint. It is too beautiful to touch. Clean well, replace the wood on side and stain. Worth the work. I like the the idea of soapstone for the top. Of course marble would be stunning…

  9. Barbara

    Hi Marian,
    Since I have nothing better to do here in the hospital, I googled images of your bottom cabinet. I found on a sold ebay list a bottom like yours…with the top it’s top was a glass cabinet. 2 door large. It went for a little more than 2400.00. But not in very good shape. So I am wondering if an oak top would be nice?? And then not so heavy? PS will PM you.:-)

  10. Heidi

    Definitely Marble! I have an oak console table i use as an island because i only have room for something slim. I have added three white marble tiles (bought at a bootfair (for £1 each, dudn’t have a clue what i was going to do with them but they were such a bargain, heavy! But such a bargain i had to have them) to the top and it is wonderfully functional and looks sensational.

  11. Marg

    What about some type of metal top. Copper or tin. You could create patina if you had to use new metal.

    • Lee

      A zinc-covered top is what I was picturing, too. And perhaps the missing side could be made with some reclaimed wood that could be finished to match the cleaned/stripped oak drawers.

  12. Michelle

    Someone was actually going to throw this bueaty away??? Wow! It is gorgeous.
    Maybe instead of painting it give it a good cleaning and a coat of hemp oil. Does it have a bottom? If so maybe you could take some wood from there and put it on the side. As far as the top, that’s a tricky one. If you plan on keeping it invest in the marble if not leave it as is.

  13. Deb

    Are you keeping it or selling it? I would strip it, stain it a dark color like it is now, Are the handles copper? I like the idea of a metal top, make a wood framework and drop in or laminate a metal on top, may need to look for a metal craftsman. I’m sure marble will look good and would be easiest if your going to sell.

  14. Angie

    I don’t know whether to laugh or cry…? I’m sure this is the one I saw on Craigslist
    (I’m from PA, too), and haven’t been able to get out of my mind ever since. You will make it stunning, no doubt!

  15. Jena

    What a great piece, just as it is! My workroom has just the spot for it — a corner, so the left side needn’t be replaced anyway. And then I’d look for some deep-green glazed tile for the top, to complement its Craftsman look.

  16. Lisa

    Do Not Paint It!!! What a shame it would be to cover up that beautiful antique with paint! Doesn’t anybody ever give a beautiful piece of antique furniture a good cleaning anymore? It’s just too easy to paint over it and cover up what drew your eye to it in the first place. With all your resources I am sure you can find a piece of oak or purchase new oak and stain it dark enough to blend with the original once it is thoroughly cleaned. My husband does that stuff all the time! Sorry, but you really don’t need to paint every piece of furniture you find! Sorry, but that’s a gorgeous piece, leave it!

    • Marian Parsons

      Ha! I love you passion and, believe me, I believe in a good scrubbing for beautiful old pieces as well. I buy pieces generally that would benefit from painting and stay away from those with a pristine original finish. The funny thing is that when I leave things unpainted, they usually don’t sell!

      Anyway, about this piece, though, as I said in the post, I would leave it alone, but I am going to have to build a panel for the missing left side and it would be very difficult to match the stain and patina on the existing wood. Also, it’s a very dark and visually heavy piece as it is, which isn’t really my style. So, you might have to look away! 🙂

      • Leslie Collison

        Hate to tell you all, but Marian is right if it is not painted it will not sell. I had a beautiful eastlake table that I refused to paint for over 3 years and could not give it away. Painted it creamy white then lightly distressed it… Boom sold it right away.

  17. Maria

    Beautiful as is! Personally, I would clean it up and leave it unpainted. As soon as I saw the first pic, I envisioned a crisp marble top as well. Either way, you scored a lovely piece:)

  18. Brenda

    I like the painted case and leave the drawers unpainted. With it not having a side it might be hard to match. I can see a nice wood top as well as soapstone or marble. It’s going to be lovely no matter what you do! I think the top will dictate the color you choose. I see it black, green or farmhouse white. I’m so excited for you!

  19. Cheryl

    I am with the “don’t paint it camp”. Perhaps an old type of signage on the left side to complete it? There are faux marble tops which are quite convincing but a patina metal top might be the ticket!

  20. Toni

    Are the drawers flat sawn oak or quarter sawn? That would probably help me decide.
    If flat, I’d paint it but not white. A color for sure.

  21. Donna C.

    Please don’t paint this rare piece! Clean it, oil it n add a new top and side and u have one stunner! Or sanding to its natural state, what more could anyone ask?

  22. Donna

    OMG….that is awesome….I say clean it up first. I wouldn’t paint it…this would be so cool in a kitchen also…are keeping it? I would have a hard time letting this one go. Marble top, but then it’s selling price just went way up….

  23. Alicia

    Before I even finished reading your post I was thinking, “A marble top would be gorgeous on this piece!” It’s so unique with it’s beautiful wood patina. Please don’t paint it, it will take all that away. And if you could find an old piece of stained wood to cover the side I think it would look great…even if it doesn’t match perfectly I think that would add to the uniqueness of the piece.

  24. Krista

    I paint all of my furniture, but even I have to say don’t paint it! It is so gorgeous! And, btw, I am so insanely jealous of your craigslist/thrifting skills.

    • Stephanie

      Krista, ditto on the Craigslist skills jealousy! Patience is not always my friend.

  25. Brocanteuserose

    Oh please don’t paint it. I love things you paint and they look beautiful but please don’t pain this one!

  26. Leslie

    I’m absolutely with everyone else – don’t paint it!!! It’s in beautiful shape and the hardware is all there and intact. It has amazing character. If I was buying it (which I would LOVE but can’t because of distance) I would use it as a kitchen island or something like that, and either get some kind of stone top, or a galvanized/zinc sheet metal covered top so it had that industrial vibe. Is there a reason that you can’t clean it up, oil it, and then leave the top and side and sell it as a “make it unique to your space” piece? For the right person being able to customize the amazing base for the space and use that they want would be amazing.

  27. Mariëlle

    No painting!! Leave it as it is.

  28. Kim

    Marble top and KEEP it for your someday kitchen!

    • Carla from Kansas

      Is this Marian’s mom Kim? I’m with you.

  29. Stephanie

    As a loyal follower…I’ve come to your site everyday for close to three years…for a 3-4 month period I opened the site before my Bible App (head hung in shame)…I beg you – DO NOT PAINT THIS PIECE!! You are usually spot on when you decide to paint….don’t let the fumes (I know it’s milk paint) get to you this time! 🙂

  30. Glenda

    We know you will do what you think is best. I saw this when you posted it on Instagram and about had a heart attack. This piece is absolutely gorgeous. I know you must make repairs but personally it is the wood that speaks. I cannot imagine it painted. I wish I lived close enough I would camp out to be the first in line for this piece.

  31. Linda from q is for quandie

    It looks like my choice is the unpopular one, but I would definitely paint it! Have you seen the cover of Vintage by Nina: Among Vintage & Friends? It features a gorgeous chippy white hardware cabinet, and I can picture yours looking just as fabulous. Farmhouse White gets my vote. That leaves you free to come up with an economical choice for a new top that can also be painted, or not.

  32. Judy

    I agree with the “don’t paint it ” faction and I think a metal top, stainless or copper would be the way to go.

  33. Amy

    I too paint everything – BUT am in the please don not paint the drawers and front of his cabinet camp on this piece!

  34. Maureen

    I love all the people against painting it – because it IS gorgeous… on the other hand, I have never, ever been disappointed when you painted something. And I would want it to match on the sides 😀 So I’m your one vote for painting it. A marble top would be dreamy but if you paint it, I love the ikea butcher block idea. Not to mention that it would be a lot easier to move that way. Can’t wait to see where you go with this. Follow your heart (which is full of milk paint 😉

  35. Lisa

    Marble would definitely make this piece sing – unpainted. Maybe a top and waterfall ends, so wrap the sides and top in marble. That would solve the problem of the unfinished end. Or white quartz with a marble resemblance. And I too was thinking this is a keeper for your future unfitted kitchen. It would make a beautiful island or counter along one side- so much great storage – a kitchen has a lot of small items. And seven feet of uninterupted work surface in a kitchen is a dream. In the mean time, since everything needs a purpose – I was wondering how/where you store all you reclaimed hardware – knobs, pulls, wheels? Wouldn’t this be perfect studio storage with a ‘place saver’ painted wood top in the meantime? You could seal it and show us all how a painted horizontal surface stands up – tough coated, waxed or oiled. I’ve always wondered and was too afraid to try.

  36. Gail

    Please do not paint this gorgeous cabinet! You can find old oak lumber to redo the missing side from architectural salvage folks which would have the age to blend the pieces. These type of pieces are few and far between and restoring would be so wonderful. The prior editor of Country Living found one with 80 plus drawers for her kitchen and it was absolutely the star! Marble would be lovely as well as zinc or galvanized metal for the top. Please keep this treasure intact!

  37. Suzi

    Use as an island in your future kitchen. Marble top that hangs over back side to form a bar with great little stools. It’s beautiful.

    • Kathy

      Yes! This one’s a keeper!

  38. judi

    gorgeous piece!
    i didn’t think that ikea still sold the butcher block tops…at least they stopped for a while after we finished our kitchen with them back in mid 2000. i do love this idea though.

  39. Vicki Sheets

    Trust your instincts. Paint it. You know what sells and what the market calls for.

  40. Mel

    What I would do, would depend on the future plans for it. Are you planning to take it to Luckett’s? I can’t imagine trying to move that heavy (but beautiful!) thing with a marble top on it more than once (to its forever home). If you’re keeping it at your studio, I’d not paint it but instead do as others have suggested, and go with marble or soapstone for the top. If it’s going to Luckett’s, I’d go with whatever option is least likely to give somebody a hernia or risk a broken slab of expensive counter top.

  41. Gilda Stigliano DDS, PC

    put the hardware back on and have your husband fabricate either a sheetmetal or zinc top for it’s a classic. you need to have some wood contrasting with all of the painted stuff around in your place….it’s gorgeous!

  42. CJ

    You could check Re-Source York, the 9th Street location for marble, sometimes you can luck into a bargain there. Or paint the butcher block top and leave the drawers natural. Or use a metal top as indicated above.

    Great piece!

  43. Barbara H.

    What about using metal that magnets will stick to for the missing side? That would give it some function and you would be able to either paint or not paint (don’t paint!). A soapstone top might be really nice, as someone suggested but also a zinc top might work out nicely giving it a worktop function.

  44. Karen

    I think I would paint the whole base and drawers and put a dark butcher block on top. Marble would be very pricey for that size.

  45. Karen

    I would buy it for my kitchen in a second but I’m in Texas!

  46. Peg

    I have been a faithful follower for years. I am a PA resident and would love to buy this just cleaned up with an oak side that matches pretty close. The top I can get to match my counters in the kitchen. Is that possible ?

  47. Peglydem

    Hi Marian,
    When I read your post today, I said to myself “Oh no Marian, are you really asking about painting this piece?” I just knew what the reaction would be! LOL
    It really is gorgeous and all of us love lots of drawers. I’m not a big fan of marble but I do know if you plan to sell this piece, I don’t think painting it or not is going to be the tipping point. I am sure the price and the size will be the biggest considerations. What a great score someone will just have to have it just like you did!
    Best Regards

  48. Rebecca

    Please don’t paint or strip… natural patina is hard to find, paint the sides a whitewashed whiteor other distressed milk paint and do a marble or other reclaimed or zinc top. You will definitely make money on the piece even though it’s a pricier fix. In fact, I need something exactly that size and wish there was a way to get it to NC!!!!

  49. Courtney Folk

    Hi Marion!
    I would love to buy it just as it is, if you have any interest in selling it now. I love it, and like the idea of the butcher block top.
    Thanks! Courtney

  50. Peg

    Oops ! Sorry Marian autocorrect!

  51. phyllis

    Oh, if I only had your “problem” to figure out how to proceed with this piece. Seeing it in its raw form also makes my heart beat quickly, and I can see how your instincts were right to bring it home and view it up close and personal. I think you need to expose the oak and see its true color, but since it appears to be of “good stock”, I think it merits a lovely top to go with whatever the wood grain tells you. It could be marble, or even another natural stone with more creamy undertones. I think it merits a trip to a stone yard to see what also whispers in your ear. A remnant might just fit the bill, and would tell you how to proceed. I see those drawers in a natural oak color, with a complementary stone top and know the color will speak to you when those two most important elements are in place. I wish this were mine to make those final decisions, but I am even more excited to know that this sweet piece will rise from its dark hiding place and become the Cinderella of your showroom. Please share as she emerges from her cocoon.

  52. Celeste

    I imagined this piece with the body painted Artissimo and the drawers left natural and a larger oak top with amazing brass hardware. I fact I’m planning something like that for my dresser.

  53. Cathy Whiteway

    I’m a paintin’ fool and paint everything that isn’t moving. BUT…if it were mine, I’d gently clean it and leave as much of the original character as possible, repair the side and not worry how exact the finish matches, put a zinc top on it and kiss it good bye! Cause, here in Orlando, grungie industrial cabinets are king and I think it would appeal to a larger customer base in its “manly” present state. Love your site! Chici’s Cottage Style 🙂

    • Alison

      I agree with you Cathy! Leave as it is with a zinc top. I love the old patina and character.

  54. Ginger

    Grainsack paint, drawers natural wood, marble top. Done.

  55. breida

    Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah…

  56. Teri

    I immediately thought exactly as you did: paint the body, clean the drawer fronts, marble or granite on top. If you don’t paint that’s fine too, but stone on top. Maybe you can find a discounted piece of marble or granite that someone changed their mind on and the company is now having to resell.

  57. Kathy

    Marble top! That is what I see too!

  58. nancy seifert

    I’m a purist. I also love stories! I might very well be tempted to just leave it! Especially the top! Not having seen the side I am assuming it is not just putting a similar board with paint stain to make it fit in.
    So! Marble on top is my vote. Painting it will look darling but maybe that limits the lifetime warranty?
    I love this piece. Good find! Can’t wait to see what you do with it!

  59. Kit

    OMG, it certainly got MY heart aflutter!

    What would I do with it…well, given my current décor, I would scrub it clean as clean can be, strip the drawer fronts and rub some oil into them; and paint the rest of the cabinet white. White marble top, and I’d either leave the drawer pulls as is, or buy some gold ones. I know gold was a thing in 2015/16 and is on its way out now, but it might need that gleam. I’d have to see it done first.

    That’s for my current décor. But what I’d REALLY like to do, is just give it a good scrubbing, a *very* light sanding, an oiling and put a marble top on it. I mean, that patina is to die for!

  60. Mary Vitullo

    How about doing a whitewash. I had the same problem with an old oak buffet. It also had no top and one big drip on the side. My husband rebuilt the top with oak boards and I stained it as close to the original stain. The stain was not matched 100% but with the whitewash it does not really show. I actually did look into marble but found it was too expensive and did not feel I would recoup the costs since I was re-selling it. Here is the blog post for reference.

    • Marian Parsons

      Oh, that buffet is gorgeous! I’ve actually thought of white washing it as well. Perhaps stripping the drawers and then working then paint in the grain. It’s definitely a possibility.

  61. Lisa

    What about an off-white and gunmetal grey with the marble top, of course….?

  62. Linda

    I agree with please don’t paint those drawers. You should just clean them. Much to nice to cover with paint! Zinc top love that idea.

  63. Julie

    I thought it would look great with the “case” painted white, and the drawers left raw, if one looks good after testing.
    I also think the top would be beautiful in white. Would it be less expensive in Quartz ?

  64. Amanda

    The next generation is going to be so sad and confused about why we painted all of our amazing antiques. I”m all for painting pieces that truly need it, but I’ve seen so many bloggers ruin so many beautiful things – I truly hope this piece won’t get added to the list. It has a beautiful patina that no faux-aged cheap paint finish is going to give it.

  65. Linda

    Please, clean and oil it, crown it with beautiful marble, put it in your home or studio and post a picture if it once a month… we can all enjoy it!

  66. Lois Stimax

    I would put heavy wheels on this and make it into a kitchen island. Use the marble top. You will find oak to finish the side–or put on peg board to make it really versatile!! Clean it, but leave the patina–it looks awesome!

  67. Diane Christy

    Holy cow, can’t believe the number of comments on this one.
    My husband is a machinist (and kind of a genius) and he recently made me a galvanized “cap” for an old table that had a terrible plywood top.
    You can see the transformation on my very simple blog (like it’s written in crayon),

    Maybe you can find someone locally who would do this for you. It creates a completely different vibe than your marble idea, more industrial strength. Good luck!

  68. Dayna

    I know my suggestion will add more length & weight to the piece, but offers a slightly different solution to the missing side ~ you could build-out a bookcase on the unfinished end for cookbooks and/or dog bowl space. Hope that makes sense. I have something similar in my kitchen.

  69. jacqueline pankuck

    I know this would be even more expensive, but a marble top with a waterfall (marble on the sides as well…that solves the side issue and would bring it up 12 notches!!! So fantastic. If you’re selling it, I’m buyin”!!!

  70. Stephanie

    I love these drawers! I can totally picture it left unpainted, with a hammered copper top that waterfalls down each side. I agree, you should keep it for an island in your future kitchen. It’s a dream piece.

  71. Leslie

    I whole heartedly agree! I would not paint this piece.
    If it were mine I would build a new top and side out of wood and create a deep ebony finish. Kind of like an old black that had been painted on top of a dark wood. Not opaque, but not sheer. Does that make sense?

    I have done this a bit lighter on inexpensive pine with an undercoat of milk paint and stain on top. The link to my blog will take you to a photo. I was unable to leave it here.

    I have since done this in the opposite order with stain first and then a wash of milk paint. I was trying to tone down some red oak. I think this would totally work with a heavier coat of black milk paint after the stain. It would give you great depth and look like it was not intentially a miss match.

    Of course the other idea I really liked was the soapstone. I just can’t see white marble on this. I’m sure it will be amazing whatever you decide. (But please don’t paint it.)

  72. Alicia from California

    The first thing I said to myself when looking at the picture of the top was “she could put marble”. Hah! Great minds think alike!

    I’m getting used to your new blog changes. And is it me or do you have more people commenting these days??? I had to keep scrolling and scrolling due to the 80+ comments! God has really blessed you stepping forward and sharing your talents.

    Even though I’m on the West Coast (California) my home’s interior is more “beach house/cottage” I enjoy following your journey over there in the East. You continue to be an inspiration even to baby boomers like me (1947).

    Oh! I just peeked at the comment above mine and she mentioned soapstone. Mmmmm. And I agree with her, whatever you decide it will be amazing. Can’t wait to see the big reveal!

  73. Susan

    I love, love, love this piece!! I wouldn’t mind using it just like it is. Anything you do will be gorgeous. Can’t wait to see it.

  74. Celeste

    What Celeste said. Exactly what I was thinking–and not just because we have the same name!

  75. Stephanie

    Absolutely paint it and use an IKEA butcher block top it is too big and too dark the way it is but it will be gorgeous painted. What a find

  76. S

    Gorgeous piece! I can understand why so many comments would not paint. I say go for it – would love to see a creamy soft colour. Either choice it will look fabulous.

  77. Kim

    Pick a top, clean it, hemp oil and call it done. I paint anything that moves, and love your painted pieces, but a piece like this in my area of Ohio, in worse condition ,sells for 2500+ all day long.

  78. Susan Phelps

    How about painting the drawers in an ombre effect, light to dark, from the top down, from cream to light blue to darker blue?

  79. trish

    i always love when you paint things, but this is PERFECT as is! with your skills you could replace the missing side and stain it and mix in dark paints to match the rest of the piece. i think marble is too precious for the top as this is so rustic (although it would look nice), but love the idea of a metal top. i think it would look great with just a distressed wood top that you paint or stain in a dark black.

  80. JeanFB

    Wow lots of people weighing in, so… I am in the “Don’t Paint It!” camp. I’m thinking that perhaps if you were to advertise it’s sale on your blog well before an event such as Luckett’s, then someone would be able to plan ahead in order to come get it… perhaps take a down payment for your trouble. Then perhaps that person could also request the material you use for the top as well, with full knowledge of the price (I’d also vote for marble but understand the expense). I don’t think too many people who love antiques would be overly concerned about a side panel that doesn’t perfectly match – we see that all the time with old pieces and it just adds to the story and the character. But in any case, I’d either leave it unpainted or paint the entire piece (not just the base with the drawers unpainted) – I really can’t see a half painted/ half stained type of thing standing the test of time very well, and it’s such a large piece that the patchwork effect would be very distracting. Good luck!

  81. Liz

    Zinc or copper gets my vote! Whatever you decide, I’m sure it will be beautiful.

  82. Amy Garrison

    First off I am amazed at what you find in Craigslist…I have found a few things, but most of the time it’s overpriced junk. This is SO gorgeous – I could possibly organize my life w/a piece like this (I’m missing the organization gene), I mean maybe?? Marble would look gorgeous, but I think it would cost a fortune and weigh a small ton.

    Whatever you do it will look gorgeous!

  83. Kathleen-Ann

    I paint everything and would struggle painting this gorgeous piece. If it was mine, I would restore the wood and invest in a beautiful top. I can’t wait to see the finished piece.

  84. Jay

    What a wonderful find!

    Today’s post on Victoria Elizabeth Barnes blog might be helpful. Slate recycled from old billiard tables.

  85. karen

    zinc or galvanized top

  86. Micki

    I know what ever you do it will be gorgeous. It literally made my heart go pitter-patter as it’s a keeper. I prefer non-painted pieces and agree with a good cleaning, metal top and don’t worry about the side. There are plenty of people looking for a piece that will “go in the corner”
    But, I also love painting the frame and leaving the drawers as is.
    Can’t wait to see the finished product.
    What fun!

  87. Alisa

    I feel like I may tick some people off – but I would definitely paint it – probably a pale blue (so you’d probably have to strip it first unfortunately)- a really worn finish to give it a coastal vibe and I’d absolutely want to top it with marble. Maybe even change the hardware to some antique bin pulls. But that’s just my opinion of course 🙂 Good luck I’m sure it will be beautiful whatever you decide!

  88. Adel

    I love some of the suggestions, escpecially the marble top with the matching side. Also the kitchen island with the wheels is a good idea and than you could paint only the left side to make a chalk board. But if it was up to me I would paint the top and the missing side white and also one or more drawers on the right bottom to have some playfulness to it.
    And if you go for painting the whole piece I would love to see some Schloss magic! That color is a beauty 🙂
    Anyhow the decision is yours and I’m sure it will be just perfect.

  89. Patricia

    Without a side piece I don’t think you can do anything else but paint the cabinet- BUT I would surely strip the drawers and see what they look like with some hemp oil. Maybe crackling paint there? Flutter flutter. Marble seems too much to me- too pristine, too pricey, to prissy on such a work horse piece. Someone said soapstone- that sounds nice. Why couldn’t you get a piece of oak (?) butcher block and match the color if you end up leaving the drawers- or paint in one of your spectacular unique ways if you end up painting it all?
    Would this fit your house for the TV ?

  90. Caroline O'Hara

    Oh my–please do NOT paint this gorgeous old workhorse! It is so beautiful as it is, with its years showing, and it is a “manly” piece, as stated above. It does not need to be light! It does have a lot of weight, but it’s a piece that should be weighty! And the side doesn’t need to look perfectly matched to it, either. Put on a lighter top (either the gorgeous marble or even a metal). It’s a STATELY piece, and I really feel that painting it would ruin its presence.

  91. Robin

    Hi Marian,
    Whatever you do to the piece will look beautiful. My opinion is about the hardware.
    I think you should reuse all the original hardware and paint/distress it as well if it (hardware) looks too busy on the piece if you paint it. Sorry lots of if’s and it’s in that sentence;)

  92. Debbie V.

    I admire your work and am always amazed at the vintage pieces that you are able to find and fix up, but I have to agree with those who say “don’t paint it”! I have faith that you could put an end piece on it and match up the finish! There is so many ideas as to how to use this piece – kitchen cabinet or island, craft room, etc., etc.! I’m swooning here! 🙂

  93. Deb H.

    Be. Still. My. Heart! This has to be the find of the century! Whatever you do, I KNOW it will be FABULOUS…..go with your heart, dear girl!

  94. dee

    How about making two choices. 1) painted and finished as if this were the only choice and 2) stained/oiled/whatever as if this were your only choice with appropriate tops. Then work the numbers, set your price and let the buyer make the decision. I imagine you would enjoy working your magic either way and have a very happy customer feeling as if she/he had a custom MMS piece. Personally, I’m usually a paint it person but this is a unique piece and widens your appeal to the legions of ‘don’t paint’ camp. Just a different approach to marketing it.

    • Melissa

      Great idea Dee!
      Looks like Marian already has at least 2 offers to buy this gorgeous piece – and your point about appealing to the “don’t paint it camp” as well is brilliant.

  95. Sally

    I think you should go with your gut feeling. Also, I agree with Kim up there when she said you should keep it for your someday kitchen. It has so much storage, and if you got a marble top, I can just see you making biscuits or kneading bread dough. Whatever you decide, I’m sure it will be the right thing for you.

  96. Alice

    I will chime in with use recycled oak flooring with an oak trim around that for the top. What a find!!! Love the patina and hope you will leave it alone.

  97. Gloria

    I would put a white marble top and paint just the exterior of the piece. , leave the drawers alone ( just clean and return the hardware.i can just envision it, gorgeous!

  98. Cheryl

    It’s beautiful Marian! I would paint it and put a butcher block top on but if I could afford it, marble would be the way to go. Good luck!! Great find!

  99. Katy

    I hate jumping on the bandwagon, but please don’t paint it. I can’t see the left side, but if it were mine (wish it was) I would leave it as is. I actually like the top now, but soapstone would be amazing of you go that route. Something heavy enough to lie on top without having to be attached and ruining the integrity of the piece. Honestly, when are you ever going to see anything like it again. It is one of those things we all dream of finding.

  100. Katy S

    I’d love to see it with a zinc top, ideally with it left wood, but a zinc top and a painted piece would be lovely as well. Trying to match the new panel to the existing wood would be a tough one.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…


Subscribe today

and receive a FREE e-version of my planning sheets!

decorating, projects, and recipes for winter


Articles by Date


our sponsors

Bliss and Tell Branding Company