green art cabinet makeover | part 2

by | Feb 9, 2018 | Before and Afters, Furniture Makeovers | 51 comments

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When you last saw this piece (yesterday) in part one, it had the drawer fronts painted and oiled to match the body of the cabinet…

Once the Hemp Oil was applied to all of the doors, it was time to put the hardware on.  Now, I have to admit that I was intimidated to put all of the hardware on this piece.  It’s a lot of hardware that needs to be in a straight line and precision is not my forte.  I initially called Jeff in to help, but then I remembered (and actually found) a hardware template I have.

I informed Jeff that I didn’t need him anymore, because he was being replaced with the template.  (I don’t know why the green looks so drab in this picture!)

I lined the template up with the drawer edges, also using the placement of the old hardware as a guide.  Even with the template, I knew it wasn’t going to be perfect, because some of the drawers sit a little crooked.  I wanted to get it as close as I could, though.

I drilled pilot holes for the bottom holes on the drawer pulls…

…screwed on the drawer pulls and then drilled pilot holes and put the screws in the top.

Initially, I was switching out drill bits multiple times for one piece of hardware, so I grabbed our second drill.  I put the driver bit on one and drill bit on the other and that expedited things.

Once all of the handles were on, I had to decide where to put the label holders.  With so many drawers, I felt like it was important to have them labeled and I like the look of label holders!  I wasn’t sure where to place them, though.  They weren’t really going to fit above or below the handles and I wasn’t sure how they would look off to the side.

I like to get a visual, when possible, before making a decision like this.  I’ve learned from many, many decorating mistakes, that it’s best to test things out and think about it before plowing ahead.  So, I enlisted Marshall to hold the handles for me.  I realized, as I was looking at them, that it wasn’t quite enough for him to hold them and for me to look at them.  I pulled out my phone and snapped pictures, so I could look at them “on film” and didn’t feel rushed with an 11 year old antsy to get back to doing something more fun than holding hardware on a piece of furniture for mom.

(Although, he made his own sort of fun out of it!)

When I looked at the pictures, it became clear which one I liked best.  I think any of the options would’ve looked nice, but one stood out to me.

I used the template again, to get the label holders lined up.  Again, it wasn’t going to look perfect, because of the wonkiness of the drawers.  But, that’s one thing I love about old pieces.  They are very forgiving of imperfections and just accept them as a part of their story.  A brand new piece would never put up with hardware that didn’t look completely in line.

And here is how it turned out…

It still looks like the old, homemade cabinet that it is, but it’s freshened up and looks like the best version of itself.

The paint is Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint in a custom mix of equal parts Boxwood & Lucketts Green.  It’s finished in Hemp Oil.

The handles are un-lacquered solid brass sash lifts from House of Antique Hardware.    They did have less expensive ($2.49/each) sash life handles that look the same, but they were brass plated.  I decided to spend more and purchased the solid, unvarnished brass, so they would age over time.  I bought these label holders, also in brass.

I just love how it turned out.  It’s prettied up, but it still looks like the old piece that it is.

I started doing some organizing in my studio today and the drawers are filling up with all sorts of paints, palettes, canvases, etc…


  1. Connie

    Oh it’s so perfect! You will have fun filling up all those drawers! Love this bright, happy studio!

  2. Barbara

    Darling pics of Marshall! The cabinet looks great, too.

  3. Dee

    Really super nice…love it

  4. Lee Winemiller Cockrum

    What a great piece! So many possibilities for storage and organization! I’m envious!

  5. Antonella

    Please show us the inside organization when it’s done. I love this kind of posts 🙂

  6. Linda

    What a great job you did on this piece!!!

  7. Nancy

    I consider myself pretty finicky when it comes to having things “just right” and your cabinet certainly passes muster! So excited to see those drawers filled. Your small office assistant is perfectly adorable. 🙂

  8. Annie

    I would have to spray the pulls and label holders with ammonia for “instant age!” I prefer the “before” look, because I can’t get with the whole “bright brass is back in style” thing 🙂

    • Marian Parsons

      Yeah, I thought about doing that and I might still! I’m sort of liking them shiny, though!

      • janejane

        I say let them have their shiny years. Let them age naturally. Take a picture of it every year and watch the process.

  9. Lesia

    Where do you buy your hardware template? Thank you!

    • Marian Parsons

      I bought it ages ago. You can find them on Amazon, though. Just search “hardware template” and several styles will come up.

  10. Amanda

    It looks absolutely beautiful! I LOVE the addition of the labels on the drawers!

  11. Sarah

    Great job. Looks great! Added bonus…..seeing the 50/50 mix of the two milk paint greens. Helpful for me down the road.

  12. Carol

    Love it! The only thing I would change is the top label. I would of put 2 labels, to keep it symmetrical….and because you will have more than one item in that big drawer?

  13. Terri

    Yummy is not a word I associate with furniture…not at all! But, the second I looked at picture number 8, that’s what I said. The softness of the paint with the beauty of the new, brass hardware (which is awesome) is perfection! No doubt, your newfound art cabinet will give you years of enjoyment and keep your supplies organized!

  14. Sue Pagels

    Marshall is so cute! And the cabinet looks great too!

  15. Kristen

    love this !!! I would use stock paper for the labels that was antiqued or yellowed from age look when I labeled the drawers..the color is awesome!

  16. Stephanie

    You make me want to take on the challenge of buying old furniture and painting it. I keep looking at all the character old furniture has compared to new stuff.

  17. Rosanna

    Wonderful job as always!I love,love old handmade cabinets,n such!!..My dream kitchen would be lots of different old pieces,(with lots of character),used as my kitchen cabinets….no “real” cabinets for me!!?

  18. gilda

    I liked the random pulls but it’s just a specific look.


    Marian, you have made that cabinet look so lovely! The handles you picked are great — as are the label holders. You always do such a great job with your furniture! Have a great weekend! Blessings!

  20. Monique DEnoncin

    Well worth the efforts, yours and Marshall’s .

  21. Cindy D

    Your son is a hoot. When my daughter moved out, I made her BR my studio. She left her dresser which was my late in-laws. I antiqued it and made it my art supply drawer/gift wrapping station on the top. Win win. You inspired me to add those labels on, thanks for the link. Your blogging style is awesome. You tell it like it is and with finesse. Love your mom too. Next time take a pic of her doing what she does best…..creating. <3

  22. Suzy

    It is beautiful! Love that green! And Marshall did seem to be having fun.

  23. Shelly

    Sweet transformation! My favorite part is your son’s pictures!
    He seems like a real sweetie to be around. Never a dull moment!?

    Love all you do!

  24. Betsy

    I love this! The shinny brass against the green is perfect.

  25. Martha

    What a fun project. Turned out so charming and useful. I would love to have something like this to sort my art supplies into.

  26. Dauphine

    I think it’s a wonderful piece of furniture. I would love to find one, I especially like the color too

  27. Jan

    It looks great!
    When I initially saw the 3 options for where to put the label holders the one you chose was my last choice. But seeing it done that way really looks good
    Once again you’ve got a fabulous piece.

  28. Elizabeth

    I agree about running the label holders in parallel lines up the inside of the handles. It came out kustbtight. Custom-blending a 1:1 mix of Miss Mustard Seed paint colors was an inspired idea. Your vindication is the lovely finished product.

  29. Elizabeth

    (“kustbtight “ is Elbonian for “just right,”)

  30. nancy

    Whatever you’d done would be good but best part is the pics of your son!

  31. pc

    I need to find one of those cabinets Lovely!!!

  32. Naomi S.

    Very nice, Marian! And so much storage and organization space with all those drawers. For the floor/wall space it takes up I think it is very commodious.

    I wouldn’t do anything to the hardware except let it age by itself. That will happen soon enough. And it wouldn’t be good to get ammonia on the paint, would it?

    Enjoy the fruits of your labor, dearie!

  33. Mary S

    Perfect!! Looks great and your helper is just as cute!! Good job Marshall!!!

  34. Laurie

    The drawers look important now which is fitting. You could also stencil a design on the sides! i didn’t know now about that template!

  35. Norma Rolader

    Oh it turned out amazing … You did a great job

  36. Colleen A Tumulty

    I agree with all the other ladies who mentioned Marshall. The cabinet turned out great and awesome how you matched the color but after having met your sweet boys I love seeing pictures of them. I know it’s not great fun for them but if you can put pictures of them from time to time I would really enjoying seeing them. Thanks so much

  37. Colette J.

    I looks great, although I’m kinda wondering why you didn’t just go for drawer pulls with the label holders all in one. I’m so anal that any crooked hardware would drive me nuts. 🙂

  38. Miss Mustard Seed

    I couldn’t find any the we’re wide enough to cover the existing holes.

  39. Barbara Redman

    Your choice of location for the label holders is exactly what mine would have been. Love the look of this cabinet . . . the paint color . . . the brass hardware . . . the wheels . . .

  40. Kathy

    Got a big kick out of Marshall’s ‘handy work’! Such a cutie. Also appreciated the reminder about taking a picture to help get perspective on the project. As ALWAYS, Marian, an inspiration.

  41. MaryLisa Noyes

    Looks great with the brass fixtures. The template is a must have. Going to check on it at Amazon! Thanks!

  42. Lillian

    I was surprised the hardware wasn’t silver toned, but the brass is perfect on the green. I agree that centered labels are good for ready reference & uniformity. I love your grace for this chest’s imperfect handmade fit & stray (holes?). It’s a utility piece that takes care of YOU & doesn’t demand you fuss over it. This room is another project closer to your signature look of quiet & functional beauty.Though all your rooms are & have been used!

  43. LIllian

    Marian, you don’t do clutter. All unused pieces are functional & hide quietly in monotones. That’s my new “paint/decor” technique. Remove everything that has no job, place to live, or ability to be visually QUIET! I have said, “ We have 3-7 of everything the hand of man makes,” & “More tJob 23:13-14 But He is unique & unchangeable, & who can turn Him? & WHAT His soul desires, THAT He does.
    Isaiah 55:8-11 for My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways, declares the LORD, “ for as high as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways & My thoughts are higher than your thoughts,”…
    11.“so will My Word which goes out of My mouth; it will not return to Me void (useless, w/o result) w/o accomplishing what I desire, & w/o succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.”
    Isaiah 2:22 STOP regarding man whose breath of life is in his\her nostrils [for so little time]; for why should (s)he be esteemed?!
    Psa 138:8 You, LORD, will accomplish that which concerns me; Your [unwavering] lovingkindness,O LORD, endures forever – Do not abandon the works of Your own hands.
    Given: God is no evildoer He is ALWAYS FOR us & our highest best. His enemy is a lying evildoer trying to defame God through us. Then we take on some of those lies & play with the enemy’s toys! People hurt us & we do, too.han enough is excess.” My desires are beauty, ORDER, & sanitation. Thank you for your modeling these for me.

  44. Cindy A Redman

    Wow! Who knew there was a hardware template! It looks amazing! … and having a helper made all the difference!


  45. Susan

    Excellent tutorials – thank you! It looks great – I shy away from green but I shouldn’t because this looks so good. Nice job ?

  46. Rebecca Neustel

    It is perfection! I guess the label holders have a coating on the brass?

  47. Beth Beal

    I love that you left the color on this piece!


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…

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