Wednesday, January 10, 2018

9 Drawer Apothecary Cabinet Project - Phase 1

     Several years ago, while sifting through my local thrift shop, I picked up this unpainted 9-drawer cabinet for $5.  The top had come loose but was otherwise in perfect condition.  It had been sitting around the house for ages before I got the bug to fix it.  I got out the trusty E6000, lined up the pegs, and glued the top back down.  The whole cabinet will fall apart before that top will ever come off again.  Then I set it down beside my desk for me to stare at for another year or so, whilst I figured out what to do with it.

Cabinet after I had glued the top and already started taking off the knobs. 
     Last spring, I was shopping the clearance bins at my local Hobby Lobby and found three packages of these nameplate drawer pulls for $2.00 each.  I immediately thought of the cabinet and I purchased them. I brought them home to measure up against the drawer fronts to see if they would fit.  If they didn't then they would just go in my odds & ends collection bin.  As you can probably imagine, this bin has grown exponentially over the years.  They were a perfect fit.  So naturally, the cabinet sat beside my desk and the drawer pulls laid on my desk for another several months.


     I was thinking I might put this cabinet in the apothecary bathroom of my house. This brought me to the conclusion that I wanted to color the cabinet in a dark brown to match the accents in the room.  However, I just couldn't decide if I wanted to sand and stain the cabinet or if I wanted to spray paint it.  Oh, how I do love to spray paint.  Rustoleum and Krylon are my favorite brands.  I get better coverage and less chipping and flaking...not to mention they have a wide range of color choices.
     I was perusing the spray paint aisle at Walmart and came across this beautiful metallic "flat burnished amber" color.  It was a nice deep brown color which I had been using for accents in the bathroom.  But I'm also a bit of a steampunk fan, so I really loved that it also had a metallic sheen to it.



     I took out the drawers and gave the cabinet a couple coats of this beautiful color and was not disappointed in the least.  I couldn't have been more pleased with how it turned out.  The picture below really doesn't do it justice.


Top/Side Profile. 
I tried to capture the metallic sheen in the sunlight.
     
     I knew I wanted the drawers to be a different color, but initially, I was thinking a lighter shade of brown.  And now that I was in the Steampunk mindset, I wanted a different metallic texture as well.  I had recently painted something with a hammered metal black spray paint and really loved the texture of that.  However, I didn't want to use black on the drawers.  For me, black can be too easy of a color to use and for this project, black just wouldn't do.
     I went back to Walmart and looked through the spray paint aisle again and found a "hammered brown".  It wasn't quite what I was thinking, but I compared the color of the two tops of the paint to see if they would work well together and at the time they did.  However, when I tested the hammered brown on a scrap piece of wood, the color just did not look like it does on the can.
     So I was back at Walmart looking at more spray paint.  I still had the Steampunk mindset and was looking at metallic colors and still wanted a hammered finish.  I found a "hammered copper" color.  I love copper.  I love the hammered finish.  Sold!  I brought it home, tested it, loved it, and started painting the outside of the drawers.  This was a fantastic choice!




Drawer Front color in the sunlight.  Beautiful color, but texture got lost in the sun.

Drawer Front color indoors.  Better view of its texture.
 
 Now, I had planned to fill in the holes where the knobs once were and sand it down.  However, in my haste and eagerness to paint them with the new color, I completely missed that step.  I was so pleased with the paint job, that I didn't have the heart to strip it down and do it all over again.  Besides, the nameplates would just cover over that once you put the paper in.  Speaking of which, it was time to put the nameplate drawer pulls on.  But when I placed the drawer pull up for color match, I was rather disappointed.  Ugh.  Well, now what?

Unpainted namplate drawer pull on hammered copper drawer front.
Yuck!  Very unimpressive.

     Then I remembered I had that can of hammered brown spray paint I'd bought for the drawers that didn't work out.  So I tried painting the nameplates with it and lo and behold I liked it better.  I wasn't completely keen on the color, but I did like the texture matching up with the drawer.  After getting several opinions from my Odd-fellows whom all loved it, I decided to stick with it.



In comparison, painted nameplate looks better than its original color.

     Next, it was time to affix the nameplates to the drawers.  They all came with screws so I used a drill gauge to find out how big the screws were and what size drill bit I should use.  And because I like to only do things right the first time.  I sat down and did my measurements and math to make a paper template for drilling the holes.  Success!

Used a drill gauge to determine screw and drill bit size.

Made and used a paper template to drill holes and
ensure uniformity of nameplates on all the drawers.

Phase 1 complete!

     I'm very pleased with the results and quite proud of it.  Yet, I still feel like the project is unfinished.  The inside of the drawers are still unpainted and it needs more embellishment on the outside of the cabinet.  I am still mulling it over.  Please, feel free to offer me any suggestions or let me know what you think of it.
     As of right now, Phase 1 is complete.  I'll post a Phase 2 blog when I ever decide to finish it.  Right now, it's setting in my dining room holding our scent waxes.  


Until next time my peculiar friends...

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