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We found this cool looking vintage bar cabinet at a local thrift shop. It looked like the perfect candidate for a rustic vintage painted bar cabinet makeover. A little paint would give it a fresh new look. We scooped it up, brought it home and began brainstorming ideas to update it.
One of the things that attracted us to the cabinet was that the top opened up to reveal bar glasses. Once Mike started taking the stand apart it was clear that the bar top was not going to work. It was someone else’s redo at one point and it was not put together well. After a lot of frustration we decided to scrap the open up bar top and put a solid piece of wood on top.
Click through to see the supplies we used.
First things first was to clean the grime off of the cabinet. Mike used Mrs. Myers cleaner and an old rag to scrub off the grime on the cabinet. Then we knocked off the decorative trim piece to give it a more modern look. Also, we removed the wonky top of the cabinet.
Then we sanded the cabinet down with 60 grit sandpaper, focusing around the area where the trim piece was removed and overall smoothing out any large imperfections. Then we finished the sanding with 3M final stripping pads. Sanding also helped to rough up the surface for painting.
Next we removed the old rusty wheels and added end table legs from Lowes with screws and glue. At this point we were ready for painting. We paint two coats of General Finishes Paint in Driftwood with an angled brush. This is fantastic paint. It helped to smooth out some of the imperfections in the old wood and dried with a nice hard finish.
Now we had to address the top of the cabinet. Mike bought a plain pine board from Lowes. We distressed the top of it to make it look vintage so it would fit the style of the bar cabinet. He sanded down the sides to remove the sharp edges then used a combination of banging on the board with a hammer and nails to beat up the surface.
Next I helped to stain the board. First I put down a coat of Minwax Early American. I wiped on the stain with a foam brush then wiped it off with a rag. After that dried I followed up with a coat of Minwax Jacobean using the same technique. I finished it off with two coats of Minwax Polycrylic in Matte applied with a foam brush.
We attached the board using glue all around the top and a couple of nails to hold it in place. After the top was secured, we finished the cabinet off with two coats of Minwax Polycrylic in Matte. For the handles we wiped on a little Rub’n Buff to brighten up the finish. We have used it on previous projects and it is great to alternative to spray paint to update hardware when you can’t remove it from the piece it is on.
We hadn’t addressed the inside of the cabinet so to add a really fun element we painted the inside of the cabinet with Folk Art Chalk Paint in Grotto. I love the funky aspect it adds.
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