Before and After: Mid-Century Modern Cabinet 

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Before and After: Mid-Century Modern Cabinet 3

Guest post by Nicole Phillips of visualheart.com

My latest find was a mid-century modern cabinet which originally came from a local art gallery, it was in rough shape with really dry wood veneer and a broken door. Not only was the door broken, but I later discovered that the entire unit was warped (including the door). Andrew ended up sanding off a small section of the door so it could close smoothly, he also had to clamp it to a flat surface to correct the warp as much as possible. Off topic – how cute is that tiny lock above the handle!

Before and After: Mid-Century Modern Cabinet

The entire cabinet was primed with several coats of white, it was crazy how much the old wood veneer soaked up the paint like a sponge. 3 coats later, the surface was finally ready for me to apply the final coat. I used Benjamin Moore Advance series. This paint is perfect for furniture, it’s high-gloss and self levelling, allowing for a very smooth finish when applied with a mini roller. For this project I used Snowfall White and Tropicana Cabana.

before after cabinet reno

I liked one of my previous makeovers so much I decided to go with that style and paint the interior blue, it’s a nice way to add colour without being too obnoxious.
The legs were in decent enough condition so I opted to leave them wood if they ended up having similar wood tones as the door once the old stain was removed. The door was an issue, I removed the handle, but sadly a big chunk of the wood veneer came off with it, because it was screwed on as well as glued with some kind of super glue! At this point I thought for sure there was no way we could salvage the wood door. There was a big hole that needed to be filled and obviously it wasn’t going to match the original veneer, so I thought we had to paint it, there was no other option. Andrew thought we could sand it down and put a wide handle over it to try and hide it, but after trying that, we knew it would still be visible, plus it would also look like we were trying to hide it.

before after cabinet handle

We both really wanted to salvage the wood grain, so I searched around for some ideas…and couldn’t find anything I loved and that would work for this situation. After some experimenting I decided to go with a leather door pull. I grabbed an old leather belt from the local thrift store and some brass screws from Home Depot and figured it out from there. It was fairly simple to make and I think it turned out pretty good! The best part, it sits flat against the door and hides all the imperfections from the old handle!

Click here for more detailed steps and supplies needed to make your own leather furniture pulls.

Once the door was coated with tung oil and the drawer pull was attached, it all came together. We kept the legs wood even though they were lighter, it picks up the lighter tones in the grain on the door and it’s a nice contrast to all the white.

Nicole Phillips is a Vancouver based Graphic Designer and blogger.
You can learn more about her at visualheart.com or follow her creative side:

Jan Halvarson

Jan founded Poppytalk in 2005 while a student at Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design (now ECU) to catalogue inspiration from typography to interior design. Since then she’s collaborated with Target (creating a limited edition glamping collection), a wallpaper collection with Milton & King, as well has written as a contributor at Wired, Martha Stewart and Huffington Post.