DIY Project: Sellers Cabinet Makeover

I love antiques. I love the style of new furniture that looks antique, but I love the real thing even more. I think my fondness for these old things comes from knowing they have a rich history.

I’ve been on the hunt for some sort of cabinet for the breakfast area so I’d have a good place to store a few odds and ends, including our art supplies since the kitchen table is always where we paint. The plastic box in the corner just wasn’t cutting it for me.

On a recent antique store expedition, I found a small Hoosier-style cabinet. I had Ken look at it to make sure it was sturdy, but immediately made plans to refinish it. The price had been marked down, and marked down again, so I ended up paying $125 for it. Another thing I love about antiques: they generally cost much less than a comparable new piece of furniture.

I came home and researched my happy little find. {Because I’m goofy and giddy like that.} It had the company name, model number, and original color listed on the back, so that made my research easier.

sellers cabinet back

I even found the patent number on a little metal plate inside a drawer, so I looked that up and found the original patent information. How cool is that!?!

Sellers Cabinet patent 1935

I did more studying, and found delightfully cheesy old ads for Sellers Cabinets, “The Best Servant In Your House.” I seriously adore vintage ads.

1923 Sellers Cabinet

This project took three days of sanding, priming, and painting. Things like this always take longer than I anticipate, and in the midst of it I always wonder WHY on earth I decided to do this again. But by that time, I’m usually too far to turn back. I believe I am a victim of DIY amnesia, a condition which causes me to forget how much work something like this is, and focus on what I know the results can be.

sellers cabinet BEFORE

There was a tiny bit of remaining paint left from when it had been refinished previously, so I saw that the original “sea crest green” was a light, almost milk-glass sort of green. I considered restoring it back to that color, but because it was so similar to my kitchen wall color, I opted to paint it white. As a nod to the original color, however, I ordered jadeite milk-glass knobs from Look In The Attic to replace the ugly not-original knobs.

jadeite milk glass knob

Cutest knobs ever:

The original Fast Fluffy Flour Sifter is still with the cabinet; I didn’t want to change the antique look of it, but I did want to protect it, so I sanded the rusty places and lightly painted it with Rustoleum satin metallic paint to prevent more rusting. I did the same things with the hinges, and was tickled with the results. [FYI: I don’t think metallic paint looks exactly like the real thing, but I used it when I re-did all our kitchen cabinets year ago, and it was a far more economical option than replacing all the hinges!]

One of the drawers is warped, the cabinet has some water damage, and there are numerous nicks and cracks in the doors — but I am so pleased with how it came out. And I just love thinking of the 1930-something homemaker who got it new for her kitchen, and I wonder how many homes it has lived in since then.

sellers cabinet AFTER

It’s adorable!
Do you ever take on these kinds of projects? If so, do you suffer from DIY amnesia, too?

** UPDATE: see it’s second makeover! **