DIY & more

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! **

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OH, I have been wanting one of those FOREVER…I found one in the mountains last year and almost had to bring it home…but, I have nowhere to put it! You did a BEAUTIFUL JOB!


I too, LOVE antiques! The cabinet is so very cute.


Wow…I have one almost identical and was planning on starting the revitalization of it today! Great timing. Looks like you did a great job. You may want to check out my series on Things My Grandmother Knew…and see how I do with my Hoosier over the next few days/weeks.

Ellen, the Bluestocking Belle

Jamie! That looks fantastic! No, I don’t suffer from DIY amnesia — I actually prevent myself from tackling things just because I know it’ll be a Big Deal. That’s another problem entirely. I’ve been dreaming of redoing my kitchen chairs and hutch at the cabin for years. But every summer, I think, Nah. Maybe this year will be the year!


It looks beautiful! I love those knobs:) You did a great job.

We apparently have DIY amnesia here or we are just glutton for punishment…not sure which one. Right now, we are finishing the attic into an office/craft room. After several hundred trips up and down a ladder, I’m beginning to wonder what we were thinking!


Pretty cool stuff there. I never tried such project. Though I’m not suffered from amnesia, I’m quite lazy. But your work, it deserves applause.

Hannah typed Yeast Bumps May Cause Larger Problems

Dawn @ The Momma Knows

Oh that turned out super cute!! Love it! I have only tackled one major refinishing project lately (3 large cabinets and two chests) and I can recall MANY times during that project asking myself WHY I was doing it. Not sure I’m ready for another one yet. 😉

Amy W

What a beautiful redo! Love those knobs. I have an old Hoosier cabinet in my kitchen that I just love. I recently started transforming it into my coffee bar. Just think- when you buy vintage instead of new you’re not only saving some money but you’re up-cycling too!
Just simply wonderful!

Very cool! I don’t think I would ever have the patience or the know-how for a project like that, so I’m in awe of you. It looks great.


That is so cool! I love it!! I love the ad and the patent information–that is so cool!

I also enjoy refinishing furniture–it’s so therapeutic and then so rewarding!


Wow… it’s very pretty. Great job! Enjoy it.


I love it! I think you did a fantastic job.
I’ve never done a large scale refurbishment of something, but I know any sort of DIY project results in my not remember how much work it is.


Jamie, I really like what you did with the cabinet.
We’ve been very interested in old bottles recently – my mom gave my daughter he collection and we have been researching and hitting other antique stores to see what we can now find. We actually have some bottles pre 1860, which is very cool! I love OLD stuff!!!


Wow! It’s really awesome! I’m falling in love with the cabinet!


Amazing cabinet! I’m speechless of its outcome. It’s really cool and beautiful.

Eddie - The Usual Mayhem

Jamie, that is absolutely beautiful! You did a fantastic job. I love antiques, and I never thought of looking mine up by patent number!
I’m going to order some of those knobs in anticipation of our build-our–own-house project when we move next year.


She looks lovely!! (For some reason, I feel that she needs a name.) I am like you in always digging for the story of interesting things. Sometimes if I find nothing, I get lost in imagining the possibilities.
Here’s a big “You go, Girl!!!” for tackling such a big project!

kelli- AdventurezInChildRearing

Adorable – WAY!!! I’m always picking things up – but this one is a real treasure!!! can’t wait to see the next – I still have some more work to do on my china cabinet – and my antique round kitchen table needs some touch ups! Love me a good find!!! Yours is a beauty- (and yes- the stories that go with them are so special)


I love this! I actually had to go back and forth a few times because I couldn’t believe that was the SAME cabinet as in the “before” shot! Gorgeous work, and what a practical piece of furniture too!
Love it.


The cabinet looks so good! I guess that you really did a great job on the makeover.


You did a great job! And I so understand the DIY amnesia as I suffer from it too, but the end results are always worth the effort.

Jami @ An Oregon Cottage

Goodness, Jamie, that’s just wonderful- kudos! I would love to have room in our kitchen for something that cool. 🙂

Carol L Huddleston

I enjoyed your blog and I am finally refinishing my grandmother’s seller’s cabinet I have had for decades. Did you have to redo the metal table portion of the cabinet? This part worries me the most. Any pointers?


I just bought the exact same cabinet at my local Habitat Restore for $125! I am planning on restoring mine as well. It still has the flour sifter (no rust!) and the original knobs. After seeing yours, I am excited to start working on it!


We have the exact same one too! It belonged to my grandmother. So cool! You did a great job!


LOVE YOUR CABINET! I recently acquired a similar cabinet and plan to redo it. My problem is the top of the base cabinet. It is made of wood or something and falling apart! Any suggestions on what to replace it with?

Marsha Gordon

Jamie, the Hoosier Cabinet is LOVELY!
My most favorite aunt in the world had one, and when I see this cabinet, it makes me think of her! I have always loved these cabinets and have thought many times that I would love one. Oh, where to put it??


So I stumbled across your blog while researching on how to restore my hoosier base… did an amazing job! It’s looks great! Question for ya…how did you attach your porcelain top? With brackets? I currently am just doing a base with a porcelain top until I come across the top cabinets….just stuck on how to attach the porcelain….thanks :))


I have this same exact Hoosier Cabinet that was handed down from my mother in law. It looks to have at least two layers of paint on it. I’ve often wondered how it would look stripped and repainted. Now I know and I think I have a project to do in the near future. Thank You


I’m freaking out a little here, because I have this EXACT style of cupboard that my grandparents bought after they were married (1929). Not only that, but based on the finishes catalog from 1939 Sellers, and the color that is marked on yours, I think I can show you what it probably looked like before it was stripped of the original paint. I will try to attach pictures. Or, email me and I will send them to you!!!

Carol Adkins

Hey, I love that I found this blog. I have been researching to get more info on my Hoosier style cabinet. I have the exact one that is pictured in the ad! I couldn’t find another just like what I have. Thankfully, mine is in great shape still has original finish and all the glass canisters with it. The flour sifter, bread and potato/onion box, Thank you for helping me find out that my cabinet is a Sellers. I love mine so much I am remodeling my kitchen around the cabinet.

Kathleen Wells

Jamie, you did a fabulous job!
I personally have a Hoosier, Sellers, Napanee, etc addiction and would love to start a Hoosier and more blog to get like minded people together, to share, educate and just love over these wonderful pieces of kitchen History….after restoring many of these wonders, I think Sellers were constructed the best….

Kathleen Wells

Can we share our most recent done project? If so, this Oak Sellers Klear Front is exceptional condition for its age, has the original hardware and not seen often when bottom door is opened the bottom shelve come out!