When we moved in our cute apartment in Madrid we found there a huge wooden cupboard. It was in really good shape and I think the girls that lived there before us had just bought it since it actually looked quite new. But for our kitchen-living room-entrance (yes, I told you it was a small place) it was way too big, and the landlord wanted to throw it away.
We decided we had to give it a try, especially since we barely had space for the kitchenware, and we felt we really needed a sort of pantry. The two big problems of the cupboard were its height and its color.
The first step was dismantling it. We then opted to keep just the bottom part and give to the other pieces another use. We then sanded it. This was a very long and frustrating job since the cupboard has an inlay work on all sides, doors and drawer-fronts. And the surface had a thick layer of varnish which made the wood look flat and dark. But the final result was good enough to start painting the now tiny cupboard.
We wanted to give the room a fresh and light look, so we chose to try a whitewashed effect. We painted a thin and watery first coat in white. The result was very nice, since you could see the wood-grain through the paint. We worried though that the paint would chip, that it wouldn’t be strong enough to be able to clean it or, worse, that it wouldn’t resist to stains. So we just gave a couple of thin coats of matte transparent varnish. We added cute ceramic knobs, in white with small yellow flowers.
We loved it and we used it as a small pantry and of course we displayed on top a few changing things (apart from the 80’s ghetto blaster that had its permanent spot there).
I guess you’re wondering what we did with the rest of it. Well we used the glass doors to create another small pantry in a nook we had in the kitchen. It almost fit perfectly in the opening of the nook so we just made two supporting side pieces in order to attach the hinges of the left side and to fully close the nook on the right. Behind the doors, in the nook, we added shelves with the rest of the wood we had. Of course we painted the doors as well, this time with a plain white coat. (We left the original wooden knobs here, also painted in white).
As for what we did when we moved back to Italy… we took it with us!!! And we actually started sanding it again, since I wanted to change its color and finish to give it a new look. But we haven’t finished yet, nor have we decided what color to use… so hopefully we’ll give an update post about it!