We don’t know whether to include this post in our ‘vintage finds’ section or consider it another diy furniture makeover project.
We found a 50’s bedside cabinet at a secondhand store and we updated it.
We were wandering in the aisles of our favourite thrift store in Padova and Matteo’s mum fell in love with this tiny cabinet, on four funny legs, with rounded corners and a gorgeous bakelite handle. It was in really rough shape, but because of the ridiculous price we thought we could give it a try.
We took it home and after a good look we decide what to do. Matteo disassembled the door, handle and legs. The legs were not authentic to the piece, but were surely added in a second moment so we opted to get rid of those and leave the cabinet in it’s original shape.
He didn’t touch the inside, since trying to straighten the shelves would just break them. So he sanded the entire surface with a low grit paper. This was a really quick process, not only because of the dimensions of the cabinet, but also because it was so old that the wood was very dry and the varnish almost completely gone. Little parts of the veneer were a bit raised and other were peeling off, but through the sanding Matteo was able to blend those spots and levelling everything out.
Then it was preparation time: he cleaned the cabinet and taped off the sides of the door and the inside and the backside of the cabinet. I then applied a thin coat of primer (the same as in the sink cabinet, but with better results) and let it dry for a couple of days.
It was again time for a light sanding, followed by a good wipe with a damp towel. And finally painting!
Matteo’s mum was going to put the cabinet next to her wooden bed and it had to kind of match her bedroom mirror: it is a really huge mirror surrounded by beautiful water lilies she carved and watercolored herself some years ago. The base color of the frame is a light blue, so she created a similar tone with the colors we had in hand: a pastel blue (that we used here), some grey (used here) and white.
With a brush for the corners and a foam roller for the rest I applied three very thin coats. I wanted it to be as smooth and uniform as possible.
Once it had rest to dry out for a few days we could take off the tape and reassemble it. Before taking it to its place I nourished the wood with natural beeswax. And there it was, a cute modernised 50’s bedside cabinet.
p.s: I painted the middle removable shelf for a nice inside addition.
p.p.s: the beeswax is very healthy for wood, it nourishes and protects it from woodworms and general use. It is also very simple to apply: put a little amount on a cotton cloth and spread it on the surface. When it’s dried, scrub the surface with a woollen cloth to take off the excess and to make the surface shine.