The extra long craft project- refinishing the cabinet and some applesauce too

I hope you didn't think I was gone again. Oh no, I've been busily doing the most recent project at my house, but wanted to save all info until I was done. I think I had mentioned sometime about how I work from home and watch my daughter full-time. I have been doing this since about 2 weeks after her birth (the working...the watching started pretty much immediately after) and it makes for a busy, yet fun day now that she is 14 months old! (Where did that time go!) It really is a win-win situation for me, but the one downside (or at least the one I notice) is I rarely leave the house/yard during the week. So, I have been in the same house and practically the same 4 rooms for 14 months. This has gotten a bit old and I got stir-crazy as my 30th birthday approached at the end of September.
Well, to deal with the crazies, I determined to update my house a bit. The big piece which I was really nervous about was this larger than life china cabinet.
[backstory: I liked the overall look of this cabinet at an estate sale across the street from my house 5 years ago and had commented to my husband on it was a nice piece -not intending to purchase it because of the price and the lack of need, so you can imagine my surprise when later than evening someone from the sale knocked on my door and asked if I would take it so they wouldn't have to haul it and offered it for the wonderful price of free! (can't beat that!) So, I gained a very functional piece of furniture. However, it was pretty beat up and not quite my favorite style, but it was free, so how could I complain.] Well, I had been reading one of my favorite blogs centsationalgirl and basically everything she does is inspiring so check her out (...as soon as you finish here of course :) ) so it got me thinking, why not update this piece of furniture to be more fun and fix all those dings, scratches and wear to make this less, just there and more me. So I finally got up the courage.
First I removed all the hardware that was removable (that was pretty much the hinges and I was able to remove the glass and copper lattice work from the doors (not a fan of lattice work personally), so that made painting a lot easier. The handles and other details on the drawers were attached very well and I don't hate them so I got out my handy artist brushes to get around those. Next was the fun part...removing the railing!
before railing....without railing, but with arch....without railing and arch!

This was done using a fun the Dremel Multimax tool. This took me about 2 minutes to take off the whole railing and spot sand the area below to make sure it was flush with the bottom. (If you don't own dremel tools I highly recommend all of them- I got the original dremel for a birthday present and this one last year when I needed to remove grout from the floor when we replaced a few tiles and it has saved me hours of work already). After that, I had decided I wanted to remove the arch at the top of the railing because I wanted to put the small stereo up there that used to be on the cabinet I just painted black. That took a bit more effort...there were screws to remove and then it had tongue and groove work, but I was able to break it and get it out. I then filled those holes with a portion of the tongue (after removing the small nails which were causing trouble) and some wood putty. I then drilled three holes in the back for cords to go through. 1 in the back of the top shelf, one in the back of the bottom shelf and one down by the buffet area for cords should I want to put fondue sets or a lamp or something to prevent having to drill later (I made all holes in hidden spots so they aren't really noticeable as well).
boiled down apples
a few jars of the good stuff.
Next we primed...this was hard to do because we were pretty certain once we did it we couldn't go back. I actually did the painting right there in the sitting room while my daughter napped or was in bed for the night so we wouldn't have to try to carry this beast, but that made the project go slowly because we had to paint for an hour and then let it dry enough so she wouldn't get covered in paint when she was up (at least on the bottom portion (she can't reach the top)). And of course, all paint and primer had to dry enough for the next coat to go on well.
So while I waited, I made applesauce from a recent trip to an orchard. I had 1 peck of apples consisting (mostly Jonathons, empires and galas), which I peeled, cut up and cooked down with cinnamon and (shhh my secret ingredient) nutmeg with no added sugar, then I mashed with a potato masher and called it done. They made 6.5 pints of applesauce, so I got it into jars and put it in the freezer for safekeeping. Delicious!
Well, back to the cabinet I guess ;) I did only one coat of paint because I had had the store do tinted primer for me (this prevented bright white primer from showing through in spots that appeared more rustic), but I determined I loved the way it looked after just that first coat. So it went from plain brown to a fun green (remember my front door color...Mother Nature...well I used it here too because it matches the room).
So now I have a lovely cabinet...or at least one I can love for another 14 months or so!

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