The Cabinet

I started my first antique flip diy project! We acquired this amazing cabinet a couple of years ago from a vacant house my father-in-law bought. The home had been vacant for some time, but has some history as one of the earliest settlers in the area’s land and home. We took a few other pieces of furniture, but nothing was as neat as this!


Details Details

I don’t know the story on this cabinet, but I’m guessing it is at least 60 years old. (If anyone knows their antiques, I’d love to hear any info you may have!) It’s fairly short compared to newer furniture, is made of real wood, glass windows and has a couple layers of paint. It was originally painted black! 

To Flip or Not to Flip

I have hemmed and hawed over whether or not to keep it. At first I loved it’s charm, then I thought- “we have too much furniture as it is, I don’t need this, I should sell it”. But now as I am starting my new side business venture into the craft world, I decided it will make a great piece to my ‘store’ set up at craft shows! So next came the work…


The cabinet had been sitting for years in that house. The house had storm damage (a tree actually fell on part of it), so there was a lot of water, and a lot of filth hanging out. This cabinet needed a good cleaning! I set it on some leftover plastic from our greenhouse before washing. I had to change the water bucket 3 times! The last coat of paint that had been done was oil-based, so I wasn’t too concerned about washing. I did everything outside on the porch. This helps as far as mold spores, dust and dirt go. I don’t want that in my house nor to inhale it in close quarters. The great part about working outside is the sun and fresh air help to deodorize and neutralize smells. They also helped the cabinet dry quickly after washing. Anytime you paint, especially oil based, it is key to do this in a well ventilated area as well. I wanted to take all of the handles off before painting, but the screws are so old and stuck I could only get the drawer handles off. I understand why the last person just painted over all of them! 

Time to Paint

I really like painting. So this was the fun part of the project! I did white oil based paint, as the last person that painted it had done. I scraped some of the peeling paint off around the bottom, but didn’t go too crazy. Some people like to completely sand and refinish antiques, but I love the character that comes with a well-loved and used piece of furniture. So I left it as is, minus the cleaning and getting some chipping/peeling paint off. I made sure I taped the windows so they wouldn’t get paint on them. I also decided to paint all of the inside walls, shelves and undersides of shelves. I’m not sure what paints were used on it before, so in case any have lead, I sealed everything in to make it safe. 


Now these windows have an original black design, but a lot of it has come off over the years. I’m still on the fence whether to leave them as-is, try to repaint the design, or scrape it off and either leave it plain or paint my own design. What do you think?

Next Steps

The paint is curing-I will see about possibly doing a second coat if needed. After painting is completely finished, I will be lining the shelves. Then the windows…will they stay or will they go? Stay tuned to see the next steps of this project in an upcoming post!