Thursday, August 23, 2012

Rorschach Cabinet

I've been on the hunt for one of those old wall mounted spice cabinets
with little drawers to hold spices or whatnots.  Well, I finally bagged my prize
 in an antique shop in a small Wisconsin town on our recent road trip.

I forget the name of the town, but according to the banner strung across its main street
the city folk will soon be hosting their annual Rutabaga Festival.  I'm not sure what
sort of activities are involved, but it sounds like a gas to me!

Here it is painted and ready to hang on the wall.

Now maybe I'm fixated on cutout designs lately, but if I were taking the
Rorschach test, the first thing out of my mouth would be
Mickey Mouse!
The ears may be slightly out of scale, but you can see it.....
can't you?

Here's how it looked when I found it......

I've seen these cabinets priced anywhere from $20 to $140 and frankly can't
see much of a difference between the high priced cabinets and thrift shop models.
Lots of factory distressing and lack of dovetail joinery indicate this piece
is not of heirloom quality, which is why I got it at the low end of the price range.

It does have some history to it, though.  At one point Kathy Bates had at it
with her baseball bat and broke both tibias.  But being the kindly caregiver that
she is, she nursed it back to health with some gloppy wood glue.

Well, I bit the bullet, fired up the jigsaw......

and put it out of its misery!
(I amputated both legs.)

After performing the surgical procedure, I painted the cabinet with
homemade chalk paint, which is still new to me.  I mixed flat green paint with
non-sanded grout. ( One cup of paint to one tablespoon of grout.)

The antiquing, on the other hand, is a decades old technique
practiced by decorative painters.  A dab of burnt umber oil paint mixed with a dollop
 of Johnson Paste Wax does the trick.  If I'm too heavy handed with
the dark wax, I just go over it again with untinted wax.  Sound familiar?

The last step is flyspecking.  Water down a few drops of black acrylic craft
paint and flick it on the piece with a stencil brush (even an old toothbrush will do).

Transformation complete.

Here's a wide angle view of the cabinet hanging above the laundry chute.
In the background, you can see more of our unfinished projects like the
built-in bench in the entryway that has been stripped and.........forgotten.
Not to mention the unfinished wood floor we uncovered when
we removed the 1970's linoleum.  And I'm so ready to paint over the
"Bear Paw" color of the kitchen walls!!!

It's time for a change.

But don't hold your breath. I've got one guest bedroom nearing completion and I
will not start another room home reno project
until said bedroom is back in use!!!

So.  Did you see Mickey Mouse in the cutout design of the cabinet, too?

Hmm, that's too bad. :@
 I'm sure there must be a self-help book out there for you us.

Thanks for visiting.

Joing the parties at:
Funky Junk Interiors Saturday Nite Specail


  1. The first thing that popped into my head was "Mickey Mouse"!! he he

    Love the transformation -- the colour is perfect and your antiquing skills are sublime. Now, do tell, what is hiding in those six little drawers?

    Great little kitchen too. So.... knowing your hesitancy to select a paint colour, what shades do you have in mind?


  2. I honestly didn't see the "ears" until you pointed them out. :D
    What a cute piece and you did a beautiful job painting and antiquing it. Love the color.

  3. I noticed the mickey mouse shape right away even before I read that you noticed it too. I love your new cabinet. The color is perfect.


  4. It was so meant to be blue! you had me totally laughing...first Micky, then to Misery. I tell you, that movie scarred me for life, but I still liked her more than James Caan.

  5. The little drawer cabinet is very fun! I like the paint job. I will have to try the umber oil paint in paste wax. I always use walnut stain and wipe it off very fast, and then paste wax. I purchased the non-sanded grout too to make some "chalkpaint". Love the trays in the photo!

  6. Love the new life you gave that little spice's so pretty with it's fresh new color. And, Thank you for the refinishing tips, I learned a thing or two. Great Post as always Vickie..You keep us smiling!

  7. The colour is really lovely and those little cubby shelves are so handy! I'm dying to try my own chalk paint too! A lot more freedom with colours!

  8. Lucky you to find such a cute spice cabinet. It looks so much better after is't redo and amputation.Great job!

  9. I saw him after you pointed it out...I must not have the vision lol! What a beautiful project, Vickie! Thanks for the tutorial...had to pin it! Any formula for the ratio of paint to grout?

  10. Even after you pointed out Mickey it took me five minutes of squinting to see it. I am going to a zucchini festival this weekend and I don't even eat zucchini. If they deep fry them on a stick then I'm out of there!

  11. Vickie,
    I have to agree,a little surgery never hurt anybody (?)! I like your cabinet much better without legs! The color turned out fantastic! Like Linda, above, is there a ratio you used to mixing them together? If I'm ever going to try chalk paint, I'll have to make it cuz I'm afraid I'm to cheap, er thrifty to buy it!

  12. I did see Mickey~but the drawers were so distracting that I forgot all about him. :) Cute, cute cabinet, Vickie! I like the paint and the distressing.

  13. Vickie,
    What a sweet find!!! LOVE the color too.And um yes in deed I do see Mickey.Listen once you visit Disney you start seeing "Hidden" Micky's everywhere :-)

  14. I see Mickey's. And a cute cabinet. Visiting you is always a gas even without rutabagas.


  15. Love the transformation. I am a new follower and can't wait to see more.


  16. yep, mickey's there! love the sweet cablinet, vickie:) what is it about little drawers--they are always so cute! happy weekend to you!

  17. What an adorable cabinet. Thanks for sharing the paste wax tip - I had no idea you could mix paint and wax!

  18. Ooh, love it. It turned out great...Enjoyed reading your cute post. Wishing you a wonderful weekend.

    Hugs and Kisses,

  19. Yep saw the Mickey! lol Fun little piece and I am dying over the mention of the unfinished projects in the background. Did you think we could see that?!!! lol We couldn't. lol

    Wondering what you will paint the kitchen walls....For some reason I see a lighter version of that blue you used on the cabinet. But who am I?? lol

    Gotta go read the other posts that I've missed.

  20. Yes I did see Mickey Mouse in that cut-out. ha! I love the color you chose for that cabinet. It's such a great accent for the kitchen.

  21. I've got a whole stash of spice racks, but none as cool as this! On some I may have to perform the same surgery as you did, plus the wax trick is one I haven't tried yet. Taking out the glazing step sounds good to me!

    I won't hold my breath on seeing finished projects...great minds think (and move slowly) alike :)

  22. I didn't see Micky until you pointed out...I wonder what that says about me? Anyway, I love that little cabinet, chopping off the legs and painting it was the perfect idea :)

  23. I didn't notice Mickey till you pointed it out, but that's a good thing right. It's really cute and I love the shade and it's NOT Mickey Mouse at all (in the UK, we say something is Mickey Mouse, when it's not done properly !!)

  24. Looks so much better after you got your creative hands on it. Yes, I see Mickey. Never heard of flyspecking so I learned something new today. You did a great job with it. I would've never thought to cut off its legs but it looks way better without its feet.

  25. Love how the little chest turned out! I have never used un sanded grout when painting old pieces, what does that do? Add a little texture? Love the color you picked, Laura

  26. Okay, I was back to get the antiquing recipe. Now WHY didn't I look at that before I went out this a.m.? Could have picked up the burnt umber then. Dang. Will have to root around to see what else I can mix with the wax. Thanks for the recipe... now there is something YOU don't hear every day. he he he xo

  27. Yes, yes I did...the first thing that popped into my head was "hidden Mickey"!!
    It is the color you chose!

  28. What a pretty new face you have given this charming little piece. It needed some TLC and you knew just the right prescription for a new beginning. It looks lovely in your home...thanks for sharing!

  29. Pretty transformation and added charming on the wall. The chalk paint sounds a great media for the change.

  30. I can't believe how lovely this turned out to be. I would have never thought to cut off the legs, but it makes a big difference! Thanks for tutorial on antiquing.

  31. You are too cute. What a fun project with the new paint, it's a brand new spice cabinet! Just want to thank you for all your inspiring comments on my blogs. I really love reading them, it makes me feel so happy!


  32. Hi Vicky:

    Your cabinet is adorable and I just love the paint that you chose.

  33. These tips for painting and distressing are keepers! If I had only known you back when I would have given you the spice thingie that belonged to my aunt. I donated it. You read that right.... it was donated. Now see? We need to keep in touch!! LOL

  34. I clearly could see Mickey Mouse ears there. A person would have to be blind to miss them; right? Love your re-do of this little cabinet. Perfection. I must make notes of your antiquing techniques.

  35. My Oh MY! Your blog is such a delight to read! I just HAVE to comment on this beautiful and inspired paint job! The GFC gadget is not working at all, but I'm following back on Linky Followers, with all my heart!

  36. Thanks for the directions for painting. I want to do it so bad and am taking any direction I can get! love the color!


Your comments make it all worthwhile. Thanks for visiting today!

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