Wednesday, February 26, 2014


If you live in an old house that has shifted and sagged
over the years you know what a challenge it was to hang this
crooked old cupboard on a crooked old wall......and yet provide the illusion
that it's all plumb, level, and square.

Here's what it looked like when we brought it home.
A mere skeleton of a cupboard.

  Our daughter Julie asked if anybody wanted it and I couldn't say yes fast enough!
Somebody else may have shouted  NO!!, but with my hearing issues I can't really be sure.  :)

The old kitchen cupboard is about an inch too wide to sit on top of the dresser,
so I devised what I thought was a simple plan to hang it on the wall.

Ha!  It took three days of hoisting that thing up and down to get it right.

By the way, has anybody watched Renovation Realities on HGTV?
If you're feeling discouraged about your current DIY project, this show is
guaranteed to make your job seem like a simple task.
  It's sort of a "how not to renovate your home" featuring clueless idiots!!! 
 Friday nights at 7.  Don't miss it!

The first thing I did was replace the rusted out nails with wood screws to beef it up.
(I got tired of the thing falling apart in my hands every time I moved it.)

I replaced the bottom shelf that was twisted and warped with a piece of leftover redwood.
We were in the middle of a snowstorm, so I used whatever wood I could find in our stash.
I hope my daughter finds the 2 missing drawers in their garage this spring.  hint hint
If not, I'm sure I can construct 2 crooked drawers that will look original to the piece.

I added horizontal wood supports across the back of the cupboard,
and then nailed tongue-and-groove wood strips vertically to create a finished back.
A piece of trim hides the slightly uneven cuts of the pine strips.

I screwed 3 heavy duty metal brackets into the wall studs, and topped them with
 a section of pine stair tread cut to length for the base.  Then I nailed
quarter round trim around the perimeter to hide the metal brackets.
My master plan changed somewhat as I went along.

The doors are so darn lopsided, I gave up on my idea of installing glass
and made shirred curtain panels out of old curtains
to conceal the contents of the cupboard.

 Before stain.

After stain. Hideous!!!!!

Last of all, I mixed and matched stains to try to blend the new wood
 with the weathered old finish, but I didn't care at all for the way the new pine took on stain.

  I remembered reading about a method of aging new pine with vinegar
and steel wool, but our internet was down, so in desperation I winged it.
 I dipped steel wool into apple cider vinegar and scrubbed the already stained wood.
My technique was all wrong, but it worked anyway!  How often does that happen?
 After the vinegar treatment, I rubbed in watered down white latex paint to tone down the color.

Thank you, Julie!  I love my new wall cupboard!

The cupboard is now home to my sewing patterns and notions.
This is where I do my sewing, and I've been moving my sewing paraphernalia that was previously
 stored all over the house into cupboards and closets on the upper level of our house.
(There goes my cardio workout of running up and down 2 flights of stairs
countless times looking for this or that when I'm sewing!)

Another of my toy sewing machines.

I paid $35 for the Eastlake dresser over 30 years ago,
and it's still one of my favorite pieces of old furniture.  It will never be painted.

My dressmaker's form is wearing a vintage spring dress I
found last year.  Notice the tiny waistline of the dress.

The label says it's size 13/14, but today would be a size 6.

I found the mercury glass perfume atomizers years apart
at different estate sales, but they're a matching set.

Slightly dusty clock.  It must be the maid's day off.

The teacup is my "jewelry box".

So, what did my daughter get in exchange?

We hauled this nearly 8 foot tall door-turned-mirror on top of
our Matrix in the dead of winter.  It was a 4 hour nail-biting, teeth-grinding trip,
but the mirror made it unscathed.  Whew!!!

One daughter's trash is her mother's treasure and vice versa.
Sorry guys.

Thanks for stopping by!

I'm joining the parties at:
Miss Mustard Seed Furniture Feature Friday
Revisionary Life Thrifty Life Thursday
Savvy Southern Style Wow us Wednesday
Cozy Little House Tweak it Tuesday
Mod Vintage Life Mod Mix Monday
Funky Junk Interiors Party Junk


  1. I would have shouted YES too, it's gorgeous Vickie !
    You've done a great job of fixing it up and fixing it to the wall, and as always, it's beautifully styled.

  2. Vickie Ohhhhhhh I too would have shouted yes to this beautiful chippy piece. Wow I love where you hung it and how great it looks. You have it styled magazine perfect. Awesome.

  3. It looks so nice! The curtains add a sweet touch. Glad to hear that your method of applying the apple cider vinegar worked, because that's exactly how I would have done it. Who needs directions? They just slow you down. :)

  4. I love the cabinet hanging on the wall and the finish you achieved! Really looks good!!


  5. What an absolutely beautiful old cabinet. I like your idea of the shirred curtains - so cute.

    I would be so frustrated hanging the piece after three days of trying.

  6. LOVE that cabinet! The end result with the stain/paint is perfect. And that dresser is amazing!

    Angela @ Number Fifty-Three

  7. Wow, I wish I looked that great after all of my shifting and sagging!!! I love how your 'new' cupboard turned out and what a great place to stash your sewing bits!! I love the spring frock and can't get over the size 13/14! Yowzers... good thing they've revamped the sizing over the years. :) I love your toy sewing machine and bejewelled clock... you can set the alarm to tell you when to quit sewing, take your vitamins, and go to bed. You did an amazing job on your cupboard, I love it!! :)

  8. I love that cabinet! I really, really do. I love the way the wood looks old and their is some paint on it. Love the shirred curtains you made for the doors too. I don't blame you for nabbing it! That toy sewing machine really looks real. I thought it was until you said it wasn't. I never knew that dress sizes changed over the years.

  9. Hi Vicki! Your cabinet looks wonderful and I like the stain and I like how you've dressed her too.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  10. I really like this piece Vickie. It came home to the right place, just TLC and patience. I have glanced at that show and the y are just a bunch of idiots. It is amazing they actually have the thought they can do any of the things they attempt.


  11. You just gotta love a win/win situation! I also love it that your vinegar in steel wool technique worked, even though it was "wrong." Your white latex treatment just made the piece...totally authentic looking!
    Bring it over to Revisionary Life for a visit, please. :)

  12. Hi Vickie, I would have said Yes too. What a fabulous switcheroo. The cabinet is incredible with its new look, paint treatment, shelves and I love your shirred white curtains inside. Beautiful accents you added really make if perfect.
    Love your dresser. I would not paint that gem either.

    You sure found a darling dress for your form. So springy! Sizes sure have changed over the years.
    Your daughter's treasure is beautiful too. Great swap all around. Love it!

  13. Love the cupboard and your treatment of it...nothing is plumb or square in my house...also love your sense of humor!

  14. So great you can shop each other lol! Love the cupboard and what you did with it...and all of your wonderful goodies, too!

  15. My favorite thing about today's design is that you used the toy sewing machine to label where the real sewing machine is. I love this idea and would love to find some vintage mini-appliances (toys or sales versions) to try at my home!

  16. You found the right technique for the wood. It looks like a wonderfully aged piece. I think I may have given up at hideous. I get so discoraged when things don't work out!

  17. I LOVE your cabinet, Vickie!!! It is so wonderful and charming...definitely the kind of cabinet that needs some imperfection to add to its charm!!!
    Mary Alice

  18. I lové it and with someone would have given this piece to me :)

    Love all you have done with placement and designs. Your home is so inviting, enjoy the beauty you have surrounded yourself with.


  19. The cupboard looks fantastic there, and you did a great job with it.
    The curtains are so nice and I love the toy sewing machine and...that clock! I love bejewelled clocks I see in the web but I haven't seen anyone here. Oh, internet brings these "important"

  20. Love the little cabinet! It turned out great through all your transformations. So scary when the color went wrong. I've done the vinegar stain before and it stained my wood MUCH darker than I intended so you might have done it right by not letting it soak. I let my steele soak for awhile and my stain turned out really dark.

  21. What a fantastic cupboard, looks awesome on your wall! Awww, I'm crazy about your glass perfume atomizers and that pretty little teacup! It's the little things, love them! Great post.
    Have a grand day!

  22. I love it, I love it I say! And guess what? I have a set of china to match your jewelry cup.

  23. LOVE it, Mom! Looks great. And we are LOVING the mirror. Our dining room feels so much bigger now!!!! (And I WILL find those drawers. ;) I actually think it looks really cool with the open shelves, too! I will find them though. :)

  24. you did such a wonderful job with that cabinet, vickie! it shows off the cute sewing machine so well! the dresser and dress form are fabulous, too! and i love the bejeweled clock! your daughter made out well, too!

  25. Vickie, your cabinet/cupboard/hutch is amazing. You are a woodworking genius!

  26. What a great piece, love how you've styled it!!

  27. Oh gosh, I love it! It's perfect. And that dress is to die for. I live in a house built in 1891 so I understand wonky walls and floors!


  28. It is stunning! What a great idea to hang it on the wall. Good job!

  29. Such an amazing project. So is your daughter suffering giver's remorse now?

  30. Vickie, Your make overs are always amazing, great idea to hang it on the wall. Can't believe you go that dress for only $35 a great find! Stay warm, Laura

  31. I adore it! It sounds like hanging it was a bit of nail biter too. What a cute sewing machine and that cute, cute clock. "Maids day off." haha.

  32. Vickie every time I stop by I end up laughing out loud. The cupboard came out wonderful, I don't know how you did it without the infamous internet, but the apple vinegar and watered down paint was perfect. And I want that charming little clock. (looks like we have the same maid) I hope all is well, I'm catching up on some of my favorite blogs while I take a break from my boxes.

  33. Your cupboard came out wonderful, and I think you did such a great job, the new wood looks original to it!

  34. You never fail to perform miracles with old things! Would you do my makeover?

  35. Whoa that is gorgeous Vickie! You did a wonderful job aging it too! Sometimes the best results come from mistakes.Love it!

  36. Wonderful cupboard! I love the curtains in place of glass. (I have a few of those wonky walls, too.)

  37. Vickie, your cupboard turned out PERFECT!! Love that patina...and the little blingy alarm clock, too :)

  38. Ohhh!! Vickie, I LOVE your cabinet!!! It is absolutely beautiful! Love the wood tones with just a bit of chippy white paint left. Perfection!

    Melissa @ Shabby Love

  39. Gorgeous, Vickie! The new wood looks like it was always there. Nice job aging the stain with vinegar and white paint. It is really beautiful! I love that you traded pieces with your daughter. I bet the mirror looks great in her home too!

  40. Vicki! This is fabulous!!!! I don't know what else to say.

  41. What a beautiful job you did with that cupboard! I love it, and all those delightful little treasures as well! How nice to have a daughter to swap goodies with...her new mirror is lovely as well! xo

  42. I love little cabinets of all shapes and sizes and yours is no exception! Love the little vignette you created. Your toy sewing machine fits perfectly! It was meant to be. Oh, and I swap things with family members all the time, too!

  43. Great look and beautiful job you did to get it there.
    Audrey Z. @ Timeless Treasures

  44. I LOVE that cupboard and it looks perfectly straight to me. I really like how you finished it too, the end result was the best, better than the stain. It's really cool! I also like that Eastlake below it and that mirror that you gave to your daughter is a real beauty! Love the rhinestone clock too!

  45. What a cute cabinet. I think you blended the old and new wood perfectly and it looks totally straight to me. Great addition to your sewing area. If you hadn't mentioned the drawers, no one would even know they were missing.

  46. that cabinet is amazing, what wonderful treasures you have!!! Its me, Laurie, from I love a cloudy day, in December I lost more of my vision and I thought my blogging had come to an end, through technology I am back using a program for the visually impaired, I had to start over but my new blog has almost the same name, I missed blogging so much and I hope to be able to start fresh, slowly slowy,

  47. Love your new wall cabinet!! Your finishing treatment worked perfectly, too. It looks completely amazing ~Angela~


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