I recently received a call from one of my “furniture finders” about this television armoire cabinet. Yep, someone actually threw it away. Here is the story of the repurposed television armoire cabinet.
Dumpster Diving Tactics
With that being said, let me explain my “dumpster diving” tactics. My email inbox is always flooded with questions regarding my furniture finds. This armoire was found in a construction dumpster. Which means no household garbage. Just wood scraps, boxes, or anything else which pertains to a construction site. Possibly a little dirt, but nothing that can’t be cleaned off. Importantly, I DO NOT remove furniture items from household trash dumpsters unless they are on the ground next to it. I am sure some people do, but I choose not too. And trust me, I wish I could. Why, because I LOVE saving thrown out furniture. But it’s just too risky and well just plain gross.
Anyway, back to the repurposed television armoire cabinet makeover. Once we got the call, the Hubs and I immediately showed up on site. Luckily, there was a business located near the dumpster which had a few extra men who were eager to help the Hubs remove it from the dumpster. With that being said, it was solid wood and HEAVY, so I knew I could not be of much help.
I thoroughly inspected it after we got home and unloaded it from the truck before taking it inside. It was surprisingly clean! I did vacuum underneath and inside the cabinet, just to be on the safe side.
It sat in my workshop for over a week. For some odd reason, the week we found the piece, I was in a creative slump. I am telling you; no creative juices were flowing. Burnout had crept in. Which is normal, so I didn’t worry. I just simply walked away.
A few days had passed. I decided it was time to have a pow-wow in front of the beast that was torturing me. Enough was enough. I was determined to construct a plan, no matter what. I pulled up a chair and just sat in front of it, brainstorming ideas. Here are a few of my thoughts:
- This size cabinet is hard to sell in my area. As a matter of fact, they very rarely sell. Most people have larger televisions or they prefer smaller more decorative cabinets.
- The cabinet could be repurposed into an armoire, but that’s the NORM. I am not that type of flipper because I love thinking outside the box.
- I want a unique piece that the Hubs and I could work together on.
Discussion With the Hubs
After my brainstorming session, I discussed the points that I jotted down with the Hubs. The final decision was to cut the armoire in half. We would repurpose the bottom into a beautiful piece and the top could be repurposed into a cabinet.
The Prep Work
The Hubs went to work, removing the top using his circular saw.
I saved the two large doors! They can be used for all sorts of neat projects.
Here it is with the top removed.
Our hope was to save the top and create a cabinet, however, it was just too flimsy, and the inside was not worth the time to repair. The Hubs cut the pieces and placed them in our recycle bin for pickup. You can see a hutch top we repurposed and saved HERE.
Constructing the New Top
The top was damaged in one small area, but Hubs to the rescue! He would construct a planked top.
The Hubs used 1x6x8’s and cut them to the length needed for the top (you can get these from Lowe’s or your local home improvement store). For the trim, he used a 1x2x8.
He sanded all the pieces with 220-grit sandpaper using his orbital sander.
The new top was attached using wood glue and nails. The hubs first glued the strips into place.
He then used his brad nailer and nailed each piece for extra adhesion. He attached the trim using the same method.
PIN for Later!
Staining the Top
The first order of business was the stain for the top. I chose Dixie Belle’s Voodoo Stain. You can get yours HERE.
I mixed two colors together, Tobacco Road and Up in Smoke. One was a light brown color, and the other was gray.
I used a piece of tack cloth to remove any sanding dust and wiped with a damp cloth. After it dried, I applied a coat of the mixed stain to the top, and I was IN LOVE! How gorgeous is this? And, the Vodoo stain is very easy to use.
Adding Accents to the Doors
I had these corner pieces for cabinet doors in my stash. I decided to use these on the doors to give the cabinet a little more depth.
My plan was to distress the cabinet so the pretty wood would peek through. The wood applique was a lighter wood, so I needed to darken it up a bit. I applied one coat of Minwax English Chestnut (it matched the color of the cabinet) to each applique.
After the wood appliques dried overnight, I added them to the corner of the doors using E6000.
Most importantly it is very important to let the E6000 dry overnight.
The Paint Process
My color choice was Dixie Belle’s Drop Cloth. I would describe it as an antique white.
The next day, I cleaned the entire cabinet with my vinegar and water solution (1 part vinegar, 1 part water). After it dried, I applied one coat of paint to the entire base of the cabinet and the two doors, including the wood appliques. (I did not paint the inside). After about 4 hours of drying time, I applied a second coat. It only took two coats of paint.
After the paint dried overnight, I distressed the cabinet by hand with a piece of 220-grit sandpaper after allowing the paint to dry overnight. After that, the wood appliques were also distressed.
I sanded the entire piece lightly with 220-grit sandpaper to achieve a smooth surface even the doors (by hand). After, I cleaned the sanding dust away with a tack cloth. To seal the piece, I applied one coat of Minwax Finishing Paste. Next, I applied a layer of the wax to the top.
In addition, we added new hardware to the doors which were purchased from Amazon. I was delighted with the quality, and the rusty patina was gorgeous!
We attached the doors to the cabinet. I left the door hinges black, I did not paint it.
Here is the finished piece. Isn’t the cabinet absolutely a beauty?
See how the distressing gives it a worn look and coordinates with the hardware?
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Products For This Project
See these other pieces we saved from the dump!
Another piece saved from the landfills, by the way! Remember, “It’s not about what it is, it’s about what it will be.”