Patina Inspiration!| A Primitive Cupboard


October 2, 2014 by Terry

I’ve said it a few times… the uglier the piece, the better!  Really my blog title should read “Making the broken AND ugly beautiful” Lol!

The before and after of this piece is amazing and I’m so excited to share my latest project with you.  This is going to be a post dripping with pictures!  I could look at this pretty little cabinet all day!

Primitive cabinet before picThis little cupboard was doomed for the dump.  It’s owner thought it was ugly and was going to trash it.  I thought that while it was ugly and poorly painted (note the dripping goopy red glaze on it) it did have some pretty features.  It is low profile and the hardware was original and primitive.

I told her to let me take it home, strip it of it’s red tackiness and dress it up with some pretty legs… this is how she turned out!

DSCN3052Under all that red was gorgeous patina just waiting to be found!!!!

First I stripped off all the paint and tacky velvet wall paper…

IMG_3372IMG_3371Six long hours of scraping just to get the red off.  My arms were aching like they were going to fall off by the time I finished.  Underneath all that red nastiness were some lovely layers of sage green, mustard yellow and white paint.  I decided to stop the stripping process at this point so I could use these layers left as primitive patina.

I removed the doors.  Cut off the bottom part of the cupboard.  Added crown molding to the top and bottom of the cupboard and then put on some pretty legs I bought at Windsor Plywood.

I sprayed the whole piece (doors included) with Espresso colored spray paint in a matte finish (this is a dark brown rich color).

After some dry time I gave everything a coat of chalk paint in the color “Amber Waves of Grain” from The American Chalk Paint Company.  When dry, I went over the whole piece with 180 grit sandpaper to smooth out any brush strokes.  Then I went over it again with another coat of paint followed by more sanding but this time I used 220 grit.  After sanding it down to reveal the espresso paint and some of the original patina, I finished it off with a light sanding using 400 grit to give it a super smooth feel.

After hours of sanding (literally as I do it all by hand) I then got out the clear wax and the whole piece got a generous coat.  I used Miss Mustard Seed’s clear wax for this and applied it with a brush, making sure to really rub it into the chalk paint.

IMG_3560The wax REALLY highlights the patina…the darker yellow is waxed, the lighter part is unwaxed… huge difference…

IMG_3565As the wax sets it lightens back up a bit to a lighter yellow… the next picture is of one leg without wax yet followed by a picture of one with wax on it……

IMG_3566Very dull and chalky… to butter smooth, rich and shiny…

IMG_3571After the clear wax was applied I went over the whole piece again but with dark Antiquing wax by The American Chalk Paint Company. I was careful to wipe away the excess with a soft cloth right away so as not to over darken it.  I find this brand’s dark wax to be a little too on the “rusty” side by way of color for me, but it gave this piece just the right amount of warmth for the yellow color I was applying it to.

I decided that the backboard of the cabinet should have a little pop of surprise on the inside.  I painted, sanded and waxed it with clear wax first.  Then I taped off the whole back in a large lattice pattern using very skinny painter’s tape. I went over that with the dark wax again and buffed it to a smooth finish.  I removed the tape to reveal a lovely pattern created by the dark wax and tape.

IMG_4605Oh the beautiful patina created by paint, sanding and wax!!!

IMG_3576 IMG_3572Time to take her inside and pretty her up even more for a photo shoot :0) !

DSCN3105DSCN3086I love how the design inside gives it that little bit of added interest…

DSCN3084Each shelf inside has it’s original dents and dings accented by paint and wax for even more character…

DSCN3081DSCN3090DSCN3089DSCN3093DSCN3078The Insides of the cupboard doors are also pretty with the wearing paint.

DSCN3064DSCN3059DSCN3057The top is buffed to a high shine as well…you can see the reflection of the ornaments on it! Soooooo smooth



Here’s the recap…

Before & After red cabinet picI fell in love with this little cupboard … I would love to have her as my own but sadly for me she belongs to another.  I will just have to keep my eyes open for trashy little cabinets so I can make one for myself :0)

Take care!



Linking up to:

Anderson + Grant

Miss Mustard Seed’s Furniture Feature Friday

DIY Show Off

The Scoop

Pink When

Stephanie Lynn’s Sunday Showcase Party

French Country Cottage’s Feathered Nest Friday


26 thoughts on “Patina Inspiration!| A Primitive Cupboard

  1. Terry – this is amazing! You put so much work into it and it shows! I love the detail on the backboard. So fantastic! And you staged it beautifully.


  2. Laura Brzegowy says:

    Beautiful “fun”, Terry! I say fun because I can feel your enthusiasm. This is lots of fun for you, rather than work. ; ) Truly, your posts always inspire me because of the beauty they inject into my life. Thanks for what you do!


    • Thank you so much Laura…I really mean that! You are so encouraging and uplifting! I am blessed to have a friend in blog land like you!

      Have a wonderful weekend!
      Smiles (and hugs) !


  3. lindaglovinghome says:

    My goodness….Beautiful! I would have looked and kept walking. Wonderful work you do. Love the wearing paint and all the details!


  4. Patricia says:

    This cupboard is wonderful! A great old piece given the respect and authenticity it deserves. That red paint and velvet wallpaper were horrid. Well done!


  5. Joanne says:

    I LOVE LOVE my new cupboard. Terry you nail it! Thanks for all your hard work


    • Whew! I am sooooooo happy that you’re happy! I love that cabinet too so if you’re ever wanting to part with it…
      Call me first! :0) !!!

      Thank you for giving me the opportunity to create something for you!… Thank you for your trust!



  6. irisabbey says:

    It’s as though you had X-ray vision. What a transformation! You did a terrific job, and your hard work really paid off.


  7. Patra says:

    Love this! You did a wonderful job and I absolutely LOVE the detail inside the cabinet. You gave it dimension and interest!!! Well done :-) I want one.


  8. Amy says:

    What a fantastic transformation!! You really did a lovely job!


  9. This is an AMAZING transformation! I can’t believe that you were able to get the red off. Why would anyone have mistreated this beautiful cupboard like that :) Thanks you so much for linking this up….I’ll be choosing it as one of my favorites on Thursday’s party!


    • Thank you so much for the compliments! I am excited and flattered that you are choosing this piece as a favorite! I just recently discovered your blog and I am enjoying all the inspiration on it :0)


  10. […] cupboard was destined for the dump until Terry saw the potential underneath. As she tells us at The Curator’s Collection, “I thought that while it was ugly and poorly painted (note the dripping goopy red glaze on […]


  11. Liz Anthony says:

    OH-MY-GOODNESS!!! I am in love with that cabinet. I love taking furniture to rescue but I could have NEVER nailed it like u did. That has got to be one of the best redos I have ever seen! Talk abt trash to treasure. The owner is one lucky girl!


  12. Cheryl says:

    Oh my… You did a fantastic job on this. I just love it.


    • Hello Cheryl! I really fell in love with this piece! I was sad that I couldn’t keep it … I do have “dibs” on if it the owner ever wants to let it go :0) …. Sadly, I don’t believe that is ever going to happen. lol
      Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to comment!


  13. […] I have been wanting to do another yellow piece.  I absolutely love the two I did previously (click here and here to view)  and have been itching to find a piece that would suit the […]


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