With or without: a furniture redo

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You may remember this sad little cabinet that I found at a yard sale several weeks ago.  It was in pretty bad shape with peeling veneer, loose glass, and a completely detached back.

In spite of all that, there was still something charming about it.  After some minor repairs, it was all ready for a bit of a makeover.  I painted the outside with Valspar Cooled Lava (a current favorite) and decided to go for a pop of color on the inside with Behr Peacock Feather.
I have to say she looks about 1000 times better than the before.  And I am really liking the modern colors with the vintage shape.
But, I am also torn.  I love the little legs and detailing on this piece.  But I think the front may be a bit busy – and it will look even more busy once it is full of dishes or books or whatnots.  Perhaps it would be more polished without the detailing in the door?
I’m really not sure – but I’m leaning toward without.  What do you all think?  With or without?
I am linking this project at Get Your DIY On.
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  1. says

    It looks great love the color combination. I like the detail but I’m thinking that when you fill it with dishes and accessories it may look busy like you said. I’d have to see it but I’m leaning towards without because of the white dishes.

  2. says

    Keep the detail – it’s lovely, though I think you may like it better if you can put it in front of the glass. My china cabinet has the detail behind the glass and it drives me nuts b/c it makes the fake panes so obvious. Fill it with white stuff like ivenad suggested and it won’t compete as much.

  3. says

    I think I may be the only one voting for the “plain” door! I really like that look if you are planning to show off some treasures in there. Really beautiful transformation!

  4. says

    I love this makeover! You did an excellent job. Please leave the detailed front. It adds to its charm and with well chosen items inside it would continue to look beautiful! I promise!

  5. says

    Hi! Honestly I think it looks lovely both ways but you definately have a point about the busy-ness of the detail. I guess it depends on what you want to put in the cabinet. Maybe, you can take the detail off and save it somewhere in case you want to put it back on? Good luck!
    Cas x

  6. says

    I have found that my tastes change from time to time. I like options. If you like it without do it without for awhile. Put it away for now. If you change your mind and want a different look, put it back on. From my point of view, I would choose without.

  7. says

    Lovely cabinet… I am surprised that at the rough shape that it was in that the detailing was still intact! I have seen lots with less damage with some of the detailing missing.

  8. says

    Plain door. The detail is beautiful, but with the inside color and even the most simple pieces inside it’s too busy.
    I definitely think you could use it alone to accent something else beautifully.
    Great make-over!

  9. says

    OK, you don’t really need another opinon, but I feel I must. KEEP THE DETAIL! Without it, it’s just another cabinet. WITH it, it’s a beautiful cabinet. PULEEZE say you’ll keep it!!!!!

  10. says

    I liked it with the detail until you posed the idea of plain door==much more industrial. The detail is busy, but nice. Could you put in over the blue back panel, to offset it against the blue, and to preserve its beauty, and to be able to save it, at the same time? This is a perfect sized apartment cabinet, by the way!

  11. says

    what an amazingly great piece! I love when the before picture is so sad and then the after is so so wonderful—you are the best at that! And this piece was SO wonderfully finished :o) I just LOVE coming over to your site and checking out what you are up to! :o)
    Jaime from crafty scrappy happy

  12. says

    LOVE this furniture redo. This is truly from trash to treasure. If only the people who sold it to you could see it now (they would probably pay you big money for this)! Just wanted to let you know that we featured your cabinet on Sew Woodsy today!

  13. says

    hi! I found your blog through searching furniture redo with veneer on google. I love what you did with this cabinet! I just got an almost identical cabinet from the curb but it’s in pretty poor condition. the veneer is peeling and chipped, the door is not in great condition (it has a similar insert detail like this piece) and has the same legs! No shelves in mine either, but it does have the back still in pretty good condition – I think. I can’t decide what to do with it or even how to start! I am a newbie and trying to get some pieces for our future home that we hope to buy. Could you share more detail as to how you worked this miraculous transformation? I would love to salvage the piece I have and make it look as amazing as yours turned out! Thank you!

  14. says

    Hi Carrie, I found your lovely cabinet over at the Get Your DIY On Party. I love the color combination and I’m liking the cabinet with or without the insert. With the insert would look great with white trinkets behind it and without would look great with colorful trinkets with coral, blues, and greens.

    • Carrie says

      Thanks Marie – that is why I was so torn. It really does look good both ways! Though I did end up putting the insert back in.

  15. says

    Carrie this is a beautiful piece! I am in love with the blue on the inside- stunning!! I am featuring it on my blog today for the Get Your DIY On Features- thank you for linking up your Trash To Treasure Projects with us and I hope you’ll be back on April 6th to link up Spring Projects!

    Mandy @ The Hankful House Blog
    Mandy Hank recently posted…Trash to Treasure FeaturesMy Profile

  16. says

    Hi! Honestly I do believe that seems to be wonderful both equally approaches but you certainly use a position concerning the busy-ness on the aspect. I guess this will depend on what you long for to work the particular cabinet. Possibly, you can get the particular aspect down and also conserve that a place in the event you want to put it back on? Good luck!

    • Carrie says

      Thanks Debbie! Looking back, I really didn’t give a lot of detail in that post! Sorry about that. Before painting, I used wood glue to reattach the loose bits of veneer. Then I sanded the whole thing to smooth everything out. I used an oil-based primer to help make sure the old dark wood finish didn’t bleed through the paint and then very lightly sanded everything one last time. And then paint. Hope that helps. I don’t always do all of that prep work but this piece was in really poor shape and needed it.

      • Mrs. Larry says

        Carrie, the paint color: cooled lava by Valspar, for the outside of the cabinet…..was that sprayed or brushed on? If brushed, what type of brush did you use to
        get the sprayed-on look?

        • Carrie says

          The paint was brushed on. To get a really smooth paint finish, I used a Purdy paint brush for the corners and edges. (The Purdy 2 inch angle brush is my favorite.) I used a small foam roller for the large, flat surfaces. These are often labeled as being for doors and trim and say for smooth surfaces. To keep the finish really smooth, you can also lightly sand with a high grit sandpaper in between coats if it looks like it needs it. Good luck!

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