Ugly Green $1 Cabinet

About: Technical Editor for two magazines. Software tester for the computer controlled electronic brakes of Locomotives.

I was at a farm auction. Walking around looking at the various lots of items to be auctioned off, I saw Lot #8, an abused little cabinet. It had multiple layers of poorly applied paint, a Porcelain top and hardware that was the correct period for our vintage bathroom re-model. It even looked like it might fit.

The lot came up and no one bid. Finally I heard the Auctioneer say "$1, Anybody?"......... "Here!"

So I had my $1 cabinet!

Step 1: So I Have It, But What Am I Going to Do With It?

As it turned out, the cabinet was too wide to fit in the Bathroom makeover at least where I originally intended it to go. So, it just kind of sat in a corner of my workshop for weeks until I got to thinking, that I could disassemble the cabinet, cut it in two and put the pieces back together and make it fit!

Step 2: Cut It Down and Reassemble It

Here you can see where I have cut the frame and reassembled it using Pocket screws. I chopped about 6" out of the frame and then cut the rear panel to fit the smaller frame.

Step 3: New Shelves

I took the old bottom and fitted it to the middle shelf because that was the only piece of the cabinet that would fit the slot of the missing middle shelf. The bottom shelf was a scrap piece of the Bathroom Beadboard wall, turned upside down.

Step 4: Fully Reassembled But Still Ugly!

With all the pieces re-installed, it looked like the original cabinet again, only 6" narrower. If you look close you can see the cut lines.

Step 5: Test Fit

Slid into place beside the 1957 American Standard sink. Looks like it just might work!

Step 6: All the Paint Must Be Scraped Off.

As I was scraping the cabinet down to something solid, I discovered the original paint color was Blue. That is what I intended it to be! Only this time it is American Standard, Regency Blue. To get the Regency Blue, you order a color chip from Bemis toilet seats here: http://www.classic-colors.com/ .

Take the chip to any place that can scan colors and you have your perfect color match, in this case 1957 American Standard Regency Blue.

Step 7: Old Porcelain Top Won't Fit

Since the cabinet was shrunk 6" in width, the metal Porcelain top would not fit. As I had done in the Kitchen remodel, you construct a wooden base out of 3/4" plywood and the backsplash is 1 x 4" pine, glued and Pocket screwed to the base plywood. Then take that to a local metal brake and have them make you a new top in Stainless Steel. This also was roughly a period correct material.

Step 8: Tart It Up!

The cut lines were sanded to hide them. The cabinet was primed with Kiltz primer and then paint!
The interior is Gloss White, the exterior is American Standard Regency Blue in Semi-Gloss.
A period Porcelain drawer pull was added (NOT a repo!)

Step 9: Remove the Protective Coating Off the Stainless Steel Top

She is really looking like something now! Just got to add the door!

Step 10: It Fits!

The original door hardware was buffed and re-installed. With the cabinet set in place, it looks like it has always been there.

Eventually gotta get that Baseboard painted!
Not bad for a $1 auction find. Total outlay was less that $100. It was a fun project. And made possible with Pocket screws, glue and a chop saw.

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    2 Discussions

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    Alex in NZ

    2 months ago

    That looks absolutely perfect in its final place. Thank you for sharing the process :-)

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    techicreate

    2 months ago

    When I look at your green cabinet at first time,It looked really ugly :-/
    But after end of your project you make a useful and lovely thing. Thanks for sharing this project with us.:-)