Project Twenty Two: Small Cabinet Completed

Small Cabinet After

Found Item: Small cabinet with mirror

Where: Beside the el tracks near a boarded up frame house

The Makeover: I first removed the front latch and the plastic holders for the mirror.  I soaked the latch, which had a nice decorative element, in non-toxic citrus stripper.

Then, decades of paint had to go.  The first six layers scraped off easily, though the last ones needed coaxing with a heat gun.  I replaced the warped back with a new one cut from scrap lumber.  With the wood sanded smooth inside and out, I brushed on a coat of shellac as an odor barrier to any old cabinet scents, then followed with two coats of Kilz primer.

Krylon Glass FrostingThe Mirror: When last we met, the mirror etching was maddeningly unsuccessful. The etching cream bled through the masking tape I’d arranged for a stripe pattern on the surface. Plan B was just as bad.  I tried a spray paint for frosting glass. It contains a solvent that instantly saturated the tape and dissolved the glue, leaving it behind on the mirror’s surface.  I started over, wiping everything clean with Goof Off, then quickly removing the masking tape after spraying on the paint.

The final coat is white semi-gloss on the outside and a greyish blue color called Stargazer inside the cabinet.


I filled several nail holes on the inside drawer. Undoubtedly Lincoln tacked up a note to himself one night on his way to Gettysburg.  Years later, the cabinet served as communication central for a young couple on the north side:

Dear Phoebe,

I love you more and more each day. Your golden hair, your laughing blue eyes are my world.

P.S. You look fetching in the pink gown. I beseech you, don it on again tonight and my dreams will come true.



Materials: Maxi Citrus Paint Stripper, Behr Semigloss White and Stargazer color paint, Kilz Indoor/Outdoor primer, Zinsser Bulls Eye Shellac, Krylon Spray Frosted Glass Finish, heat gun, orbital sander


One Response

  1. don’t etch glass. go to your neighborhood FastSigns or some such sign shop and ask for some frosted vinyl. you can cut it with an exacto and IT LOOKS GREAT! pay attention when you see frosted glass graphics. touch them; they are all frosted vinyl.

    Laura F. from Little Rock

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