A Cabinet Redo…

I was thinking back on my year in terms of project completion. The list is really, really short. I can count on one hand the projects that got done around here over the last year. That is less than 5 projects! Specifically, I can only think of 3ish.
The first was the outdoor table creation/completion I already talked about – way back in March. We used it all summer. It has been great – well worth the effort that went into getting it done.

The second project was a gardening thing. I wanted to add a bit of color to our front garden and add some plantings to an area on the north side of our house that has been just mulch and stepping stones. I did actually get started on both of these ideas. The change wasn’t all that dramatic so I am waiting to see how it looks next year before reporting success. Here is a sneak peek, though.

Then – Tad posing with mulch and a few stepping stones – we had just planted some “steppables” between the stepping stones here…


Now – No Tad, but minimal wood mulch and some plantings…


The third and final project of 2015 involved getting a new cabinet for my workspace. This project is what I am presenting today. I have talked about this situation a few times. Initially, I thought I was getting a custom designed/made cabinet of mahogany recycled from old rail cars. That idea never came to fruition. I was bummed about the outcome. I immediately moved on to a new idea that involved getting someone to remake an existing furniture piece that we already had and no longer needed. The first wood worker I contacted was on board immediately. I had put this off for 6-8 months thinking it was going to be a lengthy ordeal finding someone willing to do this. I was a little surprised. I just called them up, they agreed, they put me on their schedule, they got it done, I finished it, and it is very nice. No elaborate, twisted, mysterious story. Just a pleasant path to completion…

This is what we started with.

Sticks cabinet...

I had some pretty specific requirements for the new cabinet. It was going to have to fit into a pre-existing corner of my workspace and it needed to provide enough storage for everything I currently had in this much larger/taller cabinet.


Here were my requirements – and how it all worked out.
42-44 inches wide X 22-24 inches deep X 28-29.5 inches high. Done – it fits the space perfectly.


Easy to clean under and around – so, up on a base or easily movable. Done – easily movable with felt pads on the bottom of the reused log feet.


Area to hide the bulky work printer on the right side – on an adjustable shelf. Done – the ugly printer remains hidden behind closed doors – on an adjustable shelf.


Two file drawers on the left side – to accommodate letter sized files. Done – I ended up only needing one drawer for files and the other for miscellaneous storage.

File drawer

Micellaneous drawer

Good construction, quality hardware, and a stylish design. Done. They did a really nice job putting things back together after deconstructing it. No new hardware was needed because they were able to reuse the old stuff, which was good quality to begin with. Finally, they were able to rework the piece and optimize the majority of the artwork that I had hoped to preserve.


Natural wood rather than painted wood as the finish. This requirement obviously changed once I decided to recycle our existing cabinet. The cabinet was returned to me with areas that needed to be touched up/finished and blended with the existing art.


I ended up using tinted water based stains and a compatible water based finish. Mostly it was finishing the interior,


Inside finish

the edges that had been cut down,



the top,



and I had to add one leaf to cover up where the door handle used to be.


Designed to coordinate with our maple flooring, natural cherry baseboards/window trim, rusty finish stair railings and desk base, and the zebrawood desk top. I think it works into the eclectic feel of the space.


I would love to check my workspace off the master To Do List. Sadly, I cannot. There has been a revision that prevents that part of the list from being completely checked off. You may have noticed (or not) that I stained the top of the new cabinet green.


If you noticed that, you may be wondering (or not) what happened to the old cabinet top. Well, I opted to not have the top of the existing cabinet cut up to fit the reworked piece. It felt like a lot of the artwork would have been lost. It sits in the extra bedroom (now storage room) waiting for its new life…

The Top
I am now thinking about using the old top as my desktop. I would replace the current zebrawood top.

Then, I would reuse the zebrawood top on some other table. Maybe, a sofa table because I could really use somewhere to put my tea when I am laying around in the living room – not doing projects. Or, maybe, I could just reuse the old cabinet top as the new sofa tabletop instead of playing musical tabletops – because I do like the zebrawood as the desk top. Or, I use the old cabinet top to create a new breakfast table in the sunroom since I still need to check that off my list.
I just don’t know.
This is why I only accomplished 3 projects in the last year.
Every project leads to another project…