When we bought the beach cottage, it was little more than a shell. It has been almost completely gutted inside and there was almost nothing left of the original house except the framing. With little to use in the new design that was original, I felt it was important to keep and reuse what little we had from the drainboard sink to the kitchen cupboard.
The last thing in the kitchen that we took out was this old cupboard. It was built into the framing of the house and was difficult to demo at all let alone remove to reuse. B and I spent an entire afternoon trying to get the cabinet out and once we finally did, there wasn’t much left holding it together.
I really wanted to keep it and reuse it in the dining area but it was in bad shape before we removed it and even worse once we got it loose from the kitchen walls.
Determined to give it a new life and not just scrap it, I armed myself with some scrap wood, tools and a little thought. There was no plan to make this cabinet usable again so it was a lot of trial and error.
I added some bracing to the back, framed in a base that helped stiffen up the base and also gave me a bottom shelf. I secured the side panels after they got pretty loose when removing the cabinet from the kitchen and I reattached the shelves to the support rails on the bottom.
I also added a piece under the door opening on the bottom to hide the framing I added for bracing on the bottom. I used scraps from our bead board tongue and groove flooring and I love how the bead detail ties into the detail on the rails on the upper cabinet.
The finishing touch was adding beadboard to the back. This helped square things up and got everything stiffened up.
The original doors are gone along with the hardware so I’ve had to rethink how to make the cabinet usable while giving us needed storage but my handiwork paid off.
Once I was happy with the construction, I used a heat gun to strip off all the layers of old paint. It took some time and muscle but it cleaned up really well.
A fresh coat of paint made the cabinet look like a brand new piece! I am beyond excited with the progress. It’s better than I thought.
I still have some touch up paint to do and I plan to paint the beadboard white on the back. I will also be staining and sealing the counter so it’s natural wood. This will tie in nicely to the butcher block counters we plan to use in the kitchen.
I’ll also be making little curtains to hang on the bottom in place of the doors that are gone. On top, I’m still undecided on building doors or using baskets.
Overall, I’m thrilled with how this project is going. A little bit of work and some effort has saved up a ton of money not having to buy kitchen cabinets for this side of the room! Even better, it’s one of the few things that was part of the original cottage.