Monday, July 25, 2011

Antique Medicine Cabinet Before & After

During my garage sale expedition Saturday I picked up this antique medicine cabinet for $10.  It was marked $15 and when I carried it up to the seller she said she'd take $10.  I'm normally not a haggler and didn't ask for the discount, but I sure took it!

Driving home with the piece, I was debating whether or not to put a mirror back in it as originally intended or to just pop off the back board in the door and put glass in.  I even went to Hobby Lobby and bought some mirrored glass to cut, but upon reflection (ha!) I opted for the clear glass.

I had to refinish it.  Normally I try to leave things "as is" as much as possible but this was in rough shape and had almost no finish left on it to protect the wood; you can see scuffs and scratches (click on the picture to enlarge).  The inside had very little finish at all.  It needed some TLC.

So I dusted off my refinishing skills (not my favorite hobby), went to WalMart and got some stain, sandpaper and polyurethane, and cleaned it up. 

This is the finished result:

There was no knob on it when I bought it so I added one of the glass knobs I bought on Friday.

I'll never make a living in the refinishing business but it turned out pretty good, I think.  It's hanging in my bathroom and I'm going to put a few medicinal knickknacks in there.

I have my grandfathers old Rolls Razor in there now, a vintage milk glass Mentholatum bottle, and old Vapo-Cresoline bottle that I paid $1.00 for, and an amber pharmacutical bottle I dug up out of the backyard (my grandfather was a pharmacist).

Oh, there's also an old Early Times key ring on that second shelf.  My mom's whiskey.  It's medicinal.  I swear.

I took the glass from an old frame I was no longer using, trimmed it to fit, and popped it in.  Counting the refinishing supplies, my total investment in this piece is less than $25.00.  

I should probably hang something from that dowel rod but I'm not sure what yet.  Still a work in progress.


Tina said...

Oh this is so cute! Good job! Those knobs were a killer buy - have you seen what the repro ones go for? I think you made a good choice to put the glass in it so you can show off the old bottles and jars.

Sarah said...

I have a bookcase I've been working on for two years if you want to come over! I need your decorating abilities.

Steve said...

Sarah, If you take us to Stone Mountain and down to the Varsity for lunch, it's a deal.