Hey there! 🙂 This project has been a very long time in the making. It took me a LOT longer to finish than what I thought it would! It didn’t help that we went on vacation for two weeks in the middle of the project. And of course I had a ton of stuff to catch up on around the house once we got home. I had planned to have it finished before we left, but you know what they say about the best laid plans. 🙂
This cabinet had been in my parent’s garage for as long as I can remember. (I’m pushing 50, so that’s a pretty long time.) 🙂 My dad used it as a gun shell reloader. He had all his reloading equipment mounted to the top of the cabinet. I wish took a picture of it with all the reloading equipment still attached, but when we dug it out of my parent’s garage after my dad passed away last year, I had no idea what to do with it. I just knew I wanted to keep it because since it was my dad’s it would be really nice if I could repurpose it someday.
I have no idea how old this cabinet is or where my dad got it. It doesn’t have any manufacturer markings. It does have what looks to be a handle on one side, so it may have been some kind of cart. When I turned it on its side to inspect the bottom, I noticed there are holes in the bottom of the legs where wheels might have been attached, which supports the cart theory. Any guesses on what this was originally?
The cabinet had three brackets across the top. I don’t think they were there originally – my dad probably put them on to keep the wood from splitting from the weight of the heavy reloading equipment mounted on it. I debated on removing the brackets as they did add a certain charm, but in the end I decided to remove them as to not interfere with anything I placed on top.
The cabinet has one copper tray in its first shelf. The two drawers are also lined with copper trays. Again, I don’t think these are original to the cabinet… the hole in the shelf was not cut out well, and all the trays are roughly made. I think my dad needed some kind of metal trays to store some of his reloading supplies, and the copper was the easiest for him to use for that purpose at the time. I decided to keep them on the cabinet as they do add some interest to the cabinet and they definitely are a conversation piece!
First thing I did was to wash the cabinet thoroughly. This cabinet had been sitting in my parent’s garage for 40+ years, so it was covered in dust, cobwebs, grease, spray paint, and grime in general. I know it’s not always the best idea to use water on wood furniture, but since this was going inside my home eventually, I wanted it really clean. I used a power washer and dishwashing soap to get it as clean as possible.
I sanded down the cabinet top using a palm sander. I don’t know what kind of wood this is. It does have a reddish tinge to it. Any guesses on what it could be?
I bought wooden dowels in different sizes, and my husband cut and glued them into the cabinet top. He also replaced the missing trim on the drawer frames.
I was so excited about the progress I was making that I totally forgot to take a picture of the refinished top before I started painting the rest of it! I applied two coats of Varathane Premium Fast Dry Wood Stain in Kona (where to buy) and then finished it off with two coats of Varathane Ultimate Polyurethane in Semi Gloss (where to buy). Varathane stain and polyurethane are my favorite by far for refinishing furniture. I’ve tried several other products and in my opinion none of them even come close. I love Varathane so much that I bought a quart of the stain and a gallon of the polyurethane, even though I certainly didn’t need that much for this project. A half pint of each would have been more than enough. But I wanted to have plenty of it on hand for my future projects! 🙂
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The first coat of paint! It already looks a lot better. I used old tile to put under the legs so I wouldn’t get (too much) paint on our shop floor. 🙂 I used a quart of Renaissance Chalk Furniture in Terre Verte (where to buy) and a half pint each of Renaissance clear wax (where to buy) and dark wax (where to buy). This is the first time I have used Renaissance products and I have to say that I’m pretty impressed! 🙂 The paint applies easily and smoothly, and the waxes are a good consistency and are very easy to use.
I applied three coats of paint total, leaving it dry thoroughly between coats. Then I distressed it and applied one coat of dark wax and two coats of clear wax, again leaving it dry thoroughly between coats.
I used lemon juice and salt to clean the copper trays. It worked well, but because of the amount of grime and spray paint on them it took a lot of time and elbow grease to get them clean.
I wish I could say I came up with some superbly creative way to repurpose something cool into wine bottle and glass racks for the cabinet. But instead I just bought them both on Amazon and refinished them to match the cabinet top. 🙂 You can buy the wine bottle rack here and the wine glass rack here.
Here’s how the sad little corner of my dining room looked before. The tiny wine rack that we were using just didn’t fill the space up and looked pretty lonely.
I think it looks a lot better now! 🙂
I made the shelves out of repurposed fence boards and mounted them on corbels that I bought and painted with chalk paint. You can buy the unfinished corbels here.
I used an old wine barrel end with the tap still in it as a tray. I put the little sticky round felt pads underneath to keep it from scratching the bar top. The flowers are Dahlias from my garden. The wine tap and plugs – including the one with the copper tap hanging on the corbel – were all found on my grandparent’s farm.
I fell in love with this wine tote when I saw it on Amazon and I just had to have it for my wine bar! You can get one for yourself here. And is the rooster weather vane wine stopper just to die for? You can get this on Amazon too right here! 🙂
This vintage wine press patent art print was part of a set of four wine themed patent art prints that I bought on Amazon. You can get a set for yourself here.
I love the copper lined drawers now that they are all clean and pretty! 🙂 I’m using them to store all my wine bottle openers.
The copper tray in the shelf makes a nice cork catcher 🙂
I love this paint color and how well it turned out on this project. 🙂
Franzia was the winery that bought wine grapes from everyone in the area who grew them, including my grandfather. This unopened bottle of champagne was from my uncle Aldo and aunt Auga’s wedding many years ago.
My grandfather never had any of his old grape boxes labeled with his name, so I decided to make one of my own using an old grape box end, a stencil and a sharpie marker. The wine bottle opener was also found on my grandparent’s farm.
This wine barrel hoop and stave wreath is from a project I did a while back: Funnel and Wine Barrel Wreath Tutorial. I used faux grape fine leaves to fill the funnel.
These are vintage pruning shears used from pruning grape vines and a pocket knife with a curved blade used for harvesting grape bunches. I mounted them on a piece of repurposed fence wood that I painted and distressed.
I wanted to buy a vintage wine-themed sign to fill up the empty space beside the wine bar, but I couldn’t find anything I liked. I decided to make this sign instead. This was made using Poor Richard font and my directions on how to make your own letters for signs without using stencils: DIY Painted Wood Signs – Without Using Stencils!
I hope you enjoyed this story about my old beat up wine bar transformed into a wine bar! 🙂 If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them in the comments section below!