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!
Such a wonderful way to restore something that was your dad’s. Now it has a permanent place in your home. Such a nice memory. Always close to your heart.
Thanks so much Earlene! 🙂
Melissa | Welsh Design Studio says
Awesome makeover! Your wine bar looks fantastic…and inviting!! 🙂
Thanks so much Melissa! 🙂
I absolutely love how you transformed your Dad’s old beat up cabinet into a fabulous wine bar. The rustic copper inserts are fabulous and suggest there is a story behind this cabinet. Your wine tasting sign is perfect along with your attention to detail in creating fabulous wall art with sentimental objects. So lovely, Michelle – want a wine bar now. Pinned to share and for inspiration.
Awe, thank you so much Marie! 🙂 It’s always great when I get such glowing feedback from a project so long in the making. Thanks for pinning and sharing! 🙂
Yes yes yes. This is the cutest thing ever. I have been dying to do a project like this, but haven’t found the right piece yet. Thank you for sharing – such an inspiration.
Awe, thank you so much Candace! I’m happy you found this inpiring! 🙂
Wow, Michelle–love it! Great job & thanks for sharing @ Vintage Charm! Pinned!
Thanks so much Cecilia! 🙂
So gorgeous! You really knocked it outta the park with your wine bar. Congrats, you’re featured at the This Is How We Roll Link Party.
Awe, thank you so much Susan! 🙂 I’m flattered you chose it for one of your features this week!
Jeannee Taylor says
That is a truly inspiring and genius redo! I love it!
Awe thanks so much Jeannee! 🙂
Donna France says
That piece is ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL!!! I also LOVE the vintage pruning shears and pocket knife used as art. Just curious…how did you mount them? Glue?
Awe thank you so much Donna! 🙂 I used finishing nails and E6000 glue to mount the pruning shears and pocket knife.
Donna France says
Thanks Michelle. I have a couple of vintage tools kicking around. I’m going to try your idea. Thanks for the inspiration!
You’re very welcome Donna! 🙂
Nikki Gwin says
Your wine bar itself is absolutely fabulous. But this whole area that you have designed and decorated with antique memorabilia and crafts is spectacular! I love it.
I am wanting to make a wood sign for our apiary, so I am now going to read about how you made yours.
Thanks so much Nikki! Your comments made my day! 🙂
I love everything about this makeover! What a wonderful look you’ve given it. Thanks for sharing at Brag About It. I’ll be featuring it as this week’s party.
Awe thank you so much Beverly! 🙂 I’m flattered that you chose it for one of your features this week!
Kathleen Rupp says
I saw your feature from Across the Blvd. This is such a cool makeover!! A furniture makeover and re-purpose that looks amazing. It’s such a great idea:) I also like the paint color you used.
Thank you so much Kathleen! 🙂
Love, love, love what you did with the whole look in your wine nook!! The cabinet is stunning as well as all the other features you put together to create the look. You mentioned that you weren’t sure of the type of wood the cabinet is, I think it looks like mahogany. I have some old pieces of mahogany bedroom furniture that look similar in color.
Thank you so much Debbie! 🙂 And thank you for your help IDing the cabinet wood – it’s not quite like anything I’ve ever seen before as most of the furniture I have is built out of pine, so you are probably right that it is mahogany. Thanks again! 🙂
I am new to your sight. It was an interesting topic in a “Hometalk” email I ceived today. I have to say that is one of the most beautiful, family history transformation I have ever seen. I am not a transformative lyreative person, although I am crafty in thscrapbooking and card making realm, but I grew up o a farm that has since been destroyed and the story behind your family and your wine nook is simply amazing. I would be overjoyed to have this complete display in my home! Thank you for sharing the DIY and story behind it with all of us.
Awe you’re welcome Darlene, and thank you so much for your kind comments 🙂 I find we all have creative talents, it’s just a matter of finding the right medium for expressing our personal creatitivy. It sounds like you found yours in scrapbooking and card making – I bet your work is beautiful! Thanks again and have a wonderful weekend! 🙂
This is so pretty!! 🙂
I would love for you to share this with my Facebook Group for recipes, crafts, tips, and tricks: https://www.facebook.com/groups/pluckyrecipescraftstips/
Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!
You’re so welcome Jess! Thank you for hosting! 🙂
Awesome how this turned out! I especially like the way you distressed and applied that dark wax – it looks genuine! I do admire your skill!
Awe thank you so much Meret! 🙂
First of all, you did a beautiful job on the cabinet! It is perfect in the wine area you created.
Second, my dad also reloaded his own shotgun shells on an old metal office desk. I can still smell the gunpowder sometimes. I used to help him do it, too. Not many young girls could say they know how to do that!
Thanks so much Judy! 🙂 And yes, I used to help my dad reload shells too. Treasured memories! 🙂
What a fabulous way to honor your dad and granddad!
Thank you so much Julie! 🙂
Very cool & clever! And because of your family, some of those pieces you added to it have meaning.
Thanks so much Linda! 🙂
Kathy Vick says
I absolutely love your project!!! You did a fabulous job and it looks expensive. I have one question (and I read your post twice so I don’t think I missed it) …when looking at the photo there are 2 vertical holes on the front of the leg. Are you planning on putting something there? My suggestion is an antique bottle opener (for those that prefer
over wine…why I don’t know 😉 ) The other is just an observation…the 3 metal bands that were on the top. I loved the look it gave the piece. Kinda rustic industrial. You mention that trays, etc may not sit on the top with the bands on but I was thinking you could put “feet” under the trays to prevent them from being unsteady. Anything from cut dowel pieces, cut wood squares, or the round wood balls. Seriously I am jealous!!!
Thanks so much for your feedback Kathy! Your suggestion of a bottle opener to cover up the holes is great save for one thing… I would be afraid because where it is at that people would run into it as they walked by (you can’t see it in the pics, but usually my dining room table is closer to the wine bar, so people would have to walk pretty close by to get around it). If the holes were in the other side closer to the wall, then I would totally do what you suggested. 🙂 As far as the bands, I would be afraid that guests would topple their wine glasses and bottles while serving themselves at the bar, so I’m glad that I decided to remove them. Thanks again for your feedback and kind words! 🙂
Natalie @nelidesign says
This is awesome! Great job! Pinned!
Thanks so much Natalie! 🙂
Ashraf Jaman says
Awesome makeover! What a wonderful look you have given it.
Thanks so much Ashraf! 🙂
It is extremely creative with the nice looks of these. It is a piece of good artwork, indeed….