I’ve always loved the look of apothecary cabinets and have had my eye out for one for quite some time now. I came across this old library card catalog cabinet on Craislist and couldn’t pass it up. I was told this particular cabinet came from the MLK Jr. Memorial Library in Washington D.C. and I bought it in this unfinished state. I’m so happy with how it turned out! The only problem… I had planned to keep it in our guest room and now I can’t bare to see it live upstairs where we won’t see it daily. So for now, it’s taking over our dining room until it finds a permanent place in our home.
- 4″ Casters
- 3/4″ thick plywood
- Pneumatic Nail Gun & Nails
- Wood Glue
- Contact Cement
- Wood Filler
- 120 & 220 grit sandpaper
- Palm Sander
- Clear Coat
I wanted to add the casters to give the cabinet an industrial look. It also boosted the height of the piece by 4 inches, which it definitely needed.
Travis cut the pieces for the open shelving. Then we used wood glue and a pneumatic nail gun to attach them to the cabinet.
I used wood filler to cover all the holes from the nails. Then I sanded the excess wood filler and the previously stained finish of the old cabinet getting it ready for paint.
I used a light gray chalk paint on the everything except the drawer fronts. This was my first time using chalk paint and I gotta say, I really love using it. It covers well and leaves a smooth, soft finish.
The Drawers… all 32 of them(!):
First of all, all 32 of these drawers had 8 screws each (one of them can’t be accessed until the wood is separated from the plastic bin part). Let’s just say it took us over an hour to disassemble them and we each had a drill.
I always get so giddy when we buy new tools. Previously we had borrowed a sander from my dad’s shop but for this project we decided to buy our own. So I sanded down all the drawer faces and edges… which took a while. Then I stained them with a dark stain (two coats) and finished it off with a rub on protective clear coat.
The Finished Product:
So you’re probably thinking “where’d the top come from?” Lucky for us, Travis’ dad works for an HVAC company. He was able to get a buddy of his at work to trim, bend and solder the edges of the aluminum top. Then all we did was use some contact cement to adhere it to the cabinet. I think it adds to the industrial look we were going for, matching the casters and drawer hardware.
My plan for this updated cabinet is to fill it with all my art supplies… which I’m sure you can believe is a lot! That’s why I really wanted the open shelves on top. That way I can fit larger items.
I’m so pleased with how the cabinet turned out. I love the contrast of the stain, gray chalk paint, and the metal accents. To finish off the look, I bought a few baskets from Marshall’s (gotta love that place). Now that we’ve made the entire cabinet taller, it has gone from 20 inches to 32.5 inches tall.
As always, thanks for reading!