DIY Cabinet: Every Piece Has a Story

by - September 11, 2016

...and sadly I didn't get the whole tale on this one.  But trust me, had I asked, Grams would have told me every last detail that she remembered.  That's what I love the most about our home: it's filled with timeless heirlooms that come from something and just like my paintings, every piece has a story and in this chapter we're taking on the DIY Cabinet project.

So back in February of 2015 when we were clearing out Grams' house after she passed away, the parents would text the grandkids pictures of things that we would possibly want.  It was like being in an auction but a really respectful one where we knew when something meant more to someone else and were okay letting it go.  The process couldn't have gone more perfectly.  When the following picture was sent out, I was intrigued and thought a possible DIY Cabinet project for the future.  I remember always being intrigued by the two cabinets stored in Grams' furnace room and was quick to take one- my cousin, Renée, claimed the other.  The dusty old piece was moved into our garage and sat there for almost two years until I suddenly felt inspired, like the kind of inspiration that hits you and makes you drop everything on your to-do list and want to get it done that instant.  And that's exactly how it played out in the last week of summer vacation.

So with Dan off to Winnipeg for the week, I set out on my mission to complete the DIY Cabinet project before he came home.  The first step was to clean it, which was disgusting. Lucia was more than willing to help out and we were quite proud of ourselves once we got the old cabinet all spiffed up.  Crazy thing was, the minute you open the doors, it smelled of Grams' house.  Lucia and I had some great conversations about heaven and where Grams is.  Lucia happily informed me that she can talk to Grams whenever she wants, because she is in her heart.

After the mess of cleaning, we picked out the colours (I picked according to the accent pieces in my house and because I wanted something fun to brighten up the entry) and we got to painting.  I originally picked up some primer, which I discovered was to cover rust and the wrong colour anyway.  Luckily enough the paint I picked didn't need any primer and covered the piece quite perfectly after 2 coats.  For the curious, I went with a Rustoleum Chalk Spray Paint in Tidal Blue.

I had decided not to put the plexiglass in, and also that one of the etched coverings wasn't going back in because the other was missing.  I was going to go with the original wood colour for the etching, but when I tried it next to the freshly painted piece, I didn't like it. So I spray painted it too.  Grey this time.  I placed the piece in the entry next to the old chair from Grams' house (you can bet that is on my project list...must learn how to reupholster pieces first)

The finishing touches was to add memorabilia to the shelves to tie in the story for the piece.  There's my favourite picture of Grandpa and I, Grams' Russian dolls and her old lantern (not in picture).  I love how bright this turned out and the fact that I can say that it came from my Grandma's house.

And while I didn't get the whole story in the end, my mom does recall it being in the basement forever and that she recalls it coming from one of my Great Grandma's homes.  So you know what, we'll go with that and continue telling people who ask that every piece has a story.

Linking up with To Grandma's House Wednesday Link Up and here.

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  1. LOVE the color. You and miss Lucia did a great job.

  2. WOW - this turned out SO good! The color is so pretty, you did such a fab job


  3. Living on Cloud Nine12 September, 2016 02:30

    You ladies rock, you should do a mother-daughter restoration show on a DIY network! The color is Fantabulous!

  4. What a fun project! I love the color!

  5. LOVE the color!!! turned out great!! well done lady!

  6. I love the color! There is something so special about having family furniture - it is a way to remember and treasure our past and those we loved.

    Daily Style Finds

  7. Oooh, how cool did this turn out! I love the color + white detail. Great job, lady!

    Le Stylo Rouge

  8. I love this! Love the color you picked and that you have a story. Great job!

  9. So sweet. I love the color you chose and think it looks really cool with only the center piece having the etching. Fabulous project!

  10. LOVE the color you chose! This turned out so well and the story behind it is even better!

  11. I just love repurposing things, giving old things a new life! This piece turned out great and I love that there's a story and a smell connected with it! How many cans of paint did it take??

  12. So special. And it will be a keepsake that will have more meaning now for Lucia because she helped with this project. Is the chalk paint matte? Do you have any matryoshka dolls? That Lucia is so insightful and sweet. I bet she and your Grams have wonderful heart-to-hearts.

  13. Oh my gosh I love that this came from your Grandma's house!! :) That color your chose is just awesome! And I also wanted to mention that the Wednesday "To Grandma's House We Go" link party just started over at and I thought you might be interested in joining it, thanks!

  14. This is beautiful! I love the history and meaning that this piece has and that it's story will continue.


Have a lovely day!