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Monday, March 13, 2023

Refinished Vintage-Inspired Multi-Drawer Cabinet

A multi-drawer cabinet with a dated flyspecked finish gets a vintage-inspired makeover!

A few weeks ago, I picked up a petite multi-drawer wood cabinet.

As with most furniture I buy, it was a little dated, had an undesirable flyspecked finish, and needed a little updating. 

It DID, however, have everything I look for when buying secondhand furniture (solid wood, dovetail drawers, smoke-free), so I bought it, brought it home, and got to work giving it a vintage-inspired makeover. 

A dated flyspecked multi-drawer cabinet gets a vintage-inspired makeover! #furnituremakeover #refinishedfurniture #multidrawer #multidrawercabinet


- 60/150/320 sanding pads
- Multi-purpose cleaner (I like LA's Totally Awesome)
- Water-based poly (I used a Matte finish)
- 2 1/2" Paintbrush
- Black antique post office box labels
- Foam brush
- Rubber mallet/hammer
- Screwdriver
- Drill and drill bits
- Tape Measure
- Paper towels


It's hard to tell from the pictures, but the stain on this petite cabinet had a dated flyspeck finish.  Flyspecking is created by splattering furniture with tiny specks of darker paint or stain.  The technique is commonly used to give an aged look to inexpensive wood furniture. 

dated multi-drawer cabinet

Personally, I feel that flyspecked furniture looks dated and cheap.  The good news is, wood furniture can be refinished and given new life.

flyspeck finish on a dated cabinet

The second "issue" with the multi-drawer cabinet was the dated wood railing that was added to the top.  Unfortunately, it wasn't installed with screws, but I was able to use a rubber mallet to break it loose from the cabinet. 

After I removed the railing, I filled the holes with stainable wood filler then began sanding the cabinet with an orbital sander.  I started with 60-grit sandpaper and then worked up to 320-grit for a nice smooth finish. 

removing dated trim from cabinet

Once I had the cabinet sanded down to raw wood, I gave it a good cleaning with LA's Totally Awesome, used an inexpensive foam brush to apply a coat of Early American wood stain then sealed the stain with water-based poly in a clear matte finish

sanded multi-drawer wood cabinet

I finished off the cabinet with new hardware, including black cup pulls and antique post office box door labels.  Adding authentic vintage hardware is a great way to increase character and enhance the vintage-inspired look.

black cup pulls on multi-drawer cabinet

vintage-inspired multi-drawer wood cabinet

refinished multi-drawer cabinet

refinished vintage-inspired multi-drawer cabinet

Refinished multi-drawer cabinet

The after is a subtle difference, but just enough to remove the dated feel, enhance the pine wood grain and add a touch of vintage to this multi-drawer cabinet. 


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