Painting a Farmhouse Cupboard
It sounded simple enough; paint a farmhouse cupboard to be used as home office storage. After searching far and wide for the perfectly sized and shaped piece, the customer picked up this awesome antique pantry cupboard at another local shop and brought it to us for refinishing to coordinate with her beautifully appointed modern farmhouse. It turned out to be much more than simple painting and is one of the more interesting and satisfying pieces we’ve done!
As you can see, there’s quite a bit of history worn on this cupboard along with some water damage on the lower portion, to the point that the door became warped and kicked out at the bottom. Repair need noted. You can also see the gouges in the side that was previously built-in but would now be exposed on a free standing cabinet. Repair noted.
There were also nail points poking through the side and a slew of general cosmetic needs requiring replacing fasteners, patching and sanding. Most significant, however, was the fact that this massive cupboard would not sit flat. In fact, it rocked so much on it’s uneven base that we promptly laid it flat on it’s back for our own safety. Another charm of a formerly built-in piece; it was previously nailed to the floor and to surrounding walls/cabinets, so a flat bottom was not a priority for it’s original use. Safely sitting level in a freestanding position was now the new priority for it’s next life. Major repair noted. Otherwise, we were in awe of how well-built this cupboard really was!
We added large, square wood blocks to the bottom corners set back enough that they wouldn’t protrude and be obvious add-ons. To those, we secured adjustable feet for leveling once in place at it’s new home. The first and most important repair done and now we could set it up for other repairs and painting! Oh, but first choosing the paint color…
Milkpaint or Fusion Paint?
So, if you check out the Instagram page, SimpleDecorWithAmy, you will see how beautifully appointed this customer’s home is and how intentional her color choices are. So of course, we planned on a custom color mix! What I hadn’t planned for, is that the perfect color would be a mix of a Homestead House milkpaint color (Cartier) and a Fusion Mineral Paint color (Brook)! Can they even be mixed??!! Time to research and experiment! Turns out the answer is YES, these water-based paints can be mixed, and the finish turns out to be a glorious hybrid with the best qualities of both!
We started with a wash of Algonquin milkpaint since the piece was practically raw wood in spots, it soaked in beautifully, creating a color block that toned down the red to a more neutral brown and will never chip because it is incorporated into the wood.
Then, we mixed up a batch of Homestead’s Cartier milkpaint and introduced just the right amount of Fusion’s Brook. You can see how much more opaque the finish becomes with this step.True to it’s milkpaint roots, this color mix also distressed beautifully and chipped where we had strategically pre-applied a light wax before painting.
After making and adding a wood latch to pull the warped door in further, it was time to seal the exterior with hemp oil and paint the shelves with durable Fusion Raw Silk to create a clean and inviting space for storage.
The final photos from the customer’s Instagram are of this cupboard in it’s new home and beautifully styled to show off how well it fits into it’s new space. I especially adore the winter decor photo! Such a transformation from where we started! This customer could clearly see this aged piece for it’s potential in her beautiful home. Cheers to new life!
Revive. Refresh. Restore. Lakeside Restoration.
All Homestead House and FUSION products used to update this Farmhouse Cupboard can be found at our shops; Lakeside Restoration in Rochester, NY and Vintage Matters in Sodus, NY. www.lakesiderestoration.net They can also be purchased at our online store www.lakeside-restoration.myshopify.com