Monday, February 25, 2013

Meet My Nemesis

The carrot that keeps me going!

Let me just say: "I didn't know!"

Everyone wants to paint a jelly cabinet, right? I was so dang excited when I happened across one that my brain froze up. The cabinet itself was a little rough. The shelves weren't in but they were there and the glass doors were intact. And it was old. Really old.

Mr. Bad and the seller loaded it and off we went. Now, let me say, Mr. Bad has stopped asking me if "I'm sure." He figures I know what I'm doing. So we get home and I help unload and the cabinet wiggles and twists and when set down looks like a leaning cartoon of itself. Mr. Bad Rabbit says he thought I knew how rickety it was. No. I did not because I never thought to wiggle it.

We fought got the squirming cabinet into the garage where it sat until 2 weeks ago. I had a brain-wave that the cabinet would look good in the guest bath and Mr. Bad was out of town so the timing couldn't be better. My neighbor helped me move it and when we had it in place we stood back to admire .... wait. It's TOO DANG BIG.

I slapped some paint on it to see if that helped. Nope, that didn't make it any smaller at all. It was TOO DANG BIG. My neighbor observed that the cabinet was maybe a little rickety. (sigh) Plus the drawers wouldn't pull out. And those bottom doors aren't closing. She went home leaving me tugging
on the drawers.

So it sat in the bathroom until one day when Mr. Bad was off somewhere and I was safely alone. I took all the doors off and wiggle-walked the cabinet across the hall to my work room.

Day One where I take a deep deep breath.


I whacked at it with a rubber mallet and got it to square up a little. However, the poor thing had been left in the rain for what appeared to be 50 years and the sides and back were all bowed out and warped.

When Mr. Bad got home he whacked at it with greater authority and got results. I got out the clamps and wood glue and hoped for the best.

Can you see that?

How 'bout now?

I was afraid the cabinet would fight back and send the clamps flying straight into my eyeballs.

Day Two where I find out why nothing fits.

The center rail was twisted as if someone had tried to wring the water out of it. Mr. Bad was home so he soaked the rail in water then clamped it in his vice for a couple days.

Meanwhile I worked on the doors.

Uh oh.

All the King's Horses and All the Kings Men ... oops, wrong story.

Who remembers Funk and Wagnall's?
They are still quite useful in the right application.

 Door number 2 was a little easier. But. There were actually about 30 little nails to remove. Wood filler is my friend.

Day Three where reality sucks.

I painted the shelves and interior with a couple coats of mystery latex. That really helped the look of the cabinet.
From a distance.
Up close, not so much.

All the shelves fit with this same precision.


Day Four where I don't kill anyone.

I put the glass doors back on.
Of course they wouldn't fit. Why would I expect anything different?

Mr. Bad came in and gave the top of the cabinet a good strong shove and everything popped into place.
Hmmmm, what to do, what to do? How do we keep it sorta square?

We took the top off thinking we would set it back on in such a way as to pull the cabinet square.

Naturally, the top fell completely apart when Mr. Bad tried to hand it to me. Again I had to glue and clamp and blah blah blah. What. Ev. Er. Hand me the wood filler.

So. Will the top work? Will the doors ever fit? Will I huck it out the window? Kick it down the road?

To be continued .......


  1. This totally made me laugh Daena! Been there, done that! :) I think you have amazing sticktoitivness!! I am sure your hard work will pay off. Can't wait to see the "rest of the story". Good luck! (I peeled veneer this weekend, only to find, yesterday, when I walked in that all the boards had popped off the top overnight. Fun. So, out came the glue, clamps, and screws. They realized that being "stuck" down was not to their liking so they cracked in the middle. Fun. We'll see how it turns out!).

  2. Hard work, great job. Good luck!

  3. OMYGosh....I can totally see why you are wanting to pitch it....but it will be so cool, when you get done.

    I was laughing all the way through...sorry but you started this! Thanks for sharing something that many of us often do...take on a project that just keeps going and going and the energizer bunny!

  4. Wait! This is a two parter? No one warned me that this was going to be a 'to be continued'.

  5. At this point, I would be thinking FIREWOOD!

  6. There have actually been a couple of pieces I couldn't save. Or wouldn't work on any more. Not sure which. LOL

  7. Oh my goodness!!! This story sounds all too familiar! I cannot tell you how many times I've gone through this same situation!! Eventually you'll get it down! It will turn out lovely in the end.. I'm sure!! Thanks for sharing at The Rustic Pig! Hugs! Claire

  8. I hope it works out after all that work! The colour is lovely.

  9. What a labor of love! I have an old one that is starting to warp in places too, not as bad as this piece. She is pretty though!
    I just started a new link party and would love for you to come over and share your post or any social media sites. Talkin’ About Thursday

  10. Oh, sweetheart, I totally identify with this saga. Just did battle with a jelly cupboard of my own, but mine was not nearly the war that you have been fighting. Based on your results in the past, I have no doubt that this will be fabulous.

  11. That is quite similar to my pie safe. Mine wasn't nearly as bad but I glued and clamped it back togehter. I can so relate!!! Check it out here.

  12. I give you a huge pat on the back for your perseverence with this project, Daena! Wow. It's suuuuch a beautifully historical piece, I think she deserves to be made stunning again. I'm glad that you're at least giving it a shot. Stick with it, girlie! She's going to look amaaazing! :)

    xoxo laurie

  13. I think its beautiful! and your end result will be so worth it! and of course the "feel good" feeing you will get...when its done! and you save it! Love and made me grin!

  14. LOL! You are not alone in this my heart goes out to you because I've done similar pieces. My husband always says "I can't believe you bought that!" Restoring them is always worthwhile to me in the end but very frustrating. Its looking good don't give up. Thanks for linking up at Transformed Tuesday.

  15. Daena, Thanks for linking up to Talkin’ About Thursday link party. I hope you will come back this week too!

  16. What a great project! Please share it on a terrific linky – Design Décor Tuesday. See you there! ☺

  17. lots of hard work, but it's coming together so nicely!

    good luck!