Before and After: A Vintage Record Cabinet Rescued from the Trash Gets a $22 Refresh

published Aug 4, 2021
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About this before & after
Home Type
Project Type
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Before: Damaged vintage wood record cabinet
Credit: Laura Koeller

Name: Laura Koeller
Redo: Furniture
Level: DIY

To score fab vintage finds for a steal, those in the know shop thrift stores, antique malls, garage sales, and online resellers — and, of course, they keep their eyes peeled for great garbage.

Credit: Laura Koeller

One such treasure rescued from the trash: this vintage record cabinet, found by DIYer Laura Koeller’s daughter “on the side of the road in a pile of trash,” Laura says. The piece had clearly seen better days, though it had potential.

“The top was in pretty bad shape but it had good bones,” Laura says. “I felt super excited to try and bring it back to life.”

Credit: Laura Koeller

It took Laura three hours of sanding with an electric sander, plus two hours of sanding by hand (after her sander caught fire and had to be retired) to remove the damaged wood and get to the good stuff.

Laura used a navy blue paint on the base of the cabinet, which helped highlight the gold-toned legs. She also added a new pull to the drawer in a similar shiny gold finish.

Credit: Laura Koeller

“The top was trickier as the wood was very cheap,” Laura says. But after all her sanding, she was able to stain the top in a warm walnut finish — a perfect fit for the vintage look of the cabinet.

The record cabinet itself was free, and the rest of the materials added up to a measly $22 — $7 for the pull, and $15 for the paint and stain. Now, the piece has a brand new look fit for its second life. Not too shabby for a piece of garbage!

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