I actually went looking for this gun cabinet. I had this crazy idea that I wanted to turn an old gun cabinet into a curio. I pictured it being painted bright yellow and set up in a kitchen with a cute little tea set collection inside displayed on all its new shelves. I pictured a little hook on the side where one would hang their oven mittens and kitchen aprons.
Well guess what!???!! That is not what happened. Every used gun cabinet I found had a sale price of $120 or more and no one wanted to budge on their price...until I found this little cutie. The previous owner of this one wanted it gone and negotiated a decent price.
And of course it wasn't until I picked it up to realize just why they wanted it gone. If only you could smell a photo. This cabinet reeked in the worst way. I can't even describe the smell to you. Certainly it was from a smokers house. But it also smelled musty and every other bad smell you can think of combined with smokey and musty. I'm not kiddy. I hesitated to load it in my car in fear that my car would then reek for days, weeks, or maybe forever. I rolled all the windows down as I drove this one home. You can imagine my husbands enthusiasm when he saw (and smelled) this sitting in the garage. I got a, "you paid money for this?"
And if you must know, it wasn't just the smell. Every crevasse of this little thing was full of roach eggs and spider webs and bug poop.
Lets just sum it all up and say it was beyond gross.
So I did what any normal person would do. I took it completely apart and sprayed it with a bed bug killer and Raid concoction, rubbed it down with a vinegar solution and taped dyer sheets to it to absorb the smells and kept it outside in the sunshine for days.
One thing I really loved about this cabinet was the etched duck on the front. When I bought this I knew it wasn't going to be painted bright yellow to house someone's tea cup collection, rather, I knew this was going to have a hunting theme to it and would go into a little boys or girls room who loved hunting and it would house his or her clothes or toys. Or possibly it would go in a man cave or home office to be used as a liquor cabinet. Especially since I planned to make it lockable.
After the first step of taking it all apart to de-bug it and try to de-smell it, I worked hard on sanding it all down. And sanding it some more. And sanding it again. I believe that when refinishing a piece it is important to sand it down to its bare self. Hence the name "Stripped and primed". It's one thing to just paint over it with some chaulk paint and make it beautiful. I love chalk paint. Love it, love it, love it. But often its used to paint over all the previous layers. And sometimes that is okay. However, I feel like it's can be similar to moving into a house to peel the previous owners wallpaper only to find 6 different layers under it. So to me it is often important to get it back to where it started and then lets make it new from there.
After it was sanding, and sanded and sanded, I wiped it down with a wet cloth and let it dry. I began the painting process. I chose a hunters green. A lot of thought went into choosing this color. Not really. That was a joke. I used this color because we had a whole gallon of it left over from when my husband built the kids sandbox in the back yard and he painted the bottom of it green. When I first began to paint the green was quite bright and so I mixed it with some left over black paint we had from when we painted our mailbox. Both were outdoor/indoor latex paint and they mixed nicely to form this dark green color. Perfect for my Camo Cuiro I was creating!
I took the back panel off and painted the interior of the cabinet grey to give it some dimension. I debated whether or not I should paint the back panel grey as well, but decided it would be really fun if I could find some awesome hunting fabric or contact paper to cover the back panel in. I ended up settling with a fabric because I felt it would be more durable than contact paper. I cut shelves and painted them grey as well. I installed the shelves with simple L-brackets and not only did I line the back board in a hunting fabric, but I also lined the bottom drawer with the same fabric. It was beginning to look amazing. But even once I had put it all back together there were so many finishing touches that still needed to be tended too.
I removed the old locks that no longer had keys as one was a silver and one was bronze. I keyed them alike with new gold keys to match the pulls. I had to polish the pulls and while I thought about replacing them, I decided to keep them because I really loved the character. They just took a lot of polish and elbow grease but cleaned up nicely. I added new felt to where the half circles were to rest the guns on previously, but I liked the detail there so just needed fresh felt. I added a pull handle to the cabinet that was not there before. I installed new leveling glides on the bottom so it no longer tilted or rocked when upright and I also had to realign the glass cabinet door so it no longer rubbed on the bottom when opening and closing. I gave a good sanding at the end to give it a wear-and-tear look and then I put several coats of polyurethane on it to keep the paint from chipping in the future.
Overall I am extremely proud of how this "Camo Curio" turned out and I think it would make such an awesome addition to a boy or girls hunting theme room. It would also fit great into a man cave. You could put books in it, or collectables, or would make a perfect liquor cabinet you need to be able to lock your children or spouse out of with a perfect drawer at the bottom for your cigars. All in all, I'm in love with it and I hope you like how it turned out too!
Heres a final look.
I am a mother of 4 small children. I am happiest when I am busiest and if the kids don't keep me busy enough I need projects to fill my days. I love Jesus and I love my family and I love the chaos around me for it brings the calm.