Last fall I lost someone who was very dear to me. We had known each other a long time and she was swiftly becoming my best friend. She was older than I, a nature enthusiast, and homeschooling veteran.
She was a very strong and hardworking women. She once told me a story about her first job. How her family never had very much and so she worked diligently at her first job. Saving her earnings for several months until she had enough to purchase a china cabinet for her mother. That is what she did with all the money she had from her first job. She bought her mother a china cabinet. This is the kind of women she was and this is how I remember her, self-less and giving.
Several months after she had gone to heaven I went back to her home to visit. I saw that china cabinet that was her mothers, it was not well kept and was at risk for being tossed out. It’s glass was broken, a door unhinged, and the handle broken in-half on the bottom cabinet. Regardless of how tattered it was, I could not bear to see it thrown out.
I really needed a new bookshelf and decided that refurbishing this piece would be a healing tribute to this great women. I placed plastic on my grass so as not to cover it in paint.
I set to work, first giving it a good wash once over. The water became brown from this heavy cleaning. While it dried in the sun, I started considering color choices.
I’ve never really liked the color red. She knew this and would joke with me about it. Once she bought me a gift, a red shirt to sort of tease me. I never wore it nor did I find it funny at the time. I would give anything to “joke” with her once more. So I bought red wood paint by rustolleum. I foresaw it becoming a functional accent piece.
I removed all the doors and glass, and washed it once more working with the grain. I let it dry out in the sun and then I primed it with white rustolleum wood primer.
Rustolleum makes a spray paint that is compatible with wood, plastic, and metal. I used red with a satin finish. I started with a thin layer, allowed it to dry in the sun, then applied another layer.
I removed the orignal hardware, and scrubbed any rust off with a bristle brush. I washed them and dried them in the sun. Then I used rustolleum black spray paint compatible with metal and sprayed them all evenly.
I spent all day working on this project, often reflecting on the memories we once shared. I let this all sit in the sun until it dried. Rehinged the doors on the cabinets and put back the newly painted hardware. My husband screwed the sections together and we moved it into the loft area where we have our home classroom (we call it the learning loft).
I lost a great women last Fall, who was quickly becoming my best friend. She would be so thrilled to know her cabinet now serves as shelves to hold books for my children. She was amazing with my children. She engaged with them, was happy to play with them and genuinely loved them. I think of her all the time. Now when I see this accent piece in our learning loft. I will be reminded of the sweet, kind, hardworking women that was my mother.