My Practically Free Dining Room Cabinet

It’s funny.  When we lived in Ludington, the city had a yearly trash day where you could put your large items out on the street and they’d pick them up.  You had to wait all year because they wouldn’t take that large of trash just any day.  So, on that one day every year, there were a bunch of people around town trying to get rid of all this big stuff that had taken up precious space in their homes.

And then there were the pickers and scrappers that would go digging through said trash to find that diamond in the rough.  At the time, I thought these people were crazy.  It was fun to watch them haul other people’s trash into their vehicles and drive away thinking they found a treasure.  And better yet, that treasure was FREE!

Trash to treasure milk painted corner cabinet

Fast forward to my life now.  Oh how things have changed.  Little did I know back then that I’d be picking trash in my new neighborhood.  And now I get to do it almost whenever I want because the city picks up large items on every trash day!  Score!  :)

Trash to treasure cabinet - before

And so the story of our “new” dining room corner cabinet begins.  I saw this piece in front of my neighbor’s house and really wanted to take it home with me.  But I knew my husband wasn’t about to do the walk of shame with me to get it home.  We already have a basement full of furniture needing to be redone and I was sure he wasn’t going to be excited about having another piece taking up valuable space.  Then my cousin came over to pick up her telephone table I had redone for her.  I told her about the cabinet and that I was surprised no one else had picked it up.  I also told her there was no way I was asking my husband to help me bring it home, so it would probably just stay there until trash day.  Then she says “I’ll help you walk it home!  Let’s go get it!”

And so we did!  And it was one of the best decisions of my life!  Okay, maybe not that good, but I am still really glad I did it!  :)

Artissimo milk painted corner cabinet

Fall vignette in updated painted corner hutch

Linens in updated corner cabinet

This corner has been bugging me forever.  It just never felt right.  I had a shelf there since we moved in that I used as a fake mantel.  For the last year or so, I’ve really been wanting a piece of furniture under the shelf.  Partly for storage, partly because the space just felt empty.  But I felt like it would take up too much room being that close to the dining room table, so I just kind of stared at it every day and tried to figure out a better solution.

Cat on chair in dining room & trash to treasure corner cabinet

Linens in trash to treasure corner cabinet

Pears in rusted container

And then this cabinet showed up and we just plopped it there to get it out of the way and I kind of loved it.  Sure, it needed some work, but it was perfect for what we needed!

After thinking far too long about how I wanted it to look, I finally ended up painting it with Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint.  The inside is a custom mix of Shutter Gray and Trophy.  I believe it’s 3 parts to 2 parts, but don’t quote me on that.  I kind of lost track!  The outside is Artissimo.  I gave the whole piece a coat of clear wax and then did a coat of antiquing wax on the outside only.

Updated painted corner cabinet

Trash to treasure painted corner cupboard

Vintage coasters, pinecones, and pears in painted corner hutch

Even with the paint, though, I knew the piece needed a little something to make it stand out just a bit more.  I decided to add some thin moulding to the bottom doors to make them a little more interesting.  I think they look way better now!  And since there was only one piece of glass in the windows, I took that out and added this wire mesh which I painted with a dark oil rubbed bronze spray paint to make it not stand out so much.

Artissimo navy blue painted corner cabinet

If I wasn’t convinced before that this whole trash-picking thing was a good idea, I am now!  This definitely has to be one of my favorite transformations to date.  For some reason, it feels so good to know that you can make something beautiful out of someone else’s trash!

Linking to : Love of Family & HomeMiss Mustard Seed, and Lil luna

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    • Allison @ The Golden Sycamore says

      Thank you, Laurie! It only took me a couple hours to figure out how I wanted to style it! Haha! That really is the hardest part for me.

  1. says

    Allison, this is so beautiful. You did such an awesome job giving it a makeover. I love how you styled it too. Oh and the picture with you cat on the chair is adorable!

    • Allison @ The Golden Sycamore says

      Haha! Thanks, Brandi! He stayed in that spot during the entire shoot. Even when I was moving the chair around! :)

  2. says

    Thank God for cousins who are willing to help like that! I’m still in the stage of feeling odd taking people’s garbage, but there have definitely been times I’ve wanted to stop for something. By the time I get up the courage, whatever I wanted is always gone to someone who wasn’t too hesitant!

    The cabinet is beautiful and fills that corner in so well. Your staging looks perfect inside of it, too! Pinning now!

  3. says

    Wow, I didn’t even recognize it! It is hard to believe it is the same cabinet. What an amazing job and I love the wire mesh in the doors, very nice!

    Another diamond in the rough!

  4. Becky says

    Ok, I’m so glad somebody else thinks big trash day is ok. My daughter and I fiirst starting picking things up when she was trying to furnish her first apartment with a zero budget. I remember my sister being shocked when we told her we picked up a dresser off the curb! But its become something fun for us now. It’s fun to see what you can make out of something someone else has no use for. I think of it as recycling for furniture. Its really the perfect way to try refinishing and painting techniques without a huge investment too.
    I love the colors you used on the corner cabinet and the accessories are great too! Thanks for the inspiration.

  5. AnnieVee says

    I am so glad you did “the walk of shame” with your cousin. Too bad your hubbie wouldn’t do it with you… but that’s now…in 20 years, he’ll do it gladly… take my word for it. So, in the meanwhile, do what you gotta do and do it proudly.

  6. Peggy says

    You scored big time with that pick up. Love the addition of the wire mesh. We used to own a garbage business and some of my favorite pieces and things I use everyday have been scored from someone’s garbage. Never admitted it back in the day, but it is much more acceptable now!

  7. vickie says

    I have one almost like it that needs refinished. Love how it turned out.. I just may have to get to work on mine. Thanks for sharing. Love the colors!!

  8. says

    1. Totally jealous that big trash goes out every week where you live! We don’t even have it once here!
    2. I am rolling at the “walk of shame” because that’s sooooo my house!
    3. THIS IS BEAUTIFUL!!! You are amazing! The end.

  9. Bev says

    You did a remarkable job!! Wow! That color kinda reminds me of ASCP’s “Granite”. When you say Ludington, do you mean MI?? If so, cool! I live in Manistee :) Anyway, I’ve never used MMS paint and am anxious to try it. Your photos are great and I love the “walk of shame” comment, lol!! Can’t wait to mention it to hubby, who has made several of those trips for me, lol.

    • Allison @ The Golden Sycamore says

      Yes, Bev! Ludington, MI! That’s so cool that you’re in Manistee! I live on the east side of the state now, but hope to visit Ludington again this fall! I would love to see the trees!

  10. says

    Free is such a great price, isn’t it? It’s amazing how paint can totally transform a piece of furniture! I LOVE the photo of your cat with the cabinet in the background. It’s a beautiful photo (and a pretty cute cat, too!)

  11. says

    This is so beautiful!!! I’m wondering if you can share your source for the awesome hardware that you used on this and the updated Ikea sink?! Thanks so much :)

    • Allison @ The Golden Sycamore says

      Thanks so much, Amanda! The hardware is from Target. We bought it on clearance a few months ago, though, so I’m not sure they have it anymore. I’m not sure why they got rid of it! It’s some of my favorite hardware I’ve found!

  12. says

    It looks so beautiful and I never would have thought to paint it that dark but I love it!!

    My dining room corner cabinet has the same story! What’s with people throwing away corner cabinets?? I have at least 10 pieces in my home that I love that were dumpster bound. Crazy!!

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