Hoosier Update

July 20, 2019

Two weeks ago, I asked your thoughts on painting antiques. (What Do You Think of Painting Antiques?). As I mentioned in last weeks post, “The Best Laid Plans,” the consensus among you is: 

…it really just depends on what the piece is. If it is a family heirloom, no paint. If it is an antique you are keeping as an investment, no paint. If it is an antique or even just an older piece of furniture that you have no sentimental ties to, if you are not keeping it as an investment, and if it is not a family heirloom, then paint is okay.  

My husband and I purchased this Hoosier from an antique store 5 years ago. We have no emotional ties to it, it doesn’t bring back any childhood memories; we just thought it was a great piece of furniture.  I’ve been wanting to update it and finally decided to get started on it. Since we are in the middle of remodeling our house (as you can see from the lovely background in this picture!), it just seemed like the right time.

We have been using it to display antique kitchen items that belonged to either my mom or my mother-in-law; but I decided to turn it into a Coffee Bar. 

Instead of painting the entire piece, I elected to just paint the “body” of the piece and stain the golden oak doors a dark walnut. I didn’t let the walnut “sit” too long before wiping it off, though, as I did want some of the golden tint to be visible. 

Here is the finished project.

The Yosemite Coffee & Roasting Company piece was one of my flea market finds. I really wanted to use it as-is, but it just didn’t work. I asked the contractor who is working here if he would cut off the top for me, which he graciously did. After cleaning it, I put a light walnut stain on it so it would match the Hoosier better.

If you want to know the process and supplies I used, here it is in a nutshell:

  1. Removed all the hardware. I soaked it overnight in vinegar to remove the rust, scrubbed with a wire brush the next morning, and then set it out to dry.
  2. Cleaned the entire Hoosier with denatured alcohol and a soft rag.
  3. Asked our contractor to cut out the center of the 2 top doors, so I could replace with glass.
  4. Painted with Barn Red Fusion Mineral Paint (I am a chalk painter convert!).
  5. Wet sanded.
  6. Applied a Black Fusion Mineral Glaze.
  7. Wet sanded.
  8. Applied a Fusion Mineral Clear Glaze.
  9. Wet Sanded (yes, 3 times, but it only took about 5 minutes tops, and it gives the wood an ultra-smooth finish).
  10. Sprayed the hardware Krylon Hammered Brown.
  11. Removed the Hoosier backing; sprayed it with Aleen’s Spray Glue, attached a large piece of burlap to it, then reattached the back.
  12. Reattached all the hardware

Practical things to remember:

  1. Take a picture of the entire piece you plan to refinish beforehand.
  2. Take close-ups of hardware, especially with older pieces, so you will know how to reattach.
  3. When removing doors and/or drawers mark with a piece of tape or other methods, which door/drawer goes where. It’s important when reattaching that they are returned to their original place.
  4. Put hardware in baggies and mark on the baggie what it is for and where it goes. Or use any other method that works for you.

One philosophical lesson I was reminded of:

This Hoosier obviously sustained some water and weather damage. It’s easy to see that when you look at the back of the piece.  The entire top of the back had been replaced with MDF hardboard.   I wanted to remove that and cover it with burlap. It was a difficult job because MDF is similar to particle board, in that it comes apart very easily. 

True Confession:  When I work on projects, I tend to talk to myself. As I was trying to remove this back without destroying it, I had quite a conversation going – encouraging myself to take my time so I didn’t ruin the MDF, then expressing frustration as I struggled to get some of the stubborn nails out. Finally, I was down to just one remaining nail and I heard myself say: “Wow… that one little nail is holding up this whole back. Yes, you CAN do it by yourself, but it’s best to have a supporting team.”

I reflected on that thought for just a minute…. probably more like a second because I REALLY wanted to get that last nail out of there!

Before & After. What’s your vote?

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42 Comments

  1. Pat

    It is absolutely beautiful. What a meticulous job you have done. Love it.

    Reply
  2. Susan Benabio

    I think you did a fantastic job and what a great idea to make a coffee bar out of it!
    I love it!!

    Reply
  3. DeLoris Musick

    You took an old piece of neglected furniture and “painted” love all over it! Your pride in your work shows in all the details and additions. Give yourself a great big hug! Job well done! I’m proud of you!!

    Reply
  4. Karla

    The refinished one looks warmer and more inviting. I want to come for coffee! Great job!

    Reply
  5. Jean Norris

    I think you made great decisions. It looks wonderful!

    Reply
  6. Barbara Hewitt

    Love it!

    Reply
  7. Gliri

    Love the transformation of all you did!!!

    Reply
  8. Liz Yard

    I like it, update without losing the original feel of the piece. So much for my “don’t touch it” approach.

    Reply
  9. Julie Ann MacLean

    Looks great Karen. I’m sure it gives you great pleasure.

    Reply
  10. Nancy kizziah

    You did a great job. I love it as a coffee bar. Wish I had the “guts” to do a project such as this. I think I better stick to scrapbooking and sewing.

    Reply
  11. Lois

    You did a wonderful job, Karen. I’ve always wanted a Hoosier but never had quite the right place for one. The red would fit right in with my kitchen decor. And it’s amazing what a difference just cleaning-up the hardware makes.

    Reply
  12. Pam K

    Wow! What a beautiful job you’ve done! I love the 2 colors & the glass doors.

    Reply
  13. Gloria

    It is much more warmer and inviting in the 2nd one. I bought one of these and used it in my son’s room. The lady I purchased it from wanted to buy it back and when I moved I sold it to her – regretted it ever since!
    Gloria

    Reply
  14. Mary K

    It’s the perfect combination of painted accent and refinishing the beautiful wood. Looks like you revived the love in this great piece!

    Reply
  15. KJDdesigns

    I am very impressed with your Hoosier. You did a fantastic job. I love the colors. Also, thank you for the foliage.

    Reply
  16. Noreen Cripps Stack

    You did a marvelous job! However I have to say I really like the old one better, sure it needed some restoration but I love how the age shows and it speaks of a lot of family use. Sometimes I like to keep things the way they are rather than doing a makeover.
    Nevertheless the new look is great and it certainly will be a showpiece in the kitchen and very welcoming.

    Reply
  17. Jennifer Barrett Moffatt

    It really looks like a beautiful piece of furniture now. You have made it your own, not just by all the work you have done to it, but by making it a coffee bar. It really does shine in the 2nd photo. Beautifully done Karen.

    Reply
    • Karen

      Thank you so much, Jenni!

      Reply
  18. Sonya

    Oh my gosh, Karen, I can’t believe the end product, Great job. It looks like that is what it is supposed to look like. You are so multi-talented.
    If you ever feel like it needs just a little something else,…. behind the Hoosier, in the back side picture,is what looks like a copper coffee pot. If a shelf was added, leaving plenty of room for ‘hubby’s’ coffee pot, another pot could be added for just a little bling and nostalgia.
    We all love it just the way it is though.

    Reply
  19. Janet

    I think your redo is perfect….and I love the color you added!

    Reply
    • Karen

      Thank you, Janet!

      Reply
  20. Ms Jay

    I usually hate to change a piece of furniture beyond using some fresh stain, but the way you painted the red portions really made the stained doors pop. It’s really very striking and you’ve decorated it very well.

    Reply
    • Karen

      Thank you so much!

      Reply
  21. shadowwings4god

    You did an utterly fantastic job on it!! One thing I think I would have done is add a shelf or two over where your coffeemaker is stored. So much vertical space there that could have been brought to good use. I have always wanted a Hoosier cabinet after seeing some marvelous ones on the internet, but alas, had to purchase a china hutch instead; just needed the extra storage for the crystal and glassware, as well as for other bowls, platters, etc. below. As it is, I had to pass on the crystal punch bowl to my son as I had no room for it! After seeing the beautiful job on the Hoosier makes me want to tackle the little table I have sitting in the middle of my ‘office’. The bottom of it is still in good shape, but at one time my son was using it and unfortunately he had it under a large hanging plant which ended up dripping on the top from all the watering. I should insist he refinish it for me! LOL I love how you painted the background of the piece…it really emphasizes the wood of the cabinet doors, etc. Really a beautiful job Karen!!
    Hugs, Vicki

    Reply

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