the botanical cupboard.

I found this piece a few weeks back on Facebook Marketplace.

When I reached out to the seller, she said that if I could come pick it up right away that would be best for her.  Now that I’m retired from the day job, dropping everything and running out to pick up a piece of furniture is well within the realm of possibility, so I said sure.

Normally I don’t like to leave the house without changing out of my flood water, paint splattered sweat pants, putting on at least a little makeup and doing something with my hair.  This might all sound a bit high maintenance, but the thing is, I tend to run into people I know.  Having worked for the city I live in for 34 years, I know a few people.  Including all of the public works employees, the police officers and most of the EMT’s (I sure hope I never have a heart attack while wearing those sweat pants!).

But the seller was only about 5 minutes away, and we weren’t making any other stops, so I decided it would be fine just this once.  As we drove through a school zone on the way to her house, I asked Mr. Q to be sure not to speed because if we got pulled over I would be mortified.  I could just imagine the officer going back to City Hall and telling everyone how much I’ve let myself go since retirement!

But we made it to our destination without incident.  We went up to the door and rang the bell.  As the seller answered, she was just saying goodbye over her shoulder to someone who had come to purchase an elliptical machine from her … and wouldn’t you know it!  It was a police officer I had worked with for 25+ years.

Seriously, what are the chances?!  How mortifying!  See?  Let this be a reminder to me, never leave the house without make up!

In the long run, it was worth it though.  It’s such a cool piece.  The seller wasn’t sure what it was, but I knew right away it was an old radio cabinet.  Especially after taking a look inside.

By the way, when I brought the cabinet home it did not have a back.  My handyman/neighbor Ken added the beadboard back before I took the photo above.  Obviously there were some sort of components originally mounted on the shelves in this cabinet.  A look at the label that was inside confirmed my suspicion.

Yep, definitely a radio cabinet.

After adding the beadboard back, Ken cut some pieces of hardboard that I had in my stash to cover up those holes and provide shelves instead.

There were some big grooves running down each interior side of the cabinet and I debated just leaving them, but ultimately decided it would look better if I filled them.  So I used some of Dixie Belle’s Mud in white (because I was all out of brown) to do that.  As it dried, I noticed that I definitely was getting some bleed through that was turning the white Mud pink.  At that point I decided to hedge my bets and add a coat of Dixie Belle’s B.O.S.S. to the entire piece.  Better safe than sorry, right?

Next up came paint.  As I was applying my first coat of Dixie Belle’s Sawmill Gravy, I was once again reminded of what a nice job the B.O.S.S. does of preparing a dark piece for a light colored paint.  I even stopped to take a photo for you guys …

I don’t know if that helps or not, but that’s just the first coat.  Look at that coverage!

I gave the piece one full coat of Sawmill Gravy, followed by a 2nd cursory watered down coat to catch any spots that I didn’t get perfect coverage on with the first go around.

Next I painted the inside in Dixie Belle’s Silk paint in Hampton Olive.

I love to use an all-in-one style paint inside cabinets like this.  It’s just so much easier to paint two coats of paint and be done, no primer or top coat required.  Now, you might be looking at this color and thinking it’s an odd choice to go with the Sawmill Gravy.

Well, here’s why I chose it …

I took that greyish olive green color straight out of the IOD Floral Anthology transfer.

This is a combination of two transfers.  The floral stuff is from the IOD transfer, and the wording is from with prima’s Flower Collector transfer in black (it also comes in gold).  Don’t they make a great pair?

In both cases I have cut apart the transfers and arranged them to fit my piece.  It definitely makes a piece look more custom when you do this.  I especially love the look of the flowers flowing down from the arched detail at the top of the doors.

I used part of the Flower Collector transfer on the inside of one of the doors too.

The interior color makes a lot more sense when you see it in conjunction with the floral transfer, right?

I think it was the detail at the base of the cabinet that originally caught my eye when I saw that Facebook Marketplace ad.

Isn’t that pretty?  They just don’t make pieces like this anymore.

You really could use this cabinet for anything.  Fill it with linens, clothing, toiletries or towels in a bathroom, dishes in a dining room or kitchen, or fill it up with your pottery non-collection like I did.

It would be the perfect addition to a potting shed.

What do you think, did I improve upon the original?

I wish I had a spot for this one, but I don’t.  So it is for sale locally.  If any of you locals are in need of a unique cabinet, be sure to check out my ‘available for local sale‘ page for details.

Thank you to Dixie Belle Paint Co for supplying their products used in this makeover.

70 thoughts on “the botanical cupboard.

  1. Oh my goodness. When I saw the first pic I was speechless. Thinking that is so ugly what can she possibly do to improve that over embellished dinosaur. Boy oh boy was I wrong! This is gorgeous. I love the combo of the transfers. Absolutely spot on. I so wish I lived close. Would be perfect in my little greenhouse. So enjoying your retirement vicariously ! And remember , those clothes are the uniform of freedom!🤣🤣🤣


  2. What a great transformation! I love the colors and the placement of the transfer. It would be a statement piece anywhere you put it. And fyi, I’m sure you looked fine – you’ll learn that the natural you is beautiful the older you get.


  3. All I can say is if I was retired, I would make the drive from Missouri without makeup in my pajamas to buy this from you! Wow – what a transformation. You have such a good eye – cutting up and mixing transfers, color choices – I would not have a clue where to begin. This is beautiful!


  4. That piece turned out so well, the added detail of the transfer on the inside of the door is just one of those touches that makes it special. I love to add “surprises” to the inside of doors too.
    And, isn’t retirement grand? The freedom, the feeling of playing hooky and the relief from a job that had become dreaded.
    As for getting caught dressed less than stellar… I can’t tell you how relieved I was, last spring, to have just showered and changed out of my PJ’s (in the early afternoon😬) before I took a dreadful fall on our stairs requiring EMT’s and a hospital visit. Unfortunately I was wearing a favorite pair of jeans that got cut to the hip in the ER, so they could fix my ankle. Morale of the story, always do as your mother said…wear clean underwear, you never know what can happen😝


    1. I got a good chuckle out of your story Jill! It would have been awkward to be caught still wearing your pajamas in the afternoon 🙂 I hope your ankle is all better now! And yes, retirement is grand!! I love it!


  5. This is absolutely beautiful! The Hampton Olive is perfect with your non-collection. The way you put 2 transfers together – amazing!


  6. What a surprise to see this piece of furniture…I have one almost exactly like it! Mine is in much better condition than yours started out though. I have always wondered what it was used for and now I know- a radio cabinet! I keep my dog’s food and various other dog supplies in mine😆 I love the pulls and I see that you have the same. I will be painting mine white, too, as we will be moving into a modern farmhouse soon. No brown dinosaurs allowed. Great job on yours, it’s lovely🌺


  7. Thanks so much for the chuckle and perfect analogy of the “retirement wardrobe”- I also am a member of the club! The cabinet is stunning and sure to enjoy a long new life. PS thanks to you I have finally checked off a bucket list item by using your black head board bench as inspiration. Thanks to Ken please as well.


  8. Love it! It turned out fantastic! You know, I always learn something useful from you! Why, oh, why, did I never think to water down a second coat of paint???? Thanks for always educating me! Once my rotator cuff surgery repair gets better, I’ll be back to painting furniture which I love. I have a heated workshop, but you know I MUCH prefer painting outside in the fresh air, sunshine, listening to the birds sign and my chickens clucking!


  9. Oh Miss Quandie you did such a beautiful job on this! The color choices, the execution! I always wonder how you manage to get those transfers on so straight……I know that once you lay them down they are STUCK, but yours are never slanted or too much up or down! You just have so much skill…….I have been thrifting for a piece like this, or a side board with this kind of legs, for YEARS! Your seller must be moving to Los Angeles because it seems like no one moves here with these kinds of beautiful possessions!


  10. My first impression when I saw the first picture was…what a beautiful piece of furniture. When I scrolled down to see what you did with it my jaw dropped! It’s beyond gorgeous!! I’m constantly amazed at your talent. Wish I lived near you! I’m sure you hear that all the time.


  11. I love your work I used to come to your sales😀 I love the idea of just going where you want when you please. I will be retiring from the large global company just down the road in May and I am so excited. I will get to use my workshop and garden and what ever I want. First summer I have not worked since I was 13.


    1. You are going to love it Karen! Not to say that it isn’t a bit of an adjustment. You at least have some time to mentally prepare and ease into it, I sort of went cold turkey. And here in our climate May will be a much better choice than November. I can’t wait for spring when I can get out in the garden, find some garage sales, sit on the deck with a cocktail, etc, etc, etc.


      1. I am super excited and have been counting down for a long time! And can hardly wait to go out to my red gate garden and get planting!


  12. I LOVE the “uniform of freedom” remarks. As I sit here in my uniform of freedom, I too am grateful for my good fortune to be able to just be sitting here in my uniform and not doing anything at all. Lol. This has to be one of your best transformations – in the top five for sure! Good job…


    1. LOL, being retired really does cut down on the need for a large wardrobe. I’ve gone through my closet twice now trying to get rid of the things I know I’ll never wear again. I need more sweat pants, less dress pants.


  13. Gorgeous cupboard! I do miss Florida, this January and February! But Spring is hopefully right around the corner. 🌻🌼🌷


  14. This is probably my favorite piece you have ever done. It is nearly perfect. Now, this is just personal preference but the only thing I would change would be to use the French ceramics transfer. I’m a blue and white girl, that’s just my color scheme, personal preference. The fact is, even as it is, if I lived in your neck of the woods, I would have been banging on your front door with cash in hand early this morning to bring that cabinet home with me!


  15. You sure did improve its appearance! It’s adorable! I wish I could find something like that here in Northern California.


    1. As I keep telling Mr. Q, how are we going to retire to a warmer climate when those places don’t seem to have lots of fabulous pieces of vintage furniture to choose from?


    1. Thanks Monica! I remember back to when I first started using transfers and I thought you just always had to use them straight out of the box, as is. And if they weren’t the right size for my particular piece of furniture, I just didn’t use them. I’ve come a long way baby!


  16. This is one of my favorite pieces that you’ve done! Maybe it’s the fact that it looks so much like spring and I’m really tired of winter!!


  17. Love, love, love this piece! And oh my gosh, I was laughing out loud with your not wanting to run into anyone and lo and behold…
    I went out the other evening for the first time ever with sweatpants on and hoorah! was not caught by anyone.


  18. Hello, I am new to your blog but oh, oh, this is truly beautiful. Love the interior color but most of all, I like how you styled the interior. Win, win.


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