I love quick and easy makeovers in between my repurposing projects. This vintage record cabinet with really bad veneer fell into my lap on a day that I had nothing planned. It’s so pretty now, but wait till you see what I started with, and how I had to go about repairing it.
Vintage Cabinet with Bad Veneer
This is how it came to me, abused and neglected, apparently left out in the elements for far too long.
The top was in bad shape.
Related content: how to patch wood after removing veneer
The inside was mostly in fair condition.
This is one side.
And, this is the back!! b.a.d.
The other side, though stained, is in good shape.
How to remove Bad Veneer
I used a wide putty knife and a hammer to loosen up the glue on the peeling veneer.
About 90% of the bad veneer came right off.
Related content: replace veneer with hardwood flooring
Sand Original Wood Top
I used my Ryobi orbital sander to finish the job.
Look how pretty the top of the cabinet looks.
I started sanding the loose layers on the front.
Repair Bad Veneer
Now it was time to tackle the loose veneer on the side. I used some scotch greener masking tape . (It is made with paper from sustainably managed forests and regenerating latex harvested from rubber trees. It is ideal for use on woodwork, cabinets and trim and provides a 5 day removal time.)
I used Gorilla Glue and then clamped a piece of scrap wood to get a tighter grip. Using the painter’s tape keeps your scrap wood from getting glued to the piece. An alternative method was used in my post How To Repair/Clamp a Headboard.
I removed the veneer from the back of the cabinet, but the layers of wood were separating. Because it wasn’t just peeling veneer, I needed to change up my method to get these layers back together. How many clamps are too many clamps?
Prep For Painting with Painter's Tape
After I get the layers fixed up, I prepare to paint the inside of the cabinet. Because I’m doing a two tone, I tape a little further toward the inside. I want to make sure no aqua is showing when the doors are closed.
Tip: to get a good clean cut when taping corners, use a putty knife . Hold the putty knife firmly in the corner, then tear the tape.
Time for Paint
I didn’t want any overspray, so I taped the legs good. I started spraying with the cabinet upright . . .
. . . then laid it on it’s back to get the top of the inside.
I then removed the tape. This is where it gets tough!!! I made myself put this away for a day so that the blue paint would be dry enough to tape off again. Patience? not really my strong suit. I wanted to jump right in to finish this piece.
More Tape and Paint
To tape the inside, I switch to my Scotch Blue for delicate surfaces . (one of my favs!) The first thing I did was tape right on the edge that I had painted aqua. I let a little aqua show, just a very thin line.
On the top, you can see just a small hint of the aqua.
I then stuffed some newspaper in all the little cubbies, then started taping a sheet over the entire front.
Ok, I sort of did an overkill with the newspaper and the tape. I believe this was my first time doing a two tone, and I didn’t want to have to spray the inside aqua, if some black paint sprayed inside.
I always start by painting the underneath side (and back) first.
Then I set it up and gave it several light coats of the same paint I used on the upholstered headboard bench, and my kitchen island. I applied the paint with my Homeright Finish Max.
I love this paint, it’s Behr Premium Plus Ultra from Home Depot. Black Suede in Satin (I get nothing for saying it, but I truly LOVE the sheen and the quality of this paint.
It’s time to start removing the paper and tape.
Remove Tape and Newspaper
Here you can see the first layer of protection I had taped in. (NO overspray) I was happy to see that.
Tip: Do not tape the newspaper and the tape at the same time. Using that under layer of JUST tape, then tape and paper will make all the difference.
I am loving the look of the black and blue together!
How to Touch Up Spray Paint
UH OH! I do not blame the tape for this, and remember, I waited 24 hours for the spray paint to dry. I’m guessing there must have been something oily that kept the spray paint from adhering to this spot. It is the only spot that did this, and being where it is, makes me think something had been spilled there at one time or another.
NO worries, I know how to fix this. I sprayed a small amount of the aqua paint into that little tray, then carefully patched up the splotchiness (yeah, that’s a word, right?)
The brush had to be cleaned with mineral spirits.
This was after the first coat. On the second coat I took care of that little black spot.
Reassemble Record Cabinet
awww, isn’t that much better?
Here it is before I put the doors back on.
I spray painted the original hardware black. It's hard to believe it's the same cabinet that had the bad veneer.
It’s tough to take pictures of black furniture without glare. I did add a coat of wipe-on poly on the top for some extra protection.
Pretty Aqua and Black Record Cabinet
I love the pop of color! (notice that you can’t even tell there was an oops)
There is a flaw on that right door. I couldn’t quite figure out what to do with it, and then I remembered, this was a quickie in-between-projects project.
So, it may have grown up as a record cabinet, but I can easily see it holding books or magazines. In any case it makes a great side table.
Do you like the aqua? We all know I struggle with paint choices. If you were going to do a two tone on this piece, what two colors would YOU have used. (be sure to tell me which one for the inside)
See more great tips about bad veneer below:
When to remove and when to repair bad veneer
How to clamp and repair loose veneer
How to cover up bad veneer that you can't remove
Hi, there! I’m Gail, the author and mastermind behind My Repurposed Life. I’m obsessed with finding potential in unexpected places and believe that with a little hard work and imagination, any old thing can be made useful again—myself included! I hope you’ll enjoy the journey and pick up a few tools along the way… literally!
Wow Gail! Great save,... there was a lot to fix on that piece but you made it perfect in the end. Love the colors and it would make a great magazine cabinet 🙂
Love it! You did a fabulous job!
Hey I just found one of these on a classified ad and am picking it up on Monday and will be refinishing it as well!!! Thanks for the pics!
I actually scored a very similar record table (no doors on mine) recently! Love the pop of blue inside. Pinning for my future table re-do!
LOVE this project ! I'm pinning it from Debbie Doo's pin party. Great job !
Shabby French Country Cottage Basement
I would love to say I would have chosen those exact same colors, Black and Aqua! But, sadly that wouldn't be true. 😮 I don't have that daring vision you have. I HAVE to get out of my safe zone!! This looks wonderful and will be a perfect cabinet for all of those decorating and DIY magazines we just can't part with! My mother has one of these with sliding doors on the front. I will have to see what she will trade me for it!!! Thanks for the great inspiration, Gail!
Misti @ Living On Cypress Hill
I probably never would have thought to use aqua, but I absolutely love it!
And your clamps are crackin' me up! I don't think I have more than two! lol!
And I would LOVE to be going to Haven! Have "extra" fun for me!!
I Play Outside The Box
That turned out beautiful!!!
Love the aqua on the inside! That would be a great cabinet for paper or silhouette supplies. The many clamps you used cracked me up, that's a lot of clamps! You really transformed this piece into something special, great job!
I love how this turned out! I don't ever think you can go wrong with black and I love the aqua inside! Great job...hope you have a blast at your daughter's and Haven!!
To date...I think this redo is my favorite! I love the colors you chose...the lighter color inside makes it so much easier to see what you store inside. Great job, as always!
I think I would have chosen red for the interior, but your aqua is so pretty and totally unexpected! I think it is a better choice! Nice job!
I love the black and the aqua!
Travel safe and have fun!
I love the color choice you made on this. Incredible to take something most people would have trashed (I've seriously seen better at the dump) and now it's just gorgeous. I love coming here for inspiration:)
OMG!!!!! i cannot believe that you turned that piece of trash into this amazing treasure, you are my G"d, lol. i only wish i had an iota of your talent and confidence, i read and look at every post and still nothing happening with the junk that i have growing in the store room, think my husbands gonna get the rubble removal to take it all one fo these days. I picked up a vontage desk the other day with some dodgy legs on it, i really am hoping that some handy person is gonna give the confidence and know how on how to fix some of the junk i keep dragging home. Thank you for all the sharing and i look forward with bated breath to the next fantabulous project
smiles across the miles
GREAT job! Love it.
Damn girl! You did an AMAZING job on that. So much work but you have achieved such a beautiful thing. I have issues on veneer but it is on an antique table top. Not sure what to do.
Sandi @ The Primitive Skate
Another wonderful transformation Gail! Love the colors! Have a wonderful week!
Corn in my Coffee-Pot
just for something different...and you know how indecisive I can be--
I'd say paint it yellow, and the inside red!
but-- why change it? I love it the way you've done it already.
have fun w/ Jamie and Andy--
Absolutely gorgeous! I love two-tone cabinets & aqua is my new favourite colour - nice choices!
Thanks for the putty knife tip~great idea!
I think the cabinet looks really pretty, Gail. I LOVE the aqua! It is a nice surprise when you open the doors.
So, Colors. Gray and yellow are still really popular right now, so that would have worked, too. I think an off white with some glaze on the outside and a paler aqua with more green in it for the inside would look pretty, too. But what you did looks really good!
Looks fabulous! I have one of these cabinets myself that needs to be re-done. Luckily, i only have a couple places where the venear was chipped and slightly pulling away. Hopefully it will be an easy fix. Thanks for the inspiration!
Gail, your choice of colour is perfect, in my opinion. Love the blue and black together.
You did a fabulous job giving it a second chance to be loved again.
Have a safe trip and enjoy your visit with Jamie and have a blast at your convention. Take lots of pics.
Paige @ Little Nostalgia
I like the aqua! I probably would have done a dark brown on the outside for my own house, but I think the black was a good, versatile choice too.
I love how it turned out!!! First let me say I really do LOVE this color combo.....I think you did good 🙂 Black and ANYTHING work! If you are going to keep this piece and wanna change it up a bit in the future.....I think the only changes I would make is some knobs that match the interior of it to give it a pop of color. I also think it would have looked awasome with a stenciled or mod podged top.....I'm lazy so I probably woulda went that route rather than all of that work you did.....lol. Black , creme and red would also look awesome together. Don't second guess yourself...it looks awesome as it is!!!
Full Circle Creations
It looks wonderful. The aqua looks great. I probably would have put an tan or cream on the inside but I really like what you've done.
This turned out great! The aqua was a great choice.
I love the Aqua! looks fabulous with that pop of color. i think i would have painted the knobs the same color to give a hint of the surprise waiting inside. beautiful!