Refinished Cabinet

In my spare time over the last few weeks (ie, nap time and when Trent is home to help keep an eye on Dylan), I have been working on painting the dining room and refinishing a cabinet. The cabinet is my solution to child proofing the cat food & water now that Dylan is allowed into the dining room and kitchen (he's at the point where the living room alone is like being trapped).

The cat food bowls and water fountain are like a magnet drawing him in.  Dylan knows these aren't for playing with but can not resist the temptation.  Thus the idea for a cabinet where they could be closed off from him, but accessible to the cats came about.

I found this cabinet on Craigslist for $20:

It was a good size (36"w x 18"d x 36"h) and overall in good condition.  It had expected wears from previous use, but also had great bones.  I had a vision that it could be beautiful and functional with a little work.

I sanded it down.  Removed the old knobs.  Patched the holes.  Cut a 6" x 6" opening in one side for the cats to enter.  Then came paint.  I was momentarily stumped.  The other furniture in the room is a dark walnut tone.  I wasn't convinced that I could get a color to match and, honestly, didn't want it to match.  I wanted it to be a fun accent piece.  Searching the room for inspiration, I came to the curtains.  In May 2009, I had added a striped top panel to lengthen the curtains after accidentally shrinking them.  Looking at the striped fabric, I had my aha! moment - a nice olive green color would be perfect.  After a trip to Lowes for supplies and several layers of paint (Valspar #318-6 Shubbery mixed in Olympic semi-gloss no VOC base) later, my vision was starting to come together.

Even Dylan was joining in on the fun when he could - oh how he loved climbing in and playing hide 'n seek:

Finally, the dining room was painted and the new knobs I ordered on eBay arrived:

For now only the cat food is in there as we let them adjust to the new location.  I'll eventually place their water fountain on the bottom and cut a hole in the shelf so they can access the food above. And, of course, I had to add locks to keep Dylan from being able to open the doors. 

And in it's new home:

All in all, I spent less than $50 and ended up with a unique, beautiful piece.


  1. What a cool project and so creative! LOVE IT!

  2. Looks great! Love DIY projects! TFS!

  3. Very cool! We will need an update to hear how the kitties like it. :)

  4. You did a wonderful job on the cabinet. It's beautiful! I find it interesting that the cats & fish are in the same place. My cat would have been drinking out of the aquarium! Dylan sure looks cute hiding!

  5. It looks great! Also excited to see the fish there since you know that I think Santa needs bring us a "Dorothy" and worried about how Emmie will react. ;) Well done lady on this project, so impressed!

  6. I love how your dining room has turned out. The cabinet is a clever and stylish solution. I hope your cats like it.

  7. I have seen a few projects like this in blogville and I always wonder how do the cats know to go in the cupboards and how do they like eating in the dark? I guess they don't mind, since it is a popular solution it seems!

    Good job on your cabinet!

  8. OMG Sarah I love it! I'm in the middle of painting some boards my brother in law is going to add to our island and painting all the chairs for a whole new look. I'll be sure to post pictures when its done!


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