Old workbench turned entertainment cabinet
This old workbench quickly became the topic of conversation at Shantybabes Farmhouse. I have quite the love affair with old, chipped and worn out furniture and this piece just worked for me! A couple of springs ago while antiquing with my mom, Jake's mom Kaari and aunt Riina we came across this work bench. It is early 1900s and was from Prague...
It was also 9 feet long, and painted a blue grey, with an apple green underneath. Pretty right? :| Most people walked past this piece. It was tucked behind a couple other counters and had lots of boxes on it. The price was also $850. Not ideal for something that would need some tender, loving, care. After about 40 minutes of bartering, reminded the dealer he would have to load up this big piece and take it alllll the way back home (and pooling the cash left from the day from the ATM's that weren't maxed out) I, purchased this workbench for $650.00. I know what you're thinking. Still a lot for something that was 9 feet long, partially broken and needing a paint job. You aren't alone. Jake's reaction was less than impressed when we pulled up to our new house we hadn't even moved into yet with a massive "worn down piece of old wood".
He assumed we got it for free and that it was going to moved straight into the garage for his tools. I wish you could have seen his face when I told him it was $650.00. And that I had it set to go into our main living room as the entertainment unit. I reassured him it will be nice!!! it will just take some work. He was a little skeptical. Can you blame him?
After sitting on our porch for a month or so under a tarp we moved it into our garage. With the help of our moms we used some liquid paint stripper, a metal paint scraper and (once dried) a sander. This was a big big job. The drawers had to come out. We started stripping the boards underneath on the back and then realized the back was not painted so Kaari had the idea to take them off and flip them around. Everyone helped out especially our moms. We would come home sometimes and they would be in the garage with a spot light sanding the corners down. How lucky are we!!
After we had it completely sanded down, we moved into our living room. This was our first piece of furniture in the house. It fit perfectly. There is about 3 inches on either side of it now. In the picture above it isn't quite pushed into the wall so I could stain in but it sits right in it now. You can also tell it is not centred. One of the drawers is closer to the end then the other. I think this beauty was twice as long in her original day! Also because the boards on the back were on one side and we took them off. I used varathane wood stain Dark Walnut to stain the piece. This was the fastest part of the job! All you need is an old cloth/sock/ shirt to rub the stain in with in a constant motion. I used 2 jars and was done within an hour.
After the varathane you can use a clear coat to finish it off. I was a little worried it might have a shiny finish so I did not use any.
The best part of course is filling it with all my little vintage displays! I love old boxes and baskets and vintage sporting goods. Its fun to move things around and try new out new looks.
We still need to get some handles for the drawers. I always keep my eye out but haven't found exactly what I'm looking for yet! After it was all said and done, Jake loved this piece! It was hard to imagine the transformation of the 9 foot long grey/green Prague bench. But we're super happy with how it turned out!