The Flea Market Hardware Cabinet

Last Sunday, a friend and I, along with hundreds other early bird shoppers, headed to the once-a-month Alameda Flea Market at the former Alameda Naval Air Station near Oakland, California. The big purchase of the day was a grungy 30-drawer antique hardware cabinet dated 1914 and begging to be filled with crafty supplies, embellishments and components. It’s still in pretty good shape with most every piece accounted for.

Each drawer has a little brass handle pull and brass plate encased glass front panel showcasing the multiple compartments inside.To load it into my Suburban, we needed to remove all of the drawers due to the weight. How exciting to find that the cabinet maker had signed and dated his work on the back of one of them and rubber stamped his name on another. Thank you Mr. C.E. Rice!The cabinet is going to need a bit of structural reinforcement, a minor fix here and there (note the broken piece below the bottom left drawer), a really good cleaning, and when I find the nerve… a nice coat of paint. Yes, I know that makes a lot of you cringe to think I would do such a thing, but I have to tell you, had I found it already painted, I would have been tempted to pay double. I started a Pinterest board on painted vintage furniture as inspiration for my upcoming studio furnishing projects. So far you’ll find mostly bright colors on my board, but I’m still contemplating. I would love to hear your ideas for freshening up this piece. What color would you paint it?… if you had the nerve to paint it. The cabinet dimensions are 4.5′ high x 2′ wide x 20″ deep.

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