Oops, I did it again. (I hope you’re giving it your best Brittany aaaannd you’re welcome.) I refinished another apothecary style cabinet like I did here.


I think I like this one better! Woot!

Like most of my furniture, this 15-drawer 80’s CD holder throwback has been patiently waiting for about a year to get a makeover. Why oh why does it take me so long to start/finish something!?

Actually, for this piece, there was a specific reason it was taking me forever to start. I was being too cheap to buy all the hardware. If you recall, my last little ditty cost me $40 in hardware!

But last month, another blogger invited me to join The Fab Furniture Flippin’ Contest!

Hold the paint.

Say what?! You mean I might win something for furniture makeovers? Talk about soul mates.

After I joined the contest and figured out the deets for the theme, “Icing on the Cake”, I realized the August contest was being sponsored by D. Lawless Hardware.

Hold the hardware.

This was it. Serendipity do-da and everything.

I needed 15 label pulls STAT.

Done. Thanks D.

My little 80’s orphan was ready for her coming out party, but not before some serious salon time err garage time.


I pulled out all 15 drawers and removed the existing hardware. Of course, one of my kitty kids immediately wanted to help.


Not her most flattering side. And more shenanigans ensued.


I wanted to do the same basic color scheme as I did before, but it turned out more rustic and I love it!

The body of the piece got two coats of Annie Sloans Graphite, and then one coat of dark wax.


By the way, check out the photo above. Can you see the foggy effect in the coloring? My lens would fog up because of the humidity, but I think it looks really cool. From now on, just breathe on your lens. 🙂

After two coats I had this


I sanded the whole thing down and sanded certain areas down to the wood for a distressed look. I then added dark wax. Can you believe the difference in the color when you add dark wax?


In between coats, I ran over to my other garage where I had my orbital sander handy and went to town knocking off the sheen on the drawer fronts.

I used my absolute favorite stain from General Finishes called Java. This stuff has such a dark, rich, and beautiful finish! Because I’ve used it several times, I thought I knew what to expect.

But I’m impatient, and I live in a tropical rain forest… or at least I did this week. And things didn’t really work out as planned.

Humidity really killed it. My plan that is.

I originally wanted a smooth and consistent finish, but I got this instead.


I was covered in stain, working in a very tight space, and it was dark. I was crazy with frustration because there were hurricane winds and pelting rain that prevented me from having my garage door open, and that meant one thing.

It. was. hot.


Okay, so Java is a gel stain, and maybe I put too much on or left it on too long. I don’t know. But I had 15 drawers that were blotchy, sticky, and had bits of paper towels stuck to them. I was starting to feel defeated.

I took a chance, grabbed my orbital sander once again, and randomly began sanding the gooey stain.

I liked the randomness and the worn look so I pushed forward.


I’m sure my sander was not pleased by this technique, especially since the stain was really starting to build up like tar on my sanding disc.


It felt a little rubbery and I noticed I could scrape off the stain. I don’t know if it was creative genius or my incredible laziness, but I decided that I wouldn’t change my sanding disc and that maybe I could sand the stain back onto the wood.

Can you believe it worked?


I was aging the wood and reusing my stain!

Once everything was dry, I brought the drawers in so that Big Daddy could pre-drill the holes for the itty bitty screws. I did make up a template for him. 🙂 The template was crucial!


While the hardware was the perfect size and color, I was disappointed that I didn’t receive any screws with the label pulls. If you do choose to purchase this particular style, be forewarned that you’ll need to buy your own screws and spray paint them to match the hardware. Because the screws are super small, I just poked them through a piece of card stock and sprayed them all at once.


Finally, I went into Photoshop and created the labels with various crafty titles! And once again, my little one was annoying me, I mean helping me.


Are you ready to see it? I took a bajillion photos with different styling options.



















I want to thank The Fab Furniture Flippin’ Contest hosts: Michelle and Evey!


Go check out there sweet entries at Dandelion Patina and Evey’s Creation!

Another huge thanks to our contest sponsor D. Lawless Hardware for hooking me up with 15 label pulls!


Are you interested in joining the competition? You can! Contact Stacy at info@anastasiavintage.com or Evey at info@eveyscreations.com for more information.


Disclosure: I received hardware from D. Lawless Hardware for free.

Some or all of the hosts of The Fab Furniture Flippin’ Contest receive monetary and/or product compensation from the sponsoring brand, D. Lawless Hardware, in order to complete their themed projects. D. Lawless will also provide the prize package for the contest winner.

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16 Responses

  1. Brenda Young

    Sometimes mistakes amaze us and lead us to turn out amazing results! I love this finished piece, it reminds me of tortoise shell. Wonderful piece!

  2. karen@somewhatquirkydesign

    It looks beautiful Christine! Isn’t it funny how these things work out? Great job.

  3. DianeandDean

    Wow! That is a keeper. I love all things practical, looks good and functions as great storage for all those little things we can’t find around the house when we need them. The color looks great, amazing how the dark wax changed it up so much.

  4. Holly McCall

    This turned out beautifully! The dark stain and paint work great to bring this out of the 80’s !

  5. Lou Fay

    Awesome project!!!
    But I have to add…. video’s that come on automatically on websites are annoying….

    • Christine Leahy

      Thanks for stopping by Lou! And I totally agree about the ads…they are annoying! That particular ad is not supposed to come on automatically. I’ve had the same issue with it in the past and they’ve fixed it. I’m just going to remove it since it continues to be a problem. Thanks!

  6. Carol Kovach Bray

    I’ve hopped over here from Your Inspired Design. I love how it turned out, especially since you were trying to go for another look.


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