Part 2: Galvanized Gardener’s Cabinet – the top

Antiquing the cabinet top: I came to work this morning with a plan all in place. I was going to follow a blog I saw online about antiquing galvanized metal  but alas, it didn’t work very well at all! There was a little antiquing going on but not enough so I decided to try a faux finish with paint. Well, that didn’t look great either – could have gotten the same effect on wood. You know that old adage – if at first you don’t succeed…. so off the whole thing came. Again.

Try #3:  I had started earlier this morning with a mister bottle, carefully applying the vinegar/salt mixture and then the bleach in thin layers – that’s what didn’t work very well. This time, I mixed white vinegar, salt, and bleach together and poured it on the top (there was about 1/2 a cup of bleach and vinegar and about 3 tbs of salt).  tip: Put towels or something under the cabinet. Amazing! within a few minutes you could see it start to work – the smell nearly knocked me out so I’d recommend doing it outside. It started turning some areas white (that’s the zinc oxide) and creating wonderful swirly patterns on the top.  Patience is not something I have a lot of, but I did manage to persevere and allow the top to dry on it’s own. It looked GREAT!


Sealing: The beautiful patterns that formed are from the zinc oxide which is a soft powder. The minute you touch it, you leave marks and it’s very easy to rub right off. I decided to use Krylon 1311, an excellent sealer/fixative that you spray on so I could seal the surface without touching it. Krylon is a spray that is very toxic so you have to use it outside without breathing. It drys in a few minutes and then you can apply any finish you like. I used the Cottage Paint flat wax (acrylic, not beeswax) because of the low sheen and durability. Apply at least 2 thin coats.


Cabinet Base: While I was waiting for the top to dry, I finished the base of the cabinet. The first and second coat of Painter Sister’s Milk Paint was Blue Danube which was nice, but a little too flat and dark. I brushed on a very watery coat of Cottage Paint, Cottage White to lighten it up. Next, I sanded edges to remove some of both of the layers. I was a bit disappointed that the Milk Paint didn’t ‘chip’ but sometimes you win, sometimes you don’t…

Botanical Papers: Can you tell I really love these papers? Soooo pretty! I cut them to fit, applied a coat of white glue to the back of each and then a coat of white glue to the door panels. Apply them carefully – you don’t get much of chance to move them once they’re down! Rub the papers with a dry paper towel to smooth them out – shouldn’t be any wrinkles and wait for it to dry or use a blow dryer to speed up the process.

Image Transfer: I found an image transfer for the drawer front that I really liked and transferred it using orange oil.

Finishing: When the papers are dry, apply one or two thin coats of Cottage Paint flat wax to the entire base of the cabinet, papers included.


Now that I see a photo of the piece, I  think I’ll add a stenciled design under the tulips – it looks a bit empty, and the flowers a bit top heavy. I can’t do another image transfer since the surface is sealed with wax. When that is done, I think I have a new love – it’s going to be very hard to sell this piece!


  7 comments for “Part 2: Galvanized Gardener’s Cabinet – the top

  1. December 24, 2014 at 4:59 pm

    Everyone loves what you guys tend to be up too. This kind of clever work and reporting!
    Keep up the terrific works guys I’ve incorporated you guys
    to my own blogroll.

  2. Marjolein
    December 9, 2014 at 3:44 am

    So nice!

  3. Irene
    December 7, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    Ok!! Did I mention that I want the cabinet back now!!! Wow is that great!! It’s like that table I did with faux zinc, it takes patience and you don’t touch that either until you seal. Can’t wait to see it in person, see you soon!!

  4. December 6, 2014 at 8:54 pm

    Wow, I love it!!! Never thought to wax over the paper too! Great idea. Thanks for sharing…..wish I lived closer and could stop by for a visit.

    • December 7, 2014 at 1:35 am

      Or, if I’m ever on the island, I’d love to meet you too Debbie!

  5. December 6, 2014 at 4:35 am

    I think you should keep this one for a long while Wow its amazing. Put a price of at least $495.00 on it. Or better yet, take it home with you:)

    • December 6, 2014 at 4:49 am

      Hey Brenda wish you could see it in person – the top is awesome! Gotta do some more of this!

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