History has turned the page...the beat goes on...the beat goes on.
While history might have turned the page on this old radio cabinet, it has been given a second chance with some old-fashioned elbow grease, a couple of extra parts and fresh paint. Unless you are a serious radio collector (which I'm not), these cabinets are wonderful to use in bathrooms, guest rooms, hallways - any place that you might need a little extra storage. Standing at just 5' tall and less than 3' wide - they can add some extra vintage charm even when you have limited space. (O.K. so some radio buff is aghast at what I've done to a perfectly good cabinet!!)
Of course the first step was to thoroughly wash down the cabinet with damp rags and soap - it seems like I always decide to revive pieces that have been stored in a barn for a few decades. Next I had to decide what to do with the interior shelves - they had numerous predrilled holes for the old radio wires. I chose to leave them intact and apply a thin layer of wood (luan) that covered the holes without adding much thickness to the shelf. I then painted the entire cabinet with two coats of semi-gloss latex paint inside and out. The end result is that you can't tell I added anything to the shelves - the luan looks like it has always been there.
I left the back panel intact (you can see the holes in the back on picture #2) in case it's ever used as a stereo cabinet (a fitting use) or TV/DVD stand.
I removed the original art-deco handles since they just didn't match the painted end result. To add an even tougher twist, the old handles were screwed into the wood ( not bolted) to allow the doors to fold flush when fully opened (see picture #2). Finding great knobs with wood screws built in was a challenge and I had to be patient and spend some time treasure hunting. However, I finally found the perfect knobs on eBay and they were definitely worth the wait!
From start to finish, this radio cabinet project took about 2 weeks to complete, not counting the weeks of searching for the perfect knobs. So...that being said...I hope this blog inspires you to go find the nearest barn and rescue the poor forgotten furniture that waits inside!