The year 2020 has already been one of the strangest years on record. We’ve had protests in Hong Kong, a failed Presidential Impeachment, and the Covid-19 virus, just to name a few things. Oddly enough, we owe the virus a debt of gratitude, for without the virus, we wouldn’t have had quarantines across the country. And without the quarantine, there probably wouldn’t be a tincture cabinet.
For the first time in most people’s lives, many were forced to shelter in place and many businesses and workplaces were closed for an extended time. Our homes became our lives; we worked from home, did much of our shopping on-line from the comfort of our favorite chair, did homeschooling, and got to know our family members on a much closer basis. To some, this was the worst scenario possible, especially those who had minimal or no cooking skills. To others, it has been a blessing and a real experience worth remembering.
Being at home all the time can be claustrophobic for some people, boring for others, and fantastic for others. I’m in the latter group. Without a commute each day, and no places to shop or be entertained, I started finishing all those projects that were on my perpetual list. One of those things was the cabinet. My wife and I found the cabinet at a thrift shop many months beforehand, and we purchased it based on it’s potential to be…well something. We brought it home and immediately put it in the corner of the garage, where it sat and gathered dust. There was always something more important to do and we never started the refinish, as originally planned. That is until the virus hit, and a few weeks passed.
The Tincture Cabinet
As the smaller projects were checked off the list, the cabinet finally was pulled into the center of the garage, where the hours of sanding and patching the old wood began in earnest. The first layers were black paint, and then brown, and then blue, white and another coat of brown. The wood was solid, but dented and slightly damaged in several spots, and my trusty can of wood filler and I became closely acquainted. Finally after weeks of sanding and repairing, the cabinet was ready to be repainted and restored to it’s former greatness.
The original cabinet had glass shelves and glass inserts on the sides and doors; none of which survived. I had an idea that dated back to a kitchen hutch I had owned years ago. It was made by the Amish and instead of glass, had black steel wire mesh in the openings. The spaces in this cabinet were very large, so I had to get a little bit creative. I used heavy gauge steel fencing and carefully cut out each shape. I had to use a lot of small screws to get it to hold and to keep a tight shape across the wide spaces on the side panels. The doors were somewhat easier as they have more anchoring points. I used a high gloss spray paint applied on an angle to cover the silver metal fencing and screws. This task took longer than any other, as I had to leave a long time between coats for drying, as to avoid any drips or runs.
Once the spray painting was done, I applied a final coat of black paint with a brush to cover the shinier black spray paint over-spray on the wood. I then applied ten coats of spray gloss over the next few days to seal and protect the newly painted wood. Finally, the drawer slides were replaced as well as the hardware. The overhead light was a little cracked, but worked after replacing the bulb. I reinstalled it with some modified anchoring and it was good to go. The glass shelves were scratched, but after filling them with inventory, no one would ever know; it was a true tincture cabinet now.
Total refinish time was 4-5 weeks. It turned out much better than expected; so much better that we put it in our dining room. It’s now a conversation piece like none other. My wife is a professional palmist, with a home-office. Her clients all stop to marvel about the cabinet, often making a purchase on their way out. It’s a fabulous addition to Sacred Herbs L.L.C.; one I’m sure will be in the family for generations to come.
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