Before & Afters on this site have a way of becoming hot-botton issues. Commenters frequently come down on both sides with regards to the same project—unleashing their fury with an exasperated “they did what??” or their adoration with an equally spirited “I LOVE IT!!” As the editors with the unique privilege of sifting through submissions and presenting the best of what we find, we’ve learned that some of our favorite projects tend to incite the most impassioned responses and inspire the most debate.
This beautiful card catalogue transformation, sent to us by Taylor Haynes of Applegang, found us impressed, inspired, and bracing ourselves for what the blogosphere has termed “commentroversy.” Purchased at a yard sale for a mere $15, this ragged library cast-off gathered dust for three years while Taylor gained the inspiration (and motivation) necessary to tackle the project. This summer, she finally disassembled, re-assembled, painted, and meticulously transformed the card catalogue into two fully functional storage cabinets. We were in love. We had to wonder, though—would bibliophiles find the project to be a desecration of a historic relic? Would wood-purists knock the new paint job? Whatever one’s opinion is about re-painting and re-shaping vintage furniture, there is no denying Taylor’s ingenuity in transforming this piece of now-defunct library technology into two beautiful, functional pieces of furniture. The original brass drawer pulls shine brilliantly against the new grey paint and the shortened height allows the pieces to work as a catch-all credenza or, if needed, coffee tables. And what will Taylor be doing with her fabulous re-purposed card catalogue? “Rumor has it these drawers are perfect storage for wine, whiskey, or your nightcap of choice,” she says. “I’ll be testing this theory soon!” Check out more photos and the step-by-step process after the jump! —Max
“To start,” Taylor says, “I removed all of the hardware from the drawers including removing the bars and plates from within the drawers.”
“I removed the boxes from their horizontal design and chiseled away the grooves that attached the boxes on top of each other keeping them stable. I then used a fine grit sandpaper on the two boxes and all of the drawers. Painted four coats of matte charcoal grey paint [Behr PPU18-19 matte] on everything, waiting for each coat to dry, and sanding with a light grit on imperfections and repainting for a solid look.”