How to Restore this Old White Garage Cabinet into a Bathroom Linen Cabinet


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Old 08-09-15, 06:19 AM
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Smile How to Restore this Old White Garage Cabinet into a Bathroom Linen Cabinet

Hello,

I am a complete beginner at any type of do-it-yourself restoration projects.

I am about to pick up this white cabinet, which has been living in someones garage for years. I'd like to clean it, restore it, and make it look good and safe to use as a linen closet/cabinet in my bathroom.

I am able to go to a hardware store to pick up any necessary supplies. I am looking on suggestions on the best way to clean it. I am thinking it may need some bleach in case the black spots on the sides turn out to be some type of mold. I'm just not sure bleach can be used on this particular material, whatever it is?

I'm also looking for directions on how to best paint/stain?/touch up the material. I want to make sure whatever product I use will hold up strongly in a moist bathroom type environment. And finally, I was thinking about putting on different knobs/fixtures and wondering if that would be a more complex task than I imagine. Please let me know.

Please find attached pictures, I have no idea what material this is made out of and this is my starting point for this project. Thank you and I appreciate your time.

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Old 08-09-15, 06:44 AM
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Welcome to the forums! It appears to be MDF or particle board with laminate pressure coating (PLam). Cleaning is a possibility, but I'll leave the painting advice to our pro, Marksr, who will be along shortly.
 
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Old 08-09-15, 06:51 AM
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Your cabinet is most likely particle board with a melamine finish material.

After a thorough cleaning I would sand with a very fine paper, nothing coarser than 220 and preferably you should use a 320. Wipe off the dust with a damp cloth and apply a bonding primer. There are a lot of brands, one I've used is "Gripper" but there are certainly others. After the primer dries sand lightly, dust off and apply an acrylic or acrylic/alkyd blended semi gloss finish in the color of your choice. If a second coat is required, sand and wipe between coats.

Changing hardware, if you choose is no problem, just make sure you get screws that are the right length for whatever pulls you may use. If there are any surface imperfections or holes you can patch them with a latex based material after priming and then touch up the primer after the material dries and you sand lightly.
 
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Old 08-09-15, 09:45 AM
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IMO 220 grit sandpaper is fine enough both for the initial sanding and between coats. The frayed areas near the bottom will require heavier sanding and maybe some filler. I'd use a pigmented shellac like Zinnser's BIN for the primer. It can be top coated with your choice of latex, waterborne or oil base enamel.

Oil base enamels dry to the hardest finish and will wear the longest but will yellow over time. Waterborne enamels [my preference] dry almost as hard as oil base but do not yellow. Latex would be my last choice although there is a quality difference between the cheap latex enamels and the top of the line ones. Latex paints don't yellow. The yellowing is only an issue with whites and some off whites.
 
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Old 08-09-15, 06:47 PM
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Thank you, I sincerely appreciate all the advice. I think this is going to be a great first project for me. I do have one question, marksr mentioned that it might require filler, can someone explain exactly what that means, I am uncertain. I was able to follow everything else. Thank you all again!
 
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Old 08-09-15, 08:12 PM
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Near the bottom if after sanding there are pits you may need to fill them and sand flush. I like Bondo auto body filler but Mark is the pro and may have a better product in mind.
 
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Old 08-10-15, 03:26 AM
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Bondo would make a good filler, joint compound or spackling will also work. They are a little easier to work with although the repair isn't as stout. The smoother you apply the filler the less you need to sand. It doesn't need to be thick as you are just trying to level it back out where the damage is. Depending on what the bottom portion looks like once it's sanded and how particular you are it might not be an issue.
 
 

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