Jump to content

Converting Antique Furniture to a Cabinet: Any Tips?


Recommended Posts

A chance find at an antique store led to an impulse buy and idea…

This old jewelry cabinet has the potential to be remade into a nice cabinet. Although I am unsure of what the specific wood is, the cabinet is made from solid pieces that seem nice. The small discolorations are dings and some kind of stain that I believe can be removed with a bit of work.


The left half of the cabinet has a removable wood panel in the middle allowing for either two small compartments or one large. It has no velvet and could be worked into an area with maybe 6-8 small trays. For these, I am thinking of housing flat Byzantine silvers so not much thickness would be needed per tray. Alternatively, I could keep this space to house supplies and paperwork.


The bottom drawer of the right half has deep yellow velvet pockets. These actually seem quite nice and are deep which is a plus for late Byzantine scyphates. My only qualm would be that the square diameter is not very large, just under 30mm. 14E1D8D6-0D3F-4F78-889C-7706042B6CEC.jpeg.14b2b64eefe5796ea4a6c33f24fa53a2.jpeg

The middle drawer has three long, separate compartments. Im not sure if I will keep this as it is and store more than once coin in each or rather add some dividers. I am actually quite pleased with the velvet quality. It seems rather nice.


The top two drawers are perfect to house the massive Byzantine scyphates of the late 12th and early 13th century. 897BEFC6-36E1-43F6-8713-149E1E33665F.jpeg.07e6fcf644abbef8ffe7b4f2b170f59e.jpeg

This coin for example is so large as to not fit in any of my current trays. I had to specially order one which houses it, even then not being near deep enough.


The right top drawer does have some kind of stain in it 😓. I hope that will be removable. It would be a shame to redo the interior because of that. 

Some of the hinges, handles, and other brass accessories look a little tacky. I will swap these out for nicer parts more appropriate in the 21st century!

Thoughts on this project? Has anyone here attempted to build your own cabinet or remodel an existing piece of furniture like I plan to? Do you have any tips or suggestions? Feel free to share any coin related DIY projects or a nice cabinet you own!

My inspiration for one came from not wanting to shell out 1k+ on a decent sized cabinet! It probably wont end up being as nice but $30 plus some parts cost seems much more palatable 😁

Edited by TheTrachyEnjoyer
  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi @TheTrachyEnjoyer,

Congratulations, that is an excellent cabinet to start with! I wish I had the ability to take on a project like that. Here are some threads from CT that cover the same type of question you had. You may want to contact the contributors for their real-life experience with their projects.

Some mentions/pictures of home-made coin cabinets

I hope there are a few nuggets in these pages that will help you out. Please show us the final result whenever you are done!

- Broucheion

Link to comment
Share on other sites

From my experience you should do no more than the following:

-refinish the exterior

-change the drawer liners (if desired)

-change the hardware (only if desired.. not particularly needed.. but I am attracted to the ultra rare Chinese Eid Mar.. as you will see below😀 )

If you do more than this (make structural changes) - you may as well start from scratch as you will find yourself dealing with the limitations of the original cabinet... and wonder why you used something you did not like in the first place. In my opinion yours is a great cabinet that just needs some cosmetic clean up. But if you want something larger (for instance) or start messing with adding/altering drawers, etc  - this is not a great starting point.

While I am extremely happy with the finished product of my cabinet - my major mistake was to start with the old cabinet that I didn't like.

I eventually got it to where I wanted it.. but it was a painful process. I should have started from scratch.

Live and learn... and learn I did as I am no carpenter...


Original cabinet I picked up cheap..






The work started...



Edited by Constantivs
  • Like 6
  • Smile 1
  • Mind blown 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...