My father brought the Hoosier cabinet to me early in August that year. I had setup outside, so I could strip the cabinet for refinishing. I just knew that under that white paint, was a beautiful piece of furniture.
I tried conventional strippers, and scrapers, working every spare afternoon. Sweating, thinking how beautiful it was going to be when I was done. The conventional strippers, were just not cutting through the layer of paint. Finally I had this bright, or not so bright idea of using oven cleaner (what could it hurt right). Layer after layer of paint came off,
my Grandmother really loved to paint that Hoosier. I counted three different layers of white, two different shades of blue, and even a layer of yellow. My how she loved to paint.
I made great progress, in Oct, I finally got down to the wood and discovered the oak, oh how I love oak wood. However, all of the panels on the doors were a veneer, which I could not tell until of course the paint was off. The frame was solid, but basically I had a lot of pieces of doors, without anything in the middle. I was broken hearted, what had I done. And now what on earth was I going to do. I am not a carpenter, and at this point not a good re-finisher either.
One day out of the blue, my father asked me what I wanted for Christmas. I think he must have known what a mess I had made of the Hoosier. I said the only thing I could think of was grandma's Hoosier in my kitchen. He smiled and said I think I can help you with that. He came out with his truck and loaded up all of the pieces, and took them home to his wood shop in the garage. Now, my father has a lot of talent, but I know even he was wondering if he could repair what damage I had done.
The day before Christmas, my father brought the truck back out to my house. He carefully unloaded the completed Hoosier. He had replaced the bottom door panel with solid oak wood and the doors on top had been replaced with glass, so I could display my treasures. He had lovingly sanded each piece and part and put it back together. Oh my did the tears flow.
That was fifteen years ago, and the Hoosier is my kitchen to stay. One day my children will look back and say do you remember when mom tried to refinish Grandma's Hoosier and hopefully it will be a warm memory and story that they will pass down to their children.
Mary and Cathy