Refinishing a Family Heirloom Hoosier Cabinet

In this article Jann Newton, of, shares her experience refinishing a Hoosier cabinet that originally belonged to her husband's grandparents.  It has now become a treasured family heirloom that she uses daily in her kitchen.
Many years ago, I did one of my first DIY projects – refinishing an antique Hoosier cabinet. Originally the cabinet belonged to my husband’s grandparents. Here’s a picture of it as it stands in our current kitchen.

The Hoosier cabinet was in pretty rough shape when we brought it home. The bottom cabinet had been used as a work bench by my husband’s grandpa, and the upper cabinet was in his uncle’s basement. As you can see below, I had my work cut out for me!

Hoosier Cabinet Makeover Before

This was in the days before we had the internet or a computer, so I researched Hoosier cabinets at our local library. They were made in the early 1900’s as a functional cabinet for kitchens, before built-in cabinets and countertops were popular. They are usually in two pieces. A shallow upper cabinet, and a deeper lower cabinet. They also had a handy pull-out surface/countertop. The two cabinets are held together by special brackets that allow the countertop to slide in and out.

Hoosier Cabinet Makeover Bracket

A lot of the Hoosiers had a flour bin/sifter, and sometimes a sugar bin. The flour bin was gone from ours, but it did have the original spice rack.

Hoosier Cabinet Makeover Spice Rack

I had to order new hardware for the bottom drawers, new side brackets and new casters for the legs.

I love another feature that our Hoosier cabinet has in it. Uncle Lee’s signature, done in crayon, inside the top drawer! Probably done 70 years ago or so when he was a child. Priceless.

Hoosier Cabinet Makeover Uncle Lee's Signature

We have enjoyed this Hoosier for lots of years. It has a lot of storage in it, and also functions as our microwave cabinet!

Hoosier Cabinet Microwave

Article and images courtesy: Jann Newton. Visit her website, where she shares home decor ideas, sewing tutorials and DIY projects.