Card Catalog Remake into Buffet

This amazing redo-rework of an old card catalog totally caught my eye!  Now I want one!  Although I might have to ask Adrianne from Dream Book Designn to do all the hard work like they did for this one!  AMAZING!  Here is her explanation of what she did!

should just start off by saying that in this post I tend to toot my own horn, a lot. However it’s not because of me doing anything amazing myself, but for the fact that I am married the most AMAZING man ever! Go me!

A couple of months ago J bought this massive card catalog from Craigslist. It is from a closed down old Phoenix Public Library. It was so incredible, but yet we had no idea what the heck to do with it. It sat in the garage for a good four months until one day my hubby had a “light bulb” moment and decided he would take it apart and transform it into the most beautiful buffet ever…really, ever!

This is what we started with:

Here is the process:

  • Removed the 72 drawers, numbering each with tape as we went so we could place it back in the correct spot
  • Removed the outside plywood casing of the original cabinet
  • Separated the four sections of 18 slots that were stacked 4×1 and reacquainted the with each other in a 2×2 buffet setting. Screwed the sections back together

  • Purchased two 4’x8′ sections of oak plywood and had Lowe’s cut them to size for free. These would be the new top and base, but we used the original casings for the sides to preserve the character of the piece since they have great splits and dents already.

  • Secured 8 legs purchased from Lowe’s for $8 each to base sheet of plywood in a diamond pattern {the card catalog is probably 350 lobs. so we were really, really, relieved when the base withstood all of the weight.
  • Added 3/4″ trim purchased from Lowe’s and cut at home with our Miter saw, then pathched the nail holes with wood putty.

  • Sanded, re-sanded, and sanded some more to really smooth things out
  • Painted all {freaking} 72 drawers {with a smile of course}and whole thing with Behr Premium Plus Ultra paint and primer in one from Home Depot {color:Rhino}- random fact: we will ONLY ever use Behr PPU for all projects, it is in our minds thebest
  • Rubbed some stain {Minwax Dark Walnut 2716} all over with a small brush and a few rags to give the antique look, followed by a little more sanding and then some Minwax Wipe on Poly to seal it

  • Lastly, we placed all the original hardware back on each drawer {minus the 4 that are missing the little circle do-dads, we are very technical over here, do-dads} 

So far we have figured out that we can stick wine bottles, cloth napkins, serving utensils, and other small things..but lets be honest- 72 drawers is a little much! We shall see what junk I can find to fill it up…
Finally, how rad is my J. What hubby thinks of this, and then is even excited to do it over his three-day weekend. I kinda love him.

They had SUCH incredible vision!

That piece is stunning and I am in love with it too!
What are your thoughts?
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Cassity Kmetzsch started Remodelaholic after graduating from Utah State University with a degree in Interior Design. Remodelaholic is the place to share her love for knocking out walls, and building everything back up again to not only add function but beauty to her home. Together with her husband Justin, they have remodeled 6 homes and are working on a seventh. She is a mother of four amazing girls. Making a house a home is her favorite hobby.

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  1. >OMG I want to do one! What a fantastic find (both on the card catalog and husband!) I love bunches of little drawers and always eyed up the card catalogs at libraries. That's a great idea turning it into the buffet … very inspirational, thank you!!

  2. >WOW – this is absolutely stunning!!! I love the idea of the card catalog… the base is beautiful – everything about it is just wonderful!

  3. >It is absolutely gorgeous!!! Your vision was perfect and it looks so beautiful, like that is how it was meant to be!!!

  4. >I am in love with this piece! I would love to explain to my kiddos how we used to use that in the library! It would blow thier mind!

  5. >This is so awesome! Great job! As I was reading, I had no clue how you were going to do this but it looks so great. Wonderful job & great vision. I love the color too 🙂

  6. >I love this! My dad actually came across one of these the other day at the school he works at, and mentioned it to me. They are getting rid of it and I said I wanted it, and now I really hope I get it!! Awesome job!

  7. >That really is great! I was very excited when I found one drawer. What luck to find the whole cabinet. I want one. J is great.

  8. >I am going to have to get good at woodworking b/c my hubs…well he has other strong suits. Love this piece!