Music Cabinet Rehab

I recently acquired a music cabinet that once belonged to my great-great aunt.  I would guess that this cabinet is about 100 years old.  My grandmother had it in her basement for years, intending to fix it up to use, but never did.  When granny moved to a retirement home, my aunt took it, thinking that she, too, would give it a new life.  My aunt realized that she would never tackle the project, so the cabinet became mine.

If you don’t know anything about a music cabinet, people kept one near their piano to store sheet music.  I even have some of Great-Great Aunt Bessie’s music.

Take a look at the before pictures.  The cabinet was very dirty, scuffed and scraped, and in some serious need of some TLC.

IMG_2474Three shelves came with the cabinet.  You can see that originally it had seven.


Side View:

IMG_2473The top was a real mess.  I wasn’t sure what I’d be able to do with it, but it turned out beautifully in the end.

IMG_2477I did not make the effort to repair the missing veneer here, but I was able to apply some stain to the area to mask it.

IMG_2475Mr. SP helped me to repair a broken piece on one of the feet.  A little wood glue and drying time made an easy fix for this.


I cleaned the piece thoroughly with orange oil cleaner and then rubbed it down with a very fine steel wool.  I then went over it with some walnut stain that Mr. SP had from another project.

This is the walnut stain product that I used:


An area above one of the legs had a sheet of veneer that had come loose.  We put some wood glue under the loose part and taped it overnight with masking tape.  It worked like a charm.

IMG_2504 IMG_2510

I glued some felt pads to the feet for ease of movement.  I get really mad when I accidentally scratch my floors and have found using these to save a lot of tears.


Now for the after!  For right now, I placed the music cabinet beside our fireplace in the living room.  Isn’t the wood a beautiful color?

IMG_2505Look how nice the top looks now!  

IMG_2511You can see that one of the shelves has a small piece missing, but it is still serviceable.  My mom has a similar cabinet that has most of its shelves that she uses for a wine cabinet. I am thinking about using this for place mats but knowing me, it will remain empty for a while.

Look at the bottom left leg.  The exposed wood where the veneer is missing is hardly noticeable.




I am very pleased with this project.  The best thing about it was that it didn’t cost a dime, just a little elbow grease.  My aunt is going to be sad that she gave this piece away when she sees how it looks now!  It makes me feel good to “save” an old family piece and put it back into use. 

I put the sheet music belonging to Aunt Bessie back in the cabinet.


Be sure to visit Susan at Between Naps on the Porch, Kimba at A Soft Place to Land, and Donna at Funky Junk Interiors for more ideas and inspiration.

MM kimbaDIY125 satnitenew150w


  1. WOW!!! What a beautiful piece, Paula! 🙂 You did a great job restoring it to its former glory. 😉 So proud of you!

  2. I am so glad that you didn’t resort to painting the wood. I thought that you might do that. This cabinet will be so serviceable for storage. Enjoy!

  3. How wonderful to have a piece of family history as well as a servicable piece of furniture. I really like your idea of using it for place mats. I have a music cabinet as well but it is just storing magazines. Great job bring it back to life.

  4. Great job Paula!! Looks perfect for a wine cabinet to me. 🙂 Or, whatever you decide to use it for. I do love an old family piece.

  5. Paula, I’m beginning to think that there is nothing you can’t do. Maybe antique restoration and such is your niche. You and Mr. SP have done a lovely job. What a treasure to have. I inherited my grandmother’s old cedar chest and I absolutely love and treasure it. I had asked for it when she passed away….I didn’t find out until after I opened it that her wedding dress, my father’s baby shoes (my father died in 1972) and tons of “very old” pictures were in it. What a bonus. I was happy just to get the chest.

  6. What a wonderful project and it turned out so well. Yes, the wood is a lovely color. Its fabulous because it has been un your family for so long ~ and you even have some sheet music. That is very special!
    Paula Grace

  7. Whaa wonderful family keepsake. Isn’t it amazing what a little stain and elbow grease can accomplsih? Most people would have thrown this piece away, so glad you were able to save it. Looks great! Hope you can join me for Tabletop Tuesday this week. Blessings, Barb

  8. It looks just fabulous. I love the way it turned out. Great job and such a beautiful heirloom. Hugs, Marty

  9. I’m jealous! What an awesome piece of furniture. They just don’t make it like that anymore! I’m so happy you could make it beautiful again.
    And it looks perfect in your room!

  10. Oh, it’s beautiful! What a great piece. I hope to do some garage sale/thrifting this spring to find some pieces that need TLC. Thanks for sharing how you did it!

  11. What a lovely addition to your room. It has so much character, and you really brought it back to life!

  12. It is great to get heirlooms handed down to you. You did a wonderful job with its restoration.
    Thanks for sharing.

  13. Wow, an entire cabinet devoted to sheet music. How fun! We inherited loads of sheet music when we bought this old house. I love the covers. 🙂 You did a great job restoring it!

  14. It looks great! I picked up a cabinet very similar with all the pull out shelves and wondered what it was for. Now I know!

  15. What a neat piece! What a neat home!! Love the feet on the cabinet, the detail way back was amazing.

    Thanks for linking up to SNS!
    FJ Donna

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