Friday, January 20, 2006

Dumpster Diving

I can only admit this in certain circles. And if you tell anyone about it, I will adamantly deny it ;-)

Most mornings I take a break from work and walk down to the local coffee place for a latte. I use this walk to keep tabs on the neighborhood.

For the past week, I have had my eye on a remodel project a few blocks from my house. There is a big dumpster in the street that is being filled with old house stuff. In my neighborhood, this means old bungalow house stuff. A few days ago I slowed down enough to briefly inspect -without drawing attention to myself - what was in there and spotted two bright yellow cabinet doors. I toyed with the idea of pulling them out, but it felt it little weird.

So, today I was walking by and spotted them again. And then....I heard a saw going in the side yard of the house. It was the contractor working. I walked up the sidewalk to the house and told him I had an odd question for him. He looked at me kind of funny and braced himself.

I told him I had spotted the cabinet doors in the dumpster and was wondering if the homeowner would mind if I took them. He was amused and told me that were mine for the taking.

So, I hauled them home :-)

They are fairly large doors. 19.5'x30.5". They are birch. They match the design of my existing kitchen cabinets (inset doors with a beaded panel).

The strange thing is that they only have one coat of paint on them. Under that coat of paint there is no finish (shellac or varnish). There are faint remnants of a grey paint. These doors look like they have been stripped once already and then repainted. They are in good condition.

Anyone that has ever gone to the work of stripping cabinets will tell you that those cabinets would end up in a dumpster over their dead body after they went to all that work. So, we know there is a story behind these cabinets.

At any rate, I have high hopes that these doors can be worked into cabinets that I will have built for my kitchen (to match existing original cabinets). And thanks to some ambitious soul bringing them back to tip top shape should be a breeze. I plan to strip off the layer of yellow paint (attractive, isn't it?) and apply three layers of amber shellac.

Now I may have to go back and get that screen window and small glass storm windows.......

3 comments:

Kim said...

Great find!

If we had neighborhood dumpsters, I'd be all over them, that's for sure!

Kim said...

I used to pick up all sorts of items in our "trash room" of the apartment building I lived in, bookcase, stereo cabinet, etc. I never understood why people throw away perfectly useful things-why not donate? It sickens me to drive by decent looking furniture sitting in the rain on someone's lawn. We have been gutting "the Dirty House" and we put the extremely grimy cabinets on the lawn-they were beyond cleaning, soaked with grease. I did think about keeping them for storage in the basement as I hate to waste anything, but yuck!

Our sweet neighbor stopped me to say that she hoped I didn't mind that she had picked them up for her husband for his garage...then she commented that they were "awfully sticky"...

ann said...

Good for you. I am sometimes tempted by things I've seen in the alleys near us when there have been remodels underway but usually I'm just moved by the old wood and don't have any use for it.

For shame that so much should end up in landfill that could be at least sourced for salvage.

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