My new Hoosier cabinet

Assembled Hoosier Cabinet
Growing up, I was something of an unusual kid. From an early age, I spent considerable time wandering thrift stores and antique malls with my mom, and so by the time I was nine years old, I could tell the difference between a pie safe and an old ice box. I could spot an oak veneer from five feet away and aspired to one day own a Mission-style hall tree.

When I graduated from high school, I had a list of furniture pieces that I longed to own. Included in that list were an old iron bedstead, an antique wash stand and a Hoosier cabinet. Tonight, after long last, I crossed the Hoosier cabinet off the list. I’ve been antsy for a better storage in my dining room lately and I haven’t used the corner writing desk since I finished grad school last December. I mentioned my dissatisfaction to Scott and he suggested we buy a new piece of furniture (he has the ability to instantly simplify the things I create mountainous issues from).

So yesterday afternoon, I took a glimpse at Craigslist and found a Hoosier cabinet for sale for $100. I responded to the ad, made a phone call and in the space of aa couple of minutes had committed to buying a cabinet, sight-unseen.

Scott rode out to Hatboro with me tonight to pick up the cabinet and we managed to fit it into the back of my very handy Subaru wagon. Driving back into the city, I was a little giddy with the excitement of finally having something I had wished for since 1997. As we unloaded in back of the building, a neighbor stopped us to exclaim over the cabinet. He commented that it was in great shape and said that many years ago he had had one in his own kitchen.

I’m planning on painting it white (I’d love to strip it down to the original pine, but I don’t have the space or proper ventilation for that project) and will probably get a few new drawer pulls. The enamel counter, which slides in and out, needs a little WD-40. But essentially, it’s a very solid piece of furniture, especially for one that’s more than 80 years old (it is dated September 24, 1925 on the back). I am delighted and will post pictures of the finished product as soon as it’s done.

15 thoughts on “My new Hoosier cabinet

  1. Fran

    oooooooohhhh, you GOT one! I am so envious! I’d gladly let you do the refinishing in my garage, but that would be kindof inconvenient for you. I totally have no place to put one, myself.

  2. Diane

    I love the hardware; of course, I can’t see what shape it’s in. I also love the color but I do see that it’s peeling away in certain areas. I generally hate to see original finishes changed, but you have to be happy with it. I love the piece and I’m so glad you were able to get it. I wish I had a “Scott” to grease my life along. Enjoy your new aquisition!!!

  3. Marisa

    Fran, in the future, if I buy something else, I may have to take you up on that offer.

    Diane, I’m with you on hating to see original finishes changed. Luckily, the red paint on this cabinet isn’t original. There’s a blue paint underneath that appears to be the original color. So the person before me was the one to paint over it and so I don’t feel bad about doing it again.

  4. Joan B

    Y9ou got yourself a great deal! Too bad the red doen’t fit your decor b/c it looks fabulous as is. I love it when a piece is distressed.
    We have a hoosier in original condition in maple and use it as a bar in the rec room. Enjoy your purchase.

  5. Marisa

    Thanks Joan! I’ve now had the red interior for about six months and it’s really growing on me. I think I’m going to leave it that way, at least for the time being.

    I’m jealous of your hoosier in the original maple though. Sounds beautiful!

  6. Beth

    You have a “Sellers” brand hoosier cabinet exactly like mine. The latches should have an S on the door. We did strip ours down to original wood. It had 8 layers of paint that was all chipping and in very bad shape. Underneath all the paint was very beautiful oak. We put an oil finish back on it and it is now a useful piece in my kitchen. I still have to put the tambour door back on, but we had to take that to be dipped to remove the paint. I was afraid that trying to remove the paint from all those little parts would damage it.
    In order to make the top slide easier pull it completly out and sand lightly all the parts that slide together to remove all the raised grain and then treat with lemon oil and let stand apart for at least a day. When you put it back together it should work like new. WD40 will remove all moisture from the wood and could damage it.

  7. Marisa

    Beth, thanks for all the tips! Unfortunately, mine didn’t come with the tambour door. I do have the rest of the doors, I just haven’t gotten my act together to sand and paint them yet.

  8. Kim

    The one I have for sale is in wonderful shape but like yours, it had been painted many times before I got it and while I did work hard to strip it and regain the wood finish, it didn’t work out. The project was just as much fun as having the cabinet though and the work paid for when I did paint it (white with red doors and trim).
    Mine has the tambour door, which I had to repair but it works. It also came with the original flour mill which fits in the top side with the long door. The enamel countertop is in perfect shape – after all these years not a single chip.
    It might be where I’m located (East TN) and the fact that I couldn’t begin to consider parting with it for $100 (I spent that much on paint remover!) but it’s been for sale for some time and still no takers.
    If anyone near Knoxville, TN is interested, email me at

  9. fred.

    I have a 1920’s Sellers brand Hoosier Cabinet with frosted glass. I spotted a larger one on Craigslist and want to upgrade.. They are lovely pieces of furniture and very functional for today.

  10. ted

    Hate to see a good antique painted. I have the exact sellers cabinet just refinished. I bought it in parts. Has original oak frame, nickel plated hardware. It turned out nice. You can order tambour door and other parts from kennedy hardware if needed. They are making strippers now that wont send u to la la land. A lot of sellers cabinets donot have s on hardware. If you look closely under the top dlb doors should see to pin holes, that is were the original sellers tag was. You can also order them along with recipe charts for inside of left top door. Good Luck!


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