Hopefully, you’ve already read Part 1: Palette Table, and understand what we are looking to accomplish with this project. Repurposing things to get exactly what we want at a minimal cost.
After completing the Palette Table, I moved on to a companion piece; the Mixing Station. I wanted a place to mix larger quantities of paint and hold tools, solvent cans, paper towels etc., in order to keep the Palette Table clear. So I created a design for a piece of furniture to do all of those things. As outlined in Part 1 of this project, think backwards, starting with what you want in the end. Then figure out how to accomplish it.
I had previously built a Mixing Station for my Studio by repurposing an old oak desk that I picked up at a thrift store for $8. Here is a photo of it.
It worked great! The 2 large drawers held my tubes of paint and all my brushes. It had a shelf on the right that held 2 solvent cans and also had a paper towel rack on the other side.
I put a white melamine top on it, along with a 24″ x 36″ piece of tempered glass from a previous Craigslist find (light table – $40). I also added a narrow “shelf” at the back that held paint brushes.
All in all, a great solution, but at about 64″x39″ it took up a lot of space and was too deep to use in front of the easel, so it had to sit off to one side.
I also had an existing table in my Studio that was made from a bathroom cabinet I picked up off Craigslist about a year ago. Here is a photo of that cabinet.
I had also added a white melamine top to this piece, and was using it for storage and miscellaneous clutter. This table was about 62″x26″, so it too was pretty large.
I really wanted to take this table out too, and come up with a smaller solution here as well. As I thought through the problem, I realized I could repurpose this cabinet to replace both of these large pieces of furniture with one.
Here is how I accomplished this;
As always, I start with a “drawing” of what I want. Here is that drawing;
My plan was to cut the cabinet in thirds. I would cut the center section of the cabinet (with the doors) away from the 2 sides (with the drawers). Then I would connect the 2 side pieces with the drawers together, to create the front of my new Mixing Station. This made the width of the new cabinet half as wide as the old one.
Next, I would use the cut out section with the doors as the back side of the structure, and add some shelves so I could have storage. This was a pretty ambitious project, but I felt comfortable that there was a reasonable chance of success. Cutting the cabinet apart was the biggest challenge. If I screwed that up too badly then I was finished before I ever got started.
I managed to get that done – it wasn’t too pretty but it is amazing what you can fix with putty and paint! I scavenged the narrow shelf that held the brushes off of the old Mixing Station. Then I disassembled the rest of the desk it and put the wood back in the workshop for some as yet unknown project. I set the 24″x36″ piece of glass aside and went about building the cabinet top to hold it. Here is the finished piece;
On the left side I mounted 2 towel rings to hold rags and a couple more small shelves.
The back uses the old cabinet doors off of the old Mixing Station, concealing a few shelves to hold cans of solvents etc. All 4 sides are functional.
I also put a small shelf on the back so I could attach a clamp-on glass shelf for holding a computer monitor.