Our Garage Woodshop Progress

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Garage Woodshop – from upcycled materials

The perfect distraction from finishing my ever-growing list of to-dos? Craigslist

Introducing our new “salvaged” wood-woodshop. This part of our home is a work in progress, so bear with us. We found these cabinets online before we were able to paint the walls and the floor so we’re doing things a little bit out of order. We’re planning an epoxy finish on the floor, but he’s already been able to build some beautiful things with this current setup.

Woodshop from Salvaged Cabinets | by SnazzyLittleThings.com

These cabinets weren’t always this pretty. This is a story about “potential”. So I’m starting with the after shots.

Until now our garage has been a disaster area as we move through the house making improvements. We had no real work benches. No workspace. We’ve been doing most of our DIY on my kitchen table and on whatever flat surface we can find. We’ve been making small investments in portable benches, still attempting to make this a usable garage.  But now…we have this…

Upcycled Woodshop

Sometimes you can’t possibly make anything for less than what you would buy used off of Craigslist. We had all of these visions of a new woodshop supplied by a famous brand. But…for $80.00 and a little elbow grease, we’re in love.   We have more to do here (such as painting the walls and the floor, but we are very excited). 

So…back to the warped, smelly and unfortunately timed part of this story…

Woodshop before | by SnazzyLittleThings.com


Yes, these were disgusting. But I had never witnessed such excitement coming from my husband over a Craigslist find. His almost guttural utterances of “they don’t make cabinets like this anymore” had me convinced this would be worth it.  50 year old tack paper. Stains. Drips of food preparations from years past.

And lots and layers of paint.

My husband (and my son) accepted the challenge. They sprayed the cabinets with Citristrip (affiliate link) and let that sit 24 hours. This gives you an idea what we’ve spent the better part of May doing.

Citristrip Stripping Agent on Paint

Gross! But fun…my son got a kick out of scraping and sanding.

Between science experiments Mark built the top out of scrap pine wood we had lying around. He treated it with a poly walnut stain (also in our stash).

Workbench Tabletop | by SnazzyLittleThings.com

Then, we treated the cabinets with Watco Danish Oil.

Source list: 

  • Builders Hardware:  (handles on cabinets) $35 from Lowe’s
  • Cabinets from Craigslist:  $80.00
  • Wall cleats (brackets to hang cabinets) — all scrap wood
  • Bench Top:  scrap wood (Seven 6′ 2×4’s @ @2.00 each)
  • Citristrip:  4 x $7 cans of spray
  • Danish Oil:  in our stash

Total = $157.00 

One more look…we have a ways to go before this is a “finished” garage, but sometimes…timing is…what it is.Woodshop in Progress | by SnazzyLittleThings.com

We’ll keep you posted as we progress. I’m excited, too, to ramp up my woodworking skills. He’s attending a conference with me this summer and will be in classes with the Ryobi, Kreg and Home Depot teams to make some furniture for Habitat for Humanity, so we’re getting really excited.

Stay tuned!

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  1. They appear to be bit shady in the pic. Coloring will make them look good. I’m assuming you guys are no finished yet!

  2. Those are GORGEOUS! Wonderful find! I have a bit of a Craigslist addiction, too. We are slowly fixing up free kitchen cabinets for our kitchen and this week I’ll be making a slipcover for my free couch (which was exactly what I had been looking for, though the guy was so funny and apologetic about the condition of the fabric and I’m just beside myself for having found exactly what I wanted – for FREE!! ) Sometimes my husband thinks my finds are questionable, but he’s supportive and knows my finds look good and save money in the long run! I just found your blog this morning, now I’m going to look through it!! I love your cabinets!

    1. Thanks Michelle…he is so excited to have a space where he can knock-out projects quickly. Craigslist is partly out of necessity but mostly out of my sheer curiosity to see “what I can find” for next to nothing…we love to make a game out of salvaging pieces and giving them new life. Hope you’ll be back!