Primitive Farmhouse Cupboard with Attic Finish



One my favourite vintage farmhouse cupboards is this one, loved for its simple down home beauty, its unique dry and crazed patina like its been sitting for years in the heat and dust of an attic, in the shed, the barn or on the veranda.




Original. Authentic. Rustic. Crackle. Mellow. Primitive. Attic finish. Farmhouse. Shabby. Antique. Early days. Junk Style. Vintage. Distressed. Country style.


By now, you might be wondering what’s up with the terms used in referring to this type of old furniture and the vintage style associated with it. Indeed, there are some who would regard certain pieces I mix with as junk. There are many, like me, who use the word junk as a term of endearment with respect to furniture. This article about primitive, rustic, antique and vintage and what’s the difference is helpful.



This piece pulled my heartstrings the moment I saw it for another one of those ‘a ha’ moments.  A time for drooling.  I had to have it.  We didn’t have the ute with us that day so I couldn’t take it with me. Hmm. I knew I would be back to collect it as soon as possible.  Indeed Michael went back and picked it up the next day.

A rare and wonderful piece in form and function, user friendly with much needed storage space, sturdy  shelves and a large drawer at the bottom   Not just for decoration especially in this busy living space.





What about vintage picture frames?  I find, sometimes, that the old frames are more interesting and decorative when not used in the conventional manner.  I have simply hung this chipped and tattered beauty on the side of the cupboard.

The frame’s curvaceous shape with scrolled embellishments and moulding worked perfectly as a frame for my small collage of vintage photos, a brooch and ephemera.  The rusty hanging wire was still on the back when I found it.  I simply pinned the photos to the cupboard. Easy to do.  You can attach a bit of chicken type wire to the frame or criss-cross some string or ribbon from side to side for inserting and displaying memorabilia, pictures and other ephemera.

I wonder about the little frame and its past life?  Somebody made it.  Somebody owned it, admired it.  Did it hold a portrait, a family photo, an artwork?  Did it grace a sitting room, a fireplace, a hallway or was it in a bedroom? Was it in the drawing room in a grand old mansion or was it in Grandma’s humble little country home or was it in the homestead out on the farm?  I will never know.




Quintessential Patina.



With a heavy aged and crackled paint finish it would generally be regarded as a depression era cupboard in Australia and a primitive cupboard in the USA.


The cupboard is in the kitchen living area.  What you see here in front of the cupboard is the kitchen table with a dining chair.  The farmhouse table spreads across from the kitchen into the living/great room space where one finds armchairs, couches, book shelves, dresser, TV, wood heater, cats and so forth.

The kitchen and living space is one large room commonly referred to as the living area, the family room, the great room or the lounge or any one of these.


How would one replicate this finish?  As one who is familiar with recycyling, refurbishing furniture and creating old style finishes and patinas using whatever mediums work, I doubt anybody could imitate this patina. It would be near impossible to re-create such natural age and beauty. the thick crackle finish in muted cream, brown and ochre shades and the large cracks in the paint brought about by age and use along with the chips, dings, dents and scratches. 



Indeed there are some very good artists, renovators, up-cyclers and makeover experts around who successfully distress pieces to look like they are “100 years old”.  We all try and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.







A round wooden knob on the right side door.  Keys in the lock.






I took these two images the day we saw the piece in a shop in the Adelaide Hills wjere it was hidden in a dark corner in one of the back rooms.

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