First step was to replace the legs with something a little more mid century. I removed the old legs (they were simply screwed into the base.) and purchased new ones at Lowes. You can buy the plates and legs pretty cheaply at any home improvement store.
Then I roughed up the outside of the cabinet with my sanding block. Since mid century aqua is one of Thrift Chick's favorite colors, I bought a sample size of aqua at Lowe's (less than $3!) and gave the outside a couple of coats. When I finished, I noticed the handles did not stand out at all. I made a trip back to Lowe's for replacements only to find out that these handles were not standard size. So it was back home for plan B. I grabbed the leftover silver paint from Thrift Chick's diy project and gave them a quick spray.
I am guessing by Thrift Chick's reaction when I finished it that she did not see my original vision. She must have been humoring me when she agreed that it had potential. She is a believer now!