China Cabinet Makeover

This last summer I had the amazing opportunity to do redo a barrister bookcase for a friend I met via one of my Facebook tag sale sites.  He was selling some furniture and I wanted to buy it all!  He came up with a great idea, I could paint the bookshelf for him and he would trade me two pieces of gorgeous antique furniture for the work.  I was instantly sold on this idea and the rest is history.  One of the pieces he traded me was a gorgeous china cabinet with carved legs.  It sat in my garage for months until I figured out what I wanted to do with it.  I already have two china cabinets in my house,  my childhood china cabinet and the battered Craigslist hutch, so really did I NEED another?  Well, not really, but did I WANT to keep it??  Ummmm yes I did!!! 

 I'd originally started working on the cabinet thinking I would sell it because I had no idea where I could put another china cabinet.  That was until recently when I had a brainstorm!!!  I could put the cabinet in our upstairs hallway and store our towels in it!  Great idea, right? Being that we live in an older 1960's home we don't have a ton of storage, especially for towels so technically I did need this cabinet. 

As always, selling the Hubby on an idea isn't always easy, but with a little persuasion I convinced him to help me move the cabinet upstairs.  I took the glass door off, gave it a good cleaning and the cabinet actually functioned quite well.  However, for the last 2 months it's been a constant reminder that the weather is cold and I can't paint in my garage.  I would walk by the cabinet and think "I really need to paint that thing!"  I don't like having unfinished projects, but an unfinished project that's always in my face is unbearable for me! 

We had a huge blizzard this weekend here in New England which meant we couldn't leave the house for a few days.  I knew this was the perfect opportunity to get this cabinet painted.  One thing I forgot to mention was the Hubby agreed to the placement of the cabinet on one condition....I didn't ask him to move it back down the stairs.  This meant I had to paint the cabinet in our hallway at the top of the stairs.  Not an ideal place to make a mess and set up a place to paint, but I was determined to make it work.  I managed to knock a chair down the stairs and almost kill myself standing on this same chair.  The chair and I are no longer friends after it decided to tip over as I tried to step off of it.  This resulted in me grabbing for something, anything to keep me from falling backward down a flight of hardwood stairs.  I still think it's the chairs fault and not the fact that I was standing on a wooden folding chair (insert sarcasm).

Here is my only before picture.  The cabinet was buried for the longest time in the garage behind numerous other pieces of furniture.  One day I snapped a picture for a possible buyer and never thought to take another picture....not even when I decided to paint it.  Yep I'm out of practice!

 The cabinet is old and hasn't been refinished or reworked in years.  It definitely needed some TLC.  It looks really good in this picture, but the sides had peeling veneer and the varnish was starting to crackle.

I did take the glass door off when I decided to move the cabinet upstairs.  I didn't think it was a good idea to have a glass door that was used on a daily basis by a 7 year old boy.  Plus, call me weird, but I didn't like the idea of my towels sitting in an old cabinet with no ventilation!

I played around with some ideas on color and finally decided on Annie Sloan Cream on the outside and Graphite on the inside.  

This was during my first coat.

The inside looks good, but the bottom had a ton of marks and the shelves needed work.  I was so thankful the shelves came out!  That made my job a lot easier.  And yes I'm drink a lot of coconut water :-)  

I decided I wanted to use the door, but take the glass out and use chicken wire instead.  I liked that I could have ventilation and some pizazz.  I thought the contrast of the painted chicken wire would look amazing against the Graphite paint.

I brought in the Hubby to help me with the chicken wire.  I 'd never replaced glass with chicken wire before, but it was easy!  The only thing I'd do differently is wear gloves while I worked with chicken wire.  I asked the Hubby, "Don't you think we should wear gloves?" and his response was, "No."  Typical man!   Of course I was the only one who got cut!  Together we figured out how to get the wire in and secure it with a staple gun.  It's was easy, not painless, but I'll definitely do this again.

Here's the door with the chicken wire before I painted it.

I applied two coats of paint to the inside, outside and the shelves.  

I apologize for the picture, but it was dark out and I was crammed for space.  Plus if I tried a tricky angle I'd have 'almost' fallen down the stairs again.  

I also decided to add in some Old White to bring out the detailing on the front panels of the cabinet.   After everything was dry, I applied a coat of Annie Sloan clear wax, reattached the door, added a new knob and a bit of distressing. 

Here's the finished cabinet

I'm in love with this cabinet!!  Now when I walk by I stop, stare and give it a little pat :-)  

I'm thrilled with the chicken wire and how it changed the look of the cabinet.

I love these legs!!!

 My towels couldn't ask for a nicer home.

The Old White paint on the detailing really makes it pop now.  

I really do adore all the detailing on old furniture.

I'm beyond happy that I was able to bring this cabinet back to life and give it a place in my home.  I also have to mention this is one of my favorite color combinations.  The light yellow of the Cream paint with the dark grey of the Graphite and touch of Old White are beautiful together. 

It felt amazing to paint again.  I've missed refurbishing and painting furniture a lot more than I realized.  I'm a creative person and need an outlet for that creativity on a daily basis.  I feel the most alive when I'm painting and giving furniture new life.  I can't wait for spring to arrive so I can throw open those garage doors,  get back outside and get working on my garage full of furniture!!  

Thank you for reading and I hope you like the cabinet as much as I do.


Linking To:


Furniture Feature Fridays

DIY Show Off

mop it up mondays



blue egg brown nest


  1. Nice redo! Love the colors! I've got a cabinet almost just like this from my in-laws that I'd love to redo and use for towels or quilts. Thanks for inspiration!

  2. What a lovely piece, very crisp and fresh and yet classic. Love the idea of using it for towels. Can't figure out though how in the world you can keep towels those white though!! lol.

    Donna Allgaier-Lamberti / White Oak Studio Designs / SW Michigan
    Hand-Painted Vintage Furniture Transformations
    Facebook: (To see a portfolio of painted pieces for sale)

  3. Love it. I have almost the same cabinet in my sunroom. I'm going to get some Miss Mustardseed paint to do it. I'm liking your chicken wire idea. J

  4. I want to feature this at the cowgirl up party, can you add the party button? I love this!


    1. Hi Linsey! Sorry I put the link from the page I linked up on because I couldn't find the button on her page. I have the party button on now. Thank you!


  5. I love this!!! Love that you put chicken wire instead of glass! I would love if you would share this over at our blog hop

    1. Thank you Amy! I just linked up at your party. :-)

  6. wow! Fantastic improvement! I love the design. Super unique. Thanks for linking up to the Frugal Crafty home blog hop!
    xoxo, Jordan

  7. Terrific transformation and I am so glad you saved yourself from the stairs! Beautiful color combination. I would store my vintage linens in it!

  8. love the way this turned out, beautiful and the color is perfect for it, i would love to feature it, if that would be ok please let me know,

  9. absolutely gorgeous! It's no wonder you stop and stare at it when you go by and show it some love! :)

  10. I once had a hutch just like this and left it with my 30+ yrs. later I was sorry that I had given that and the (yes) WHOLE set with him. SO, I had been looking for a duplicate for a few years and just last week scored one - and only paid $70 so I was thrilled. I just LOVE your idea of chicken wire. It looks delightful. I will be using mine in my sewing studio to hold some of my fabric. I will be cleaning her and placing her in her new home today so wish me luck! I would be happy if mine looks half as good as yours. Thanks much for sharing. Bw

  11. This project turned out great! I'm amazed at how different pieces of furniture can look after a transformation. Thanks for linking this up to Frugal Crafty Home Blog Hop (and for putting our button on the post, too!)

  12. This is lovely! I love the shape and the lovely shades of ASCP really bring out the delicate details and curves. Love the little pull you chose too. Thanks so much for sharing it at Silver Pennies Sundays! x

  13. Your work is amazing. I love the chicken wire in the front. You are such an inspiration and I am your newest follower. Blessings, Patti@OldThingsNew

  14. Featuring YOU today! :)

    Ginger @

  15. thanks for posting! I was missing your updates and new stuff during the cold weather!
    ~danielle h. =)

  16. THis is beautiful and I'm sure a sucker for chicken wire... I just finished up a project where i used it, and I agree... gloves next time! Beautiful job... the graphite interior is spot on!

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