At Home With The Ellingtons
At Home With The Ellingtons
  • Hometalker
  • Knoxville, TN

Old China Cabinet Makeover

5 Materials
5 Days

One of my readers said, "Wow, wow, wow! I just showed my husband, who always rolls his eyes at painted furniture, and he said, 'Wow, now that's a piece I can appreciate. Very well done!'" Another said, "It looks like a piece of wall art. Stunning!" "It's the best transformation I have ever seen!" Come see how I transformed this beauty. I hope you'll be just as wowed as my readers were.
old china cabinet makeover, painted furniture
old china cabinet makeover, painted furniture
Nope, I don't have a bad before picture. She was a beauty to start with. The wood veneer had some small areas of damage and discoloration and was dried out, but overall it was in great shape. I personally love old stained pieces, even when they have battle scars. Maybe especially when they have battle scars. For several weeks, I would walk pass her while I was working on other projects and each time I would wonder if I could actually paint her. I do paint furniture as a hobby, but I'm actually a purist when it comes to these older pieces. I have many stained pieces of furniture in my house that I would never paint. So, my head and my heart battled it out. To paint or not to paint???
old china cabinet makeover, painted furniture
After I cleaned the years of dust off of her, I sat down and just stared at her a while. This really was weighing heavy on my conscious. I prefer to protect and preserve history when I can, but I thought about this logically. I ran through the pros and cons. It was a dark cabinet, especially behind the glass doors and the wood veneer was dry and slightly damaged but could be conditioned. What really stuck out in my mind was how the intricate trim and detail work was camouflaged in the midst of all that wood. It had beautiful details, but they weren't appreciated because they blended right in.
old china cabinet makeover, painted furniture
As I sat there staring at her, I started seeing a color scheme take place. I could visualize how I wanted to play up certain details with one color while highlighting other details with a different color. And for the first time in weeks, I felt like I could truly showcase the details to their fullest effect. I was still a little uncomfortable with the idea of painting her, but I *knew* sooner or later someone would paint her and I wanted to be that someone.
old china cabinet makeover, painted furniture
I spent about 4-5 days painting her. I would work for an hour or two. When I became fatigued, I would call it quits because I needed to be at my best in order to do the fine detail work. As you can see, my color scheme changed and I just went with 2 colors instead of 3 and left some of that gorgeous wood.
old china cabinet makeover, painted furniture
General Finishes graciously supplied paint for this project. Don't you just love how the blue, the creamy beige, and the woodwork play off one another?
old china cabinet makeover, painted furniture
And how about these beautiful knobs? Love, love, love them! These were from House of Antique Hardware. They hand antiqued each piece right before sending it out. Love. It.
old china cabinet makeover, painted furniture
They also made sure the knobs and the Victorian style pulls matched perfectly. When the hand antiquing on the knobs of my first choice didn't match the pulls like they thought it should, they got in touch and gave me different options. They have some of the best customer service I have come across in years. Their hardware is top quality and just gorgeous. I have to say that the hardware really brought all of the other elements together. It was like the icing on the cake.
old china cabinet makeover, painted furniture
Details. It's all in the details.
old china cabinet makeover, painted furniture
A little dentil moulding...
old china cabinet makeover, painted furniture
Notice how I left the millwork trim inside the cabinet stained. This was necessary in order to balance out the wood on the bottom of the cabinet. It really is important to balance out the different elements used so that your eye will focus on the entire cabinet and not just one area. Balance really is another "detail" not to be overlooked.
old china cabinet makeover, painted furniture
For more information on the products I used and for more amazing pictures see: Photos courtesy of 5 Rings Photo.
Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Hometalk may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page. More info

Top Hometalk Projects

13 Spectacular Ways To Display Your House Number
If Your Stairway Walls Are Empty, Here Are 25 Ways To Change Them Now!
16 Brilliant Wire Basket Hacks Everyone's Doing Right Now
20 Easy Concrete Projects You Absolutely CAN Do!
16 Ways to Showcase Your Herb Garden
30 Essential Hacks For Cleaning Around Your Home
15 Amazing Things You Can Make With Dollar Store Gems
No Way! These Pops of Color Were Made With Dollar Store Items!
21 Totally Terrific Things You Can Do With Doilies
30 Ways To Use Old Jeans For Brilliant Craft Ideas
17 Faux Brick Ideas For Your Home
16 Ways to Showcase Your Herb Garden
30 Unusual & Helpful Gardening Tips You'll Want To Know
11 Unexpected Ways to Use Spices in Your Home
17 DIY-Inspiring Kitchen Backsplashes
At Home With The Ellingtons

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 13 questions

Join the conversation

2 of 271 comments
  • Laurie Laurent-Hyland
    on Apr 29, 2019


  • Ranell Knipstein
    on May 9, 2019

    I would have never thought of using 2 paint colors and keeping some of it stained. Absolutely stunning piece of furniture. Your finished hutch is something to be proud of, great job. Love the colors.

Your comment...