China Cabinet Makeover

2 Materials
4 Days

Wondering what to do with a 1980’s china cabinet that doesn’t quite fit your style in 2019? Keep reading, I’ve got some ideas!!

1980’s to 2019Way back in the 1980’s my hubby and I bought our first dining room set. Solid oak and honey colored, this set came with four chairs, a pedestal table and a two-piece china cabinet. We called it a hutch.

I just loved that set so much! As our family expanded, we needed more chairs. We also had decided to move into a new home. So as we shopped for a new dining table and chairs and we sold our the honey oak set.

just couldn’t let it go!

But I just couldn’t part with the hutch. It was solid oak and well made. And it was paid for. Antiques at that time could be pricey so we opted for a new dining set. We found one that we both loved and bought lots of chairs to go with it.

But that hutch….well I just couldn’t say good bye to it! It moved around our new home – in the dining room, in the living room and even in a spare bedroom! I love using furniture in rooms they were not intended for.

lightbulb moment!

Then one day it struck me. Not sure why it took so long to strike me, but it did! The laundry room!!

Of course there was the issue of the sink. But I figured that was a minor issue 😉 . So out came the measuring tape!

Once I realized it would fit perfectly, I let my hubby in on the idea and he loved it too.

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gathering the parts

We had been given a piece of Corian countertop that had been on smy mom’s kitchen island. She had replaced it with granite and wanted to get rid of it! When I saw that all four edges where factory finished, I said that I would gladly take it off her hands!

I just about jumped for joy when I saw how perfectly it fit the base of the china cabinet!

After some careful measuring, we set the china cabinet base in place at the correct distance from the wall. I didn’t want to loose any counter space so we decided not to cut the Corian down to fit the base of the cabinet.

See the gap towards the back of the cabinet where it meets the wall? Keep reading to see how we solved that problem.

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This project was completed several years ago and I wasn’t blogging then so we don’t have alot of pictures of the process. Here is the jist of the steps we took:

  • removed all previous cabinets and sink (hubby is very talented!)
  • measured the countertop and placed the cabinet base accordingly
  • attached a ledger board on the back wall for the countertop to rest on (see the image above)
  • attached the countertop to the base using construction adhesive and additional boards on the underside of countertop
  • measured, cut and attached oak boards to fill the gap in the back on both sides

I completely forgot to mention that hubby marked and cut the opening for the sink before installing the countertop to the base! We found the galvanized tub at our local farm store and I distressed it using the Zep Toilet Bowl Cleaner method. I will share that in another post. It is a great way to make new and shiny galvanized tubs (or any new galvanized items!) look old!

Remember I said my hubby does a bit of plumbing? He installed the faucet into the back of the top section of the hutch! I love how the wall mount faucet looks!

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finishing touches

After the sections where all installed and the original shelving replaced, the next step was to paint and stain the whole unit. I decided to have it match our kitchen cabinets. General Finishes Milk Paint in Linen for the uppers and General Finishes Java Gel Stain for the bottom!

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cohesive look

We really love how this project turned out! After living with it for several years now, I know I wouldn’t change a thing!

If you look closely, you will see that the whole unit it is quite a mish-mash of parts – the cabinet directly over the washer was given to us, hubby built the shelving in the middle several years ago and then we added the china cabinet to finish off the look!

See how the laundry room ties in with our kitchen cabinets? It really seems like the laundry room was like this from the beginning!

The baskets and tool box at the top help to blend the height difference of the cabinets. The dark tool box at the top carries the eye up and coordinates with the dark base cabinet.

hiding the messiness

You can also see that we removed the glass from the upper cabinet doors and replaced it with hardware cloth. This is one of my favorite looks for doors! The baskets inside help to hide the essentials like brightly colored micro fiber cloths. Why don’t they make them in neutral colors???

The towel rack on the right side of the cabinet is a great place to hang a towel for drying your hands although I don’t have one hanging there now!

The large hook holds a basket of gloves and hats for the winter.

before and after

Here is a fun before and after I took when we first finished the project several years ago! Such a difference!

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more ideas

What are some other ways this china cabinet could be used? My first thought is to use it as a bathroom vanity! You only need the bottom section and a piece for the top – maybe a farmhouse table top or a pour concrete top! And don’t forget the sink and faucet!

The top section could be attached to a wall above a buffet in a dining room! That would be so pretty! The doors could come off and be used for some other decorative purpose and then you would have open shelving! If you do this, be sure to secure it to the wall in a safe way! Attach it to studs in the wall just like upper kitchen cabinets are attached.

Thanks so much for stopping by for this quick (and not too detailed!) tutorial on transforming a kitchen china cabinet into a useful laundry room cabinet!

I would love to know if you do a similar project in your home! If you have any questions about this project, feel free to send me an email and I will try to help the best I can!

china cabinet makeover

Feel free to pin this image to inspire yourself and others to think outside of the furniture box!! We are on Pinterest – come join us!

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Laundry Room Makeover Plans

Suggested materials:

  • Used china cabinet
  • General Finishes Milk Paint & Gel Stain

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Cindy Rust

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


Have a question about this project?

3 of 5 questions
  • Nan
    on Mar 11, 2021

    What is the purpose of having curtains behind the dryer and washer?

  • Bgray
    on Mar 11, 2021

    Great Job! I love how you repurposed a favorite piece of furniture. My mom has an Ethan Allan china cabinet she bought in the 70' is pine and well taken care of. She wants me to have it when she is gone...but I don't know where I would put is huge and I don't have many big, empty walls in my house...most have big windows in them (which I love!). Even if I took the top part off, the bottom part is still too tall to go under the windows. Any suggestions? Again, great job and thanks for sharing.

    • Leslie
      on Mar 15, 2021

      Hi Cindy, Do you have a finished cellar? You might use it as a bar and cabinet there, or if you have a 3 or 4 season room. Can it be taken apart to be used in two different areas? Until you decide what to do with it if you have a garage keep it in there. Harbor Frieght has fabric moving blankets that you can cover it with and make sure you have air moving under the piece if it sits low to the ground. Good luck.

  • D.
    on Apr 2, 2021

    Did you cut a hole in counter top to drop in wash tub sink?

    love the way it all turned out

    • Cindy Rust
      Cindy Rust
      on Apr 2, 2021

      Hi! We did cut a hole in the countertop for the galvanized tub. It was some trial and error to get the measurement just right - the tub sides were slanted. We started small and then increased just a bit more so that the tub would down in the hole leaving about 3" above the countertop. Hope that helps! Thanks for reading!. We are currently updating our laundry room - you can see the plan for the makeover in this link: Laundry Room Refresh

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