Blue & White Vintage China Cabinet

I said I wouldn't paint it. Unless it didn't sell. It didn't sell. So I painted it!
Let me explain. I purchased this vintage china cabinet at a thrift store. It looked like a puppy had chewed on it as evidenced by teeth marks. It also had damage to the side panels that the previous owner attempted to repair. But otherwise it was structurally sound and I initially planned to restore the finish.
Below is a photo of the repair started by the previous owner. I sanded off the bondo and added new trim to cover the repair on both sides of the cabinet.
There were quite a few teeth marks along the bottom and the legs of the cabinet. But I thought it was charming nonetheless.
I reconditioned the interior and exterior of the entire china cabinet. I thought it turned out rather well (photo below) and planned to take it to my booth to sell. One thing led to another and it ended up sitting in my hallway for a bit. After about a month I noticed that the veneer was drying out severely. I reconditioned it again and again, but eventually decided it was a losing battle and decided to paint the cabinet.
I chose a color scheme of Duck Egg Blue and Old White (Annie Sloan Chalk Paint).
Since there was still wear and tear on the cabinet I decided to work with it instead of fighting it and applied medium to heavy distressing in keeping with its vintage charm.
The exterior details were highlighted with Old White.
I painted and distressed the hardware.
As you can see in the photo below there is still evidence of teeth marks.
The interior was painted in Old White.
The photo below shows the trim that was added to the sides.
I removed the background from the Before/After photos for a side-by-side comparison without the background clutter. I think the new look gives this piece a more beautiful appearance and looks like it has aged gracefully over the years. Which do you prefer?

Top Hometalk Projects

3 Simple Green Ways To Clean In Your Home
Cut Up Some Pallets For These 20 Amazing Ideas
21 Small Things You Can Do to Beautify Your Home This Weekend
These Herb Garden Ideas Will Make You Want To Start One Of Your Own
30 Brilliant Things You Can Make From Cheap Thrift Store Finds!
31 Creative Ways To Fill Empty Wall Space
30 Fabulous Wreath Ideas That Will Make Your Neighbors Smile

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


Have a question about this project?

3 questions
  • Fuz21352631
    on Mar 1, 2017

    It looks like you repainted the etching on the glass door- it looks brownin the original picture, blue in the finished picture. Did you, and if so, how did you do that?

  • Dolly Roberts
    Dolly Roberts
    on Apr 15, 2017

    did you take off the old finish 1st? I have a cabinet I want to paint, the wood doesn't look like it is stained, looks natural. could it possibly hand rubbed stain? how do I know? thank you. dolly
    • Julie
      on Feb 23, 2020

      How do you distress wood ? I would love to do this but I don't know exactly how to make it look old and distressed . Do you have to use chalk paint? It's so expensive....

  • Iris green
    Iris green
    7 days ago

    Can you please tell me what the scroll piece in the glass is called and where to get a replacement. I have a cabinet very similar to this one.

    • Patricia
      7 days ago

      The wood insert behind the glass is called fretwork. Unfortunately I don't know where to get replacements. I have always tried to repair if possible. Maybe someone else in the Hometalk community will know where to find replacement parts. Good luck Iris with your project!

Join the conversation

4 of 350 comments
  • Poo
    on Jun 7, 2020

    Love it, did you paint the whole thing in the duck egg blue first and then the old white details, or how did you do the white?

    • Patricia
      on Jun 8, 2020

      Thank you! Yes, I painted the blue first and then used a small brush to paint the details white.

  • Jennifer House
    Jennifer House
    on Jun 10, 2020

    Annie Sloan would be very proud.

Your comment...