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?

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


Have a question about this project?

2 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
    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
    • Patricia
      on Apr 15, 2017

      Hi Dolly, No I didn't remove the original stain. I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint which doesn't typically require sanding or primer. But when using a light color I apply a coat or two of clear shellac with a foam brush as it will stop any tannins in the wood from bleeding through. The shellac dries very quickly.

Join the conversation

4 of 341 comments
  • Buffy
    on Sep 29, 2019

    I think the painted piece looks great! I know that there is always controversy about painting these old pieces, but so many have finish issues to begin with. If it gives it a new life instead of going to the landfill I’m all for it! Great job

  • Ally Knox
    on Sep 29, 2019

    I love it! Those details come to life on the painted version, whereas they get lost in the original. I am growing to love duck egg blue and it’s very tempting to start painting all my furniture that colour!

    • Patricia
      on Sep 30, 2019

      Thank you Ally! Duck Egg Blue is one of my favorite colors.

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