DIY Cabinet Makeover: From Danish Modern to "Antique" Chinese

We had an old cabinet in the dining room that I was ready to put to the curb. It got rickety and the doors were always crooked. And it was boring looking! I'd always wanted an antique Chinese cabinet in that spot. Well, instead of leaving the cabinet out for dumpster divers, I gave it a makeover into the "antique" Chinese cabinet I always wanted! It was painted with milk paint, Chinese hardware was installed and I applied a Chinese wallpaper print to the doors. All details about the makeover, and sources of supplies, are on my blog.
Adding Chinese hardware is key to getting the look.
Before. It was in extreme danger of being put out for the dumpster divers.
After! It now looks like an antique Chinese cabinet.
Another key to getting the look: decorate the doors with something Chinese style. I used a print of Chinese wallpaper. You can also paint a Chinese stencil pattern. I left dark wax in the door corners to make it look old.
The thin Danish style is too thin for Chinese style. So I "chunked it up" by adding plywood to the top, sides and bottom.
I painted the cabinet with milk paint - green and brown colors mixed into a custom color. I find Riesling is great with milk paint. :)

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

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3 of 14 comments
  • Janet Shaw Janet Shaw on Mar 28, 2018

    Thats good to know, thanks 😊

  • Beth Beth on Dec 23, 2018

    Deb, this was a great save! Always good to keep something out of the landfill and even better to be able to say, "I did that!" I think it would look even more impressive and Asian if you put feet on it. Just google "Asian furniture feet" for ideas.

    • Ah good idea!! We have a living room coffee table and another cabinet with “Asian” or Chinese feet so I know what you’re talking about!