Asked on Sep 27, 2014

China cabinet makeover - to paint or re-stain?

by MC
I have inherited this china cabinet from my mom who passed away in May of this year. Have just repainted my dining room and as you can see by the picture, I have stack of lumber for new flooring to be installed next week. My dining room table is a darker wood with more brown tones - maybe a rich Kona coffee color. I am torn between painting this china cabinet or just restaining it darker to blend better with the table. My walls are painted a greyish color called Ranchwood from Glidden (VERY NEUTRAL) I know all the attributes of chalk paint, but I think I am going to stick with regular paint, that is if I paint it and then put a coat of poly on top. I am not much for the distressed look either. So I am open to any suggestions
  20 answers
  • Swan Road Designs Swan Road Designs on Sep 27, 2014
    I don't think I would paint it. Staining it to more closely match your furniture would be a nice idea, along with putting a mirror(s) on the entire back of the top portion and if not already, changing the shelves to glass. You'll be surprised how different it will look and how it will "pop." Updating the hardware might be a nice addition, too.
  • Z Z on Sep 27, 2014
    First off I'm so sorry for the loss of your Mom Marilyn. My heart goes out to you and your family. As for the beautiful china cabinet, which looks in excellent condition, my first thought would be to leave it as is until you have the room done. You may very well find the contrast is more attractive than you think. You could also remove the back panels and stain only them to bring some of the color of your dining table to the china cabinet. Or better yet, just cover the back panels with a dark brown paper or fabric.
  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Sep 28, 2014
    So sorry for your loss and glad you have your Mom's cabinet. We live in a world where "matchie, matchie" is old style. I would do nothing to this until you finish the room and have lived with it for a while. By having one unmatched piece, you are now open to bringing in other things you like or find that are different. Just take your time. You might find that every time you look at this, warm feelings of your Mom envelope you and you don't want to change a thing!
  • Mary Mary on Sep 28, 2014
    I'm interested to see your other furniture in the room!
  • Tea333205 Tea333205 on Sep 28, 2014
    Fall is Scenically a picturesque time of year. When you look at the fall foliage it doesn't all match and looks amazing. I would not paint. Be bold & show your own sense of design.
  • Amber Thach Amber Thach on Sep 29, 2014
    My husband just picked one of these up and PAINTED it! I'll see if I can post a pic on this comment board after awhile. We planned to resell it, but I think i'm in love with it! Someone else just painted one white and did a baby blue inside and it looks fabulous. See if you can find that one, if not, I clipped it on my board.
  • Linda Linda on Feb 15, 2017

    What did u do with this piece ?

  • Joan Carlson'Krueger Joan Carlson'Krueger on Feb 16, 2017

    Sorry for your loss!

    If a piece of furniture has a nice finish I love to leave them as is. As for changing the finish of antiques in my mind destroys the value for me

    i absolutely do not paints such as milk paint or the distressed look.

  • Sylvia Candler Sylvia Candler on Feb 25, 2017

    The only thing I don't really care for is the hardware but it's your cabinet. I also agree with the other posters. Wait until the room is finished, take a photo, and really look at it. Do you really want to change it? Maybe wallpaper behind the shelves in a grey pattern to coordinate with your wall color? Sorry for your loss. I lost my mom in 1998 and I still miss her very much. Hang onto to that china cabinet and remember her fondly everytime you see it. Maybe put something inside that was hers if possible. Good luck with your project :-)

  • Mary Clark Mary Clark on Feb 26, 2017

    Nice to have the memory of your Mother. Everything doesn't have to be matchy-matchy. Try eclectic?

  • Kat5846989 Kat5846989 on Feb 28, 2017

    It is so special that you have something of your mom's with you...I totally agree with the other comments that you may want to wait until the room is completed before you start working on the hutch...once you start changing it it may be almost impossible to fix if you don't like it...and everything doesn't have to can coordinate....or compliment...

  • Jill Jill on Mar 09, 2017

    Leave it as is and live with it in the room a while. How about cover a foam board with fabric and put it in the back? You can always paint /stain it later. My mom has been gone 9 years so I understand fully.

  • Millie Millie on Mar 10, 2017

    Would like to know what you did with the cabinet. I just bought an older home and it has the bottom piece just like yours. My drawers have a curve to them. I want to take drawers and doors off and do something , don't know what yet. I am open to suggestions. There is no top to my cabinet and I have a large mirror hanging above it. I do not like the dark color. Anyone have pictures of something similar I would love to see them. Thank You !

  • Diana Deiley Diana Deiley on Mar 11, 2017

    Blessings to your family. I'm sorry for your loss. Maybe if you wait a while, you'll love the piece as is. Being different isn't so bad. Nothing has to match perfectly. Best of luck.

  • Amy Donahue Amy Donahue on Oct 12, 2021

    Wondering what you did with this cabinet. I have just inherited the same exact cabinet. It was my great grandmothers and I’m so excited. To get my hands on it. I am not going to paint it. I know I want to keep it as close to the original color as I can. Here’s a picture of mine.

  • Agnes Chrzanowska Agnes Chrzanowska on Nov 30, 2021

    Beautiful cabinet .. I would for sure paint to be a statement in the room

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Apr 24, 2022

    Leave it as it is, it's great!

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Aug 18, 2022

    Second thought, If you really want to do something, why not just use a dark stain on the drawer front panels only to match in with your other furniture.

  • This is a personal decision. If you have reservations about painting wood, try staining it first. If you don't like it, go with paint.

  • Mogie Mogie on Sep 05, 2023

    After my dad passed we had a big house to clean out and it was packed full. He had built a bookcase about a year before he passed. It is wood but not nice looking wood. The paint job really refreshed the piece and it look much nicer now. New hardware will also give you piece a new look.