How can I refinish this china cabinet?

Rosie-Jim Dryer
by Rosie-Jim Dryer

This china cabinet was one that my husband picked up at a garage sale many, many years ago. I love it but I also hate it because it is so scratched and so hard to keep dusted as you can tell. I really want to refinish it but I just can't figure out where to start. I have not seen a china cabinet like mine on your site so can someone PLEASE help me? Thank You!

I want to get rid of the Mediterranean look, i.e., especially the diamonds.

  10 answers
  • Lsherbach Lsherbach on Oct 01, 2018

    Rosie, here are a couple of ideas that might inspire you...good luck!

    • See 2 previous
    • Lsherbach Lsherbach on Oct 02, 2018

      I think you might like the detail in the bottom when it’s painted, or you can remove the doors completely and find some baskets for down there. Can’t wait to see how it turns out

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Oct 01, 2018

    If you want to keep the wood finish, try Old English Scratch Cover.

  • Shore grandmom Shore grandmom on Oct 01, 2018

    Painting it won't make it easier to clean. It will cover the scratches, but depending on the color you choose, dust may be more noticeable.

  • Christierei Christierei on Oct 02, 2018

    I would try to add a new smooth layer of wood on top of the existing diamond part. I think you have the depth. Use thin craft wood. This would give you a smooth surface to paint or stain or what ever.

  • If the inside of the doors are flat, you might be able to turn them around by reattaching the hinges the other way. Or you could add a cut piece of luan and caulk around the edges to hide the seams. Then paint.

  • Homeroad Homeroad on Oct 02, 2018

    I would paint it. There are many paints that are easy to use and require no waxing . My favorite is Fusion Mineral Paint. It goes quickly and you will love the results!

  • Lisa S. Lisa S. on Oct 02, 2018

    If you want to keep the wood finish - try Restore-A-Finish

  • Jewellmartin Jewellmartin on Oct 02, 2018

    Definitely paint, like a light gray-blue chalkpaint.

    Definitely remove the wood doors at the bottom, fill in holes for the hinges.

    Definitely remove cat, artificial plant, other decor from the top of the China cabinet; they pull the eyes away from your lovely china.

    Definitely remove the cross-patched etched windows from the front. If you take the windows, or a carefully traced outline of them, to a glass store, you should be able to get plain glass replacements or another style you like. If a glass store is not within 50 miles of your home, consider making the etched windows look frosted. You won’t be able to see the China through those panes, but the others remain.

    Definitely match a small band of trim on the outside to the trim on your china, which could be silver, blue, white, gold. You can find metallic trims or metallic paints in the crafts dept. of Walmart, or Hobby Lobby or Michael’s.

    Definitely purge the cabinet of anything that does not add beauty. ☺️

    • See 1 previous
    • Jewellmartin Jewellmartin on Oct 04, 2018

      Rose-Jim, I appreciate your responding to every comment. It motivates all answers to answer questions even others have answered. Thank you very much.

      Suggestion: (1) make a list of all the suggestions, plus those of your own. Research all the prices you can. Set a budget if you wish. If you can print any of the photos, do so.

      (2) Now start eliminating ideas you don’t want to use in this project by drawing one line through them. Circle the ones you really like, even if they don’t fit your budget or if you circle six ideas for the etched windows. Now, for all the rest, make yourself either circle or mark out with one line. That should all be done in 15 minutes (or 15 days—it’s your project).

      (3) Read through all the circled items. If you really like an idea, give it a second circle. Read the crossed items. If you can live without the idea, give it a second cross—it’s out. If you decide you really like the idea, give it one or two circles. Read back through anything with one circle. Eliminate or choose the circles. You should have chosen a finish, trim, a solution for the etched glass, a solution to the Mediterranean panels, and style/presentation ideas. If you need more ideas, you know specifically what to ask.

      Adjust your budget, measure and buy your materials, gather tools and supplies, and move the China cabinet to a safe place to work. Very best wishes. ☺️

  • Janice Janice on Oct 02, 2018

    Hi Rosie, though not exactly like your cabinet, here's several redos that have been shown on Hometalk. Perhaps browsing through these will help to inspire you on how you'd like yours to look. Good luck! :)

  • AM AM on Oct 02, 2018

    If you paint it a lighter color, it won't show dust as easily.

    I like the detail in the doors below - it picks up the detail of the top of the hutch. However, if you don't like it, I'd go with the luan panels idea mentioned above. In that case, you could buy a bit of wood applique trim for each panel so that it's not too plain.

    You could paint the inside a contrasting or complementary color, a bit darker, to highlight your china.

    • Rosie-Jim Dryer Rosie-Jim Dryer on Oct 03, 2018

      I just don't like the pattern on the doors. I'm leaning towards the luan panels but I'm going to check on a couple of the other ideas, too. Thanks!!