Time-less Beauty

Amanda Wittke
by Amanda Wittke
5 Materials
4 Weeks

I found an old Grandfather clock on Marketplace that caught my eye. I had always wanted one and I have a bit of an obsession with clocks whether they function or not... It was $20 and I couldn't pass it up. At first I thought that I could restore it to its fully functioning former self... but I soon realized that was far beyond my capabilities :) So... I had another idea. We have a small dining area and I'd always wanted a China cabinet that wouldn't be too large for the area. My plan started to come together!

She was in pretty rough shape.

When we got it home we realized it was in pretty rough shape. Most of the trim and decorative moldings were broken and one of the glass panes was broken as well. It needed a lot of help! We started by cleaning and cleaning...

I reattached the trim pieces with wood glue.

This part was trickier than I thought it would be and I had to get creative to hold the pieces in place while the glue dried.

We replaced the broken/damaged pieces of the frame.

For structural reasons, we decided to replace a couple warped and cracked pieces of the frame with some plywood that my husband cut to size and I installed. This piece was at the top.

Another piece we replaced at the bottom/back.
And the base that we replaced as well.

At this point it was much sturdier.

I added bead board to the back.

I love the look of bead board and used liquid nails and heavy objects to secure the panels to the back in the inside.

Then I painted and painted...

and painted some more... It felt like 10 coats to get it the bright white I wanted. The wood just kept soaking it up.

Adding support for the shelves

We used quarter round mdf trim to create support for the shelves.

We attached the quarter rounds to the cabinet.

We used liquid nails and small screws to attach the trim pieces to the inside of the cabinet. Then I used wood filler and caulk for the seams and small gaps. Then, of course... I painted again... This time went much quicker!

We painted and installed the shelves.

We used primed mdf boards and cut them to size for the shelves. Then I painted them with a couple coats of white paint to match the inside of the cabinet. I used Restor-A-Finish on the outside of the clock cabinet and it looked nearly brand new! I used their wax as well when it was complete.

I added plexi-glass to the door.

I ordered Plexiglass on Amazon and cut it to size using a utility blade and some amazing scissors that my husband has. I tacked the pieces in place using a hot glue gun but I will eventually run a bead of caulk along the inside seams.


This project was a lot more work than I imagined and honestly took forever because I'm easily distracted. I love it so so much though and I absolutely LOVE how she fits so perfectly in the space. I should mention though, that no, she can't tell time. I could eventually replace the face with a battery operated one but I'm not concerned at all with the functionality. I have plenty of working clocks.

Suggested materials:
  • Paint   (Lowe's)
  • MDF trim   (Lowe's)
  • Primed MDF boards   (Lowe's)
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Frequently asked questions
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  1 question
  • Nancy curtis Nancy curtis on Aug 14, 2020

    What is bead board? I have a grandfather clock I’ve had for years that just can’t be fixed but I don’t have a thought anything so I’m looking for a way to be able to put shelves in it and without having to figure out how to cut wood

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4 of 12 comments
  • SOOZIE SOOZIE on Jan 17, 2021

    What a great way to repurpose a grand old piece. It’s beautiful.

  • Carol Carol on Jun 02, 2022

    Absolutely love this, most creative makeover I have seen in a long time. Widh I were as talented as you!

    • Amanda Wittke Amanda Wittke on Jun 02, 2022

      Thank you Carol! It’s one of my most favorite pieces of furniture ❤️I love how it turned out!