My China Cabinet Makeover

My china cabinet makeover was a huge success, and I’m so excited to share how it turned out with you. The hubs and I purchased this old oak china cabinet years ago, even before we really had anything to place on its shelves. The cabinet, along with a table and chairs was one of our first major purchases ever. It’s moved around with us and graced our dining room in several homes. When my Mom and Dad gave us their treasured Blue Danube china, it felt like my cabinet was finally happy! But through the years, decor trends have changed, and the old cabinet began to feel tired and dated. Because it held so many memories, we decided to give it a facelift! Read on to see how we updated the old girl.

My China Cabinet Makeover – The Before

China Cabinet Before

Here she is in all her oaken glory before the work began. Even though the old doll is dated, she’s so well constructed and was built to last. In this age of disposable everything, it just felt right to give the cabinet a makeover.

My China Cabinet Makeover Paint – Color Choice

I knew that I wanted to paint the cabinet blue to complement the blue and white dishes. I’ve been in love with blue and white for years, and have collected various odds and ends and tchotchkes in the classic color palette. My friend Marisa helped me search through a million paint chips, compare them, and look at them with my dishes. We finally settled on the Valspar color ‘Indigo Cloth’ at Lowes. And as luck would have it, they didn’t have the correct base in stock. So we headed on over to Home Depot and had them just tint their Behr brand of chalky finish paint in our desired color. We also went with the coordinating white called ‘Bleached Slate’ for the back panels. We decided to use chalk paint since there’s minimal prep and it dries quickly. 

Prepping for My China Cabinet Makeover

China Cabinet Makeover
My hubs came home after a very long day of work and took every single door, pane of glass and hardware off for me. Have I mentioned that he’s my hero?

Okay, full disclosure here. If it was just me, and I wasn’t being so highly supervised by Marisa, I would’ve just taken that bucket of paint home, slapped it on the cabinet and called it a day. Because I’m extremely impatient like that! But both Marisa and my hubs reigned in my impatience and made sure we did this thing right. Here’s the prep work:

  • The hubs removed ALL of the hardware, keeping it separated to avoid confusion later. We decided to keep the original hardware since it’s really lovely and in great condition. 
  • Doors were removed after the hardware was taken off.
  • We removed all of the glass shelves, along with the glass doors and side panels.
  • Using Simple Green cleaner and a damp rag I wiped down every surface, then made sure the cabinet was completely dry. 
  • The joy of chalk paint is that no sanding is necessary! Yay!

Tools of the Trade – A Few Necessities

  • Paintbrushes (duh) If you’re chalk painting you’ll need to use specially designed paintbrushes that work best for chalk paint. You’ll also need a brush for the application of the finishing wax.
  • Sawhorses or a spare table to spread out the door pieces. We even used empty boxes for elevation! I had doors everywhere! 
  • Wax – depending on the color you choose, you’ll need a finishing wax, available in different finishes, including an antiqued wax if you want to give your piece an aged appearance. I chose a clear wax.
  • Extras – tarp or sheet to cover the floor, soft cotton cloth for the finishing wax.

Painting the Cabinet! Whee!

We finally got to work painting the china cabinet. This was fairly easy. The special paintbrushes ensured that all the surfaces and nooks and crannies got thoroughly covered with the gorgeous blue paint. Marisa and I painted the doors and the cabinet, letting it all dry thoroughly between coats. The interior where the two colors met up with each other was a little tricky, and trust me we got a little giddy with fatigue at one point! It took two coats to completely cover. And then the waiting began. Have I mentioned how impatient I am? The next morning I began the wax application process. I just brushed on the wax, let it sit for a minute then rubbed it down with the soft cloth. Finally. Almost instant gratification! 

Finishing Touches of My China Cabinet Makeover

After the hubs put all the puzzle pieces of doors and windows and glass back together (God bless that man) the real fun began! I found this Pioneer Woman Blue Heritage Floral Peel and Stick Wallpaper online and fell in love with it, thinking it would work beautifully with my dishes. And of course, it wasn’t available at my local store! I ordered it and then impatiently awaited its arrival. When it finally came in, I applied the paper on the bottom shelf of the glassed-in part of the cabinet and inside the bottom shelves. Even if those bottom shelves don’t show I’ll know how pretty it is in there! I really had fun arranging the china and stemwear, taking pictures and texting them to Marisa for her stamp of approval.

Pioneer Woman Blue Floral Wallpaper

I’m just so happy with my results and am tickled to show you the finished product! This truly was a labor of love.

My China Cabinet Makeover - After
Isn’t the old girl just so pretty? I’m so happy with the results!

I hop you enjoyed this post, and that I inspired you to try out chalk painting! This was a rather big project, so I do recommend you start out small! And definitely have a painting buddy! Leave a comment and let me know what you think, and feel free to pin this post. See you next time!

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