DIY Painted China Cabinet

Hi Everyone! As promised, here is my china cabinet makeover.

I purchased this china cabinet at a store I love called Almost Paris Antiques. I got a really good price on it too! It is solid mahogany, all the doors and the drawer were in great condition. No major flaws except a bubble on the side. When I saw it, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it. I fell in love with the cut outs on the glass doors and the old brass pulls. The pulls were completely blackened by age and time. I wanted to make this a more modern piece but keep the old charm.

So, here is how I did it. A lot of people are scared to paint furniture, but if you use the right tools and technique it is so worth it!

Supplies:

Wood filler, that can be sanded and painted

Exacto knife

Sand paper

Oil-based primer

Deglosser & scrub pads

Paint Bond Coat

Clear Coat

Prepping: The first thing I did was address the bubbling on the side of the cabinet. I cut out the wood that was bubbled and filled it with wood fill. After it set, I sanded it, cleaned the dust and debris off, and primed it.

I removed all the doors and hardware next. Then removed the shelving inside. The inserts I carefully removed from the glass doors. Then I set up my work space.

Getting the Surface Ready:Before I could paint, I had to do a couple of things. The inside of the cabinet was a lot rougher than the nice wood on the outside. It also was a lot redder, so I primed it with my oil-based primer. I used Kilz, but I also recommend Zissner. Either one works great.

Next, I deglossed all the outer wood, doors, and drawer. When you degloss, you have to use a rough scrub pad and make sure you get all the deglosser off after scrubbing or else it will ruin the paint finish and seep through.

Painting: I applied the paint with a really good quality brush using long even strokes. It is really important when brush painting furniture to use a quality brush. I did 3 coats. Then I went back and touched up any areas that needed it.

Protecting: You need to seal painted furniture or else it will not stay nice for long. You don’t want all your hard work to go to waste! I sealed it with a protective top coat 24 hours after the paint had dried. Again, use a good quality synthetic brush and long even strokes. This I also let dry for a full 24 hours before using it or attaching the doors.

**Please note I also cleaned and polished the brass hardware. I am going to do a tips & tricks on how I did it this Friday.

Now the Result:

Please ignore the icky floor! That baby is getting ripped out very very soon! Bwaa-haaa-haa-haa!

xxx Kristin

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54 Comments on DIY Painted China Cabinet

  1. Jeni Johnson
    July 31, 2012 at 8:51 am (2 years ago)

    Job well done, yet again. I love the white color leaves more room for colorful accent peices should you decide that route?

    Reply
    • thriftykristy
      July 31, 2012 at 9:31 am (2 years ago)

      I feel like I have to hold all my interior design excitement in forever! There is so much that has to done to make the space finished before I can come in and take it up a notch. Punches of color are a definite :) Kristin

      Reply
  2. shadedlinescreations
    July 31, 2012 at 9:13 am (2 years ago)

    wow! that looks really good! And I agree that white does make it more open for other colors…and looks more classic :)

    Reply
    • thriftykristy
      July 31, 2012 at 9:34 am (2 years ago)

      Thanks! It really makes the pattern on the glass doors pop! I have a plan in my head once it comes time to add decor :) xxx Kristin

      Reply
  3. Gilit
    July 31, 2012 at 9:30 am (2 years ago)

    I love the redo, it looks fantastic and much more modern! I can’t wait until you post about how you finished it- we have yet to finish our dining room table and we hardcore need to.

    Reply
    • thriftykristy
      July 31, 2012 at 9:38 am (2 years ago)

      Thanks, Gilit :) It is definitely a process when it comes to painting furniture. Just to get it ready takes patience. That’s why DIY Monday became DIY Tuesday ;) Tables are even tougher because you want that flat top to look flawless. We are going to do our table, so maybe when I post that it will be helpful to you. If you have any questions for me, that weren’t covered in the post today, please ask and I am very happy to elaborate more. Thanks for reading! xxx Kristin

      Reply
      • Gilit
        July 31, 2012 at 9:43 am (2 years ago)

        Yes please! How did you finish it? What products did you use and do you recommend them?
        Thanks!

      • thriftykristy
        July 31, 2012 at 9:59 am (2 years ago)

        This is my product list for this project:
        Kilz Original Primer/Sealer (Oil-based)
        Zissner Deglosser
        Rustoleum Pure White Bond Coat
        Rustoleum Transformations Top Coat
        ( The Rustoleum Products I used were left over from our cabinet refinishing and came in the kit Rustoleum Transformations.) I wanted the same white that we used on our cabinets, so I used them. You can use any paint you want and any top coat you want.I have used Minwax Polycrylic (water-based) before and liked it. These products are pretty much full proof. In the description in the post today I go through the steps I took.

      • thriftykristy
        July 31, 2012 at 10:00 am (2 years ago)

        This is my product list for this project:
        Kilz Original Primer/Sealer (Oil-based)
        Zissner Deglosser
        Rustoleum Pure White Bond Coat
        Rustoleum Transformations Top Coat
        ( The Rustoleum Products I used were left over from our cabinet refinishing and came in the kit Rustoleum Transformations.) I wanted the same white that we used on our cabinets, so I used them. You can use any paint you want and any top coat you want.I have used Minwax Polycrylic (water-based) before and liked it. These products are pretty much full proof. In the description in the post today I go through the steps I took. Hope this helps :) Kristin

  4. A
    July 31, 2012 at 9:35 am (2 years ago)

    Wow, you have been busy. I think the key to that great finish was the time you took to prep and the quality tools. I wonder why my stuff doesn’t turn out when I buy a .99 brush from walmart and slop on two coats with not primer or sealer… Help me!!!

    Reply
    • thriftykristy
      July 31, 2012 at 9:43 am (2 years ago)

      A! I love you girl! You honest quick wit makes me smile :) xoxo Kristin

      Reply
      • thriftykristy
        July 31, 2012 at 9:45 am (2 years ago)

        …Your honest quick wit… can’t type fast today!

  5. lespetitesbouchees
    July 31, 2012 at 9:49 am (2 years ago)

    beautiful job!!!! I have an old secretary in my garage with the same glass panels…..inspired!!!!

    Reply
    • thriftykristy
      July 31, 2012 at 9:51 am (2 years ago)

      Thanks! Oh, I hope you refinish it! I would love to see it!
      xxx Kristin

      Reply
  6. thecleverspender
    July 31, 2012 at 10:26 am (2 years ago)

    Very nice! I never knew about deglosser. I have some french doors that even when primed with an oil based primer, the stain still came through. Now I know for next time, so thank you for all of the details on your projects!

    Reply
    • thriftykristy
      July 31, 2012 at 10:29 am (2 years ago)

      I’m glad I could help. Deglosser is very messy. So make sure you wear gloves and scrub really hard! Also, make sure you rinse it off well with a wet cloth, repeating as many times as it takes to get rid of suds and then wipe dry. Make sure you wait the full amount of time before priming or painting also. xxx Kristin

      Reply
  7. mancunianvintage
    July 31, 2012 at 10:48 am (2 years ago)

    I love how much newer and fresher it looks now it’s painted – great job!

    Reply
  8. daiseyjayne
    July 31, 2012 at 10:54 am (2 years ago)

    That turned out fresh and gorgeous!

    Reply
  9. greenlightlady
    July 31, 2012 at 11:10 am (2 years ago)

    Wow! The paint is as powerful as the fairy godmother in Cinderella…so are your talents.
    ~ Inspired once again, Wendy

    Reply
    • thriftykristy
      July 31, 2012 at 11:21 am (2 years ago)

      That is funny! I agree, now everytime I paint something I will be singing Bippety, Bobbedy, Boo? Is that how it goes?? xx Kristin

      Reply
      • greenlightlady
        July 31, 2012 at 5:46 pm (2 years ago)

        I think you are correct!

  10. Revival Girl
    July 31, 2012 at 11:35 am (2 years ago)

    Absolutely stunning! Great Job :)

    Reply
    • thriftykristy
      July 31, 2012 at 5:02 pm (2 years ago)

      Oh my goodness! Thanks so much! Kristin

      Reply
  11. DesignStaging
    August 1, 2012 at 12:50 am (2 years ago)

    Great job! I have inherited my mother’s china cabinet and plan to paint it…. even with my opposing audience thinking I should keep it with it’s original finish.

    Reply
    • thriftykristy
      August 1, 2012 at 7:35 am (2 years ago)

      I’d love to see it if you do. There a lot of people that don’t like to paint antique furniture because it looses value. My china cabinet was just old, not really of much value. Show me the finished product if you decide to do it :) Kristin

      Reply
  12. DesignStaging
    August 1, 2012 at 12:55 am (2 years ago)

    Reblogged this on DesignStaging and commented:
    Comment by DesignStaging: Paint gives this china cabinet a new lease on life…. wonderful diy post!

    Reply
    • thriftykristy
      August 2, 2012 at 8:48 am (2 years ago)

      Thanks so much! I will post and link back on Sunday. xxx Kristin

      Reply
  13. Jesse
    August 2, 2012 at 2:53 pm (2 years ago)

    Love it!!!!! You did a great job! White is perfect for it and just so classic! The edging on the glass fronts is my favorite part!

    Reply
    • thriftykristy
      August 2, 2012 at 3:23 pm (2 years ago)

      Thanks, Jesse! That’s my favoritie part too!

      Reply
  14. Kimbercrafts
    August 3, 2012 at 11:35 am (2 years ago)

    Wow, I love the end result! So much more fresh and modern!

    Reply
    • thriftykristy
      August 3, 2012 at 1:30 pm (2 years ago)

      Thanks, that’s what I was going for :) Kristin

      Reply
  15. Archana
    August 15, 2012 at 10:20 am (2 years ago)

    thank you for visiting dear :) i m so happy you ‘re my 100th follower :)

    Reply
  16. Maureen Schmidt
    May 23, 2013 at 3:26 pm (11 months ago)

    I was wondering how you did the white on the glass. I have a very similar type cabinet I am about to paint for my screened in porch. The glass door on mine has a gold type design on it. Was your painted on originally? Not sure how to tackle my glass.
    Thanks!!

    Reply
    • BLISS AT HOME
      May 24, 2013 at 7:14 am (11 months ago)

      Hi Maureen :) The design on the glass doors are wooden inserts. I carefully took apart the frame that holds them in place, painted them, and re-installed them. Hope that helps! xo Kristin

      Reply
  17. Dagmar
    August 24, 2013 at 4:12 pm (8 months ago)

    Lovely in white!
    I’m about to paint a china cabinet, very similar to this one (Finch Fine Furniture) that I bought at a thrift store. My question is; How did you remove the wooden inserts from the glass (the inserts in mine are in the inside)? Also, did you remove the glass from the doors or did you just taped around it to paint?

    Reply
    • BLISS AT HOME
      August 26, 2013 at 6:43 am (8 months ago)

      Hi Dagmar :)I carefully removed the small nails and wood pieces holding the inserts in place on the inside of the door, then I removed the glass. I did this very carefully and when I put them back together I picked up new nails and again worked very slow and carefully since I was dealing with such an old piece of furniture. I am so glad I didn’t damage or break the glass! Have fun working on your hutch!! xo Kristin

      Reply
      • Dagmar
        September 4, 2013 at 4:05 pm (8 months ago)

        Thanks, Kristin! I just removed the inserts and the glass. I pried the small nails and small wood trim, gently with a small screw driver. It worked out perfect! My DH will sand it and I will paint it tomorrow. I guess we’ll figure it out when we put it back together, hoping the glass doesn’t break. I’m painting mine in a darkish lime/olive green and adding gold accents. I’m painting the inside the same colorway of green, but he lightest of it (almost white). Thanks much for giving me the courage of removing all of this! Greatly appreciate your response! Dagmar :)

      • BLISS AT HOME
        September 4, 2013 at 7:52 pm (8 months ago)

        So glad it is working out Dagmar :) xo Kristin

  18. mignerey1234
    November 15, 2013 at 1:31 pm (5 months ago)

    I have a question for you. How do you degloss a piece of furniture? The china hutch I want to do is very large and has some twists and turns so it would be extremely time consuming and difficult to get it done by sanding.

    Reply
    • BLISS AT HOME
      November 15, 2013 at 2:14 pm (5 months ago)

      Hi there! there are several different kinds of deglossers on the market. You can go to any home improvement store and buy them. I will caution you though, that if you have a lot of details and twists and turns you may want to sand those parts. If you don’t get all the deglosser off before you paint and poly it can bleed through your paint job. Happy Painting!! xo Kristin

      Reply
    • Dagmar
      November 15, 2013 at 2:51 pm (5 months ago)

      Hi! If you use milk paint or chalk paint, you do not need to degloss or prime. But, it would give an aged and/or distressed look. It depends on the look you want to achieve. That’s what I did with both my antique china cabinet and an old chest of drawers. They turned out great! :)

      Reply

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