Posted by: diywannabe | January 4, 2011

China Cabinet Overhaul

I have a confession to make.  Clutter is sometimes a problem I’m afflicted with.  Not always, just when I don’t have a good place to put things.  And “good” is a relative term.  My biggest offender is usually my clothes.  They usually hang around on the guest bed after laundry day for a good week or more before I get around to stuffing them into my already overstuffed closet.  It’s just not fun to try to put something away when there clearly isn’t room or a special place for it.  But clothes aren’t my only problem.  You see, up until a month ago my wedding china was considered clutter.  All dressed up with nowhere to go.  I had no place to display or store the china we received for our wedding (over a year ago) except in the boxes it came in…in the corner of the dining room.  It’s as if by piling it up in the empty spot where it should be displayed would magically make a china cabinet appear.  No such luck.  All of the boxes eventually got moved upstairs into storage since we were having company (and boxes don’t count as decor 3 months after you’ve moved in).

After Thanksgiving, the hunt for a china cabinet intensified (whether Bob realized it or not).  I was looking for something with glass display above and some open storage underneath for wine/liquor.  The space was also a bit limited in terms of depth.  Nothing too bulky that someone would have trouble scooting past to sit down at the table.  We looked everywhere local with no luck.  Everything was either way too expensive, way too big, or didn’t fit our storage requirements.  Then I started looking online.  Same thing:

The price tag on this baby is $979!  About $800 more than I really wanted to spend.  And it doesn’t do anything special for me.  But it’s typical of what I was finding. 

Enter Craigslist.  I searched through the ads for a few days and then WHAM, I found it.  It was a two piece cabinet with a glass enclosed top and a sideboard with a long drawer and open storage on the bottom.  The woman was supposedly an “artist” and had done an “interesting” shabby chic paint technique on what had once been a dark wood piece.  That did not deter me since I knew the magic of a coat (or two or three) of paint.  And Bob was going to put his own special touch on the bottom area by making a custom wine rack.  It was originally listed at $250 but I talked her down to $175.  A heckuva lot cheaper than anything new I was finding anywhere.

I had already removed the center glass door in the above pic before I remembered to snap some “before” photos.  Isn’t that paint job hideous?

I started with a coat of Kilz primer just to ensure coverage of all that faux finish.


I decided on a crisp white color for the entire outside using the leftover trim paint we had used inside of the house, Dove White by Valspar in semi-gloss.  The inside I wanted to be a little bolder in order to make the white china pop.  After much anxiety I decided on Gypsy Teal by Valspar.  Are you ready for the afters? 



It even came with a working light.  The inside shelves are all glass so it helps illuminate some of the things on the bottom shelves.


Quite the overhaul huh?  Amazing what some paint can do!  Of course it still needs some paint touch ups that can only be seen up close and I’m still tweaking the inside arrangement but overall I’d deem it a success.  Our dining room is one more HUGE step closer to being complete.  I’m sure if you were to ask Bob, he’d tell you that it’s done but I still have a to-do list which includes curtains, new end chairs, some corner shelving, and wall art.

For anyone who is wondering, the wall color is Sherwin Williams Chelsea Gray mixed at 75%.  It is much darker than the swatch and I chose it after painting multiple sample patches of three different grays.

Oh and the china pattern is Bassano by Waterford and I LOVE it.



  1. LOVE IT! I am glad your vision was way better than the artist you purchased it from.

  2. ohmygoodness! just linked over to you from YHL and i am LOVING your new cabinet! way to not be scared off by that hideous “before” paint job either- your white and deep blue “after” is AMAZING! well done!

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