China Cabinet Makeover

In June, I was doing my normal craigslist stalking, which usually starts once I see a post over at Emily Henderson. She does these Craigslist posts in random cities every now and again and she (well, probably her team of interns/assistants) finds the most amazing furniture pieces! Our local craigslist has pretty slim pickin’s most of the time, but sometimes you can find hidden gems if you stalk hard enough.

One day, I saw a posting of a “Small Antique China Cabinet” and I was pretty much sold before I even saw the picture of it. Our dining room isn’t exactly massive, so size did matter & a lot of the china cabinets I saw on CL before were humongous! It was $50, so I reached out right away to try to schedule a time to see it. The seller was available the next day, so off Josh and I went to see it on the way to a friend’s birthday party. Of course, I was trying not to get my hopes up, but it’s been five years since our wedding and we’ve used our China a grand total of ONE TIME, so having it on display got me all excited (it’s so preeeettttyyy!).

The cabinet was covered in cobwebs in the seller’s garage, but overall, it was in pretty good shape, so we paid full price. I so wish I was a better haggler, but whatever. Since we were already half way to the party, we decided we’d keep the cabinet in the back of the truck while we were at the party and then unload it when we got home, rather than take the extra time to just drive it home. MISTAKE.

A freak thunderstorm came through the area and even though Josh went back to the truck to cover it with a tarp, the front of the cabinet already had some marks from where water started puddling. Woops. Anyway, here is the before picture after we had removed the front doors/drawers and cleaned it about a hundred times!


We pretty much went full-on pinterest for this project.

White Chalk paint (using a DIY recipe)

+ China Cabinet

+ Different Color on the inside of the cabinet

= success!


We used the original hardware mostly because we were too lazy to try to find new hardware, but we cleaned them up by soaking them in Dawn for awhile. We did manage to buy new hinges because the old ones were pretty rusty.

For those that are curious, we used this DIY Chalk Paint Recipe – There are a ton of different recipes, but Plaster of Paris is cheap, so I went with this one. Overall, it was pretty easy to use and stuck to the cabinet without having to prime! I have never used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint before, but I doubt I ever will because making it myself was easy enough and I don’t have any complaints about the finish.

For paint colors, we used 1 and a half qts. of Behr Ultra Premium Plus in Painter’s White (Matte) and for the backing we used 2 of the small sample sized containers of Behr Ultra Premium Plus in Fresh Day (Matte).

One thing we did to differently than most of the Pinterest projects we saw was we added LED lights to illuminate the display area of the cabinet. We used these Sylvania Mosaic LED lights which you can find at Lowe’s! They even have a remote control & the lights can change colors (more on that later in the post).


Not sure if you can see it in the pictures above but where each of the shelves were had a glaringly obvious beam of light, so we used Black electrical tape to cover it up so it would look less harsh.

So..remember how I said the lights change color? Now, we have our very own dinner entertainment for our guests to enjoy 😉

Second oopsy of this project was when we were reinstalling the painted trim around the glass door for the middle-top section of the cabinet. We broke the glass, so we are looking in to getting it replaced and then we’ll be 100% done with it. 🙂 I won’t hold my breath because we still haven’t 100% finished the kitchen we started on two years ago.

Once we get the glass replaced, I’ll have the final final total for this, but I’m pretty sure it will fall below the $150 mark! Holla.

I promise I’ll be back with some more updates. Pinky swear.


Dining Room Paint : Done!


We should have started here. The dining room is, by far, the room that needs to least done in the entire house. We love the natural wood trim and paneling on the lower half of the room. The flooring is okay for now, although eventually, we’d like to refinish or replace it to match the rest of the wood floors in the bedrooms on this floor.

The color of the room when we moved in was totally acceptable. In fact, a lot of people asked if we had already painted in there. The closest match I could find to the original color is Behr Teal Ice (although, maybe Ice Cube–it definitely had a green tint to it).

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Our only complaint about the color in there was that it is the same color used in every room that isn’t completely covered in wood paneling-AQUA/TEAL. Since we had a few a lot of mildew problems when we moved in, we wanted to get a fresh coat of paint on all walls and be diligent about using mildew killer on all wood surfaces. So, off to Home Depot we went.

We try not to agonize over paint decisions, although this room was a bit harder because we wanted to keep the wood trim/paneling in there and matching that is a doozy. Even if you google “wood trim paint colors” it is hard to find something that ISN’T an aqua/teal color. So…we went with something similar, but still fresh-Behr Ultra Premium Plus in Fresh Day.


Off we started on Tuesday night: Wiping down the walls and patching holes/cracks. I also got bored and started drawing on the walls with the sponge because the paint soaked up water like it was it’s job. It was flat paint, which is great for hiding wall imperfections, but isn’t scrubbable at ALL, so we went with Eggshell this time around.


He wasn’t impressed by my artwork:




A VERY BRIGHT dining room color of the past hidden behind our thermostat!

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On Wednesday, we did the first coat of our paint:

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Friday night, we hit it with a second coat:

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Then Saturday, I did a final coat with Josh was working:

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Here’s a little side by side action:


AFTER:   IMG_0157


AFTER:  IMG_0160

Overall, we are both really happy with the color and the fact that it was a quick project to help build us back up after the verrryyy long process of doing the kitchen (which, still isn’t 100% done). I think knocking out a few more rooms like this and doing the little things to finish up the kitchen will be JUST what we need to push us through our next grueling project. It really is rewarding to see the final product of our hard work.

Now, all the room needs is some window treatments, something on the walls, and perhaps a hutch/buffet and we’ll be good to go!