Thursday, June 6, 2013

1940s China Cabinet Makeover

Today I completed the china cabinet project I started this past Tuesday. I already have two 1940s cabinets in the dining room but could not pass this one up for the price. It was nicked up on the bottom edges and had a few scratches but had lovely wavy glass in the top and was quite sturdy. I bought it with plans of painting it and putting it in the front entryway.

I have recently been reading about chalk paint and how expensive it is (and not available just anywhere). It is available in an antiques town about 20 minutes away from me, but I am pretty tight when it comes to that. Instead, I decided to make my own using one of the many recipes I found on others' blogs. The recipe I ended up using was: 5 tablespoons plaster of Paris + 5 tablespoons water.....mix well. Then add about two cups of satin latex paint (without primer). I used the $24.99 Olympic. Mix slow but thoroughly.

Before I made anything up and started painting, I used painters' tape to tape off the glass and the areas I did not want to paint. I then lightly sanded with a fine-grit sponge sander (I had one already from sanding patches on walls). The finish was so "slick" on this piece, I wanted to make sure the paint had something to bite. Normally, you do not need to do this when using chalk paint.

I used a small cabinet roller for the large portions of the cabinet and a small, average quality paint brush for the tight spaces. I used a free makeup brush for the very smallest areas. ( I always to this even when painting a room....they work great for tight spaces and nooks and crannies.)

I gave it a second coat the next day.

On the third day (today), I distressed lightly with sandpaper and then used Johnson paste wax to cover the entire piece. Forty minutes later I buffed it out.

Now, I need to find a dresser for my daughter's new place.

Above are the "before" and "after" pics. I painted it right there in the entry way after putting newspapers under it and putting an old sheet down for a drop cloth.

I left the inside back stained, because I plan on putting antique English ironstone finds in there. I have also ordered a "puck" light for the inside top.

I have a set of wooden candlesticks that I want to paint and distress as well, just not white. So, I'll have to stop at Lowe's tomorrow and see if they haven't any "oops" paint. If not, I'll buy a sample jar.


  1. Thank you :) That was a "practice" go before I do a dresser for my 20-something daughter (whenever I find a suitable one)......more auctions.