Built-in China Cabinet Makeover

china cabinet full front

As you may know, I recently painted my kitchen cabinets in Driftwood gray.  I love them!

I haven’t shared much of the project yet because we still have a few projects pending.  The space you see to the left of the upper china cabinet used to have a bank of cabinets that came out over the peninsula.

We are planning to add a few open shelves in there, and crown moulding on all the upper cabinets.  The floor is also getting replaced with a vinyl wood plank.  That’s why the quarter round on the floor isn’t painted because it will come out for the floor installation.

I decided to do the china cabinet differently than the kitchen cabinets, so it stood out more like a piece of furniture.  We are also going to install bun feet under the toe kick to add to that stand-alone illusion.

So don’t judge me, but here are my real life messy before pictures.

china cabinet before wide angle

china cabinet before

Here are the supplies I used.

Resource List:

(Note: These are affiliate links for which I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.  Thanks for your support!)

If you want tons of information on Dixie Belle paint and products, you can check out this Comprehensive Guide post, and you can download it free here by clicking the picture:

Painting Fluff

After cleaning the wood with White Lightning, I removed the doors and drawer fronts.  I set them aside for a different treatment; only the frame was getting paint.

I gave the frame a light scuff sanding with a 220-grit sanding pad.  After wiping the sanding dust off with a micro fiber cloth, I primed with white BOSS.

The BOSS helps to block any bleed-through, as well as fill in the grain a bit before paint. I painted the frame and interior of the top with 2 coats of Fluff.  Then I sealed it with 2 coats of Clear Coat in satin.

china cabinet center

No Pain Gel Stain

For the doors and drawer fronts, I wanted to do something that softened the color and grain pattern, but let it show through a bit.  No Pain Gel Stain was the perfect solution!

I didn’t have to sand and strip.  I just cleaned and stained right over the existing finish.

staining china cabinet

At the beginning, I was allowing the Walnut and Picklin’ White to mix together on the surface.  But later I decided to mix them together on a paper plate and then apply it.

You wouldn’t expect brown and white to mix together to create this gray tone, but they do!

Since this stain is oil-based, I wore a latex glove on my hand with an old sock over it.  Dipping it into the stain, I rubbed it all over the surface.  This gives good control over the coverage, and you can make it as opaque or transparent as you like.

Also note, the color and transparency vary so it does create an imperfect farmhouse-y look.

china cabinet lower section

China cabinet lower closeup

The doors and drawer fronts were also sealed with 2 coats of satin.  And the bronze and copper hardware went back on.

china cabinet upper closeup

Doesn’t the paint and stain make a huge difference on this piece!?

china cabinet front angle

Here’s the before and after, so you can see the change.  It has really brightened this area, and it shows off the items on the shelves so much better too.

Please Pin!

china cabinet pin

If you enjoyed this makeover, head on over to Shop my Faves and pick out some paint and products for your next project!  You may want to check out these other cabinet projects as well.

farmhouse bookshelf interior

Farmhouse Bookshelf

radio cabinet after

French Printer Cabinet Conversion

Farmhouse china cabinet

Modern Farmhouse China Cabinet Game Hutch

2 thoughts on “Built-in China Cabinet Makeover”

Leave a Comment