This project started when a sweet gal contacted me looking for a game hutch for her basement. I didn’t have any china cabinets, but I started my hard-target search. I usually check Facebook Marketplace first, then Craigslist, my local Goodwill and thrift stores, local antique stores and then, if desperate, I post an “in search of” post on Facebook. I got lucky on this one, and only had to go as far as Facebook Marketplace to find this Ethan Allen china hutch.
The seller was very near my home, so back and forth we went two times because the top and bottom sections didn’t fit simultaneously in our minivan. Funny story. I was taking a close look in all the drawers and checking things out. I opened a door, and a black cat named Rebel bolted out. Right across my foot, and startling my pants off! I startle pretty easily, so I jumped literally a couple inches off the floor. But, totally worth it for the story I got to tell later!
This piece was in perfect condition, and didn’t require any repairs. You see those six little drawers across the top? It turns out that is really only 3 drawers, with 2 knobs on each. That was a pleasant surprise because little tiny drawers aren’t so functional. What can you keep in there? Maybe an Uno game?
Back to my client, Sherri. She wanted the top stripped and stained, and the rest painted white. She also requested new hardware. I prefer Citristrip for stripping stain because it is far less toxic than most, and it works well. I just apply it liberally with a chip brush, cover it with plastic wrap and leave it overnight. The next day I scrape it off, and use a little steel wool on any stubborn areas. WIth my orbital sander, I use 60 grit and then 220 grit sand paper to smooth everything out.
I stained the top with two coats of Dixie Belle No Pain Gel Stain in Walnut, using a microfiber cloth to apply it and wipe it back. Then I sealed it with Dixie Belle Satin Clear Coat, and their Blue Sponge. This sponge…no lie…is magic. It makes sealing a big flat surface so easy. It has a built-in handle, and can easily be glided from end-to-end to ensure the final finish is smooth.
White is the hardest color to paint furniture because…coverage. Even after 3 coats, you can get wood tones bleeding through. I wanted to conserve paint on this big piece, so I primed with 2 coats of a quality primer. I followed that up with 2 coats of Dixie Belle Cotton, which is a pure white color. And to drive home that farmhouse look, I sanded a bit around the edges of the doors and drawers to bring out the details and added new oil-rubbed bronze cup pulls and knobs.
And here she is….
This cabinet made its way home to Sherri’s basement where it will live happily ever after. I know this because Sherri and her husband are big advocates of foster care and adoption. They have 6 kids…for now, until they get a call and add another child to their ever-changing family. Amazing people, and I’m so glad I got to meet them over furniture!
Here is the list of products I used for this project:
- Chip brush
- Sanding sponge
- No Pain Gel Stain in Walnut
- Satin Clear Coat
- Blue sponge applicator (for clear coat sealer)
- Synthetic brush for painting (I love the large round!)
- BOSS primer
- Cotton white chalk mineral paint
- Oil rubbed bronze cup pulls
- Oil rubbed bronze knobs
Here’s one last look at this china cabinet transformation.