Tuesday, September 7, 2010

the china cabinet that wasn't

This China cabinet was part of the haul that my husband dragged home for me a few weeks ago.  The french buffet that I recently posted about was also in this haul.  In fact, I discovered while writing this that the picture I posted as a 'before' for the buffet was actually of the bottom of the china cabinet ~ oops!!  They are so similar that I didn't notice my error until I was posting this.  Sorry about that!

Here is the top.
And the bottom, complete with missing (but now reunited) bunny.

First off, I wanted to see if I liked the original hardware.  It needed some sprucing up, so I gave it a coat of ORB, then blotted some of it off.
Here is the bottom, primed and partially painted.  The middle cabinet, though it had hardware, is not actually a functioning door.  So, I filled that hole in, since I thought it looked a little funny.
Here is the top, primed & painted.  I started to take the glass out, but after getting not one but two splinters from the original wooden strips holding the glass in, I decided to seal the wood instead :)  Nothing a little glass scraper can't take care of.
On the original wood, I thought that this detail looked a bit feminine.  However, after paint & glaze, I don't think that at all anymore!  I am quite pleased with how it turned out.
With glaze...
And in the house.  I do love it.  But...

Something just isn't perfect about it, and I think it is the backing.  I think the backing needs to be removed & done in a different color/texture.  Agree?  Disagree?  I need some opinions, because of course my husband says to leave it as is.

I'm happy with it, but not thrilled.  Hopefully, I can resolve the dissatisfaction today or tomorrow!


  1. Ahh, I had the same thought about the backing - do it in a different color to give the piece some depth and some contrast.

  2. Betsy, that is just the kind of feedback that I am looking for! It is so sad to spend 12-15 hours on something and not be thrilled with it. Thank you!

  3. I like the way it looks now... When it's filled up with treasures, will you still feel the backing needs something?

  4. For what it's worth, my two cents . . . think about what you will display, the colors or color, and then pick your background color that will make your items pop! Reasoning behind this, I saw a display cabinet redone very similar to yours, she had white ironstone-like vases, pitchers, plates, etc., and she had done the background black. It was a stark contrast, but when the items were displayed, it was beautiful! If I can remember where I saw it, I will come back and leave another comment. You've done a beautiful job, and I hope you finish it and feel that "Aaah-ha! that's it!" moment!!

  5. Lisa's comment is great. Black backing in a cabinet displaying white pieces sounds stunning! Or, another thought is mirrored glass. I have seen a few china cabinets with mirrored backs and they look good. Also, makes it look like you have a whole lot more display pieces!

  6. Thanks, Sylvia, and I love mirrors, too! Kathie, here's the blog I saw the cabinet re-do. I know you will love her blog, too. www.recapturedcharm.com, go to her 'Browse Archives' click on June 2010, Bookcase Redo. At least you can see before you paint. Have a great day! :)

  7. i think it is gotgeous! but the different background would make it really stand out. i am a fan of painting the inside a diff color (that's what i did on my 2 china cabinets) but i also love the look of a wallpapered background (just am not brave enough to do it myself!)

  8. Well, friends, you are all fabulous for your help and I agree with ALL of you... but I think I have a buyer who likes the cabinet just the way she is :) YAY!!! So, I'll file the advice away for my next china cabinet that just happens to be waiting for me in my garage!

  9. I would do a contrasting color. Even a monochromatic wallpaper would look nice.

    I do have a question though, When you are painting these pieces do you remove the finish sand prime and then paint? I have my parents bedroom set from the 60's and it like a golden maple or honey maple.... I would love to paint it a creamy white and distress it but I really don't know where to start. Please help me!


  10. I would add just a touch of darker color in the crevices of this piece to give it a little depth without taking away from the beautiful china that will eventually be placed in it. My kitchen cabinets are done this way and I could gladly send a pic =)

    Michelle Payne

  11. Hi! I'm a new follower, and hope you'll stop by and follow me, too! This piece is beautiful! You did a fabulous job!

  12. It's beautiful! I love all the curves, and the white paint just makes them all show up more. I really like it!

    If you're not happy with the back, why not try some removable panels cut to fit in the back. You could mod podge some fabric or paper onto the panels, and once you're tired of that, just take them out. I've seen some that are just attached with double sided tape. It's nothing permanent, and not all that difficult to do.

  13. What a great before and after. Its amazing what a little paint can do. Please stop by my blog on Sunday for my Show Off Sunday Party, I would love to share this piece with my followers. :)