Painted China Cabinet and additional painting tips!

Two years ago, I bought this china cabinet on Craig’s List, knowing at the time I wanted to paint it. Originally I had planned to paint it right away, but after I got it home the task seemed to daunting!  Friday evening I decided to paint it. Yikes!


Here it is before…


First off I had to choose a color, so I got out my trusty paint samples and wedged them in between the door and the cabinet in order to see them better. Not being able to decide on one color, I picked three and layered them. (More on this in another post.) I ran to Home Depot and purchased one quart of Martha Stewart flat interior latex paint in each color, while my handy, handsome husband removed the hardware. I mixed up a batch of the darkest color first using my favorite paint recipe.


Because this was such a large piece, I started painting at the top and worked my way down. This minimized the paint the I got in my hair! As I normally do, I filled in the crevices first and painted the raised areas second.


I painted the doors using the same technique.


I gave the cabinet three coats, painting one of each color and working from the darkest to the lightest. When the last coat was dry, I swiped over a few places that needed a little more of the lightest paint.


When the paint was dry, I sanded the cabinet smooth with one of these nifty little sanding blocks. For the flat areas, I used fine/medium Mustisand to smooth everything out. Then I used a heavy duty Mustisand to expose the underneath layers down to the wood, giving it a worn distressed look.


Here you can see the detail I added by sanding the edges. The layering details are so subtle you can hardly see them in the picture.

Thanks for reading this tutorial. I will write more about color layering in a future post. Come back and  visit again soon!

Happy painting!


Additional painingt tips I thought of while painting this piece:

  • It is important to use a latex paint with a low percentage of acrylic when using my recipe. Martha Stewart’s interior flat paint and Glidden interior flat have worked well for me.
  • There will be lumps in the paint, which will stick to your furniture. These will easily sand off when the paint has dried, adding distressed character to your piece.
  • You may apply a finish if you like, which will add protection. I usually don’t, as I like my pieces to develop more character by way of nicks and boo boos over time.
  • You don’t want your paint to be too thin; it can be thickened by adding a little more of the grout.

I may add more paint tips as I think of them, so check back often.

I am linked up at these parties:

Funky Junk Interiors

Miss Mustard Seed


6 thoughts on “Painted China Cabinet and additional painting tips!

  1. Pingback: One thing calls for another! AKA Breakfast room makeover-Part I | Market Nine Home

  2. Hello, I am just starting to think about painting some of my furniture. I do have a question I hope you will answer. I read your paint recipe and it doesn’t seem like that is enough paint to finish a project like the hutch. I’m assuming that you double the recipe or more. Is this correct? I too would like to do it without sanding. Thanks.

    • Hi Debbie, I think I used two recipes of pure white on top of one recipe of Morning Fog and one of Bedford gray. They are all Martha Stewart paints. I have quite a bit of paint left that I will use on other projects later. I continued to add water to the mixture as it thickened. This extends the the paint quite a bit making the paint go further and makes the work much easier than using straight latex paint. I did not double the recipe when I made it as I was afraid I might spill it! But I don’t see why you wouldn’t be able to double it, just make sure you have plenty of room in your container to stir it. I hope this helps and that you enjoy your project!

    • Hi Jenny, I did not sand it down before painting. I am sure it would not hurt to sand it before hand, if it makes you feel more comfortable with Your project.

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