Questions? Feedback? powered by Olark live chat software
Winter Sale


Tutorial: DIY Anthropologie inspired china cabinet makeover

Posted on September 24, 2012 by Daniela Fields | 0 Comments

Lately I have been channeling my inner creative and felt a sudden urge of inspiration to refinish a piece of furniture by giving it that 'vintagy,' 'weathered,'   'whitewashed' kind of look.  Ironically I had some old furniture laying around my garage, from a recent move, that had just been collecting dust.

My method for refinishing this china cabinet was based solely on trial and error (with a few tips from the friendly paint department staff at my local Menards). Please be advised that the following tutorial is simply what worked for me and should not be considered as advice from a professional.  

Needless to say a little bit of sand paper, a few pints of paint, a couple cans of spray paint, some peel and stick Swag Paper and one week later VOILA!  I love how my cabinet turned out.  Its an affordable way to give new life to an old piece of furniture. 

If you want to achieve this look using my method follow these simple steps.....


  • Two shades of paint (I used Dutch Boy in shade Sheffield Gray & Sidewalk Blue)
  • An electric sander
  • Sand paper sponges
  • Paint Brushes (Medium & Small for detail work)
  • A bucket for water (to dilute paint)
  • Painters tape (for the glass)
  • 2 cans of spray paint (I used Rust-Oleum in shade Oil Rubbed Bronze & Krylon in shade Silver)
  • Liquid silver paint (I used Brush & Leaf in shade Interior Silver Leaf)
  • Polycrylic protective finish (clear semi-gloss)
  • Lint free rags

Step 1-Prep

Remove any hardware on the cabinet.  Use an electric sander to remove current finish.  This process took a very long time because the china cabinet had a thick layer of black lacquer on it.  You can chose to use lacquer thinner however, it is quite messy.

Step 2-Paint

This is where my trial process began...Dilute the darker of the two paint colors with a bit of water and brushed the color onto the bare wood. While the paint is still wet use a lint free rag to wipe off the excess paint. This essentially acts as a stain and allows the wood to show through. I repeated this step with both paint colors several times. *Don't worry about making it perfect!*

Step 3-Sand & Blend

Once the first 'couple' coats are dry lightly sand the paint, with either the electric or sand sponge, to achieve a blended vintage look. I let the natural wood bleed through a tiny bit in certain spots. It's all about personal preference.

 Step 4-Spray Paint

Spray paint time!  Take a dry cloth or paper towel and saturate a small area with with a few 'pumps' of the silver spray paint onto the cloth.  Streak your cabinet in places where you want to see a bit of highlight.  
Again don't worry about accuracy because you will repeat the same sanding technique used in step 3.  Repeat this method with the Oiled Rubbed bronze color and again sand to blend. 

Step 5-Highlights

Spray paint both the top and bottom of the inside of your cabinet using the silver spray paint.  Using a small art brush use the silver leaf paint to highlight the outside trim.  To add contrast I sprayed a liberal amount of the oil rubbed bronze onto the top of an old tupperware container and used my fine art brush to paint the outer part of the trim with the darker color.


Step 6-Lining Up the Wallpaper

Measure the back "wall" of your cabinet to determine how much temporary wallpaper you need (to get this exact pattern click here).  I pre-cut the paper to 
make hanging it easier.  Slowly peel the backing off until it starts to curl itself (6"-10" inches) away from the paper.  Line up the pattern at the top of the cabinet and slowly apply pressure using a plastic smoothing tool or  credit card.  With the top completely applied grab both sides of the backing and continue to peel it off in 6"-10" inch increments until you reach the bottom of the cabinet.  Repeat this process with the second panel lined up next to the first.  Trim excess paper from the bottom and the sides using a utility knife or razor. 

Step 7-Protective Finish

Once all coats of paint/spray paint are fully dry use a painters brush and coat the cabinet with the Polycrylic protective finish.  Use the sanding sponge to lightly sand areas where you want a hint of natural finish to show through.  This process can be repeated until desired look is achieved.

Step 8-Hardware

I think of hardware as the statement piece that can make the cabinet really stand out.  I found these pieces at Mendards and decided to mix and match.  I used a vintage looking hanging knob for the top doors and cute crystal ball knobs for the bottom.  I have to admit that I am still on the hunt for the perfect hardware for this cabinet but for know these will do!  Anthropologie has a ton of great hardware options that I am considering!







Step 9-Goodies!

The fun part is when you get to fill your piece with goodies!  I used a mix of things that I had along with great affordable pieces from two of my favorite stores Home Goods and TJMaxx.  In my opinion these stores should be everyone's go to for home decor especially if you are on a budget!



Posted in anthropolgie, cabinet, cabinet makeover, color, decorating, ideas, inspiration, inspired, mood

Simply DIY: how to turn a window into a leaded mirror

Mood Boosting Colors

Leave a Reply

Comments have to be approved before showing up.

Recent Articles