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Farmhouse China Cabinet Makeover

This farmhouse china cabinet makeover was a labor of love, but it was worth it to transform this piece. It came to me as a dusty, dirty, nest-infested mess. But with lots of time and a bit of paint, it was brought back to life instead of the landfill.

To me, this is a prime example of turning trash into treasure. Most people wouldn’t have touched this piece. It really was that bad before. But I knew it had potential to be a lovely farmhouse style china cabinet once again.

My amazing BFF had this china cabinet in her garage. She was in the middle of a farmhouse deal (sadly, it fell through) and the sweet man who owned the house was kind enough to give her a few things he couldn’t take with him. And once upon a time, I was lucky enough to be on the receiving end of one of those treasures.

However, I certainly didn’t refer to it as a “treasure” when it landed in my garage instead of hers.

Scary Before Pics

An old and dusty China cabinet top sitting outside on a driveway.
Would you eat off of dishes stored here??
The bottom of an old and dusty China cabinet sitting outside on a driveway.


Six hours of cleaning. That’s right – six hours. This thing was beyond disgusting. And it is huge – 80″ tall and almost 60″ long! I took off all the hardware, removed the door, and removed the drawers.

There was a nest of some sort buried in the bottom that I couldn’t even bring myself to get out – That was a job for my sweet and patient husband. It was amazing how much dirt and grime were layered on this piece. I believe it belonged to the man’s grandmother and it had been sitting for ages in a barn.

But six hours later and tons of elbow grease and she was ready.

The Fun Part

 Finally, the fun part could begin. I chose not to prime it because I was going for a distressed look. I used Antique White off-the-shelf Valspar paint in a satin finish. This one took a while to paint.

I am partial to the distressed look because you don’t have to be quite so careful when painting. It still helps to try to minimize brush strokes, but if some of the original wood shows through, it’s ok. That will help when distressing. I’ve tried many different ways to distress, but this one was plain old sanding blocks.

For more info on painting wood furniture check out this beginner’s guide for all you need to know!

The white color worked wonders – all the amazing detail and molding was hidden in the dark brown before.

Finished Farmhouse China Cabinet Makeover!!

An old farmhouse-style China cabinet updated with a fresh coat of creamy white paint.
After image showing the result of an old farmhouse China cabinet painted white.
Now you can see the pretty details!
The bottom of a painted white China cabinet on a garage floor.

I really wanted to bring this one inside to style it and pretend I have room in my dining room for something this big. No such luck – too heavy and too much effort for pretending. So she had her picture made in my garage and sold it to a lovely lady that bought it for her daughter.

An old farmhouse-style China cabinet updated with a fresh coat of creamy white paint.
Now I would eat off dishes stored here!

Lots of people would have tossed this one out for the trash. Not this girl – I knew there was potential under all that dust. I can see why the original owner just couldn’t let it go to waste. All it needed was a little love and a lot of work to turn it from a dusty mess to a beautiful farmhouse china cabinet.

For more furniture makeovers, check out this black dresser makeover or this incredible buffet transformation.

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