Refurbished Chinese Cabinet



This is an old project from the archives. This cabinet is one I have treasured for many years. It has been many colours and has lived in many rooms 🙂 Today it is in my craft room and stores all of my ribbons and lace, and I would be totally lost without it! This cabinet may look little, but it holds a lot (think Dr.Who and his TARDIS).

I really wish I had taken a photo of it before I started working on this many moon’s ago. The original piece was a black-coated MDF type wood. (VERY 1990’s)

In the before picture, I had painted it using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint – Old Ochre which was finished using the Annie Sloan Clear Wax. During that time I was going through my Shabby Chic phase. I really loved the neutral colour because it allowed every other colour in the room to really pop.

Three years ago I really needed storage in entryway as I donated some of the furniture to my eldest daughter for her first home. Like my daughter, my cabinet had found a new home, but Old Ochre really didn’t cut the mustard, so out came the paint pots! I wanted a more dramatic look this time, so I took my inspiration from a beautiful red Buddha head my younger daughters had bought me for Mothers Day, I also hand a beautiful handmade Chinese necklace that was red and jewel colours as you can see from the after picture. I knew under all the layers of paint there was a red Annie Sloan Emperor’s silk. I went online to view a colour wheel.


Right away I knew the colour would have to be ASCP in Provence, this is a beautiful colour. and just perfect for my project. As you can see on the colour wheel cyan / turquoise are the opposite of red and orange. I knew also that I had a tester pot of ASCP Barcelona orange in my craft cupboard.

I set out to work. I firstly painted the cabinet with the Barcelona, but I kept my strokes mostly around the edges and corners. I also painted the odd patch on the doors. My reason being that there was no need to waste paint, I was going to be covering the whole cabinet with the Provence and distressing it only where it would naturally wear. This is exactly what I did. When the orange dried fully (a couple of hours later) the paint is actually touch dry in about 15-20 minutes, but I wanted to really let it cure a bit longer. (this is always an excuse for cake and coffee and a gossip on my phone 😀 ) I painted the whole cabinet in Provence. This colour really does lift your heart! it is vibrant and at the same time has a very calming effect. I left it overnight to 100% dry.

The next job was to sand down all the edges. I used a medium sandpaper (80) to do this at first, the a fine (120). I used long steady strokes along the edges and corners. I really went to work around the edges of the doors and tops of the drawers, I loved that beautiful orange peeking through. the harder I rubbed the more layers where revealed (old ochre, red and even the original black in places) I was so thrilled with this look! I used ASCP clear wax to finish and protect my work.

This little cabinet is still the same colour today. I always lifts my spirits when I look at it. The clashing colours work so very well together.

I hope you enjoyed me sharing this project with you. I am very happy to answer any question you may have, on this project or on a project that you may have in mind. I hope I have inspired you to give new life to a piece of furniture you have. Refurbishing is the way to go! with just a lick of  paint you transform anything to match your current scheme.

I buy my Annie Sloan paint and wax at Moss Cottage Dundrum village Dublin .


Have a beautiful day!

Geri xx






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