Saturday, August 21, 2010

China Cabinet Refinish

The sweet little thrifting fairies have been very very good to me lately. Somehow they caught on to the new musings and dreams in the project sector of my brain centered on remaking tired old furniture into something truly amazing. (So easy to make something truly amazing in ones brain isn’t it!) My infection with the itch to get my hands on some great furniture pieces has been largely fueled by this blog that my sister introduced me to. My daughter and I have great fun looking through the project before and afters and I find myself very inspired. I do have to admit that there are times when we prefer the “before”!

The first piece that entered my life (for the dazzling price of … free!) was a dated china cabinet with damage from being stored in a hot humid garage. As with all furniture redo's not all pieces are created equal. In terms of wooden pieces such as this there is little use putting time and effort into remaking a poorly made piece. Particle board…MDF…wibbly wobbly construction…not worth it. Look for solid wood pieces with strong joints. Aside from considering construction and materials the next challenge is to look at the piece for its lines and shapes and forget whatever unpleasing finish is currently on it. This is trick as some finishes are quite distracting in their hideousness…yikes!!

In terms of this cabinet I knew several things right away. I knew it was a well built solid wood piece despite the peeling veneer and and broken hardware. I knew I wanted it as a dresser and not a china cabinet. I knew the lines were good…despite the dated treatments. I knew the glass was more of a canvas than window…the only question was what to put on that canvas. I knew it needed to be mine! 105_7168

I started by getting rid of the molding at the top of the cabinet and removing all the loose veneer. I sanded the entire piece and spray painted. I was very pleased with the quality of finish the spray painting produced. It was my first time spray painting anything. There were serious doubts from the peanut gallery on whether it would turn out well…! Choosing hardware turns out to be just as much fun as choosing buttons. I highly suggest little children for this activity. It is so much fun to see what they love and are drawn to…and all those little handles to try out! Yikes! We do love hardware store trips.

With new paint and hardware the only thing left to do was create some kind of finish on the glass. Because I was planning to use the cabinet as a clothes dresser I wanted some opaqueness to the glass…but not all opaque. After way to much deliberation I decided on a graphic floral design and bold stripes. This was by far the most tedious and time consuming part of the project. But I love it….so it’s easy to forget about the work involved! I covered the glass with contact paper and traced my design onto it. 107_0102

Then…little by little…bit by bit…I cut away the pieces with an exacto knife.107_0101 107_0103

After the pieces that I wanted to be opaque-ish were cut away I used a frosting finish for glass and sprayed several even coats. Then the best part…peeling off the contact paper and revealing the finished design. 109_0004 109_0006

I am sooo happy with how it came out! It’s fresh and modern and just the look I was going for. I love using it and am so excited to finish more pieces.