Painting a Media Cabinet

We are continuing progress on the house and getting settled in and it’s been exciting!  I think we are finally able to breathe a little and start to feel normal in this house.  It is really strange to move to a new house.  It’s a little emotionally exhausting too with new surroundings and everything feeling different, but it’s all good stuff and it’s nice to have this house feeling more like home every week.  We still have so much we want to do, but I’m very grateful that the house is so nice and clean and easy to live with until we figure out al the details of what we want to do in each area.

One little project I did right before I moved was to paint the media cabinet that I had bought from Homegoods a few years ago.  It’s a solid wood rustic piece with lots of chippiness and a reclaimed vibe.  I liked it a lot when I got it and it was different than most of the things in my house, so I thought it was a fun mix with my more traditional things.  I don’t want a whole house of chippy or rustic anything and I don’t fully embrace the whole reclaimed wood everything trend that has been going on for a few years.  I like small touches, but certainly not a whole house of it.  Mark definitely does not love the chippy paint look in furniture and so to make it work for us, I decided to paint it. He had mentioned that and I finally decided that was the thing to do and I’m so glad I did. I actually love it even better now!

Here’s a reminder of what the cabinet looked like in my old family room. Those shutters won’t go back up for now, but maybe I’ll find a place to use them on a future porch.

Very Bohemian and rustic, chippy.  But being solid wood, that’s always a plus and it’s substantial and a great piece for storage and adding the TV.  I still wanted to keep a little bit of the rustic vibe, so decided to leave the 8 panels on the doors as they were and those colors would be fun to leave and highlight.

I used some paint I already had on hand from Maison Blanche, a really good chalk type paint and I used the color, Hurricane.  This paint company has lots of products to choose from, especially if you’re into painted furniture and using products for distressing, waxing, and more.  I like painted furniture, but it’s not something I do all the time.  When I do have a piece that needs updating though, I don’t hesitate to change it up and make it better with paint.  This isn’t sponsored, but I’ve worked with Maison Blanche before and they sent me paint to use. It’s a nice chalky paint to use and this color worked great on my piece.  It’s sort of a gray/green shade. Chalk paint doesn’t require priming first, which is a big plus.

This project went really fast and it was done in about 2 1/2 hours total.  I used a 2″ paint brush and painted one coat the first day, the 2nd coat the next day and then came back and used their Satin Varnish on top which adds a little bit of sheen (not much) and protects the piece from chipping.  I prefer Satin Varnish on top of my painted pieces instead of using wax, but my style is not super distressed, so I tend to paint my pieces solidly and don’t do a lot of distressing anymore.  I’ve gone through distressing phases, but it’s not something I love much anymore.  A little maybe, but not a lot.  You can check out that link for all the products in the line.  I haven’t used them all, but what I have used are really good.

After one coat, it looked like this, still a bit of wood showing through.

And after 2 coats and the Satin Varnish on top, it looks like this.  I carefully painted around the 8 panels and the hardware and I just love how it turned out.

And here it is in our new house.  I really do love it even better now and Mark certainly does!  Now it’s something we can both live with.  The piece really fits the wall well and still leaves plenty of room for walking through to the guest room to the right. Mark has already drilled holes and put all the boxes in the cubby in the middle.

I hope our blending of styles gives you ideas on how you can change things up when you’re blending styles with a spouse.  My other house was totally my style, but this one will definitely be a blend of both of us.  We  do have many things that we like in common, but other things not so much, so it will be a compromise along the way of both our styles.  I’ll show you other examples of that along the way, as we’ve already done that with some other things as well.  I want both of us to be comfortable and happy in this new house, after all we both live here!

Mark is a creative guy and I’ll be sharing more of that with you later on.  Not only is he an IT guy with that kind of brain, but he restores vintage Art Deco lamps as a hobby and that’s something you don’t see everyday, so I’ll be sure and let you see some of his lamps.  We will no doubt have some of them in the house!








- Rhoda


  1. Rhoda, this cabinet looks great! I like televisions on this type of cabinet among a gallery of pictures. Any chance of this happening? Hint,hint

    • Sue, there’s a good chance that will happen. There’s definitely room to add some pictures, so I have to figure that out too. Nothing has been hung on the walls yet.

  2. It was fun to see the changes through the pictures! The cabinet looks great and may have disappeared into that wall had you not left the design and colors in the doors and the stained interior. Great idea! It’s nice for you to offer ideas on blending styles with your hubby, a definite plus in all marriages.

  3. I love your painted piece just the way it is especially those doors! It actually looks 100% better to me but I know everyone has an opinion! lol You’ll eventually get it all together and it will be fabulous!!!

  4. You did a beautiful job! Love the color choice and the decision to keep the center shelves unpainted! Such a unique piece!

  5. Lynn Adams Rodgers says

    Love the way the paint transformed this piece! I like it better now too!

  6. Lynn Adams Rodgers says

    Love the new look better!!

  7. Gorgeous…I’m getting ready to do an old cedar chest. Thanks for the tips. Did you use the satin varnish on the sides and front as well?

  8. The cabinet looks nice. I like the compromise you made, and the unpainted panels really set it off. I appreciate that you’re taking your time and not rushing your decorating. You have so many lovely things. Waiting to hang pictures and accessorizing your spaces is wise. There’s no hurry to have everything “picture perfect” right off the bat, and I appreciate that. I know that in the end, it will be gorgeous as always!

    • Thank you, Nanci, I’m trying to keep the long term in perspective and really think things out as we move along. Hoping I’m making some good choices and it all comes together. It does in my head!

  9. Oh I am happy to know about varnish and chalk paint. I have done some chalk painting and waxing with friends but do not think I could live with that finish. I do like “completely painted”, no chipped furniture. I painted a chest of drawers with Benjamin Moore Advance paint. Takes a month to really cure! but the finish holds up like oil paint. It’s great.
    This is so fun to watch ya’ll to make your house into a home.

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