One of the projects we did while in New Orleans visiting my niece, was to paint this huge china cabinet that she bought on Craigslist. She paid $400 for this large 7’ wide china cabinet by Ashley Furniture, which wasn’t a bad deal for a huge piece like this. I’m sure brand new it was probably triple the price. She needed something big as you can see by the very tall ceilings they have in this house. A small piece of furniture would get lost on that wall, so I’m glad she found something that wide for the space.
Her table and chairs are staying a natural wood color, but we decided to change the china cabinet to a nice off white with Annie Sloan chalk paint in Old White. It’s a nice muted white and ages nicely. We opted not to distress and age this piece too much, but you can do what you are comfortable with on painting furniture and making them over. I personally think that all of this distressed and sanded down furniture will go the way of faux finished walls eventually. This trend is not going to last forever, nothing does, so eventually we may see people stripping off all of this paint we are now using. Anyone else see that coming?
But, for now painting a piece of furniture is still a great way to update and change out the look. Since this brand of furniture is not high-end or precious, I see nothing wrong with painting it. Definitely not an antique, so paint away!
Now, some of you asked this question on priming or sanding and the beauty of Annie Sloan chalk paint is that NO, you do NOT have to sand or prime with this paint. Just open the can and start painting. That’s one of the very best things about this product!
Paint was sent to me by one of my sponsors, Stylish Patina, and she ships anywhere, so if you’re in the market for Annie Sloan chalk paint, you can get it from her if there is not a handy stockist in your area.
Here’s the Ashley china cabinet before. Dark wood with mirrored backing inside. The mirrors make it look a little dated, so we decided to cover those. Stay tuned!
Getting started with painting in Annie Sloan Old White chalk paint. We used small foam rollers and brushes on this piece. I’m glad there were 3 of us or it would have taken days. We were able to do this piece in one day by painting one coat in the morning and then coming back for the 2nd coat in the afternoon.
Rolling the top was necessary too, since it could be seen from above. So many details to paint, but we didn’t cover all the crevices completely, but let a little dark show through for the aging part.
We did take off the doors and hardware just to keep them clean and it is easier to paint doors when they are off. We chose NOT to paint inside the doors below, but left it dark wood.
After one coat.
And doors painted.
Renee and Lauren painting the last coat on the doors. We didn’t worry about covering every single bit completely, but it looked good with a little brown showing through.
And here’s the AFTER!
I took some closeups so you could see what I mean about leaving some of the brown. One of these columns got painted too solidly, so I did add some dark wax to it. I’m not a wax expert, but did go over the whole piece with a coat of clear wax with my wax brush and we rubbed the wax into the surface of the cabinet. All that should be needed is then to go back and rub it down to give it a hand rubbed finish. We didn’t get to that part before we moved on to more projects, but Lauren can go back and rub it down if she wants. It’s mainly to give it a smoother wax finish and not so chalky. I only used the dark wax very sparingly and not over the whole piece.
Leaving some of the brown showing through. We could have sanded and distressed this piece even more, but with all the curlicues on it, I thought leaving just a bit of the original brown would be best. Plus that takes a lot more work to achieve and we had lots to do.
I like how it turned out and Lauren does too.
It does look like an older piece now and I think the white just gives it a nice update.
More details on the side columns.
All done! This piece is finished and we painted the mirror with Annie Sloan Duck Egg Blue, which I love too.
We weren’t sure how this would work, but it worked very well. We hadn’t taped off the mirror in here, so white got on the edges of the mirror, but I took a small angled brush and cut in with the blue right over the white paint that we had smeared on the mirrors, then we rolled over the middle with the chalk paint and it covered well.
See! Looks great and you’d never know there is mirror behind there. She might have to be a little careful with scratching it with anything, but for the most part, it should hold up fine.
We had taken the glass shelves out to paint and I can tell you, painting inside a china cabinet is no fun. Lots of weird angles to get to, but we managed to get it done even if it’s not perfect. If you have a china cabinet you want to try this on, get a friend to help you! It will make it go much faster. We were happy to have 3 of us working on this piece and we were really happy to get it done.
I love the dark hardware on here and it totally updates this piece now. And I’ve got lots more posts to share on New Orleans and the projects. I got to visit with one of my sweet blog friends while there too!
Beautiful!! My son and dil just sold a piece exactly like this. If I had taller ceilings I would have bought it. And having bought it, after seeing this, I would have gotten right on painting it. Of course my son probably would have had a cow. 😉
Oh, and she definitely got a deal. New it actually costs more than 5x what she paid!
Trish @TheOldPostRoad says
Awesome, Rhoda! What foresight! Love how you transformed that piece.
Hey Rhoda…this looks great. Remember my comment on your FB page that I thought it was for the nursery? Well, I still think it would look good in a nursery as well as lookin’ good where it is. You made it beautiful.
I wanted to share something with you…remember the mirror surround you built in Birmingham vs. using the kit which had all the instructions? Well, my husband was doing the same thing since we have a little hobby woodshop out here in the country. It looked so good when he glued it all up. I asked him if he’d researched, and since he’s a man, of course he knew everything. I just let him go. Long story short…it all fell down (he’d used Liquid Nails, too!) He is STILL working on this little tiny bathroom…AND…he finally figured it all out when after the collapse of the first “framing” of the mirror AND only I showed him that old blog post of yours….”I said…”this little blogger girlfriend knows how to do it.” Ha ha Here’s the details of this terrible time we’ve had. I don’t know if this is appropriate to include in a comment…so feel free to delete it after you read it…won’t hurt my feelings! 🙂
Thanks, Eva, this big ole piece would never fit in the nursery, but you’re right something like this could be used for storage in a nursery. Thanks for sharing your story, I just left you a comment, so I hope ya’ll get it figured out and get those pieces to stay up!
Oh I just love how this turned out! I followed you on IG as you did it and it has me itching to paint something of mine now…
Christy @ Creating a Beautiful Life says
Gorgeous! I love how this looks updated and fresh. Is the mirror an ombre finish, or does it just look like that in the picture? And I love Stylish Patina; such a cute shop!
Christy @ Creating a Beautiful Life
Wow, Rhoda! You gals did an amazing job! The white totally changes it and I love that you painted the back as well! I’m with you – I’m thinking all those chippy and distressed pieces will be getting sanded down in the near future!
Amanda @ Dixie Delights says
It’s gorgeous! I love the blue interior!
Beautiful in the white!
What a great job!!!
I honestly don’t think painted pieces will go out of style if they are done well, that’s because they have always been there even if not the height of the trend!!! I really like pieces that look like they came out of a European farm house, and painted and distressed furniture gives that feel. Maybe it’s because my family is English, (I’m a first generation American) and the English tend to keep things forever; but I look at furniture as an investment and something to keep in the family (unless it breaks.) So age worn and loved by antiquing and time will never go out of fashion for me, and painted furniture is part of that. (I like to look at furniture as being style that lasts forever, I only express trend through accessories, since they are easy to replace!)
I agree that painted furniture (if done right) will never go out of style. I love furnture that is painted to look European. It all depends on the finish and if it is painted more modern using modern wallpaper or some bold design. In my opinion that will go out of style quicker. Painted furniture that is done in Miss Mustard Seed style will stay in for many years to come because lots of folks love the farmhouse, french style which has lasted for generations. Look how quickly the modern stuff comes and goes, chevron comes to mind.
Katherine @ Grass Stains says
Rhoda, I agree that the faux-painted stuff will definitely go out of style at some point. Particularly the overly distressed items … as a matter of fact, I think in many parts of the country, it already has. However, just regular painted furniture probably has years of life left yet … at least in my opinion. Seems like plenty of it is still being sold today in high-end stores and catalogs, which to me indicates that it has at least another five to eight years before it’s considered out-of-style … if then.
You all did a GREAT job on Lauren’s piece, and I know she was so grateful for the guidance AND the elbow grease! 🙂
Yep, Katherine, I totally agree with that! I see many high-end furniture stores putting out beautiful painted furniture, that will last as classics.
First off……I’m not a big painted furniture fan but this is one of the most gorgeous pieces of painted furniture ever.
Painted furniture is over done…..it’s everywhere but since I’m USUALLY not a fan of painted furniture my opinion is probably not a good gauge of the trend.
On the other hand……your piece is so lovely…..I might just have to dip a toe into the painted furniture pond.
Julia @Cuckoo4Design says
What a gorgeous transformation!
That turned out so very pretty! I think you are right about the coming trend of going back to original wood 🙂 Oh well, it will give us something else to do, right? Anyway, my question is could you have waxed the blue painted mirror to give it a little more protection from scratching? Or would that have not made any difference? Do they even make any kind of flat clear coat for painting over chalk paint? Thank you for a fun post!
I think this piece was the perfect candidate to be painted, it is a stunner now. ON the other hand, I have seen gorgeous antique wood pieces painted and heavily distressed on blogs and it makes me want to cry. I think painted furniture will never go out of style but this heavily distressed look is overdone and some just plain ugly. I have redone some cheap furniture with ASCP that now look great but would never paint an antique.
Looking forward to the rest of your projects at Laurens, she must have been thrilled to have you down there to help.
Sarah Jane | Clean & Proper says
I love it in white! It’s amazing how much changing the color changes the look and feel of the cabinet. I love it!
Rhoda, its beautuful gave me an idea fir my huge china cabinet. One question, did you have to sand first? I love the way painting pieces gives them new life. Great job.
HI, Laurie, what I love most about using Annie Sloan paint is that you don’t have to sand first, so no sanding on this piece!
Yeah, to clarify, I don’t think all painted furniture will go out of style, I just think the overly distressed stuff might wane a bit in the next few years. There is still room to update older pieces of furniture with paint and it’s still fun. But, trends come and go and eventually, I can see some of this distressed furniture going away.
You always know how to bring beauty to every piece you work on, Rhoda. It is beautiful! Can’t wait to see more of your handiwork with your sweet niece, Lauren. And more pics of beautiful New Orleans. Home of some of my favorite friends and first real boyfriend (the son of a preacher man! Ha!).
I agree about the distressed look. Some of might stay with some people who really go for that look. But hoping the Restoration Hardware look evolves. Kind of tired of looking on their site and seeing the same thing year after year.
Melesa Garrison says