the china cabinet on my doorstep

Marian ParsonsBefore and Afters, buying & selling antiques, Furniture Makeovers, Hand Painted Furniture, Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint59 Comments

Usually I have to hunt for my furniture, but lately a few pieces have been finding me.  That was the case with this china cabinet…

china cabinet before | miss mustard seed

An antique store owner who I’ve shopped from a few times stopped by my studio a few weeks ago.  He knocked on the door.  “I have something in the truck that I think you might like.”  He showed me the china cabinet, quoted a price.  I nodded and he carried it in for me.  How easy was that?!

Now, I have to do something with this china cabinet…  After painting several of them over the years, I’ve sworn that I would never buy another one to paint.  They are a royal pain in the rear to work on.  The tight interiors, the fretwork up against the glass…all, a royal pain in the rear.

So, I put it out of the way against a wall and marinated on it for a few days.  I was contemplating two things  – 1.) How can I paint this piece to make it look amazing? and 2.) How can I make this thing less of a royal pain in the rear to paint?

I finally settled on a marriage of paint and wood.  I could leave the interior, fretwork and wood details of the piece wood and paint the rest in MMSMP Trophy, a color that will compliment the dark wood tone.  About half way through, I wasn’t sure my vision was really going to work out, but as soon as I lightly distressed the edges and rubbed down the entire piece with Hemp Oil, it came alive.

Trophy china cabinet | miss mustard seed

It worked!  It worked!  My somewhat lazy design plan to avoid painting the interior and the fretwork actually resulted in a really beautiful piece.  More beautiful, I would argue, then if I had painted the entire thing one color.

Trophy china cabinet | miss mustard seed

Trophy china cabinet | miss mustard seed

I love how the wood frames out the glass and then the paint frames out the wood.  And the detail on these little doors is my favorite.  (Just to point out my flaws, the sand paper I used ended up giving a bit more of a “scratchy” look, which wasn’t what I was going for, but I just rolled with it.)

Trophy china cabinet | miss mustard seed

A good cleaning and Hemp Oil brought out the warmth of the wood.

Trophy china cabinet | miss mustard seed

I didn’t have a key for the cabinet, so I had to put a knob on the door to allow the new owner to open and close it without using their fingernails or a pocketknife.  That’s always a nice selling feature!

Trophy china cabinet | miss mustard seed

I also cleaned and oiled the inside and it looks so much better!  It really didn’t need to be painted.

Trophy china cabinet | miss mustard seed

  Trophy china cabinet | miss mustard seed

This piece is priced at $325 and will be coming with us to the Lucketts Antique Market, May 15-17, 2015.

the china cabinet on my doorstep

Related Posts

A huge announcement about Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint

simple footstool slipcover

blue toile daybed makeover

parsons chair linen slipcover reveal

59 Comments on “the china cabinet on my doorstep”

  1. Looks fabulous. Now I know what to do with my old china cabinet. The fretwork has always been an obstacle.

  2. I love it and if you don’t mind me saying I love ur imperfections.. I am new at this and have a lot to learn.

  3. What a wise choice to leave the wood showing in places! It really adds a depth to the piece that painting alone would not have given it! Lovely!!

  4. MMS That was a great idea! I love the marriage of wood and paint and in this case it not only looks great but it was easier! I’ve painted many hutches myself and I’m loving this idea. Thanks for the inspiration!

  5. That piece is perfection! Many times I find that some totally painted pieces just seem to lack something- but you hit his one out of the ballpark! Looks soo good and sophisticated- and still gives hints of its history which I find so nice!

  6. I have an antique china cabinet (somewhat similar) that has yet to sell. I decided just this weekend to bring it home and paint it…I was worried sick it would “ruin” the piece. But this convinced me it will be beautiful!!! Thanks!

  7. So pretty, didn’t even notice the fretwork until it was painted. Actually had to roll back to the first picture to see if it in the glass (lol) great job!

  8. It is just beautiful! I am a constant visitor of your website and find it very inspiring. We are remodelling a partially 400 year old house in Europe. Also try to furnish it kind of fitting to the house often because there is no other way 🙂 Walls and floors are not straight and so on.
    Keep up the beautiful work 🙂

  9. Marian, I would be surprised if this lasts 10 minutes at Lucketts. It’s a beautiful contrast. Lovely.

  10. It is beautiful – and I freely admit I am going to copy your work! I have one in my living room I’ve been putting off. Now I know what I’m going to go. Thanks once again MMS for the inspiration!

  11. Marian, love this piece! I’m curious, though, since I’m a rather messy painter, did you hemp oil the wood pieces that you did not want to paint first to help keep the paint off or did you tape it off? Thanks again for all the inspiration!

  12. Wow, you did it again! It just looks amazing. I am sitting down at the moment at a cute little antique desk that might just end up looking like your china cabinet.

    Thank you for all the inspiration!!!!

  13. I know it really didn’t need to be painted, but I’m so glad you did because the beautiful detail in the square trim on the lower part would never have shown itself so beautifully otherwise!! Good choice.

  14. I enjoyed a good chuckle when I began to read your dilemma because you don’t need to be the one to paint at all. You have helpers! You can just provide the guidance. But if you’re like me, I have a hard time turning over my projects for others to complete. I like to do them myself most of the time. Anyway, kudos for a fantastic finish…this is my fave of all your projects by far! This really has that current European look in my opinion (which really isn’t that important at all. Ha!). Please keep us informed as to how fast this piece sells at Lucketts. Lucky buyer for sure. I wonder how many are planning their strategies right now!

    1. I actually do have a hand in almost all of my pieces. 🙂 This piece was actually a tag-team effort. Kriste, Megan and I all worked on it in various stages.

  15. OMG, I might actually be able to persuade my husband to let me paint our china hutch, which had been in his family. I love what you did!!

  16. You had a brilliant vision and made it reality! Turned out beautifully. Very inspirational and thought-provoking how you made its shortcomings really work in its favor!

  17. This is one of my favorites! I have been hesitant to add painted pieces to my semi-formal English cottage style, but this piece, because if the wood interior and neutal almost stately color, would work in my house. Great job!

    Catt in Kentucky

  18. It looks fabulous! Wht a great idea. Did you put hemp oil over the paint insted of wax? And then use hemp oil on the inside wood too? I did not realize it was so multifunctional!

  19. I wish someone would drop anything close to that on my doorstep!! Wholly cow that’s beautiful. I wish I were as lucky as you! Trophy was a perfect choice. Beautiful…can’t say it enough.

  20. This is one of my favorites, it is so sophisticated. It is just stunning.
    It is perfect with your ironstone!
    I really wish I could go to
    Luckett’s, maybe, someday!

  21. Such a good call not painting the inside and the fretwork.
    I prefer other colors next to wood- blue, cream, pinks- so this isn’t one of my favorites but I am clearly in the minority! Thanks for sharing as always.

  22. Wow Marion!!! Bravo… Nice choice in color and in technique. Of course you don’t need me to day that. You are SO blessed with the pieces you find! I’m jealous.
    Simply amazing.

  23. That piece is breathtaking! Beautiful. I love the wood with the paint! You’ve outdone yourself!
    Kudos to you for a great job!

  24. I’d purchase this in a heartbeat. Have absolutely no place to put it but why sweat the small details?
    Looks like your Marian-ating on it resulted in a beautiful piece.

  25. Lovely piece well done. In my part of the world they call people who pedal antiques and stuff
    Pickers. And sales people who come around in the spring as rag pickers………..Mary

  26. A lovely old fashioned key might look nice. Perhaps a elegant tassel attached to the key. I bought some
    beaded tassels at Brimfield way back and they look nice tied onto anything. These are made
    out of plastic but you would never know it.

  27. An old fashioned key might look nice. Maybe with a fancy tassel attached. I bought some beaded tassels at Brimfield and have them tied here and there. One would never know they are
    plastic beads. Or maybe some lovely wallpaper as a backdrop. Or do your starch/fabric duo.

  28. SUPER idea leaving the china cabinet part wood so that the paint pops against it!
    Sometimes less is best and in this case it’s a 2 thumbs up!

  29. Wow! WOW!! What a giveaway! I’ve had an interest in upholstery for a long, long time. I’m a “detail” gal whose eye is always looking closer. I go “ahh” over double welting, clap my hands at the prospect of a chair with three fabrics (!), transom windows, wainscoting, ball fringe on curtain panels, pillows – you get the picture. The unexpected details delight me. For that reason, I’ve desired to learn to upholster – to “re-create” something beautiful – for a long time. I live in the Northern Virginia area, where affluence reigns and upholsters make money hand over fist. I’ve looked for upholstery classes, but no one is really teaching them. I’ve even considered enrolling in a professional upholstery program in Charlotte! Winning this machine would be the kick in the pants I need to go from yearning to leaning! Thanks Marian!

  30. I am interested in the desk and my sister lives up the street from Lucketts (lucky her) and I can make arrangements to pick it up there but pay now if you like. Please let me know. Thanks! You’re things are beautiful and I love your paint.

  31. Love this Marian. I hate painting these just as much as you now. The ones I’ve done recently I’ve also left the inside unpainted wood which makes it much easier. My favorite color is trophy and was the perfect choice for this wood/paint combo. Great job!

  32. What an amazing transformation. She is no longer dated and now has a lovely grace about her. Wish I could be closer to go to Luckets. All of your pieces are so tempting!

  33. Holy cow! That is gorgeous! I wouldn’t have thought to marry the wood by leaving highlights on the outside…GENIUS! Painting the inside really is a pain!

  34. Love it and want to do something like this to my china cabinet as well. Can you tell me how you prepared the surface before you painted it? I’m hoping to not have to strip it and would like to show the darker stain in a distressed type of way like you did. I love the look you’ve accomplished and you’re a great inspiration.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *