Debbie’s China Cabinet Makeover

Today’s post was written by my friend, Debbie. We met at church a couple of years ago, and she has been such an inspiration to me! We worked on a piece of furniture at her house recently, and I thought it would be fun to invite her over here so that y’all could meet, too! :-)


It’s amazing what a little paint and wax can do, isn’t it?

red geraniums

Complete transformation. That is the only way I can describe this project Layla and I worked on together!

China Cabinet Makeover | Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

Brian the Carpenter replaced the glass with thin plywood, and then Layla and I used wood filler to fill in the grooves on the legs, switched out (and relocated) the old knobs, painted the whole thing with Old White chalk paint, and distressed all the edges to create a more casual look.

Knobs from Hobby Lobby

We started with an outdated-yet-sturdy, dining room china cabinet and ended with a cute little armoire that I can use in any room. I love it, and it’s hard to believe that something we’ve had around the house for so many years now feels like such a fresh, new treasure!

White Chalk Paint | China Cabinet Makeover

Watching it transform was very exciting. A little hard on the back, but definitely very exciting. 😉

China Cabinet Makeover | Red Geranium | Wood Box | Stacked Books

As we worked, I was reminded me of how thankful I am that God is in the restoration business, too. Thankful that He specializes in life-change transformations. Transformations that begin with an Encounter, and last forever because of Hope. Transformations that take away our shame and bitterness, and replace them with forgiveness, joy, and peace. Transformations that, before long, make our lives look completely different than they used to. God has been hard at work in my life since the day I first met Him, and like my old china cabinet, He sure has a way of making me feel like a treasure, too! 😀 Debbie Signature

Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint - Mint Green Secretary Makeover
Accent Tables Are My Favorite

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  1. Colleen says

    Beautiful. Is this piece laminated wood? What procedures did you follow?

    I have a whole wall full of cabinets I would like to update, and could really use some suggestions.

    • Layla says

      Hi Colleen!
      I think most of it is laminated wood, and we just literally slapped on some chalk paint after Brian put the plywood on the upper doors and the wood filler was dry on the bottom part! 😀 After the paint was dry, we used a sanding block to distress the edges, and then we used rags to rub on some Annie Sloan furniture wax. And that was it!

  2. Eva says

    Do you ever have a problem with the drawers or doors sticking once you paint them?

  3. says

    Absolutely gorgeous! I’m in the middle of doing the same type of restoration on my furniture as well and I can’t wait to be done. I love how a little paint, elbow grease and sore muscles can make for years of extra enjoyment in pieces you already love!

  4. says

    What a transformation! But, even more so: you have a great knack for finding the potential. Not sure that I would have thought to fill in the legs and relocate the knobs. Very clever! ~Joanne S

  5. Alli says

    Beautiful! I’ve been wanting to do something like this to an old dresser. And I love the analogy of God being in the restoration business! Lovely!

  6. Samme says

    Wow! That IS a great transformation! So fresh. The switch-a-roo of the pulls on the lower doors took years off!
    You mini devo. is refreshing, also! I’m grateful for the transforming love of Christ, too!

  7. Linda Douglas says

    Wowssurr !, Debbie ,I’m thinking you and Layla will be bringing some new life into more goodies, I’m inspired! .
    I’m heading out for brushes, gonna try making my own chaulk paint ( new recipe).
    Layla’s contagious ….hehee!
    “Huggs Girls,
    Canadian Sisstta

  8. DCJ says

    Have you seen the line of Farmhouse Paint that looks like a million bucks and requires no coat of wax? We were on Atlanta Highway yesterday when I saw the sign advertising Farmhouse Paint in front of Unique Boutique. My sweet husband stopped so we could check it out. The colors are beautiful, and I literally thought of you Layla while I was standing there looking at them!

    Layla, do you do design consultations in Montgomery?
    I’ve been reading your blog for 7 months now, and I just love it!

  9. says

    I love what you did with this cabinet, it is so pretty. I really enjoyed Debbie’s comment regarding God’s way of transforming our lives.Thank you for the reminder!

  10. Darla says

    Beautiful words about God’s restoration process. Thank you Debbie <3 So thankful His never ending love!

  11. Pam says

    Reading this and seeing the transformation makes me sad I got rid of my china cabinet! It was great storage, but I got tired of the glass and having to clean it! (lol!) Beautiful message. I am very excited to see what God has planned for me! We’ve been working hard on this transformation.

  12. Ann says

    The cabinet is beautiful but wow the last paragraph is even more beautiful. I am a restoration project of God’s also…I love the idea of thinking how He sees the treasure in everyone. We are His diamonds in the rough.

  13. andrea in Iowa says

    I love that you didn’t use the dark wax on this. I think the dark wax is WAY overused!

  14. says

    I like the statement that God is in the restoration business–how aptly put!! I love the cabinet in white far better than original look.

  15. says

    The transformation is wonderful – love the after! Also love the transformation God has made in my own life and how, all these later, He is improving me still.

  16. says

    I love everything about this! and you’ve totally inspired me too! I just found (yes, found! woohoo!) a dining room sideboard on the side of the road last weekend – it’s going to get a full makeover, but the groves are ugly – now I will be filling them with wood filler, just genius! Thanks!

  17. Joan says

    I love your blog, I read every one. I was glad to see the remarks about God. We don’t see that often any more.
    Thanks and keep up the inspiring work.

  18. says

    Lovely! This “re-cycle” takes the cake! What an amazing transformation. There is something so satisfying about finding a way to re-use something that’s already owned. Are the knobs new or vintage? And, do you think that the pain would adhere to glass, if for instance, a pattern or detail was desired leaving some visibility into the cabinet? I’ve never worked with the chalk or milk paint.
    Thanks : )

  19. Dana says

    I have something similar I have wanted to work on. How did you treat the hinges? I have painted hinges before and the paint tends to peel off with use. Also, what did you do to the inside of the cabinet?

  20. Sunny says

    Loved this post…I am crazy to do chalk paint on anything that doesn’t move…but loved the reference to God’s transformation in us…and esp how it begins with an Encounter…amen to that.