Don’t let people tell you that china cabinets aren’t in style in 2020 and beyond. Hands down, painted china cabinets are some of the most fun pieces of furniture to refinish because it’s extra storage that can either be a statement piece or blend into the background.
I scored this awesome china cabinet for a measly $40 at the thrift store. I know, right?? But I was >>THISCLOSE<< to walking away from it because if you’ve followed this blog long enough, you know that I’ve got hoarding tendencies (don’t we all???). I didn’t even want to think about the very audible grrrooaaannn my husband would give me as I lugged one more piece of furniture into our achingly cramped garage. But this china cabinet was too sweet to pass up.
Audio: Before & After: Painted China Cabinet Makeover
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And I’m glad I didn’t! It took me over a month to get around to this painted china cabinet makeover, but considering I have furniture that has been in my garage for–ahem–three years, one month is actually progress, my friend! Here’s what it looks like now!
Should You Paint a China Cabinet?
I wrote a popular blog post called When Should You NOT Paint Wood Furniture?? to share with you the 5 moments when you should put down the paint brush and step away from the china cabinet. (Go have a read). In this case, while the wood was beautiful, dark wood in such large pieces like china cabinets can make a dining room, living room, or craft room (places where people typically put china cabinets) feel very heavy.
I love how painted furniture breathes new life into something that might have once belonged to your grandmother or parents, and they left it to you. But “as is” it does nothing for your home.
In that case, go for it! Slather on a beautiful coat of furniture paint and let your china cabinet enjoy its next life in your home! After all, it’s your home. No one is going to visit (especially in this coronavirus era) and tell you that you made a mistake. 🙂
And while you can paint a china cabinet, you can also stain a china cabinet. It’s a bit more difficult to strip and stain it, because there are a lot of nooks and crannies that would take a lot of time to strip and remove all the previous finish. But it wouldn’t be impossible. You can check out my post How to Strip Furniture and Stain Wood: A Complete Guide for more info on how to do that.
I’ve been an Annie Sloan chalk paint junkie for the past few years since discovering it. But I’ve noticed that a bunch of furniture paints are hitting the market and I’m sooo curious about how they stack up to what I consider to be the Gold Standard (a.k.a. Annie Sloan).
So this company used to be called RECLAIM Beyond Paint but they’ve since rebranded to Beyond Paint, reached out to me and offered to let me try a couple of their paints (I chose Nantucket and Off White). I was curious to see how it worked so I said yes. I mean, free paint— can’t beat that. But I also wanted to see how it compares to Annie Sloan so I can fill you guys in on whether it’s a worthy product to try.
Beyond Paint Vs. Annie Sloan – How Are They Alike? How Are They Different?
Just like other furniture paints, it’s made especially for cabinets and furniture. And just like Annie Sloan chalk paint, there’s no prep work involved–no sanding, priming, stripping–and it bonds to nearly anything.
That’s fantastic because the prep work is the awful part of any project. I even hate wiping down furniture before painting it. That’s how lazy of a DIY’er I am.
But when I compared it to Annie Sloan, there were clearly noticeable differences:
Beyond Paint is much thicker.
When I lifted the paintbrush from the container, the paint didn’t budge. It wasn’t drippy or runny, which was sort of cool, although it did take some getting used to.
I couldn’t nail down the word I wanted to use to describe the consistency of Beyond Paint until I was nearly done with the china cabinet makeover. But finally, the word hit me:
It looks exactly like thick custard, doesn’t it? Or maybe pudding.
(I’m getting hungry now…)
But the thick “custard” has something called nano-technology (don’t let me get all technical because I’m clueless), but this nano-technology allows it to bond to ANY surface and hides imperfections within the piece because the paint is “self-leveling” which is awesome!
Even though it’s thicker, it goes on very smooth. It actually has a little bit of shine/glossy sheen which seems to help it spread easier without having to dip my brush as often, which was nice.
I used a brush, but this paint works really well with a roller, too (the Beyond Paint folks even recommend using a roller because the roller hides the brush strokes).
With Beyond Paint, the coverage was similar to Annie Sloan, though. Even with Annie Sloan, two coats are usually required for full, even coverage. This was what the first rough, wet coat looked like.
(Update: I tried Beyond Paint with a roller on this outdoor patio table, as they recommend, and it definitely gives it more texture, sort of bumpy, but not in a bad way. Just more texture. If you want a smooth surface, you can use a paintbrush, like I did).
This is what it looked like with one coat. With any paint, most times you’re going to have to use two coats if you want full coverage.
I had to remove the inside wood pieces in order to paint around the door and the insert. I just whipped out my trusty ‘ole butter knife. You know how we DIY’ers roll with the creativity and stuff….. 😉
Then I painted the wooden insert. I considered taking it out, but I think the china cabinet looked plain with just the glass there, so I kept the wooden insert.
At this point, I was ready to do a second coat of Beyond Paint. Again, this is how the china cabinet looked like just one coat.
When Furniture Stain Bleeds Through the Paint
Did you ever have that piece of furniture that left you cursing and had you ready to denounce DIY altogether?
Well, me too. The inside of this cabinet was evil. Plain evil! This bleeding through happens when the old stain keeps bleeding through the furniture paint, no matter how many layers of paint you use. It will even bleed through regular ‘ole primer, too.
That’s what happened in this case. I wrote a post called 10 Common Furniture Painting Mistakes and How to Prevent and Correct Them. You can check that out for all the possible reasons why it happens, but just know this: it will make you want to pull your hair out. 🙂
This is the worse case of bleeding through I ever saw. But this one takes the cake!
This had nothing to do with the Off White paint. The same thing happened with other brands of paint I have used, including Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. It is the dye in the old wood. In my experience, mahogany stains tend to bleed the worse.
How to Prevent Paint Bleed-Through
I decided to use a clear topcoat over the wood first, to help “seal in” any bleed through. It worked well enough. But I decided to paint the inside Annie Sloan Old Ochre because that color has a yellowish tint that can mask any bleed-through. Clever, huh? Just roll with the punches….
But an even better solution on how to fix bleed-through on painted furniture: use Kilz oil-based primer to seal in the “old” stain that will bleed through. I didn’t have any on hand at the time. But this is what is recommended by a lot of DIYers. (TIP: The spray-on oil-based KILZ works well, too).
What is a China Cabinet Used For?
Typically a china cabinet is for….well…fancy china dishes! You know…dinner plates, fancy bowls, and other dishes that you only pull out when guests come over for Thanksgiving. I know–makes no sense….
There aren’t very many people storing actual china dishes in their refinished china cabinets, but I do. I had found this set at the thrift store for only $40! If you’ve got a favorite set with pretty patterns, a painted china cabinet is a great place to show them off as decorations. (Psst! This set of thrifted china dishes were $40 and the cabinet was $40. Wow……$80 for this sweetness is a total deal).
Here are some other creative ideas on what goes in a china cabinet:
- Crafting supplies.
- Add a piece of wood extension and make a small desk.
- Colorful blankets
- Board games in a dining room or family room.
- Towels and toiletries in a large bathroom.
- Toys in a family room.
- Gardening supplies in a mudroom.
I had this Anthropologie knob laying around from an old project and decided to use it. Not sure if it matches, but umm….. it matches if I SAY it matches! Take that!
I used Rub n’ Buff on the handles to match the Anthropologie brassy color knob.
Rub’n Buff is a wax metallic finish that can be used on sooo many surfaces to change the finish. For example, if you’re doing a china cabinet makeover and you’ve got ugly handles or pulls, a little Rub n’ Buff can totally make them look new.
(Left: original pulls…..Right: with Rub n’ Buff).
READ MORE: 5 Ways to Use Rub ‘n Buff
Rub ‘n Buff is amazing for transforming hardware, making it look brand new again!
Be sure to check out the link below to learn more about how you can use Rub n’ Buff around the home to spruce up hardware, furniture, and more:
RELATED: 5 Ways to Use Rub n’ Buff
When the bleeding through almost made me scream and walk away, I decided I would try painting the inside Annie Sloan Graphite, which is actually a deep gray, almost. However, then I found the Old Ochre but decided I loved the drawer black. I sort of like that it’s not matchy-matchy with the inside of the cabinet, you know?
Do You Have to Seal Beyond Paint?
Nope! Beyond Paint is self-sealing, so no top coat was needed (although wax is needed on the chalk paint inside and in the drawer). If it was a high-traffic piece, like a dining room table or coffee table, I would have to seal it. I recommend using the Beyond Paint brand of sealer. You can see it in action on this outdoor table I sealed with the sealer.
I know–shame, shame to paint that “good wood.” But like I have said before, there is a time to paint wood and a time to put down the paintbrush. And this piece passed all the RULES, so it was fair game!
So What’s the Verdict on Beyond Paint?
I love trying new furniture paints (click here to check out my review of the 12 most popular furniture paints) because there are so many of them now and it’s hard to choose what works and what doesn’t.
What I Liked About This Paint
- Easy to use
- No sanding
- Glides over furniture
- Satin sheen
- Self-sealing, so no top coat needed if it’s not a heavy-traffic piece of furniture
- You can use it outside
- Won’t have to wax it every 6 months like you have to do with chalk paint furniture
- Has an optional sealer (use 2 coats) for high-traffic pieces of furniture
- Full-coverage painted look (great for modern furniture, too)
- Only comes in limited colors (whereas other furniture paints come in about 30). They do have more coming out all the time, so keep checking with them. (UPDATED: See how I tested out the new Beyond Paint metallic collection! My favorite is the Rose Gold).
- It’s more expensive than most furniture paints at $49.95 for a quart, but for a piece like this, I used about half of the quart. So you can easily get 2-3 large pieces painted with one quart.
- It’s not the paint to use if you’re looking for a “chippy” or distressed look. This paint is more “full coverage.”
Where to Buy Beyond Paint
Since I first started doing Beyond paint reviews, they have been expanding like crazy. Because of their feature on This Old House so many stores have been carrying it. You can buy it directly from their website, but there are other convenient places to buy it online:
AFTER! – Painted China Cabinet
My Other Projects Painted Using Beyond Paint Furniture Paint
Since completing this painted china cabinet before and after, I’ve also done many other projects! Here are some of the furniture makeovers where I have used this brand of paint:
How to Paint a Dresser in 10 Easy Steps (Using Beyond Paint)
I also completed this French Provincial dresser makeover for my mother-in-law using Beyond Paint Soft Gray. You can see that French Provincial dresser makeover here.
This gorgeous Beyond Paint project was when I repurposed my son’s old toddler bed into a potting bench, using their Poppy color, which was so fun and bright!
Lastly, I repurposed a drafting table into an eat-in kitchen table using their Blue.
And lastly, this is a patio table that I painted using this brand of paint.
How to Paint Outdoor Furniture (Using Beyond Paint)
So what do you think of my painted china cabinet makeover, my friends?? Have you ever heard of or tried of Beyond Paint?
Leave a comment below and I’ll see you in the comments section!
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