Mid-Century Modern China Cabinet Rescue



I am not a huge fan of mid-century modern furniture, but I know a lot of people are.  But I will say, it has grown on me a bit more over time.  I picked up this china cabinet from a gal who sold me a dresser that I transformed a while back.  You can check that project out here.  She reached out and said her mom had this china cabinet for sale for $10.  At that price, I couldn’t say no.  Initially, I thought I wanted to use a bright  color.  Perhaps lime green? 

MCM china cabinet before

But I wanted it to be more livable too, so I came up with this plan to use Farmhouse Green (a little more muted than lime green), espresso stain and copper hardware and details.  This combination is a little more sophisticated, and still unique and fun. I thought about doing a dark purple on the inside back, but then thought better of it.

MCM china cabinet plan

The piece smelled of smoke through and through, so I used a Dixie Belle product called BOSS to seal off smells.  As a bonus, it also provides a tacky surface for paint to stick to.  There was also some damage around the corners of the top piece.  To fix that, I used Swamp Mud (otherwise known as wood filler) which I spackled on, allowed to dry, and sanded smooth.  The consistency of the Swamp Mud is slightly more liquid than most wood fillers, which makes it easier to use in my experience.  And it sands down really smooth without sanding away to nothing.

After alllllll the prep, I painted the top and bottom frames with 2 coats of Farmhouse Green.  The drawer fronts, sliding cabinet doors and legs got a couple coats of Espresso Gel Stain which I sealed with Gator Hide.  The knobs and those cool wavy pulls came from D Lawless Hardware.  I’m excited they recently teamed up with WalMart, so now their super budget-friendly hardware will be more accessible to everyone.  Lastly, to finish off the copper highlights, I used Prima Marketing Metallique Wax in Copper on the legs and cabinet drawer pulls.  To get into the finger pulls, I dipped a Q-tip in the wax and swirled it around.  For the feet, I just rubbed the wax on with my finger.

I couldn’t resist staging this piece with a little Christmas décor.  There are sliding glass doors for the top, but those are difficult to photograph without getting reflections, so I left them off most of the pictures. 

MCM China Cabinet Collage

Here are the products I used for this project and staging:

If you’d like to see a farmhouse style china cabinet makeover, check out this one.  This MCM piece is currently for sale in southeast Wisconsin.  Without a makeover, it was headed for the trash heap, but now it is a great solid and stylish piece for an MCM lover.  If you are one of those, I’d love it if you could share this project with your friends, and then come follow me over on Facebook for daily projects and inspiration.

MCM china cabinet before and after
china cabinet farmhouse green
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