Creative Furniture Refinishing and Fiber Arts
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White hand painted china cabinet

Did you ever try to match your favorite china dishes with a cabinet?  No, of course not.  That would be silly, right?  But what if you really love a specific china dish pattern?  And you want the perfect place to display them? Let me explain:  I started a collection of creamy white ironstone china and the more I purchased the more I loved these dishes.  It took years to collect and I feel such joy when I look at them and when I use them.  I collect Nikko Classic Collection and Castleton Independence Ironstone in creamy white.  Both are basically the same, and you can still find them in thrift and consignment stores or even yard sales.

nikko classic collection

You see what I mean?  They are beautiful! Well, I did not have a place to display them and that bothered me a lot.  In the spring I started looking for a china cabinet.  No simple task.  I knew what I did NOT like, but I was not sure what I was looking for.  It took me about two months and finally there it was!  And just about one mile away from my home…Here is a before picture:

china cabinet

I knew this cabinet would look great after some work and believe me, it needed some work!  The surface is mostly veneer, so I did not feel guilty at all to give her a coat of paint.   First I cleaned her thoroughly and I washed her with a TSP solution.  After that I used wood filler to make a the surface smooth and leveled.



I gave the cabinet two coats of Zinsser Shellac Primer.  This was the first time I used the shellac primer and it was OK but I found it a bit watery (splashes) I prefer to use the regular Primer.  This is my own personal opinion of course,  if you enjoy using it:  Please do so!    Work in progress:


I choose Benjamin Moore Easter Lily white in a semi-gloss finish (to match my dishes) and for the inside I used Westcott Navy in eggshell finish (had this color matched at Sherwin Williams and purchased a sample pot for $6).

Here is my lovely china cabinet:


The vintage fretwork behind the glass doors was intact and  did not need much work.  I gave it one coat of Minwax dark walnut wood stain and wiped off the excess after 10 minutes.

vintage fretwork

White china cabinet


The handles are my favorite!  I did not paint them but used Simichrome polish to clean them:

vintage cabinet handles

After I purchased the polish I read somewhere that you can also clean vintage handles in boiling water with some salt. Have not tried it myself.






white ironstone

I am happy I have a place to display my dishes!


white painted china cabinet

Let me know if you like the transformation, I always love to hear from you!



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  1. Het ziet er weer prachtig uit. Als ik ruimte had zou ik ook eens aan zo’n project beginnen, zo leuk om dingen te zien veranderen van oud naar modern en eigentijds.

  2. Dank je Marion! Ben ook blij met het eindresultaat.

  3. Hetty! I haven’t seen anything from you in a long time! This is beautiful and so is your collection. So nice to see you again, hope you are having a lovely summer. -K

  4. Thanks Karen for leaving such a nice comment! Since the weather is getting cooler, I am planning to do more painting. Just wait and see!

  5. Beautiful – great job

    Sarah @ Edea Smith

  6. Wow, your hutch turned out just beautiful…you knocked it out of the park…great job! I love that you painted the inside a dark color to make your dishes pop.

    • Thank you so much Christine, yes, I am happy I painted the inside dark!

  7. Beautiful transformation from old to new! Love the hardware.
    Have a wonderful week.

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