DIY Upcycled Chalk Painted China Cabinet


Lets not get confused with a chalkboard here. I will not be scribbling sweet-nothings all over my furniture. Chalk Paint offers excellent coverage, is quick to dry and has a beautiful matte finish. Read below for my experience upcycling an inherited (super ugly) china cabinet with homemade chalk paint!

Somehow my husband and I inherited two complete sets of fine China. Its really sad because we probably will never use them. We’re definitely not the formal dinner party type. Nonetheless I needed something to store said China.

I looked around at local furniture stores, browsed Overstock and Amazon and could not bring myself to spend money on a China Cabinet. Thus, said China spent a year packed haphazardly in cardboard boxes in our office closet. That was until my uncle generously gave me one of my grandmother’s old china cabinets. cabinetpre

Pictures really do justice here because the thing was ugly as hell in person. Constructed in the 1960s-1970s with honey oak, the manufacturers decided a good splatter effect was imperative. The wood itself looked ok but there were brown paint splatters all over the thing.



I’ve seen Annie Sloan Chalk Paint all over Pinterest and have always been intrigued. I was not intrigued however, with the price. I decided to make my own chalk paint using some leftover white latex paint and Plaster of Paris. I gathered my supplies.


I prepped the cabinets by cleaning them with a vinegar/water solution. Removed all doors and hardware. Shelby, my cat was an unwanted helper in this process.



I let the hardware soak in a bucket of baking soda and vinegar. You wouldn’t believe how much grime came off those things!



I’ve seen various chalk paint recipes out there but what worked the best for me was filling an old plastic container with 1/3 Plaster of Paris and 2/3 paint. Whisking vigorously. Don’t let the mixture sit too long otherwise the Plaster of Paris will harden up.


I couldn’t stand the hardware so I decided to spray paint it. I used a combination of a glossy silver metallic spray paint and a nickel metallic spray paint that had more of a glittered look to it.



After the chalk paint dried I rubbed it with Paste Wax. I made the mistake of buying Paste Wax for dark wood and had to return it. I was nervous the replacement wax was for lighter wood and not clear but used it anyway. I used cheesecloth to both apply and buff the wax. The end product looked like this!!!




Gone are the days of haphazardly storing heirlooms and china in the closet!


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