DIY Projects

Easy DIY China Cabinet Makeover


As a frugal mom, I tend to resort to craigslist and the thrift store to find good stuff when I feel like working on a new project. I scored this beautiful piece of vintage- looking cabinet for $100 from Craigslist.





My husband and I were debating on what color to apply to make this piece look updated. Espresso stain v.s Old White Chalk paint. We ended up choosing the Old White Chalk Paint by Annie Sloan due to these reasons:

  1. No sanding or priming required
  2. Dries quickly
  3. Easy to apply
  4. Does not use a lot of paint

We used Annie Sloan flat brush to provide smooth and even finish. Annie Sloan brushes can be a bit pricey but I think it’s a very good investment if you plan to do more projects in the future. We also used Purdy angled brush which works just as efficiently as the expensive brushes.

We used Brossum 2-in-1 Round Chalk Paint and Wax Brush for Furniture It works just like the Annie Sloan Wax brushes for a lesser price. I see some negative product reviews about the bristles falling off but in my opinion, as long as you follow the handling and cleaning instructions, there should be no problem aside from of course, the natural wear and tear.

The wax! Annie Sloan Clear Soft Wax works best with chalk paints.


  1. First, clean the furniture piece by just wiping it with a clean, lint- free cloth. If your furniture piece has a lot of grease or sticky stuff, you can remove it with Goo Gone Surface Safe Adhesive Remover, 8 oz.
    Next is the fun part. Paint away! Make sure to glide your brush towards the grain of the furniture for a smoother finish. The paint dries as quickly as 15 minutes but you can choose to wait a little longer before applying the second layer of coating. Also consider the environment and temperature that may affect the drying time. For this piece, we waited until the next day to apply the second coating because we had to go to work. My husband and I are nurses and we work 8- hour shifts so we have plenty of drying time before we can apply the next coating.
  2. Apply the second coating. You can opt to do 2-3 coatings depending on the kind of finish you are looking for.
  3. For the interior, I used a paint similar to Annie Sloan Duck Egg blue. It’s called POETS PAINT UNIQUE WATERGLASS PAINT Chalk Finish Low Odor Low VOC 4 oz. Seaside. It has a very good quality and has a low odor, low VOC and most of all, it’s so much cheaper in price.
  4. Here’s what I think is the most crucial part, WAXING! It’s very imperative to apply wax to seal and protect your furniture. Dab the wax brush a few times just so you can get wax on the tip of the brush and apply in either circular motion or on the direction of the grain. It’s very important to apply thin layer just to cover every angle then use a microfiber cloth to wipe the excess wax. Repeat the process twice or three times. Just make sure to wait at least 24 hours before applying the second layer of wax. According to Annie Sloan website, it takes 30 days to fully cure the furniture so make sure to protect it before using it. If you are impatient like me, you can use the furniture after 24 hours but be sure to avoid getting it wet or dirty.
  5. Lastly, install your hardware and there you go… a new and improved china cabinet.

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