Old China cabinet to new

This piece of furniture was built by my husbands’ grandfather and great-grandfather for his grandmother, to hold her fine china. Since we recently purchased his Aunt and Uncle’s home we were asked if we wanted it. It has been in their (now ours) basement for many years. We said we would love to refinish it, not sure what for though. Our old home had two beautiful corner built-ins in the dining room where I kept my china. We talked it over a bunch and we are going to also use it as a China cabinet. Very exciting. Watch as We transform her beauty!


This is where my new China cabinet begins.  My wonderful husband brought it up from the basement in the state in which you see it.  Drawer and doors were not attached and sanding had already been started.


The sanding process is hot and tiring but I am very lucky that I am able to use the hand sander which makes quick work.  Also it makes a great deal of a mess.  RickabaughReviews recommends sanding outdoors.  As I am sanding not only am I taking the top layer of stain off but I am also evening out all the dings and scratches as much as possible without trying to take away to much of the board itself.  It is old and not very stable.


At this point you can see that I have the whole one side sanded to the smoothness that I desire.  When my right hand gets tired of holding the vibrating sander, I am able to switch hands.  My useless left hand has a bit of use in it.  When sanding with the sander in my right hand I use my left hand running it over the freshly sanded areas making sure they are smooth to the touch, it also helps me find small scratches or dents that are not showing up visually, which might show up drastically once the dark stain is placed on the cabinet. When sanding with the sander in my left hand I am doing the same constant checking of the smoothness of the freshly sanded areas with my right hand.


You can see in this photo that I have some of the trim pieces on the front of the cabinet sanded.  I also was able to tell that many years ago when she was put together, they might not have used all the same type of wood, so it will be interesting to watch how this project turns out. The several layers of paint on the shelves are the next to go!

Citri-Strip QCG731 Paint and Varnish Stripping Gel, 1-Quart

This is the paint stripper we used. I was worried because this is a very old piece but we have been very careful. And it has dried out for over a week since we used the stripper on the tops and bottoms and sides of shelves. It is so easy to use! We also have used this stripper to resurface our steel tub at our old house.

It works amazing! RickabaughReviews Approves! And we keep it on hand, I am always in the middle of several projects and you never know when you will need it next.

When applying the thick yet surprisingly runny stripper we use, super cheap, disposable brushes that you get by the bag. Once you spread the stripper onto the surface it sticks really well. When you are done using the stripper for the day, dispose of the brush. The stripper starts working immediately. It is like science class all over again watching the chemical reactions.


This paint stripper doesn’t smell as bad as past stripper. But my husband has been helping me out a lot with this project. He has stated that you should have a drop cloth of some kind, we use newspaper-free-disposable “drop cloth”.  We use a multi tool as a scrapper. I will try to get a photo of the tool later.


This the drawer for the bottom of the China cabinet. Yes I will need to decide on new drawer pulls.


Starting the sanding process of the drawer.  The original wood grain is so pretty!


I sit on a small gardening stool which really saves the back.  I encourage everyone to make their projects easier for themselves.  I rotate the drawer and am no longer bending over to sand the other side.


The drawer pull marks are very deep in the wood so instead of compromising the integrity of the drawer with drastic sanding, I will need to find some larger pulls to cover the indentations. This may pose a challenge.


Only the front has been sanded so far.  I use a small palm sander and you can also see my excellent fold up gardening seat in this photo. It has so many pockets to hold all your go to gardening tools.  I have a bunch of projects going on all the time.  Some days I get in hours of project time and other days I get 10 minutes.

Author: jeanetelouise

I see many project ideas online and I want to try them all. Watch, laugh and learn along with me.

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