China Cabinet Makeover with Wallpaper

In all of my furniture adventures, I have yet had the opportunity to work on a china cabinet. Ya know, those big brown beasts from days of old? Seriously, they can be pretty cool when done right and I wanted a chance at this one I found on Craigslist.

Vintage China Cabinet Before Wallpaper Makeover by Prodigal Pieces |

What a beast to move though! You can imagine the look I got from my husband. ahem. Anyhoo, it came into my possession and quickly got dismantled. Aren’t the details fantastic?

Before you give the “no, don’t paint it” thought. This isn’t entirely solid wood, but rather that 1960’s style with the speckled finish onto a veneer much like this dresser I recently did. This china cabinet was looking tired with its damaged backing and superficial wear, which could all be relieved with an update. The carvings, trim and doors are solid though, which makes this a wonderful piece.

Prepping China Cabinet for Wallpaper Makeover by Prodigal Pieces |

Notice my kitchen tore apart to the left. You can read more about in our first post, but let me tell ya…there ain’t no room up in here!!

The doors were up in my living room, which is now my dining room, ready for a paint job.

Prepping China Cabinet Doors for Makeover by Prodigal Pieces |

*this post is sponsored by Walls Republic and does contain affiliate links so you can find the products I love to use too! (see full disclosure)

I chose to use one of the paints I received from DecoArt as my prize for the chest of drawers. It’s called Relic (a smoky gray) and is a chalky finish paint much like the Carbon color that my daughter used on her dresser. We love the ease of use it offers.

DecoArt Chalky Finish Paint in Relic | Prodigal Pieces |

Only one coat was needed to get the look I was after because this stuff coats so well. For a topcoat, I used a satin poly which deepens the color and gives it a rich look.

Now for the back. I took the panels off and decided to make use of my kitchen floor mess to do my work. See my little helper? What a cutie.

Prepping China Cabinet Back for Wallpaper | Prodigal Pieces |

I wanted this piece to really showcase the details in the wood, so I picked this gorgeous heavy-duty wallpaper, called Silver Royal Damask. It has a charcoal pattern with a silver inlay…beautiful!

Silver Royal Damask Wallpaper by Walls Republic | Prodigal Pieces |

Not only was this paper a dream to use, but it also is made from materials good for the environment. No chemicals releasing over time, and easy to remove when you decide to change it up. Just add some wallpaper adhesive and hang.

Last, but not least is the hardware. Since the china cabinet was now a gray, I didn’t want the brassy colored pulls and hinges. An easy fix is to clean them up with some alcohol and then spray paint using one of my favorites I used in our bathroom remodel. It’s a flat metallic paint called Antique Nickel by Rustoleum.

Antique Nickel Spray Paint by Rustoleum | Prodigal Pieces |

Ready to see this brown beast tamed?

China Cabinet Gets Updated with Wallpaper by Prodigal Pieces |
Walls Republic Residential Wallpaper

A definite improvement and now it can really be a statement piece showcasing your wares, like my milk glass, with those glass shelves and plate racks to boot.

Open Display of Wallpapered China Cabinet by Prodigal Pieces |

Before adding my topcoat, I did a little bit of distressing to make those lovely curves pop.

Top of Distressed China Cabinet by Prodigal Pieces |

The bottom offers ample storage space for linens and even has the peek of wallpaper too. I love it! Do you?

Ornate Woodwork on Wallpapered China Cabinet by Prodigal Pieces |

Bottom Storage of Wallpapered China Cabinet by Prodigal Pieces |

I wish you could see this wallpaper backing close up because it really is gorgeous with the metallic accents.

Damask Wallpaper as China Cabinet Backing by Prodigal Pieces |

Interior View of Wallpapered China Cabinet by Prodigal Pieces |

I even lined the drawer too for some peek-a-boo fun.

Wallpaper Lined China Cabinet Drawer by Prodigal Pieces |

How cool is it that I have gotten my furniture repertoire complete by finally working on a china cabinet. woot! If you love this piece and would like to have it as your own, you can find it in my shop. (SOLD)

I’d love it if you would pin and share to help others see how a brown beast can really be brought to life. ♥

Transform and Outdated China Cabinet with Wallpaper by Prodigal Pieces |

What’s next on my bucket list? hmmm…you’ll have to wait and see. But don’t forget, next Tuesday continues our month-long Best of the Archives for our Trash to Treasure Transformations.

Best of Trash to Treasure Transformations | Prodigal Pieces |

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More furniture makeovers like this china cabinet:

Vintage Waterfall Dresser Gets Volkswagen Bus Makeover by Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.comFrench Provincial Blue Dresser Set Makeover by Prodigal PIeces |


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  • Debrashoppeno5

    The china cabinet turned out just lovely.

    February 5, 2016 at 7:19 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you so much, Debra!

      February 5, 2016 at 3:31 pm Reply
  • Kimm at Reinvented and RoadKill Rescue

    Oh Larissa, that is gorgeous!! The hardware is amazing. I love every detail.

    February 5, 2016 at 8:08 am Reply
    • Larissa

      That hardware was what sold me on it. So huge and makes a statement. Thank you for the love, Kimm!

      February 5, 2016 at 3:31 pm Reply
  • Nanette

    Good grief, that is nothing short of stunning!! I think this is my fav piece of yours Larissa!
    God Bless, Nanette

    February 5, 2016 at 8:41 am Reply
    • Larissa

      That’s awesome, Nanette! Thank you so much and happy to have you stop by.

      February 5, 2016 at 3:30 pm Reply
  • Mary-the boondocks blog

    You absolutely tamed that wild beas! It looks tres chic now!!Love that wallpaper you used, it perfectly compliments the hardware.

    February 5, 2016 at 8:57 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Hee hee hee…thanks! It was a fun project to try and I love the ending. Thank you, Mary!

      February 5, 2016 at 3:30 pm Reply
  • Cecilia

    Nice! I didn’t even notice the handles in the before picture – they really shine now! The wallpaper is gorgeous. Love how this piece turned out.

    February 5, 2016 at 9:00 am Reply
    • Larissa

      They just needed some lovin’, right? 😀 Thank you for the compliment!

      February 5, 2016 at 3:29 pm Reply
  • Sherry Stuifbergen

    You really have good taste and vision for a piece. Is it hard to give it up and sell it? You’d probably have a “busting at the seam” house if you got attached to each piece you do. Help someone with NO vision and little skills. A+

    February 5, 2016 at 9:18 am Reply
    • Larissa

      It’s funny. I actually get tired of them being here, even the ones I hate to sell. When they’re taking up prized space, I’m ready for them to go at times. hahaha…

      February 5, 2016 at 3:28 pm Reply
  • Christy

    Wow, Larissa! You did an amazing job on this beast. And that’s what they really are LOL… China cabinets are a lot of work. It looks like it paid off for you… Love the wallpaper! XO

    February 5, 2016 at 10:47 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Oh yes…a lot of work, but well-worth it. I know you totally understand! Thanks, girl!

      February 5, 2016 at 3:27 pm Reply
  • [email protected]

    The after is absolutely beautiful, Larissa! I love the wallpaper inside and also the color you used to paint this piece.

    February 5, 2016 at 11:49 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you, Paula. That brown just needed some toning down. All I kept seeing was gray. 🙂

      February 5, 2016 at 3:27 pm Reply
  • Sarah

    You nailed it once again, Larissa!

    February 5, 2016 at 1:17 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you for saying so, Sarah!

      February 5, 2016 at 3:26 pm Reply
  • Marie, The Interior Frugalista

    Oh wowsa, what a beautiful transformation! The remarkable change is really evident in the side-by-side photo. Pinning this to share. I have a feeling this will not last in your shop.

    February 5, 2016 at 5:55 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      It was fun to see the after and love when my kids say, “WOW”. Thanks so much, Marie!

      February 8, 2016 at 8:19 am Reply
  • Catherine

    Your china cabinet is gorgeous! Good job, Larissa!!!

    February 5, 2016 at 7:48 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you so much, Catherine!

      February 8, 2016 at 8:18 am Reply
  • Amy | Canary Street Crafts

    Amazing! The original finish was so dull and heavy looking. Love the color you chose and especially the wallpaper.

    February 9, 2016 at 6:53 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you! It was so fun to revive it.

      February 10, 2016 at 3:10 pm Reply
  • Becki

    The hardware, O the hardware!!!! I love how you turned that beast into beauty! Those colors are smashing!! Great job!

    February 9, 2016 at 1:50 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Those are some massive pulls, aren’t they? Thank you for the love!

      February 10, 2016 at 3:05 pm Reply
  • Marian

    Absolutely stunning, I’m loving grey shades at the moment and this is inspirational, beautiful wallpaper really well chosen. Great work 🙂

    February 9, 2016 at 8:40 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Me too! I have been using gray in our bathroom and here and there around the house. Love the cooling effect. Thanks!

      February 10, 2016 at 3:03 pm Reply
  • Susan

    Just beautiful Larissa… I love it!

    May 11, 2016 at 5:53 pm Reply
  • debra.gerstenbergerd

    Great job as always! I caaaan’t wait to see the kitchen! God hless you!

    May 11, 2016 at 7:08 pm Reply
  • louisa

    HI Larissa

    Beautiful job. Can you post a picture of the topcoat that was used on this piece? It is truly amazing


    June 30, 2016 at 11:13 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you! It was a topcoat called Master Clear by Modern Masters

      June 30, 2016 at 3:42 pm Reply
      • Louisa

        Thank you Larissa! I will give it a try! When I click on the link, it gives me a green can, but says it’s for metallics.. Is that the correct one?


        July 5, 2016 at 9:33 pm Reply
        • Larissa

          That is the one I have since I use their metallics too. It works for any kind, but does well with that type. Any of their products would be fine. 😉

          July 6, 2016 at 5:43 am Reply
  • Ivory

    You know some of us spend our entire life searching for what we were meant to do, guess what? You found yours. Your passion, and you are super good. I love everything you did here from the color to the wallpaper, ( can you please tell me where did you get it from, and how much did it cost?). You nailed this!

    August 11, 2016 at 9:20 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      You are so sweet, Ivory. Thank you! Yes, the wallpaper is from Walls Republic and I have the link in the post. You can search for your style and get 5 free samples shipped to you. Have fun!

      August 12, 2016 at 5:20 am Reply
  • Rosa Ellingson

    Gorgeous! So you don’t sand down that veneer before painting? And does that paint require a wax like the Annie Sloane chalk paint? It was not included in the step by step

    February 3, 2017 at 11:47 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Sometimes I do, it just depends. I don’t use Annie Sloan as I find regular flat latex works just as well for half the cost. The topcoat depends on what you’re after, especially in sheen.

      February 5, 2017 at 7:59 am Reply
  • Cathy Klose


    March 29, 2017 at 11:22 am Reply
    • Larissa

      I hope that’s a good thing. 😉

      March 29, 2017 at 3:41 pm Reply
  • Naomi


    March 29, 2017 at 4:15 pm Reply
  • Christine

    I’m refinishing a similar piece and I was wondering how did you get the wood pieces out that hold the shelves. This is my first makeover and I’m redoing my hutch.

    May 14, 2017 at 4:38 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Does your hutch have the table that make them removeable? My shelves were built in.

      May 18, 2017 at 1:58 pm Reply
  • Cheryl Bonner

    Ok mine…stunning???

    August 2, 2017 at 4:45 am Reply
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