Tale of a tired china cabinet (a furniture redo)

Hello friends! I hope you’re staying warm. We’ve been experiencing very cold temps here in Pennsylvania. Bring on spring! 

Today I wanted to share a sneak peek at my next furniture project. I found this china cabinet – or buffet and hutch, whatever you call it – on Craigslist for $40.

We had to drive a little over an hour to pick it up with our trailer, but it was worth it. It’s a solid piece with a traditional design that’s not too fussy … right up my style alley.

I have visions of this piece completely redone and sitting in my dining room. Here is the finish I am going to try and replicate:


The cabinet has some interesting neoclassical features, such as the lions head hardware. If I had to choose a style that I lean toward, it would be traditional. Traditional furniture takes inspiration from English and French styles of the 18th and 19th centuries such as Baroque, Rococo, Romantic and Neoclassical. In my home, I prefer furniture with less ornate details, but I do appreciate substantial pieces that showcase good craftsmanship and quality materials.

Matt thinks I should keep the lions head knobs. If I do, maybe I’ll spray paint them a darker bronze color. What do you think? Should I change out the hardware … keep it and spray paint it … or leave it alone?

The silverware drawer is felt-lined, which is kind of cool. It just needs a good cleaning.

Here are some of the products I’m using to refinish the piece.

Stay tuned for progress on this project coming soon!

Have you ever defined your own furniture style? The following article may help provide some clarity: https://www.homemakers.com/styles.

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15 Responses

  1. Kim R says:

    I really like the finish you chose! The example piece is more of a French feel. Yours feels more British to me. I would wait until you paint it to decide about the lions heads. They make look fine as is – I think a patina is fitting with that type of finish.
    Great Craigslist score!!

  2. Teri says:

    I think they are very cool–keep them and darken them up a bit so they will really show on that lovely finish. I can’t wait to see this finished!

  3. Donna Gibson says:

    I like the furniture the way it is. I wouldn’t paint it.

  4. Gwen Sloas says:

    I would keep the lion’s heads on the glass doors and trade them out for something different on the drawers. If you decide to do that, I am interested in purchasing a couple of them for my china cabinet! : )

    • Susan says:

      I actually thought about that myself, Gwen … keeping a few and changing a few up. I’ll definitely reach out if I’ve got some of the lions heads left over. They really are unique and special. Not your boring everyday hardware. Thanks for the great feedback. 🙂

  5. Patricia says:

    I can’t wait to see the finished project! I am sure it’s gonna be beautiful! I would keep the hardware! I love the Lionheads!

  6. Laurie says:

    I think I might like to see the lion’s heads painted black.

  7. Cecilia says:

    I for one love the lion head pulls. I’d wait until the piece is painted before deciding what to do with them. I love the finish you are going to do. It will look just stunning!

  8. Sue says:

    Great score………..I really want to see the same patina of the piece that you previewed in the grayish shade…agree with a previous reader, I would wait to decide about the work on the lions head pulls…………I originally thought black, but, would want to see the large piece finished first. So exciting………Enjoy your posts……thanks

  9. Tricia says:

    My thoughts are exactly the same as Cecilia’s and some others. I like the lions, love the finish u chose. And yes, wait til you’re done with the finish to decide on the hardware.

  1. October 31, 2018

    […] I wanted to share with you the makeover I gave to a Craigslist china cabinet I bought for $40 last […]

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