Sewing our Sanity

Monday, April 30, 2012

Ugly cabinet transformation

While our blog is called "Sewing our Sanity" Emily and I do more than just sew to save our sanity. Transforming furniture, whether it be with a new coat of paint or a slip cover, is another creative outlet for us both.

We have had this hutch for years - Paul had it before we got married. He bought it, another cabinet that is exactly the same but without the hutch, and a table and chairs. The table and chairs went a long time ago and the other cabinet has been transformed with red paint and our flat screen tv now resides atop it. This cabinet/hutch has been in our kitchen in both our current house and townhouse and I have always hated it. We need it for storage and replacing it has never been a high priority in the budget and I knew I could paint it. Painting furniture can be a daunting task, especially with little ones around. The sanding and priming and several coats of paint and all the waiting in between coats. I have painted furniture a number of times before. And rooms. Lots of rooms. And kitchen cabinets. And decorative painting on walls. Lots of that. I just was not looking forward to this cabinet because I would have to pack everything up that was inside so I could move it to the garage. And it is a lot of cabinet to prime. And the smell.

Then I discovered the most fabulous paint ever!

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

It is from England but I am lucky enough to have a store close by that stocks it - Laissez Faire & Company in Cockeysville.

There is no need to prime or sand before painting. There is very little smell. You can paint it on just about anything. (I painted right over the hardware.) You can layer colors. Sand to age. A coat of clear wax must be applied after painting and a dark wax can then be added to age the piece further.

The pictue above shows the before. Well, almost before. I was so excited to get started painting, I almost forgot to take a picture. I chose Aubusson. It looks almost like a peacock blue in the photo but really is a little more subdued. Because it dries relatively quickly and there is little odor, I could paint it right inside. Since I painted right over the hardware and hinges, I left the drawers and doors on. Latex paint can take a week or more to cure but once this paint is dry it is set. It was still wet when my toddler got up from his nap and he, of course, had to touch it. It cleaned up so easily, off both him and the brush.

After painting two coats and before waxing.

I finished the piece with the clear wax and added some dark wax to tone down the blue a bit. I can actually now say I love this piece.

And I love this paint. I have a china cabinet waiting to be painted - probably old white or pure white over French Linen. Also a fantastic trunk I saved from the neighbor's trash.


I am linking to Miss Mustard Seed's linky party.



  1. Monica - can that paint be used on kitchen cabinets? I've been wanting to paint mine. Desperately.

    1. Yes! It can be used on kitchen cabinets. I would love to paint mine too.

    2. I have laminate cabinets and am going to give it a shot. I believe there are some tips on the paint website for painting cabinets, such as two coats of wax and recoating them with wax every so often.

    3. That looks great!! Do you have the original cabinets in your kitchen? We just finished spray painting ours!

    4. Thanks, Katie. No, the original cabinets had been removed before we bought our house but there are some in the laundry room. Spray painting those is a great idea! Do you have yours?

    5. Looks like Lynchburg is the closest place for me to get it. They're sending me a color card. I'll have to figure out what color to use on my cabiets. Right now the floor, bottom cabinets, and top cabinets are all the same (ugly) orange-ish brown pine. I want to do the lower cabinets dark and the uppers light. Maybe I can do the same color and change it up with some added white and the different waxes!

  2. Hi Ladies! I'm with Studio Eleven, in Lynchburg, VA. We are stockist for Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (tm). Carole, we will get that card right out! Great work on that China Cabinet Monica! You did Annie Proud! Is it ok if I share it on our Facebook Page? We love to share examples of others work. We will give photo credit of course!
    Elisa Allen
    Studio Eleven, LLC

  3. Yes! Please do! We would love that.