Painted China Cabinet Using Fusion Champlain { Furniture Makeover }

I have been getting a growing number of requests for custom work from local people. In the past, I have shied away from doing custom painting jobs, mainly because I have been so busy with painting my own pieces that the time for painting others just isn’t there.

Well, I think I have started to accept the fact that custom work may be the new normal for me 🙂  As a local furniture paint merchant, I am known more and more as “The Paint Lady,” so it makes sense that more custom paint jobs would be coming my way. (do you know about Fusion Mineral Paint?)

I am thankful for the work, and it has been fun getting to see my customer’s satisfaction first hand.  When I sell a piece in my booth space, I rarely know where it goes, so I miss out on that chance to see how it fits into its new space and how it becomes a blessing to its new owners.  With custom work, that is all different.

So anyway, two weeks ago I started work on making over this large china cabinet as a custom piece for a local client.  If you read my post last week about painting hardware, this is cabinet I mentioned.

It’s a biggie–so I took apart the top and bottom pieces and worked on them separately.


That obviously is the base . . . and here is the top.


The client wanted it finished a distressed, white–and not a bright white, but more of warm-toned white.

This was an older piece, but not old enough to have lost its glossy finish.  If it was going to stay in my own house, I probably would have just wiped it down and skipped sanding all together . . . But, I want to provide the best work for a paying client, so I decided to give it a quick sanding, just to help open up the surface of the finish.


And when I say quick sanding, I really do mean quick. I used a 150 grit sandpaper and took literally 5 minutes to scratch up the surface of the cabinet, then wiped off the dust with a wet rag.  That was it.  It was such a light sanding that after I wiped off the dust, you couldn’t even tell I had sanded at all–but that’s ok!  A quick sanding like this opens up microscopic holes in the pores of the gloss, which is all you need to get a better grip for the paint.

I had a little bit more prep to do–taking off all of the hardware, and this cabinet had a ton!

A tip I have shared before, but it’s worth saying again . . . take a few minutes and label your hardware as you take it off a piece.


Hardware has a way of getting a little finicky and usually wants to go back into the same holes, so labeling your pieces will save you the headache of screwing and unscrewing hinges and pulls 15 thousand times.

With the prep done, I could start to paint.  Fusion Mineral Paint in Champlain is the perfect, warm-toned off white, so that was my choice.


This is after one coat.  I ended up needing three coats in order to get the full, matte coverage I wanted.

A reader on my Facebook page asked if I had used the Color Blocker underneath my first coat (great question!!).  I did not use the Color Blocker, simply because I was out. Had I used it, I probably would have only had to apply 2 coats of the Champlain to get full coverage.

Just be prepared though that if you are painting dark wood any shade of white, you are going to likely need at least 3 coats.  That’s just how colors work. It takes a lot of white pigment to cover all of that dark, wood stain.


With the top of the cabinet, I had to make sure to paint every single surface.  The back of the cabinet was a large mirror, so it would reflect the inside and underside of every piece of wood there.

Are you seeing now how this turned into a big project?

When it was all said and done, I used two pints of Champlain to finish the whole cabinet. That may seem like a lot, but $40 worth of product to completely transform a huge china cabinet? That’s not too bad.

Soon after the last coat was dry to the touch, I used more 150 grit sandpaper to distress all of the edges of the cabinet, then finished sanded the whole piece with 320 grit sandpaper to make it smooth to the touch.

China cabinet Makeover, painted in Fusion Mineral Paint Champlain

The client loved it 🙂  And i have to admit, it looks pretty amazing in her gorgeous dining room.

China cabinet Makeover, painted in Fusion Mineral Paint Champlain

China cabinet Makeover, painted in Fusion Mineral Paint Champlain

Finishing off the last coat with the 320 grit sandpaper really does leave the finish feeling smooth as butter–and remember, this is all without any wax topcoat.



Fusion on its own will provide a highly durable, waterproof finish.  While moving the cabinet back into her house, we left a few dirty fingerprints on the top moulding.  I showed the client how a wipe with a damp rag took away the dirt in seconds.


China cabinet Makeover, painted in Fusion Mineral Paint Champlain

I really enjoyed photographing her beautiful space, if you can’t tell 🙂

China cabinet Makeover, painted in Fusion Mineral Paint Champlain

The day after we delivered the it back to her, my client hosted her daughter’s birthday party and had the chance to show off her new cabinet.

It’s fun to be able to provide people with something beautiful they are proud to display.

Thanks for stopping by today, I have more custom work in the mix, as well as a piece of my own I am playing around with–so stay tuned for more furniture makeovers!


Linking up to:   The Painted Drawer Link Party   Amaze Me Monday


4 Different Styles for White Painted Furniture | Lost & Found

Monday 2nd of May 2016

[…] Fusion Champlain China Cabinet […]


Wednesday 17th of February 2016

You work is breath taken, I wish you lived in Illinois.


Friday 16th of October 2015

I am in the process of refinishing my China Cabinet using Fusion paint and love the product. One question ... how long did you let the two separate pieces sit before assembling back together? I'm worried the top and bottom might 'fuse' together if I do it too quickly!!


Friday 16th of October 2015

That's a great question Cynthia. It was probably 2 or 3 days. If you are concerned you can always let the two pieces sit for about a week, then you should be good :)

Cyndi Knapp

Monday 31st of August 2015

Beautiful work! I'm trying to start a small side business because I simply love to refinish furniture, lamps, etc! I'm having a hard time with pricing and making it worth my wild! I would like to eventually be able make a living doing this(if possible)! My question is how much did you charge for this peice? Also how much money to charge for furniture you buy. I understand it all depends on the peice ofcourse. But I'm just trying to get a idea based on my experience and with keeping in mind, I'm new at selling! But lots of experience refinishing and keeping it!My husband and some friends say I'm pretty good and should start selling! I'm getting totally burnt out on my job, and find that all I want to do on my days off, is go on the hunt for treasures and start painting, it's 100% a Hobbie that I enjoy so much! I stubbled across your work and story,Then got more inspired I thought this really can be possible even though I get people saying, you won't make money! I'm very creative in many ways, and know I can do this, but need to keep focused and not listen to negative comments!


Monday 31st of August 2015

Hi Cyndi. Great questions! I will respond to them via email if you don't mind. Thanks for stopping by!


Monday 24th of August 2015

Wow Melanie, I think you have a career in this. The piece came out amazing. Great job with this re-do. I love it. You brought out its beauty perfectly.



Thursday 17th of September 2015

Thank you Janet!