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


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