Featured Project: Kaitlin's Evolved MCM Cabinet

By show of hands, how many of you fancy a solid before and after? Keep your hands up if your heart skips a beat when you find a gem for a steal on Craigslist. Alright, you're all in the right place then. :) It's such a treat to get to share the work of a friend from the great world of Instagram today who just refinished a disheveled MCM china cabinet. She sent me this photo of the piece which she had just scored off of Craigslist and totally made my day when she invited my thoughts on refinishing it.

Well let me tell ya, this gal didn't need any help, that's for sure! After hearing her gorgeous two-tone plan for it, all I had to offer was, 'Keep an open mind - you never know what surprises a piece has in store for ya!' Hah! Some help. Geeesh!

It turns out this piece did have a few up it's sleeve, but Kaitlin rolled with it and cranked out this stunning transformation!

From Kaitlin:

My initial plan was to leave the doors, drawer, very top shelf, and base (legs) the original wood stain and paint everything else white. I removed the drawer and cabinet doors and taped off the top and bottom. After several good wipe downs (this piece came from a smoking home, which I didn't discover until I had already traveled 45min to go pick it up), I sanded it down, wiped clean again, then started applying my white paint. I used Behr hi-gloss enamel. I went with the enamel because I wanted a glass-like durable finish and had heard that applying poly over white can cause it to yellow.

Truth. Oil based sealers over white paint result in a lovely pee-yellow discoloration. This can be avoided by just going for a protective enamel paint as Kaitlin did, (another brand is Rustoleum's High gloss protective enamel which you can spray or brush on ), or use a Polycrylic WATER BASED sealer over your paint, rather than oil based.

After two coats there was still a dingy yellow color coming through the white. I decided I definitely needed a primer (which I should have used in the first place!). I went with Kilz 2 Latex primer. Two coats of that, and then I could apply my finishing coat of the enamel paint. When removing my tape, I realized some of the paint had gone through and gotten on the top shelf. I just decided to go with the flow and paint the top white as well.

The yellowing that Kaitlin experienced is a chronic furniture condition called 'bleed through'. It's very common with old pieces like this, but don't be alarmed! If you're going to refinish an old piece, it's better to expect it to 'bleed through' and take the precautions before you start painting to seal that jank in with either an oil based sealer or latex primer. Seems backwards to seal your piece BEFORE you paint it, but trust us; it's worth the time you'll save from not having to stop a bleeder!

The original wood stain parts were in very good condition, so I just applied some Restor-a-finish and they looked brand new!
When I got the piece it was missing one of the original wood cabinet pulls. It had a very unique shape, and I didn't think it could be easily duplicated. I decided to remove both and replace them with a recessed pull. The only pull I could find to fit was stainless steel, but I simply sprayed it with Krylon Gold Leaf to give it the brass look I wanted.

In. Love. with these recessed pulls, Kaitlin - what a match made in heaven!

I really love how versatile this piece is! Maybe one day I'll use it as an actual China cabinet, but for now I'm enjoying it in my living room as a display cabinet.

Doesn't this just make you want to pour over Craigslist and see what you can negotiate for with $20 and then restore it to 10 status?! Well, go get em'!

A HUGE thank you to Kaitlin for sharing this most stunning transformation! Your hard work has more than paid off, lady. Enjoy it for years to come!

And thank you all for stopping by and making Style Mutt Home a part of your day! We sure appreciate you.