Those veneer china cabinets from the 1970’s and even into the early 1980’s are a dime a dozen at junk stores. During one weekend stroll through one such store, I found a cabinet that I thought has some nice scroll details that perhaps would look good finished in shabby chic cottage style. It loomed in the basement of my mother in law’s house for a couple of years before I decided to just attack it – literally. See above.
I got rid of the glass work across the front and broke out the wood joining the panels to make it more of a bookshelf top/storage bottom. Using some quick set patch and paint I filled in the holes and sanded them down. The doors were removed from the bottom cabinet to fill the existing hardware holes in the center to accommodate differently placed hardware in the finished product. Always with any wood item being refinished, wash the piece well with TSP using waterproof gloves, allow it to dry, lightly sand it, and wash it again. This prevents any oil from remaining on the surface that could cause paint to bubble in an unsightly manner that would be too difficult to chalk it up as shabby chic – it just looks like a mistake. Trust me. I speak from experience with this. I will post a project in the future that I tried the drive by quick paint job without proper paint prep and ended up having to re-sand and redo the surface. Two coats of Zinsser primer and two coats of color turned this piece around.