Painted Display Cabinet: Before and After

A painted display cabinet is a great way to add a personal touch to your home décor. Whether you’re looking to update an old piece of furniture or give a new piece a makeover, here’s some inspiration for your project!

Get more of the Painted China Cabinet Ideas here!

wood display cabinet before

Here’s what the cabinet looked like before. Isn’t it so cute??

It was pretty scratched and worn out though, so I was happy to give it a makeover.

Painted Display Cabinet Makeover

I can’t wait for you to see this makeover, it’s honestly one of my favorite furniture makeovers ever.

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. I also may earn from other qualifying purchases with other companies or get free product to review and use. All opinions are my own.

Supplies Used:

Preparing Furniture for Paint

Alright, first things first, I always do a couple of things to prepare furniture for paint.

But, with milk paint, because I want a chippy look, I only clean the furniture.

I like to use Krud Kutter, but there are other cleaners you can use.

Click over to this post on how to clean furniture before painting to learn more.

Milk Painting Furniture

I love the look of chippy, rustic furniture, and that’s exactly what I wanted with this cabinet.

So I mixed up some Shackteau Interiors Milk Paint in the colors Deep Sea Blue and Sea Smoke to make a medium shade of blue.

Read through this post to learn how to use milk paint on furniture.

shackteau interiors milk paint in deep sea blue and sea smoke

I honestly don’t remember what the ratio was, but I’m guessing it was close to 50:50.

Learn more about Mixing Milk Paint Colors Together here.

Milk paint is a powder, so I mixed it with the same amount of water to turn it into paint.

Learn How to Mix Milk Paint here.

Then I brushed 2 coats of the milk paint onto the display cabinet, letting it dry for an hour or so between coats of paint.

Best Brush for Milk Paint

Zibra paint brushes are perfect for powdered milk paint.

brushing milk paint onto the cabinet with a zibra fan brush

I used the Zibra Fan Brush on this project, but I also love to use the Zibra round brush when painting furniture.

There are other great paint brushes for furniture though too! Here are the Best Paint Brushes for Painting Furniture.

Distressed Milk Paint

After the 2 coats of paint were dry, I sanded the milk paint with 220 Grit Sandpaper to distress the paint and make the paint chip off.

Learn more about sandpaper for furniture painting here.

Some areas chipped really well and others didn’t chip at all. That’s very typical when painting wood furniture with milk paint.

distressing the milk paint

If you want a really chippy look, here is my secret for get a chippy paint finish with milk paint everytime.

Then I cleaned up the dust with our shop vacuum and a tack cloth.

How to Seal Milk Paint

Even though milk paint likes to chip, when it sticks, it sticks and it isn’t going anywhere.

But, it’s still matte paint, so it needs to be sealed so it doesn’t stain or get ruined with everyday use.

This time I sealed the milk paint with hemp oil.

I just brushed it on with a cheap paint brush and let it soak into the milk paint.

brushing hemp oil onto the milk paint

An hour or so later, I wiped off the excess with a Lint Free Rag.

Here are 3 Ways to Seal Milk Paint.

Two Tone Painted Cabinet

All of that milk paint was on the outside and inside shell of the display cabinet.

But instead of painting the shelves and back of the cabinet blue, I painted the shelves and back of the cabinet white.

Painting Furniture White

First, pried the back of the cabinet off.

Then I rolled 2 coats of BIN shellac based primer onto the shelves and the back.

The BIN shellac based primer is one of the best primers for painting furniture because it has great coverage.

And it is soooo good for painting furniture white because it blocks something called bleed through (stains from the wood that come through paint.)

the shelves painted white
Painting the Shelves White

Then we sprayed 3 coats of some of my favorite white furniture paint, General Finishes Enduro Poly in White.

It’s a thin, tinted polyurethane, so it can only be sprayed, but it doesn’t need to be topcoated, and it dries to a durable satin finish.

Painted Display Cabinet – After

And here’s what the painted cabinet looks like now!

closeup of the chippy blue painted cabinet
the two tone display cabinet with doors opened
blue painted display cabinet with white interior
closeup of the chippy blue paint

Painted Display Cabinet Makeover

blue and white painted display cabinet

Updating an old display cabinet can be a fun and easy DIY project. With some paint and a little bit of work, we created a whole new look. Here's our painted display cabinet makeover!


  1. Clean
  2. Remove Shelves and Back of Cabinet
  3. Paint 2 Coats Milk Paint on Cabinet
  4. Distress the Milk Paint
  5. Seal the Milk Paint
  6. Prime Shelves and Back of Cabinet
  7. Paint Shelves and Back of Cabinet White

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

More Painted China Cabinet Ideas

Follow us on YouTube to get more tips for painting furniture.

Or share your project with us on our Facebook Group and be part of our community. See you there!

display cabinet before makeover

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *