China Cabinet Facelift

This small china cabinet came from my grandparent’s home, and I almost didn’t take it because it wasn’t quite my taste. After some convincing (thanks mom) I decided to bring it home with plans to paint it.



Once I got it settled in its new home I decided the stained wood worked (it’s also mahogany, and I didn’t really want to cover it), but it still needed a facelift. The back panel was covered with a yellow/cream paper that didn’t do much for the piece/looked pretty dated. Originally I wanted to find something with a mercury glass or antique glass look. After days of searching online and a few trips around town, I realized my “vision” was going to have to change.

I found a silver contact paper (Amazon link here) and started the DIY. It probably took all of 30 minutes (much faster than painting!!!!!).

  1. To start, I cut the paper to an approximate size based on the back panel.
  2. After removing all of the shelves, I tucked the paper into the cabinet to mark the dimensions. This took 2 or 3 times to get it within about 1/4″ all around.
  3. Starting from the top middle, I started to adhere the contact paper. The top of the cabinet has a scallop shape, which I dealt with at the very end.
  4. Section by section I stuck the paper to the back panel until it was fully adhered.
  5. Taking a knife, I carefully trimmed away the excess from all edges (leaving the top for last).
  6. At the top, where it scalloped, I worked in small 1″ sections to trim until it was complete.


That’s it! I looked at removing the back panel, which could have been easier, but there is a light in the top of the cabinet that would have been difficult to remove (I think it was added after the fact, and was probably a light kit that was put together in place).

Hope this inspires you to do something crafty!

Posted in diy

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