How to Repurpose an Old China Cabinet or Hutch

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Hey friends! Today I’m sharing our DIY upcycle china cabinet!  A step-by-step guide of our china cabinet makeover, explaining how I took an old china cabinet and gave it new life in just a few easy steps. And best of all, spent very little money on this simple DIY project.

With our kiddos growing up and our oldest getting VERY crafty, we have been in need of an extra storage unit for craft supplies. We’ve actually recently converted our dining room into a play and craft room for the kids, and desperately needed more storage to hold all of their crafting supplies! 

I looked on Facebook Marketplace for a vintage china cabinet for a few weeks before realizing man – people want a pretty penny for them! I decided to just keep my eye out for any china cabinet or hutch that might pop up, and finally found one in good shape for $80. It was important to me that it be sturdy and made of solid wood, have glass doors, and straight lines (personal preference). This one fit the bill perfectly for our craft supply display cabinet! 

*It’s important to note that I did not paint the back of the cabinet, as I knew it would always be flat against a wall.  If you have the same situation, this will save you time and supplies! 


– China Cabinet or Old China Hutch (A great place to find one of these is your local Facebook Marketplace or thrift store) 

Painters Tape 

Paint (we used Behr Premium Plus Satin in Onyx by Benjamin Moore)  – alternatively, you could use spray paint 

High Density Foam Roller Brush 

Paint Brush (this is my favorite to use)

Paint Tray 

Drop Cloth 

Sandpaper/Palm Sander/Deglosser (something to rough up the surface)

Satin Polycrilic or Polyurethaine (optional – I didn’t do this. However, you may want to seal it when the paint is dry for extra protection) 

New hardware (also optional and based on your desired color scheme – I purchased these in Matte Black)

Step-by-Step Tutorial for Our Hutch Makeover: 

upcycle china cabinet


I don’t know if you’ve painted furniture before or if it’s your first time, but it’s very important to sand it first! The first step once we got it home was to remove hardware and give the whole thing a good sanding.  You don’t have to completely strip it or anything, but you do need to rough it up very well to give the paint something to stick to. The better you sand, the better the paint will stick. 


After sanding, I wiped it down THOROUGHLY with a microfiber cloth and thieves cleaner. This is a good idea for making sure you aren’t painting over dirt and grime.


After wiping it down, it’s time for prep work! I prepped the paint area with a drop cloth and taped off areas to prepare for painting. For this hutch, I only had to tape off the outside front glass and inside of the glass panes. 

hutch makeover


Using a high density foam roller and brush, I gave everything the first coat of paint. I don’t worry about perfect the first go round with painting furniture. You can see here how I painted the top half and then worked my way down.  I was already getting SO excited because of how good it looked already. 

​The second/third coat is when things really come together!  

upcycle china cabinet
I was most definitely deep into a crime podcast at this point. 


I gave 2 more coats with the brush and foam roller to get the a nice, even coat all around. 


Waited 24 hours to allow dry time before adding hardware.  Since this was a budget project and I wanted a very clean look,  I opted for simple black hardware. I was going for understated and classic for this, and these from HD fit the bill! 

*I did not do this, but for extra staying power, you can add a top coat of poly or clear wax! 

I chose not to paint the inside since it was already white. When it as all done, I actually loved the white against the black. I also knew we wouldn’t see much of the inside once craft supplies went in. 

It’s  safe to say that I am loving the paint color Onyx by Benjamin Moore. It’s the perfect shade of black with zero undertones in natural light. I had it color matched at Home Depot and it looks incredible!

painted hutch

Wow, I could be better about avoiding my reflection. Geez, sorry folks, lol!

The hutch now harbors coloring books, tons of arts and crafts supplies, books we are currently reading, photo books, stationary, dolls, and toys with small pieces.  Let me tell you… it’s changing this mama’s world! 

upcycle china cabinet

I purchased the bins and storage containers from Dollar Tree, and got lucky that they were the perfect size for our hutch makeover. I labeled each bin with my favorite handy labeler so that all family members can know exactly where things belong 😉  

hutch makeover

And a side-by-side of the before and after, just for fun! Wowza!

hutch makeover

There are so many creative ideas out there for this that involve just a little bit of ingenuity and hard work! What we did to our china cabinet is just one of the many creative ways you can create your own upcycle china cabinet. This honestly did not take a lot of time or effort, and there’s a huge difference in the overall look.  It looks just perfect in its new home in our dining room! 

I hope you have a great week! 

Until next time, 


How to Paint Wooden Chairs the Easy Way 

The Best Wood Stain Combination for a Raw Wood Look

Dollar Tree Spice Cabinet Organization 

Boost Curb Appeal on a Budget

upcycle china cabinet

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