My new blue/gray painted cabinet… I’m so excited!!!

My sister is here visiting from Pennsylvania and we started and finished a big project today that I just had to share with you. It’s got absolutely nothing to do with dolls or fabric or sewing, but I’m still sharing it anyway. Cindy has more talent and creativity in her little finger than I do in my whole body. She is very gifted when it comes to painting, refinishing, distressing, knowing her woods, the right kind of paint, and the list goes on and on! She is seriously the most creative and talented decorator I know! She knows her stuff and she made my stuff look great! You may remember this big brown, dusty, dirty cabinet I bought from our church yard sale…


A few days ago my hubby and I cleaned it up and got the cobwebs out from the corners of it, and wiped it down with a disinfectant. It was filthy and even had a snake skin on the bottom shelf. Eeeewww! A brown recluse spider came out from the back and started crawling up the piece… my hubby grabbed my flip flop and let’s just say “the spider is no more!” Now, I’m happy to report to you that it doesn’t look like that anymore!
It’s B-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l with a capital “B!”

The first thing my sister did was come over to my house to “assess” the cabinet in person and see exactly what I had and where I wanted it to go. She said that would determine what color I might want it and what type of finish to use on it. I thought I wanted it in my dining room, so we tried it there. It was okay, but didn’t make my eyeballs pop out so we played some more. Maybe it would work in my sewing room…yes, possibly paint it and I could put my dolls behind the glass to keep them from getting dusty. That was a so-so idea too, but Cindy said it seemed like sort of a waste for such a pretty piece of furniture. She’s the expert so we tried it against the wall in my living room just to the left of my big windows. B-I-N-G-O!!! Yes, that’s the spot! Once the location was determined, it was carried to the back of my house and we began! My mom even got in on the action!

If you click on any picture it will enlarge.



I already had some blue/gray paint and she said it would work great. Yay…no trip to Lowe’s; we could get started! I also had some lighter aqua colored paint that we could use on the inside. She asked me if I wanted it painted “perfectly” or did I want it to be sort of “rustic.” At first I couldn’t decide, so she showed me “rustic” with her paint brush and I said “Yes!” Not pristine painting, but having bits of the brown show through in a sort of haphazard way. You just sort of get small amounts on your paint brush and extend them in long strokes so it doesn’t cover every single spot. She did lots of criss-cross hatches with her brush and somehow it just worked! I’ve never seen anything go so quickly and transform into something I liked so much! It was incredible. The faster we painted, the faster we wanted to get it done…SO WE COULD DECORATE IT!






When we were all done, we waxed it with Miss Mustard Seed white wax and it gave it a very nice feel!


We carried it back to the living room and started to play. First we just stared at it and I even jumped up and down and did the little kiddy clapping of the hands! You know… I just loved it and all it was doing was sitting there, big and empty. It sort of changes colors with how much light is in the room. Sometimes it looks blue/gray and sometimes it’s a softer greenish blue.



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Now this is where Cindy just shined! She started gathering up things from my house; you know taking this bird from here, this stack of books from there, a glass something from this shelf, bowls from another cabinet, and somehow she came up with this! I can’t believe it’s all my stuff rearranged this way. It makes so much more of a statement than it did where I had it scattered all over the place!

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…and a few more things…


I don’t have the glass put in it yet because George was going to add a few more of those little clips to hold the panels in. But that’s all that has to be done to it.

Here is a better shot of “my pretties” with the doors open…



I used to collect vintage collars in lace and other fabrics. This was a black velvet one that I put behind a little convex picture frame I painted. Toile fabric was used as the background, so I guess this IS a sewing post after all… :o)


[When we got done, we went back over to my mom’s house and Amy (Erins’s sister and Hannah’s mom), had made the most wonderful dinner…alfredo lasagna, sweet potato casserole, a salad, ciabatta bread, and puff pastry strawberry shortcake with whipped cream. It was so good we couldn’t stop thanking Amy for it! Everyone has their talents and Amy’s is in the kitchen!]

Now I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea…painted this way, but it’s my style…or it’s becoming my style. I like it very much and now I’m ready to move onto something else… let’s see, will it be the chair I have stashed upstairs, the other chair in the living room waiting for a coat of paint, the headboard, the claw footed table in the sitting room, the antique chest in my bedroom… oh well, I guess I’m not lacking in future projects!

Our house is a work in progress…no flooring yet, trim is missing around many of the windows, and many other things still have to be done, but this cabinet has inspired me to make some curtains for starters… Hey…that’s a sewing post I can share with you!

See you tomorrow,
Blessings, Jeanne


  1. Linda Doyle says:

    Oh, Jeanne, the hutch turned out just beautifully! And to think of how it came to be, must make it extra special—the memories of finishing it you will keep forever! Perhaps it will become a family heirloom someday!

    Refinishing furniture isn’t my cup of tea, but my sister also does that–and very well. however, she lives in Phoenix and has her own shop! I know what it is to have a talented sister too!

    It’s funny, how on one picture, the hutch looks greenish, and the next one, looks blueish! I guess it is the light in the room at the time, but both look so nice with your other things. What is that opening next to the hutch—another room?

    I love the way you have various treasures on the shelves too! Yes, together works better than scattered all around! The whole project gets an A+ from me!

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Linda,
      Thanks so much for the nice comments from you. I really do love it and so glad everyone else does too. My sister is teaching about refinishing, painting, distressing, and all the stuff that goes along with turning something not so great into a wonderful item you can really use and love! It’s nice that you have a sister that does it too…so if you ever do “get the bug” she can help you out!
      That opening is my sewing room “look through.” It used to be a window because my sewing room was an added porch, but it was one of the first things we took down when we bought this house. I always wanted my sewing room to be off the living room and it is! Now I can sit at my sewing machine…right on the other side of that opening and see my new treasure.
      Thanks for the A+ Linda. I’ll pass it along to Cindy too!
      Blessings, Jeanne

  2. Cindy ellicott says:

    Jeanne, I WAS a fun day, a quick project & made a big impact! I love an instant gratification job! So glad you like it, one thing about painted furniture, you can always repaint it! I loved doing it with you. Love ya bunches, wish we had time to do more!

    • Jeanne W says:

      Hi Cindy,
      It WAS a very fun day for me too and I can’t thank you enough for all your wisdom, patience, time, skill, advice and everything else you gave for this project!
      I won’t be “repainting” this baby any time soon… I love it!
      Oh, if you only had more time… I could transform my whole house with you here!
      Love you, Jeanne

  3. I love it! It looks wonderful. 🙂

    • Jeanne W says:

      Thank you Christine,
      I’m so happy you like it! That makes a few of us who agree!
      Blessings, Jeanne

  4. Jeannie B. in TX says:

    I love that cabinet ! Even in it’s dark brown state it has great functionality and beauty. When you showed the first pics of it I really loved it. Your great find has made me think that I need to get out there and look around for such wonderful pieces to add some zip to my home. I am totally on board with how you all picked the colors to paint the cabinet and then set it off in the living room. The addition of décor items is a highlight. Perfect.
    I also have a sister who is very talented in decorating. Her home is her nest and she is always looking for ways to make it more cozy and comfortable. She seems to find just the right pieces here and there and puts them together and they look great. Very impressive talent.
    Now what will be your next project ?????

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Jeannie,
      I’m so happy everyone seems to like it. I liked it the moment I saw it! I just didn’t imagine it could look this nice…but thanks to my wonderful sister’s talent and advice, it turned out even better than I thought it would. Yes, do find you something to do…and add a little “zip” to your home too. It’s really fun.
      It’s nice when you have a sister that you can ask advice of… so glad you have one!
      I do know what my next project will be…. I won’t give it all away, but it has to do that old upright creamy like piano that didn’t sell at the yard sale! Stay tuned…
      Thanks Jeannie,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  5. Your cabinet looks great. I’m sure you girls had fun doing it as well. It’s a great feeling to finish any project, isn’t it? The cabinet has such nice lines and fits perfect in your living room. Your sister did a wonderful job in decorating it too. Love it.
    One of my sisters put a small flat beaded purse in one of her picture frames. It looks like it’s from the late 1800’s, early 1900’s. Interesting what one can do with objects. Your collar is really neat.
    Did you get my email by any chance? Sorry to ask. Just wondering.
    Have a great day, Jeanne.

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Paula,
      We had SO much fun doing the cabinet and I’m sad to see my sister have to go home tomorrow… boo hoo!
      Cindy is extremely good at figuring out what goes with what and where to put it. I couldn’t have “styled” the inside of that cabinet the way she did if I’d had a month!
      Yes, I did get your email…and will answer it… Let me just say, there will be other dresses, but sorry you missed out on one you loved!
      Thanks Paula,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  6. Hi Jeanne, Your new cabinet is beautiful! I also like repurposing things into something new. I don’t do is so much now, but when my daughter was young and we were home schooling I had different decorations for each season of the year that I would put out to decorate the family room which doubled as the school room. I bet if the person who gave it away could see it now they would definitely want it back, Your sister IS very talented. She seems to have a knack for where something should go. Does she make house calls? 😉
    Note to Paula: Sorry you missed out on that lovely dress, too. I thought you were the one who had been buying the others ( Rebecca’s brown and Eden’s gray and black) and would get the gorgeous hat to go with it. Whoever did win it certainly will receive a lovely dress. Maybe you will have to make an encore version of it, Jeanne. Your Civil War style ones are just lovely.

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Laura,
      It’s fun to take something old and turn it into something fun and usable isn’t it? I would like to think the person who gave it away would like it now…
      Yes, my sister is very talented and it’s so fun to be around her when she gives me all these ideas for my house. I can learn a lot from her in just a few days. I read her your comment about “does she make house calls?” and she smiled!
      There WILL be other Civil War dresses, no doubt!
      Thanks Laura,
      blessings, Jeanne

  7. I think it’s great, Jeanne. I like that it’s not perfect.

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Jevne,
      I like that it’s not perfect either, because nothing else in my house is… so it fits right in!
      Blessings, Jeanne

  8. Diana Jenness says:

    Hi, It is nice to see how the cabinet was decorated. Once I painted the inside of a bookcase. I painted it to look sort of like a stone patio with cactus growing behind. When I got the dolls inside, tho, you couldn’t see the details I had painted. That was ok, but I didn’t know how to prepare the wood for painting over it. I should have used a sealer, or given it a good sanding. I’m sure your sister knew what to do since she has done this before. Anyway much of the paint had peele doff. We moved and left the bookcase behind, or I think I would have tried to fix it and do a repainting.
    I love your colors. The wax gives it a nice sheen.
    Kudos to your sister.
    About your house–did you get a fixer-upper? I have read several times about you doing things to the house.
    Cheers, Diana

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Diana,
      Yes, our house is TOTALLY a fixer upper! It’s an 1892 cottage and there is nothing about it that has been easy. My hubby and I have done all the work on it… 2 new doors, 18 new windows, 2 completely renovated bathrooms, painted the fireplace, plus much more and the yard has been totally transformed. We’ve been in it 11 years and are still walking on crummy old plywood floors… hoping maybe someday I’ll have flooring…
      Thanks for your nice compliments on my cabinet. It was such a fun and fast project to do with my sister. I had 10 more projects we could have done together if we’d had more time. Oh well, we got one done, so that was enough for this time. I do have several more up my sleeve though.
      Thanks Diana,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  9. I can’t believe how darling that piece looks..and the color difference in the different light is a real plus! Awesome job!!It’s just perfect!

    • Jeanne W says:

      Hi Kathie,
      Thank you very much for your nice compliments on my new cabinet. Isn’t it just the prettiest thing? I am totally in love with it.
      It IS awesome how it changes colors in the lighting…
      Thanks Kathie,
      blessings, Jeanne

  10. Ohhhhh…I’m a sucker for a good hutch. And this one is splendid and looks wonderful in your space. It had great bones to begin with but you guys made it shine!

    • Jeanne W says:

      Thanks Robin,
      I just love it too! I wanted to get some little thingies to hold the glass in today after church, but drove right past the hardware store and forgot! I like it so much better the color it is now than that blue…
      Thanks for your commments. I hope you see the post tomorrow about the fabric I chose for my bedroom…
      Blessings, Jeanne

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