Painted Book Cabinet

I thought I would share with you a vintage book cabinet that I had painted last summer. It was originally built to be used as a small china cabinet, but I am known to change it up a little and use things for other than their intended use. I imagined this cabinet as a storage piece for my vintage books and treasures. It is perfect for keeping everything dust-free and away from busy little hands.

I actually found this cabinet for free online last summer. As soon as the lady posted it I responded to her ad hoping that someone else hadn’t snatched it up already. Luckily, this cabinet was still available, so off I went to pick up my new book cabinet to be.


After the addition of some wooden appliques, new hardware, new chunky trim along the bottom and a couple of coats of cream paint, I think it is a great improvement. Don’t you think so too?


The room that this cabinet is in faces north so it is really challenging to take a good photo of it without it looking fuzzy or a reflection showing up in the glass. Well, hello there!  Hopefully, you are able to see things just the same.


I added some crown shaped pulls to the drawer and drop pulls on the glass doors at the top and on the wooden doors at the bottom. The hardware finish is Old Brass from Lee Valley. I didn’t really care for the hardware that originally came with the cabinet but I really love these and they go well with other finishes that I have already in the room.

To give the cabinet even more style, I added a matching escutcheon (keyhole). Since it didn’t have a keyhole already cut, I just faked it by adding a small piece of brown felt behind the escutcheon. From a close-up, you can tell that there isn’t a hole, but from far away it is not noticeable at all. Hey, it works for me!

I just noticed after taking this picture that one of the nails on my escutcheon is a different color. Haha! Nothing a black Sharpie pen won’t fix.



After giving this cabinet a couple of coats of my favorite cream paint, I lightly distressed the edges so that a little bit of its gray primer coat and its original stained wood would show through.


The inside of the drawer was originally covered in red velvet fabric and let me tell you it was really dirty and disgusting. Not to mention, some little person had scribbled all over the drawer sides. My solution was to decoupage scrapbook paper in a french postcard print inside of the entire drawer. To hide some of the raw edges, I glued in thin pieces of cove molding painted white. Finally, I coated the paper with watered down white paint to give it an aged look and sealed it with two coats of Modge Podge to protect it.

I think the addition of the scrapbook paper is a nice surprise when opening the drawer! It is a perfect size to store all of my stationery and mementos from my past travels.



My favorite part of this cabinet are these wooden appliques that I added to the bottom doors to dress them up a bit. I love me some wooden scrollers!





So, what do you think of my book cabinet? Please leave me a comment below. I would love to hear from you.

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