Friday, September 20, 2013

White hall cupboard

I love a good hall cupboard makeover - not that these sweet little cupboards can only be used in a hallway obviously!

This cupboard was a lovely shape - how sweet is the curved base and moulded doors. It's in lovely condition but was a little bit too orange for my liking. Someone sent me an email this week basically asking permission to paint their orange timber bedroom furniture (Don't you just love how we need permission sometimes, from people on the other side of the world even!). Her whole family is trying to talk her out of it and telling her to learn to love it. I said "Life is way too short to live with, much less learn to love, orange wood."

get me a paint brush....

Painted white hall cupboard by Lilyfield Life

White paint to the rescue. 

Painted white hall cupboard by Lilyfield Life
The left door doesn't sit flush when closed but if you can't deal with this small imperfection, don't buy old furniture.
I left the top natural timber (stained a dark walnut and sealed for durability) so throw your keys down with content.

Painted white hall cupboard by Lilyfield Life

The cabinet even has a key with it - such a lovely shape.

vintage silver tea pot homewares

I scored this gorgeous teapot recently. Actually Sasha and I found some absolute gems last week at the markets. I'll share them soon. I love the tarnish on this teapot. I know it will scrub up beautifully but there's such beauty in the aged patina that I don't want to make it all shiny and new again.  The roses are from our garden. I got rid of the aphids and the rosebushes and thanking me abundantly for it.

iceberg roses say thank you

For this painted part of this cabinet, I lightly sanded, two coats of primer as I thought it may bleed, 3 coats of acrylic based flat paint and a top coat of wax. For the top, I sanded off the old finished, reducing the grit of the sandpaper till the timber was smooth and then cleaned and gave it two coats of walnut coloured stain. As far as I'm concerned walnut is the only colour too use for staining. I find all the other stains too reddish/orange for me. I just like dark brown. Fussy, aren't I? (I'm just going to say particular but I know my family will say otherwise). I then sealed it with a Porters sealer, sanding between coats.

French White painted hall cupboard by Lilyfield Life for sale

Vintage tea pot and roses -life's good

The inside of the cabinet was just in perfect condition so I left it untouched. Well, I cleaned and dusted it but luckily it didn't even need oiling or waxing.

White hall cupboard inside

Some progress shots for you.
Before - not bad shape at all but the colour was awful.

Lilyfield Life painted cupboard makeover

Stripped top and one coat of primer.

Lilyfield Life painted cupboard makeover

Painted and stained, ready for sealing and distressing. I also didn't like the white knobs so I stripped the paint off them and left them the original dark finish so they tie in with the timber.

Lilyfield Life painted cupboard makeover

Lilyfield Life painted cupboard makeover

If you are interested, this is for sale has sold now. Such a great functional piece. Details here.

Don't you just LOVE white paint!

Have a great weekend
Fiona xx


  1. Beautiful piece! I love the contrast of the dark finish on the top and the white on the balance of the cabinet.

  2. ooh much better Fiona! I have a teapot just like that, that I put iceberg roses in too! It belonged to my Grandma and is also very tarnished like yours...I like it like that too :)

    Confession time - the last few pieces I've done with cupboards, I haven't painted inside as they've been in fine order and to be honest it takes soooo long to paint inside them, I can no longer be bothered if it doesn't really need it...I don't think it would stop someone buying a piece? I hope not, anyway!

    xx Karen

  3. that one is SO pretty!!!! oh i love love love i!!! and i don't paint the inside....

  4. now this is kind of project!
    I love how the inside has been kept original...
    really good job and the styling is soooo pretty!
    Bec x

  5. Absolute perfection !!!
    LOVE :)
    Have a great wknd

  6. Love the stained top against the white base! I, too, don't paint the inside of cabinets (wouldn't they get all messed up as you're sliding things in and out?) but I do paint the inside of the doors. I've seen other folks not paint the inside of the doors and thought maybe I was mucking it up. :) I guess there is no right or wrong in this biz!

  7. Love what you've done with this cupboard - leaving the top unpainted looks lovely. The little teapot is right up my alley too!!!

  8. Oh Fiona I love how it turned out. Orange wood...not my fav at all. Have a wonderful weekend!

    1. Thanks Lynn, yes I’d happily paint over all the orange wood in the world!

  9. Another question from the other side of the world. I am using Citristrip yo strip our 100+year old kitchen table. I previously used the table as my desk so it had water marks and scratches. Most of the old finish is coming off beautifully, but in some places the stain seems to be down in the grain of the oak. The old finish is almost black with age. I am hoping for a limed oak top with a painted trestle finish when it is complete. Any ideas as to how to get the stain out of the grain? I can send pics if that would help.
    Thanks. You are a wonderful resource to those of us who do not want to buy new.

    1. thanks so much Pamela, You can always sand it off. or i have a few non environmentally friendly solutions. you could try oxalic acid - it is an excellent deep timber cleaner. (Oxalic Acid is toxic. It will NOT harm skin if washed off immediately. It is a good idea to wear rubber gloves when using it and do not breathe the fumes. Use outdoors or in a well ventilated room preferably with an exhaust fan.) I have used it previously and it splashed on my skin and just stings - I washed it off immediately under running water and no harm.

      You can also clean timber with lye (caustic soda) - THIS IS MORE DANGEROUS. Dissolve 8 ounces of lye in 1 gallon of water (as hot as you can handle) then wash down the area with the aid of a scrubbing brush. Wash off the dirty lye with clean running water, until the water runs crystal-clear, then sponge off the excess and let the wood dry.

      Lye (Caustic Soda) is VERY Toxic and Harmful to the skin. Always Wear heavy rubber gloves and eye protection. If splashed on skin wash off immediately with vinegar or flush with water and no harm will be done. Do not breathe the fumes. Use outdoors.

      so if i haven't scared you off , go for it. i'd use the oxalic acid first. it works brilliantly on black timber.
      cheers fiona

  10. Love the walnut top and the rest white! Gorgeous Fiona

  11. So creamy white and pretty! I"m featuring your cute cupboard in this week's spotlight too.

    1. Thanks so much Maryann
      Hope you are going well. I’ve been so out of the loop for a while now. I’ll link up to your party again this week now that I’m getting back in control of things
      Have a lovely weekend
      Fiona x

  12. Looks beautiful as always Fiona. I think there should be a worldwide declaration that it is alright to paint any and every piece of orange wood that you can get your hands on :)

    The tea pot is amazing and I'd leave it exactly as is too


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