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Art Deco Cabinet Refinished in Classic Black - Lots of Photos/Videos

I jumped at the chance to refinish this gorgeous art deco solid wood cabinet. I chose classic black but used both a stain and paint combo to give it a new look.

A friend was downsizing his mother in laws place and asked if I might want to give it new life, HECK YA!

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First I removed the glass carefully using a putty knife to pry the wood pieces holding the glass and fretwork in place. I marked the wooden pieces as they came out knowing they may fit only 1 way.

How I removed the fretwork and glass video

Using my 2" carbide scraper from Richard tools I removed the old finish. Laying this tall one piece project on its side made it easier to do so.

I flipped it over and did the other side as well. Slow and steady was my pace so not to gouge the wood.

scraper video #1

scraper video #2

The top and edges were hand scraped standing back up.

On the front side there was some loose finish. I chose my Richard Tools small carbide scraper to work on this area.

Once all the finish was scraped off it was wiped clean on all surfaces with a damp cloth and spray cleaner then power and hand sanded smooth. The sanding dust was wiped off and ready for the next steps.

I chose anchor Dixie Belle silk mineral paint applied with a Dixie Belle synthetic brush to paint the cabinet inside and door frame.

Using a Dixie Belle sanding sponge the paint was lightly sanded to smooth and distress the edges and give a worn weathered look.

The lower front was painted anchor  silk mineral paint as well. 

As was the original hardware after cleaning.

For the bare wood on top and sides, Dixie Belle No Pain Gel Stain in colonial black was applied with a blue shop towel. With a clean shop towel the excess stain was wiped off.

Here is staining video #1

and staining video #2

On the front edges where the wood did not take the stain the same as the rest, I applied light touch up Gel Stain to the area after 3 days drying time repeated until it looked similar.

Inside the drawer the bottom was plain old hardboard so I wanted to jazz it up with some pretty paper. This art deco bird pattern Dixie Belle rice decoupage paper was the perfect pairing seeing the cabinet was art deco design.

I measured a couple times to be sure then cut the rice paper to size.

It was ironed flat to remove the fold line and wrinkles,

A coat of Dixie Belle flat clear coat was brushed in the drawer using a

After the paper was positioned in place over the clear coat, another flat clear coat was brushed on top of the paper to further seal it in place.

it looks perfect don't you think?

To revive and rehydrate the inside of the lower storage area, Dixie Belle Big Mama’s Butta was applied with a dedicated Dixie Belle La Petite brush.  Dixie Belle Big Mama’s Butta comes in a few scents which also add a fresh smell to the piece.

This little ball catcher  is what holds the doors closed. The lower door is missing this so I am currently finding one to replace it. UPDATE: I found one, see end of tutorial for details.

The stained areas were lightly sanded with a Dixie Belle sanding sponge then given a coat of black Dixie Belle's best dang wax. I apply with a dedicated Dixie Belle chip brush.

I also did this inside the upper cabinet over the paint as well.

So far so good, I staged it showing the fretwork and glass out

So folks could see the main parts of it clearly.

Please keep reading as it gets better :)

And without staging decor too

Another peek of the pretty art deco bird drawer liner.

Photographing black is hard to show true color but it is a rich black.

Now with the fretwork, this is original stain set in the door. I put this photo and no fretwork side by side and shared on a few paint groups asking personal preference to keep the fretwork or leave out.

Hands down it was 95% keep it!

So I cleaned it well, lightly sanded the edges smooth and stained it the same colonial black No Pain Gel Stain as the sides.

fretwork staining video

And once dry, I set it in and LOVED it!!

It truly add the art deco vibe.

I installed the original glass back in place and this beauty is ready to find its new home. It is available if you are wanting a one of a kind china cabinet, bookcase, hutch in your home.

Take a video tour!


I found a ball catch for the lower door from the amazing D Lawless Hardware and for .47 US CENTS!!! I was quoted $34.26 CND for a catch and plate (which I did not need). It fit perfectly.

This beauty is complete!


  1. That is an absolutely gorgeous cabinet! I admit: I am jealous!

    1. Thank you so very much for stopping by and sharing such kind words!

  2. Hi LeeAnn! It turned out so pretty. It looks like you get instant gratification using that carbide scraper. I need to invest in one of those. Do you San afterwards then? I have one kind of like this one and I took the glass out. Is it easy putting it back in?

    1. I love the carbide scraper and yes I usually do sand after just to get rid of any bits left and smooth all. Yes the glass is easy enough to put back in but get a second set of arms to help hold the door. :)

  3. You did an awesome job giving new life to that lovely piece.

    1. Thank you so very much, your kind words are deeply appreciated!

  4. I love Art Deco furniture, and this make over is a beauty! Thank you for sharing with Whimsy Home Wednesday!

    1. Thank you for sharing your kindness and hosting!

  5. That art deco cabinet is beyond gorgeous, and you did an absolutely phenomenal job! Smiles, Linda at Paper Seedlings

  6. So much work involved but you made it look amazing! I always enjoy your tutorials and photos. This post will be a feature this week. #HomeMattersParty

    1. Thank you Donna, I appreciate the kind words and the feature!!

  7. Thank you for sharing your inspiration with us, I love this makeover, art deco is one of my favorite styles. You did this piece proud!

    1. Thank you, I really enjoyed refinishing this one as I don't ever get many art deco pieces

  8. Oh my, you did such an incredible job refinishing. What a wonderful eye you have😻


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