Whitewashed Vintage Wall Curio Cabinet

Would you bid on this beat-up small curio if you saw it posted at an online auction? I've seen them priced anywhere between $99 - $400⁺. Mr. Frugalista's winning bid was a whopping $12! I did a happy dance when he brought it home. So you're probably wondering why I titled this post the quick but not so quick vintage wall curio cabinet.

Vintage Wall Curio Cabinet Before

Vintage Wall Curio Cabinet Makeover

I started working on it back in April and we're almost in November. Which is crazy because it took no time at all to finish this curio. The most time-consuming part of the makeover was waiting for glue to cure.

After removing the glass and the shelves, I gave it a whitewash with Annie Sloan Old White chalk paint. The top shelf split in two when I removed it.

Vintage Wall Curio Cabinet Broken Shelf

I could have cut a brand new board using the old one as a template but who has time for that. Ahem, evidently I had plenty of time but I digress. Nothing that some wood glue and a couple of clamps couldn't fix.

Vintage Wall Curio Cabinet Repaired Shelf

While the glue was setting I painted the back of the curio cabinet a light grey.

This is the point where I abandoned the project 

My focus turned to our budget-friendly deck makeover and it consumed the entire summer. Then autumn arrived and I was having too much fun making things like these Fall Stenciled Pillow Covers and Painted Dollar Store Pumpkins.

Finally last weekend I got back to the abandoned curio cabinet and things were moving along smoothly until my little oops.

After cleaning and reinstalling the side glass it was time to insert the shelves. Instead of nailing them onto the brackets and trying to fit into the notches inside the cabinet, the brackets were inserted into the notches first. Wood glue was spread onto the top of each bracket and the shelves set in place and secured with clamps until the glue set.

Vintage Wall Curio Cabinet Shelf Installation

Unfortunately, in the process of installing the shelves, the paint on the back got scratched in a few places. When I went to touch it up with Annie Sloan Paris Grey, because for the life of me that's what I remember painting it back in April, the paint didn't match (see photo above).

I had no idea what color I must have painted the darn thing. My forgetfulness ended up being a blessing in disguise because I dry brush two more colors over top to hide the mistake. First I swiped Paris Grey across the back and then Old White and the new layers added so much charm.

Next, the glass was inserted in the doors but unfortunately, some of the original wood blocks to hold it in place were missing. Using what was on hand, small wooden dowels were cut to size, painted white, and glued in place. One on the top and one on the bottom of each door.

Last but not least the base of the cabinet was nailed on with brads and finally the small curio is finished.

Ready to see what this vintage wall curio cabinet looks like now?

Here's the before...
Vintage Wall Curio Cabinet Closed Before
...and here it is after the makeover.
Vintage Wall Curio Cabinet After
Here is a side view of the cabinet before...
Vintage Wall Curio Cabinet Side View Before
...and here is the side view after.
Vintage Wall Curio Cabinet Side View After
This is the cabinet open before the makeover...
Vintage Wall Curio Cabinet Open Before
...and open after the makeover.
Vintage Wall Curio Cabinet Open Glass Doors

In the photo above you can see the light grey and white paint layers on the back of the cabinet?

Here's a close up of the pretty carved scrollwork on the top of the curio.

Vintage Wall Curio Cabinet Scrollwork
I love the arched windows on the sides of the curio cabinet.
Vintage Wall Curio Cabinet With Arched Windows

Vintage Wall Curio Cabinet Styled For A Bathroom

Vintage Wall Curio Cabinet With Grey Washed Back

Vintage Wall Curio Cabinet With Crystal Soap Dish

Not bad for $12! Mine compares with the French Country and Farmhouse Curio Cabinets I've seen at fine retailers starting at $99.

The moral of this makeover, with a little elbow grease you can get the high end look at bargain prices by thrift shopping.

Vintage Wall Curio Cabinet Before and After

Vintage Wall Curio Cabinet Pin

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  1. Now that’s gorgeous! Hey sometimes we make mistakes in painting, sometimes we can’t seem to fix it but when we can, wow, do we ever end up with a masterpiece just like yours! I can’t believe $12.00!!! I sure wish my husband would look for things like that for me but maybe in my next life...lol!

    1. Too funny! Thanks Shirley, this was one of those pieces that was VERY hard to part with.

  2. That looks beautiful Marie! Great save!

    1. Thank you Susan! Oh was it hard to part with this piece. Kicking myself for selling it 😪


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