On the way home one night, I saw a very tall object on the curb of a neighbor’s house. I drove by and in my rearview, I realized it was a large piece of furniture someone was throwing out. We were almost home but the more I thought about it, the more I wanted another look. We circled around and it was a dingy oak china cabinet. Several of the doors were broken, it was dirty and even had water damage at the bottom. However, I saw potential in that old piece– It was just begging me to take it home and make it new again.
So, I did what any good southern girl without a truck would do…I called my daddy. Jeremy and my dad wielded the monstrosity into our garage that night. I was determined to save it from its impending doom upon trash pickup the next morning. They thought I was crazy for wanting to save this piece of furniture, but I knew it had potential to be something great.
The process began…I surveyed the damage, dusted it off and cleaned it up. I was even lucky enough to find an old mouse trap in the top (fortunately it was empty). My dad rebuilt the broken doors, I ripped off some of the molding to replace with new and I restored one of the shelves inside. After extensive sanding, a layer of heavy-duty primer to cover the orange-y stain, several coats of paint and multiple tubes of caulk, it now sits in my dining room as a permanent fixture in our home. I am very satisfied with the end product and it brings me joy to think about how far it has come.
More importantly, the china cabinet serves as a reminder of how far I have come. You see God also saw me in the darkness. He saw that I was dirty, broken, and in a state of disrepair. But that didn’t stop Him. He didn’t even need to even take a second look. Through no effort of my own, He delivered me from my sin and certain destruction through Christ’s death and resurrection. Upon accepting Christ as my Savior, my eternal status is secure with Him. Now, He is “renovating” me to be more and more like Him every day. God has had to clean me up, release me from my baggage, repair my brokenness and He continues sanding my rough edges to make them smooth.
Fortunately, God never leaves a project half-done…He continually works on each one of us, shaping us to be a useful tool for Him to use. That’s what the Christian life is. It is a process of transformation that can only be done by His Hands. We all have areas where we need work – whether it is anxiety, overeating, insecurity, or pride, God wants to renovate our hearts and minds.
Any home improvement project is messy and can take longer than we previously thought. You might even uncover issues that you weren’t previously aware of and you may need to make several calls for help. However, at the end of the project, the results are breath-taking and the struggle is now behind you. You have replaced this hang-up with new habits and the results are amazing. You might even ask yourself “Why didn’t I tackle this sooner?”
That’s why I have entitled the blog Renovated Faith…The Lord helps you take off your old self and put on your new self. You take off the lies and put on the truth. You take off your cultural perspective and put on a biblical perspective. You take off what you learned growing up and put on what the Bible says about your situation. Once you come to know Christ as your Savior, that is just the beginning. You have a whole new life ahead of you. God still has a lot of refinishing work to do on me and I invite you to join me on this journey as He gives us a makeover from the inside out.
“Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:19
China Cabinet Restoration Process and Source List
- Dust off with a damp wrap and remove all hardware. Replace any molding that is out of date.
- Start sanding. If you don’t have a palm sander like this one, it is well worth your money. I have used it on countless projects and it’s my favorite tool!
- I’ve used several of Zinsser’s primers and decided on the Zinsser Bullseye 123 Waterproof Primer. It has great adhesion, cleans up easily, low odor and settles well into cracks, which is great for old oak furniture. Also, it only takes an hour to dry before your next coat. You can find it at Home Depot and Walmart.
- I used Behr Premium Plus white in Satin. It took me 2 good coats and then some touch ups. I painted the inside back in Behr Sonata in Satin to give my white plates some contrast.
- I spray painted the hinges using Rustoleum’s Universal Metallic in Oil-Rubbed Bronze. It is the best oil-rubbed bronze spray paint on the market and so durable that I just used it to spray paint my metal shower frame.
- Caulk any cracks and replace hardware (I like Dap caulk). Amazon is a great source for basic hardware like the knobs. We got the cabinet lighting here.
If you have questions about the refinishing process, leave them in the comments section and I’ll answer within 24 hours.