Our site uses cookies to give you the best experience. Manage your cookies here or continue shopping if you're happy.

Accept & close
Skip to Content

    Inspiration: Chinoiserie Cabinet Before And After

    Our resident Renter gives a tired cabinet a fabulous Chinese-inspired makeover!

    It’s no secret that I am a devoted fan of Chinoiserie – I love the touch of exoticism it brings to a home. Chinoiserie has been so enduringly popular for centuries that it works in almost any interior, so it was an obvious choice when I was considering a makeover on an old corner cupboard.



    This was yet another cheap auction find, and has trailed around with me for years as I moved from home to home. It had got rather battered and scratched by cats and the varnished pine with painted flowers motif was looking rather tired.



    It’s mounted in the hallway of my flat now, and is pretty much the first thing you see when you walk through the front door, so I wanted to spruce it up in a way that had real impact.

    I thought the shape of the cupboard could carry an oriental look, as it’s pretty plain, and I wanted to try and imitate a lacquered cabinet.

    I read up about lacquering, it sounded complicated. I thought I’d give gloss paint a go, as even if it didn’t come out looking much like lacquer, at least it would be a nice shiny new coat of paint.

    So I removed the doors, stripped out all the hardware and got to work.



    I painted the inside with a black satinwood, and the outside with Farrow & Ball’s Incarnadine in full gloss. It is a luscious colour and just the right shade of red.

    I added some new brass Chinese-style hardware to the doors and put the whole thing back together. It makes a fabulous focal point in the hallway now and the slightly beaten up wood actually makes it look a little more authentic and antique (or that’s what I tell myself anyway).




    Hooray! Is it cocktail hour yet? Well it must be five o'clock somewhere, right? Cheers!



    What do you think of this cabinet makeover? Have you incorporated any Chinoiserie style in your own home?

    Shop Garden & DIY