Tutorial on how to build these SUPER sturdy and adorable Mod Kid's Chairs... a Land of Nod Knock-off! {Sawdust & Embryos}

Marcy’s China Cabinet

So our girl Marcy (who now owns this vanity), has us refinishing her entire dining set, right? I was planning to post about the table and chairs first, but we noticed a spot that needed touching up… so it’s still in the “shop”.

Instead, I’m going to show you the corresponding china cabinet that IS finished, and currently dwelling in my dining room. One great thing about fixing up furniture is the constant flow of beautiful ‘new’ things coming in and out of my home!

Marcy had this gorge buffet in her possession, but she really wanted a china cabinet for her dining space. ‘Cept she really loved her buffet too. Only she wanted a china cabinet…


So she did what any sane person would do, and bought a massive clunker of a china cabinet off craigslist… JUST for the top hutch-thing! To go on top of her existing buffet! Naturally.

hutch TOP

Girlfriend has a Navy/Gray thing going on in her dining room. With a cheery red as an accent. I made a collage of the items that she loves and/or is using in the room from her Pinterest Board.

dining set

She wanted us to use a medium-gray paint (in a matte finish) for the entire dining set, with a brownish-black glaze to help things look a little shabby and weathered. Of course I didn’t take any pictures of this process on the china cabinet… just on the dining set. So you’ll have to wait until I post about THAT! Patience my friends.

More importantly, I’m going to show you how I painted the backboard of the china cabinet. Marcy basically gave me free-reign to do whatever with the backboard, as long as it was primarily navy, and had some pops of red. Check!

First things first… the backboard got a smooth coat of navy blue, and then Nick measured and drew me some vertical lines. You’ll see why in a minute.


Next, I found a geometric Moroccan pattern that I loved (and noticed later that Marcy had pinned as well!)rug3 - CopyVia

I sized it so that just one design would fit an 8.5 x 11. Except by doing this, it looked all distorted and nasty like this:


So I just cut it out best I could, and then folded it in quarters and trimmed around the edges to make it perfect.

china cabinet2

And then I traced it onto a transparency…


I cut it out, and now I have my template! If you don’t have a transparency, cardstock would work too. The edges may start to fray slightly after so many repetitions though.


Then, using the vertical lines that Nick strategically placed, I drew out my designs using the template! You can barrrrrily see it if you look close for the pencil lines (which I went back and touched up in the end).


Then I got busy painting! This is the fun part for me!


It took 3 coats of white in all, and several evenings to complete. But I enjoyed it, and Nick read to me while I painted! We’ve been reading through the Hunger Games together. So cheesy, I know. (not the Hunger Games… that fact that we read to each other.. hehe).


And when I was through with the white, I added a little accent with the red! I love how it makes it feel 3-dimensional.


Are you ready to see the final product? Good, cause here it is!


It looks so majestic in my dining room. I hope Marcy’s ceilings are high, cause this thing’s a beast! Doesn’t it look like the top hutch and the bottom buffet were MEANT to go together? I think so.


We’ll be back later in the week with the matching table and chairs!!

may I brag for a moment?
First Trip to the POOL!
  • Renee’

    Love the color of the hutch! Beautiful job as always! And love the pattern on the backboard!

  • The Johnsons- Deep in the Heart of…Arkansas?!!

    oh that is just gorgeous. if you are ever in Little Rock, you have a customer :)

  • Nicole

    wow!!!! I gotta say this is one of my favorite things you’ve done. Looks GORGEOUS!

  • Marcy Snook

    This looks EXPENSIVE. (I used to laugh when they said that on Project Runway, but now…I TOTALLY get it.

  • Nurse Kate

    Wow! Awesome job! LOVE IT

  • Meagan Dobbs

    No worries. :) We read to each other too. We read the Hunger Games shortly after Christmas, but are now reading a different series together.

  • Samantha {Moody Mama}

    Love love love! You would never know that wasn’t originally matched up :) just gorgeous.

  • Alyssa

    Do you have any tips for how to re-finish a china cabinet? I have a behemoth of a china cabinet and it’s the most awful shade of dark brown. Would you consider doing a tutorial as to how you did this cabinet so that us mere mortals might try our hand at it too? :)

  • littlekbopeep

    I ABSOLUTELY LOVE this! You did an amazing job! Your painting technique is to die for! Ok, maybe not die but you understand, I’m sure! This is my first time on your blog and I am definitely going to check out your blog OFTEN! Once I get MY blog up and going, I’ll add you to my list of blogs I stalk, lol.
    And no, reading to each other is not cheesy!! LOL! My fiance and I do the same thing!

  • Somebody’s Nana

    Can you post the exact color gray you used and the glaze? That is EXACTLY what I want to do with my hutch/cabinet/tables!

  • Bethany

    Hello Nana… so glad you love the finish! The paint brand is Glidden, and the color is Seal Gray. We just used a brown/black mixture of glaze (using the mixing instructions on the back… any brand will do). Hope this helps, good luck! Send us pics when you’re done!

  • Alyssa

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • Terry Moore

    Oh so fabulous! Wondering what you did with the bottom of the original china cabinet now!

  • Ryan and Kelly Loftis

    I would LOVE to see pictures of the room that this went in–do you have any pictures to share of the completed dining room? Thanks for this post–love everything about what you did with this!!

  • Debbie – Painted Therapy

    Just beautiful. The finish is fantastic. And I love that you read to each other. :)

  • Anonymous

    Oh man. I now don’t think I can keep my powder blue color for the piano I was asking you about lol. Why did I never look at this one before?! Dang back to the drawing board!

  • leora

    2 questions.
    did you paint the hardware as well?
    secondly, how did you get the brownish glaze? can you share the color/brand paints you used?

    • Bethany @ Sawdust and Embryos

      Leora, we left the hardware as-is on this piece. They were PERFECT!
      As for the glaze, we use Dutch Boy Technique Glaze (but all the brands are pretty much the same) and added an amount of chocolate brown color according to the directions on the can. It’s super simple! :)

  • Jann

    Howdy! I could have sworn I’ve visited this blog before but after browsing through a
    few of the articles I realized it’s new to me. Regardless, I’m
    certainly happy I stumbled upon it and I’ll be bookmarking it and
    checking back often!

  • Sharon

    Wow, stunning! Found you via pinterest. I love to restore furniture and decor. This is a huge amount of work gone into your friend’s hutch, but I know what you mean about the process of painting that backboard. It would be quite therapeutic. I love that you read to each other! :)

  • autumn sapp

    Can you please tell me how you got the color of the China cabinet? Im starting to look into painting furniture and I wanted to see how exactly you got the color. Ive never painted before so I don’t know what colors to buy or where to start except at home depot. Lol. Could you please help me. By the way, your blog is amazing. Keep up the awesome style and work.

    • Bethany @ Sawdust and Embryos

      Hi Autumn! The orange is Krylon spraypaint and the color is called Pumpkin. We had to do several light coats because the coverage wasn’t very good. Hope this helps! Let us know if you have any other questions.

      • autumn sapp

        orange? it’s the dark greyish blue color of the china cabinet…what paints did you put together and brushes did you use?

        • Bethany @ Sawdust and Embryos

          Ohhhhh geez I’m sorry. I was thinking of one of the other china cabinets we’ve done… Haha! Sorry about that! I’ll check on that exact gray color and get back with you!

          • autumn sapp

            ok thank you!! :)

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