Are you tired of looking at that old china cabinet in your dining room? Do you want to give it new life without spending a lot of time and money? Well, I have a great idea for you! In this blog post, Quick and Easy China Cabinet Makeover Using Wallpaper I’m going to show you how to give your china cabinet a quick and easy makeover in just an afternoon.

*This post includes affiliate links, for more info on affiliate links visit here

About My China Cabinet

My china cabinet is a beautiful two-piece set, with the top being a hutch/cabinet and the bottom a buffet. I was lucky enough to stumble upon it on the Facebook Marketplace for just $150. It came painted with a soft cream-colored paint that I absolutely adore, and the hardware and wood trim are simply stunning. Because of these fortunate features, I didn’t need to refinish the paint, wood, or hardware during my makeover. This cabinet is the perfect showcase for my beautiful new and old china, plates, and platters. I love how it adds an elegant touch to my dining room while also serving as a functional storage space for my dishes. I will often decorate it for the seasons.

Showing Off Your China Cabinet’s Inner Beauty by Removing the Doors

Have you considered this? It’s going to make a world of differences and open things right up. China cabinets were originally designed with glass doors to protect delicate and valuable items inside from dust and damage, as well as to display them in an elegant and formal manner. However, modern design trends have shifted towards more open and airy spaces that showcase personal style and individuality. Removing the glass doors from your china cabinet is a simple and effective way to achieve this look, while also allowing you to fully appreciate the beauty and detail of your dishes and tableware. Not only does this make it easier to access and use your items, but it also adds a sense of casual charm to your home decor. To do so simply locate the hinges and grab a screwdriver to remove the doors. So don’t be afraid to show off your china cabinet’s inner beauty by giving it an open and inviting feel! Here’s a photo with the doors on. You can see how difficult it is to see the beautiful dishes and platters inside.

Onto the Wallpaper!

Next, we’re going to add some wallpaper to the back of the cabinet. I love using wallpaper for furniture makeovers because it’s a quick and easy way to add a pop of color or pattern to any piece of furniture. For this particular project, I chose a wallpaper with branches and owls, which adds a whimsical touch to the cabinet. The white dishes will really pop against this wallpaper! This wallpaper was not peel and stick, my usual go-to, so it required wallcovering adhesive which can be found at most home improvement, wallpaper stores, or online.

The supplies for this project, the wallpaper, scissors, wallpapering tools, tape measure, wallcovering adhesive.

Supplies for this Project

Steps for Applying Wallpaper to the Back of your china cabinet

  1. Measure the back of your china cabinet carefully and cut the wallpaper to the correct size. Make sure to leave a little extra paper on all sides to account for any mistakes or uneven edges.
  2. Lay the wallpaper face down on a clean, flat surface. Apply wallpaper adhesive to the back of the wallpaper, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  3. Carefully position the wallpaper on the back of the cabinet, starting at the top and working your way down. Smooth out any bubbles or wrinkles with a wallpaper smoothing tool or a plastic card, starting from the center and working your way out.
  4. Once the wallpaper is fully applied, use a sharp knife or scissors to trim any excess paper from the edges of the cabinet.
  5. Allow the wallpaper to dry completely before putting any dishes or items back in the cabinet.

Remember to take your time and work carefully to ensure that the wallpaper is applied smoothly and evenly.

Other Creative Ideas for the Back Panel

  1. Fabric – You can use fabric with a pattern or texture that complements your dishware.
  2. Contact paper – Like peel and stick wallpaper, contact paper is an easy way to add color and pattern to the back of your cabinet.
  3. Wrapping paper – If you have a roll of wrapping paper with a design you love, it can make a great temporary solution for a cabinet makeover.
  4. Painted wood – If you’re handy with a paintbrush, you can paint a piece of wood to fit the back of your cabinet and add some visual interest.
  5. Mirrors – Mirrors can help to reflect light and add some sparkle to your cabinet.
  6. Vintage maps – Old maps with muted colors can make a great backdrop for a collection of dishes.
  7. Plates or platters – If you have a collection of decorative plates or platters, you can hang them on the back of the cabinet as a focal point.
  8. Chalkboard paint – If you want to change the look of your cabinet often, consider using chalkboard paint on the back. You can draw or write messages on it to switch up the look.
  9. Stenciled designs – If you’re handy with a stencil, you can create a custom design on the back of your cabinet using paint or a stencil roller.
  10. Wallpaper samples – If you have some leftover wallpaper samples from a larger project, they can make great backdrops for smaller spaces like the back of a china cabinet.

Arranging Your Dishes with Style and Care

Now it’s time to start filling up the cabinet with your dishes, platters, tureens, and tableware. I recommend sticking with neutral colors, like white, to keep the focus on the pattern of the wallpaper. This will make the entire piece look cohesive and intentional.

If you have glass shelves in your cabinet, make sure to clean them thoroughly before placing any dishes on them. A lint-free cloth works best for this. And if there are any scratches or nicks in the wood, use some wood filler to fill them in before placing your dishes.

A close up photo of the white dishes on the shelves of the hutch.

Tips for Organizing and Styling Your China Cabinet

A china cabinet is not just a place to store your dishes, it’s also an opportunity to showcase your personal style and creativity. Here are some tips for organizing and styling your china cabinet to make it a statement piece in your home:

  1. Group Similar Items Together: Grouping similar items together, such as plates, bowls, and cups, can create a cohesive and organized look. You can also group by color or pattern for added interest.
  2. Use Stands and Risers: Using stands and risers can help create levels and add dimension to your display. This is especially helpful if you have a lot of smaller items that can get lost in the mix.
  3. Add Decorative Pieces: Adding decorative pieces, such as vases, figurines, or candles, can add interest and personality to your china cabinet. Just make sure they don’t overwhelm your dishes.
  4. Consider Lighting: Lighting can really make your china cabinet shine. Add some LED lights or small lamps to highlight your favorite pieces and create a warm, cozy glow.
  5. Don’t Overcrowd: It can be tempting to fill every inch of your china cabinet, but leaving some negative space can actually make your display look more elegant and airy.
  6. Rotate Your Display: Don’t be afraid to switch up your display every once in a while. It’s a great way to keep things fresh and show off different pieces throughout the year.
  7. Organize Your Serving Pieces: Group your serving pieces together, such as platters, gravy boats, and tureens. This will make it easier to find what you need when you’re entertaining.
  8. Keep It Clean: A china cabinet can collect dust and grime quickly. Make sure to wipe down your dishes and cabinet regularly to keep it looking its best.

Organizing and styling your china cabinet can be a fun and creative project. By following these tips, you can transform your cabinet into a beautiful statement piece in your home.

Frequently Asked Questions About this DIY China Cabinet Makeover

How do I remove the doors from my China cabinet?

The method for removing the doors will depend on the type of cabinet you have. In general, you will need to locate the hinges on the inside of the cabinet and use a screwdriver to remove the screws that attach the hinges to the door.

What kind of wallpaper should I use to line the back of my China cabinet?

You can use any type of wallpaper you like, but it is important to choose a pattern and color that complements the style and color of your China cabinet. Additionally, you may want to choose a wallpaper that is easy to clean and has a durable finish, especially if your China cabinet is frequently used.

How do I measure the back of my China cabinet for wallpaper?

Measure the width and height of the back of the cabinet, making sure to account for any trim or molding that may be present. It is a good idea to add an extra inch or two to each measurement to ensure that you have enough wallpaper to cover the entire area.

How do I apply wallpaper to the back of my China cabinet?

First, cut the wallpaper to the appropriate size and shape using a utility knife or scissors. Next, apply wallpaper paste or adhesive to the back of the wallpaper according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Carefully position the wallpaper on the back of the cabinet, smoothing out any air bubbles or wrinkles as you go. Use a wallpaper brush or smoothing tool to press the wallpaper firmly in place, working from the center out to the edges.

Can I paint the back of my China cabinet instead of using wallpaper?

Yes, you can certainly paint the back of your China cabinet instead of using wallpaper. Choose a paint color that complements the style and color of your cabinet and apply it using a brush or roller.

What should I put on the back of my china cabinet if I have colorful patterned china, plates, and platters?

If you have colorful patterned china, plates, and platters, you may want to consider using a neutral or solid-colored background for the back of your china cabinet to avoid overwhelming the eye with too many patterns. Alternatively, you could use a subtle, textured wallpaper in a coordinating color to add interest without competing with the patterns on your dishes. Another option could be to use a mirror or reflective surface, which would not only add depth to the cabinet but also reflect the beauty of your dishes. Ultimately, the choice of what to put on the back of your china cabinet depends on your personal taste and the overall aesthetic of your home.

a close up of the dishes in the hutch.

That’s it! In just an afternoon, you’ve given your old china cabinet a new life. No painting required! This is a great idea for those who want to add some unique details to their dining room furniture without investing a lot of hard work or additional costs.

I hope this post has inspired you to get creative with your furniture ideas. There are so many creative ways to update older pieces and give them a new space in your home. And who knows, this may be just the first post in a series of future projects for you!

If you’re interested in trying a similar project, I highly recommend checking out some of my favorite furniture paints, like Dixie Belle Paint or Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. These paints are great for giving the furniture a new coat of paint and can really make a statement piece in your living room or dining area. Just make sure to follow the instructions carefully and use the best sanders to get the best work.

The completed hutch from across the dining room.

And if you’re in the market for some new furniture, don’t forget to check out Facebook Marketplace finds or your local thrift store. You never know what you might find! Whether it’s a built-in china cabinet or an old coffee table, there’s always a good idea waiting to be discovered.

In the end, a painted china cabinet makeover isn’t the only way to give your dining room furniture a new lease on life. Sometimes, all it takes is a little bit of creativity and some elbow grease to transform an old piece into something beautiful. So, go ahead and try out this simple glass-door-removing, wallpaper-adding makeover for your 1980’s china cabinet today and enjoy the final result!

For more inspiration visit:

coffee bar set up for spring.

How to Make a Shelf by Repurposing an Antique Mantel :The blog post discusses how to add charm and storage to a room by hanging an antique mantel on a wall to create a DIY mantel shelf. The article suggests repurposing an antique mantel as a creative way to make a floating mantel shelf that adds extra storage or decorative elements to a space. The article also provides a brief guide on how to hang an antique mantel to create a shelf, as well as answers to frequently asked questions about the project.

french country bedroom in gray, white and aqua accents.

Easy Wooden Stool Makeover for Less than $15 : This is a DIY project post about how to upcycle a vintage wooden stool with a gray cushion cover. The post includes a description of the before and after of the stool, a list of supplies needed for the makeover, and step-by-step instructions for the project. The post also includes tips on choosing the right paint and fabric for the project, as well as suggestions for where to find a piece of furniture like this and what other options there are for the cushion cover.

I hope you enjoyed this Quick and Easy China Cabinet Makeover Using Wallpaper post. Sometimes it’s the small changes that make a big difference. Thank you for visiting the blog today!

Keep creating friends!

my signature, a drawing of me holding a coffee cup that says Create.

Similar Posts


  1. Just love the wall paper pattern that you have chosen for your China Cabinet!! The whole area looks so Lovely ☺️ And I think that your photo of your Bedroom is so calming and charming! Your color palette is so soothing! You have such a Knack for Decorating and your Floral arrangements and Ideas are just Amazing 🙌👏🤩🤗❤️🙋🏼‍♀️🦮🦮

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *