Building A Top For The China Cabinet

The top is officially on the china cabinet base! You may remember in the first post, when I said that I ripped it off because it had a huge chunk missing, it also was made of particle board…which I hate. I plan on selling this china cabinet when I get it completely finished and I refuse to sell something that is not sturdy, so…it had to go.

The Plan

The china cabinet was originally built like this:

orig china cab

This was probably fine when it was brand new.  But when I acquired this piece, there was no top to the base section and the hutch was barely attached to the particle board.

My new plan is to create a top for the base and a bottom section for the hutch, so they would simply sit on top of each other or, if for some reason the new owner wants to use them separately, they can.

new china cab layout

I decided to go with MDF instead of plywood.  Some may argue with this because if the MDF gets wet it will soak up any water like a sponge.  But I knew I would be painting this piece and waxing it, which would seal it (FYI, you can NOT stain MDF… it turns out horrible).  AND since the MDF will not be on the floor, flooding or standing water should not be a problem.

The Process

Luckily the wood around the top part of the cabinet already had pocket holes drilled, so I simply went around and screwed in 1.25 inch screws (where the green arrows are and all around the sides and front).

mdf placement

I did buy some wood trim to make the edges a bit fancier.

wood trim

I mitered the corners and used wood glue to glue them in place and my AirStrike nail gun, to make them extra secure.  Next, I used some wood putty to hide the seams where the two pieces meet.  If I had used a solid wood top, I would have broken out my router… maybe next time!
Here it is pre-paint.
pre paint china cab
And here it is after paint and moved back inside the house.
painted top
Awesome!  The only thing left to do to the bottom piece here is to nail the back of the cabinet back on.  It was really dirty and gave me the creeps, so I tossed the original and actually cut down a piece of plywood I had on hand and painted it.  As soon as it dries, I’ll nail it on and have a finished “half” of a china cabinet!

Have you ever had to re-build parts of a piece of furniture?  It’s a little scary at first, but I loved the whole process.



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