How to Paint a Curio Cabinet

Are you looking to give your home a quick and easy makeover? Whether you’re an experienced or novice painter, painting a curio cabinet can be the perfect project. Get creative and express yourself with colors while giving any room in your house a fresh look. Painting a curio cabinet isn’t hard; it only requires the right technique, patience, and ambition.

How to Paint a Curio Cabinet

If you’re ready to start, follow these steps, and you’ll have your curio cabinet painted in no time. Just remember to take your time and use proper safety precautions!

This blog post will provide step-by-step instructions on how to paint a curio cabinet without hassle or mess. So put down those brushes and pick up that paint roller—we’re about to get started!

What Will You Need?

Before you begin, make sure to purchase the necessary supplies:

  • Paint
  • Primer
  • Drop cloths or plastic sheeting
  • Painter’s tape
  • Foam rollers and brush sets
  • Finishing wax (optional)

Once you have the necessary supplies, decide what color and type of paint you’d like to use to give your curio cabinet a unique look. Make sure to use paint that is suitable for furniture and other surfaces.

8 Easy Steps on How to Paint a Curio Cabinet

Step 1: Preparation

The first step in painting your curio cabinet is to prepare your work area and the cabinet itself. Start by clearing the area where you will be painting. Lay down drop cloths or plastic sheeting to protect your floor and surrounding area from paint drips.

Lay Down Drop Cloths

Next, remove all items from your curio cabinet. If the shelves are removable, take them out as well. If there are any hardware or decorative items on the cabinet, remove them if possible. Be sure to store these items safely so they can be reattached after the painting process.

Now, you’re ready to clean the cabinet. Use a mild detergent, vinegar-water solution, and a soft cloth to wipe down the entire cabinet, including the shelves. This step ensures that you’re working with a clean, dust-free surface, which will make it easier to paint.

Step 2: Sanding and Priming

Once the cabinet is clean, you’ll need to sand it. Use a medium-grit sandpaper or an electric sander for larger areas. This step removes dirt, grime, and any loose paint on the cabinet’s surface. It also helps the primer and paint adhere better, giving you a more even finish.

Once the cabinet is sanded, it’s time to apply a coat of primer. Primer helps bond the surface and your new paint job, making it last longer. Apply one thin coat of primer with a brush or roller, then wait for it to dry completely.

Step 3: Applying the Paint

When the primer has dried, you can apply your chosen paint color. Begin with a thin coat of paint and work from top to bottom. Use a brush to get into small areas or corners, then roll over it with a foam roller for an even finish. Allow each coat to dry before applying another one.

Continue applying thin coats until the entire cabinet is covered with your new color. Don’t forget to paint the back and inside of the cabinet! Once you’ve finished, let your painted masterpiece dry and cure for up to 72 hours before reattaching any hardware or accessories.

Step 4: Add a Wax Finish

Apply Your Chosen Paint Color

If desired, you can apply a finishing wax to the surface of your painted curio cabinet. This sealant helps protect the paint and gives it a glossy shine. To apply the wax, use a soft cloth or brush and work in small circular motions for an even finish. Allow the wax to dry before adding any hardware or decorative accessories.

Step 5: Reassembly and Final Touches

Now that your curio cabinet is fully painted and sealed, it’s time to assemble everything. Carefully reattach any removed hardware or decorative items, ensuring everything is secure. If you had removed shelves, place them back in their original positions.

Finally, your curio cabinet is ready to be filled again. Arrange your precious items back into the cabinet. Step back and admire your handiwork—your old curio cabinet, now revitalized with a fresh coat of paint, ready to enhance the look of your space.

Step 6: Keep It Looking Fresh

Now that your curio cabinet is looking brand new, you’ll want to keep it that way for as long as possible. To do this, clean the cabinet and surrounding area regularly using a damp cloth and mild detergent. This will help prevent dust build-up, keeping the paint looking vibrant.

If you notice any areas of paint that have become dull or are beginning to chip, you can easily touch up the area with a small brush. This will help keep your painted masterpiece looking perfect for years to come!

Using a Damp Cloth

Step 7: Maintenance and Care

To maintain the longevity and vibrancy of your newly painted curio cabinet, it’s important to take good care of it. Avoid placing the cabinet in direct sunlight, as it can cause the paint to fade over time. Similarly, try to keep it away from areas with high humidity, as it can cause the paint to peel or the wood to warp.

Dust the cabinet regularly to prevent buildup, which could scratch and damage the paint. Use a slightly damp cloth to clean the area immediately for any stains or spills.

Step 8: Celebrate Your Success

Congratulations! You’ve completed the journey of painting your curio cabinet. Revel in the satisfaction of a well-done job, and remember to share your success with others. Show off your masterpiece to friends, family, or even on your social media platforms.

Remember, the most important thing is that you should enjoy your newly painted curio cabinet. After all, it’s not just about how to paint a curio cabinet, it’s about transforming your living space into something uniquely yours. Now, it’s time to sit back, relax, and enjoy the beautiful view of your refreshed curio cabinet.

By following these simple steps, you can give your curio cabinet a fresh look and transform any space in your home. Whether you want to go bold or stay subtle, painting your furniture is a great way to add color and style to any room. With the right supplies and patience, anyone can learn how to paint it!

5 Additional Tips and Tricks

  1. Select the Right Paint: When painting a curio cabinet, choose a paint that complements your interior design. You can opt for semi-gloss or satin finish paint as they are durable and easier to clean. Chalk paint might be the best choice for a rustic or aged look.
  2. Prepare the Cabinet: Ensure the curio cabinet is clean and dust-free before painting. This will prevent paint from settling on dirt and creating a rough texture. You may use mild sandpaper to lightly sand the surface for improved paint adhesion.
  3. Invest in Quality Brushes and Rollers: Investing in good quality brushes and rollers may be expensive, but it will help create a smooth and even finish. Use synthetic brushes for latex or water-based paints and natural bristle brushes for oil-based paints.
  4. Tape Off the Edges: To prevent paint from dripping onto other areas, tape off the edges with the painter’s tape. This will also provide clean edges that look professional.
  5. Protect the Inside: If you paint the inside of a curio cabinet, ensure it is well protected from dust and dirt. You can line drawers or shelves with plastic wrap to prevent them from sticking together.

With these steps, you can easily paint a curio cabinet and give it a refreshed look.

Avoid Using Latex Paint

5 Things You Should Avoid

  1. Too Much Paint: Avoid using too much paint when painting a curio cabinet. Adding multiple coats of paint can lead to visible brush strokes and drips. Additionally, it may also increase the drying time of the paint.
  2. Using Waterproof Primer: Avoid using a waterproof primer on the curio cabinet, as this will not allow the paint to stick to the surface. Instead, use a cleaner primer that will allow better adhesion.
  3. Applying Latex Paint on Wood: When painting wooden curio cabinets, avoid using latex paint as it may not adhere to the wood properly and leave gaps between them. It is best to use oil-based paints for wood as they provide better protection against water damage.
  4. Latex Paint on Metal: For metal curio cabinets, avoid using latex paint as it may not hold up well to wear and tear in the long run due to its lack of flexibility. Instead, opt for a primer for metal surfaces that will provide better coverage and protection.
  5. Unprepared Surface: Avoid painting over an unprepared surface, as this may lead to poor adhesion of paint and an uneven finish. Ensure the cabinet is clean, dust-free, and sanded lightly before applying paint. This will create a smooth and even texture.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your curio cabinet looks beautiful and well-painted for years!


How to paint a curio cabinet is no easy task, but it can be done with the right supplies, know-how, and creativity. Take your time throughout the process and don’t rush through, as mistakes or oversights may become quite visible on furniture such as a curio cabinet. Of course, you want to showcase your work of art proudly!

In addition to enjoying the creative journey, painting a curio cabinet can be very fulfilling because you will have accomplished something beautiful and unique all on your own. It will surely bring life back into an otherwise forgotten piece of furniture, making it valuable again. Good luck with your next painting project – we know it will turn out wonderfully!

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Angela Ervin

Angela is the executive editor of officefixes. She began her career as an interior designer before applying her strategic and creative passion to home and office design. She has close to 15 years of experience in creative writing and online content strategy for Office design and decor,home decorations as well as other efforts. She loves her job and has the privilege of working with an extraordinary team. She lives with her husband, two sons, and daughter in Petersburg. When she's not busy working she spent time with her family.

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