Dining Room Built Ins Do-Over

built ins before

Since living here, our dining room has been all but ignored.  We moved in, plopped any dining room related items in there, and occasionally walk through on our way to another room.  We never sit down to eat dinner there together, probably because we never had a dining room table to use so we’re just not in that habit. I would really love to have this space finished to at least the functional point for now to have dinner, guests over, game nights, and as a table for projects. Another piece of the puzzle is to refinish the table and add the leaf since it’s a bit small for now, but more to come on that in the future.

The dining room built ins were an adorable add to two front corners of the room with an over-sized window between. They were, however, a little dated and had a lovely dark pepto bismol like color.

Built ins Built ins

First things first I removed the doors from the built ins for an updated feel. I used a wood filler like this one to fill in the holes where the hinges had been.  After that dried I sanded it down to create a smooth finish ready for paint. At first I actually planned to paint the inside of the built ins white but after two coats it just wasn’t feeling right.  There was something about it that I just wasn’t crazy about. No time lost though because the white acted as a primer over that dark pink anyway. After looking around for inspiration I decided to go a deep grey for some drama with white shelves. Luckily, that dark grey on the bottom half of the walls below was still in a can in the basement with the date on it – only three months old, still useable. I don’t want the cabinets to match the walls but I also don’t like the contrasting wall colors either. I plan to change the walls in the future, perhaps white on the bottom with moulding. For now though, I’ll deal with the matching since it saved a few bucks by using paint we already had.

When all was said and done I added in some of my favorite pieces – antique books and a Singer sewing machine. I wanted to change the handle on the bottom portion of the built ins but for the life of me could not get the knob off.  It had been painted over many many times and would not budge with razors, wrenches, you name it.  So I decided to wave the white flag and just spray paint it gold for now.  Maybe someday in the future I’ll wage a war on it again and have some luck.

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built ins before


Built ins


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