I added feet, skirting, a drawer, and gave this china cabinet makeover a fresh coat of paint and stain to take it from “Blah” to “Blam!”

Good morning sweet friends!

It’s been a dog’s age since I’ve posted a furniture makeover on the blog hasn’t it?

Time to rectify that!

This cabinet was advertised as a “library” when I bought it from auction.

China cabinet

It came with three shelves, but no feet or legs to keep it off of the ground?

At $20, I wasn’t going to quibble – I couldn’t build a cabinet like this for $20 – but I could certainly add feet.

I googled “how to add legs to furniture” and “how to add feet to furniture” and all of my search results came up with face plates to add purchased feet to whatever it is you want to update.

That wasn’t quite what I was looking for.  I was hoping for a simple way to build your own feet and attach them.

Since I couldn’t find anything, I decided to share with you my version of “how to add feet to furniture”.

I decided to bring my cabinet 3″ up off the floor – you can go bigger or smaller – the concept remains the same.

Cut (4) 3″ x 3″ squares out of ¾” scrap wood.

Cut (4) 2 ¼” x 3″ pieces out of ¾” scrap wood

Alternatively – if you are going to stain your feet, then cut (8) squares at 3″ x 3″ and cut a 45º bevel on each piece.

how to add feet to furniture

On each piece of wood, mark 1″ down on one side, and then 1 ½” in from the side attached.  (see above). The 1 ½” section will be the part that touches the floor and the 1″ section will be where you start your mitre cut.

Cut your boards on the line you’ve just drawn.

Pair up a 3″ wide piece with a 2 ¼” wide piece to give you two parts to a corner.  One piece is narrower because it will butt up against the 3″ piece and then both sides will appear to be 3″ wide.

If you went with the 45º bevel cut, line up your cut sides to give a perfect, mitred corner.

Mark the inside of each foot for a pocket hole.  By setting the pair up together, you can make sure you don’t drill a pocket hole in the section that they overlap. It will also help you to ensure that you have two right corners and two left.

how to add feet to furniture

Drill one pocket hole in each board, then glue and clamp the pieces together.  Check to make sure that you have two left corners and two right before gluing.

how to make feet for furniture

Attach your feet to your furniture piece with the corresponding pocket screw.  Since I was attaching ¾” thick wood into a ¾” thick base, I used 1 ¼” pocket screws and a bit of wood glue to reinforce.

how to add feet to furniture


how to add feet to furniture

To finish the look of the feet, I suggest adding a “skirt” to your piece.  In my case it was a 1″ piece of wood that lined up with the 1″ section of each foot.  This gives you a more professional and streamlined look.  I attached the skirting on 3 sides with wood glue and finishing nails tapped in from the bottom up into the cabinet.

Fill in an visible nail holes and gaps in the seams:

how to add feet to furniture

Once the wood filler is dry, sand the feet and the skirting smooth.

how to add feet to furniture

Above you’ll notice that I added a drawer to my china cabinet makeover…

I wanted a place to tuck away napkins, napkin rings, candles etc; items that don’t take up much space, but also don’t look great on display.  I won’t go into how to build a drawer in this post, but it is part of the makeover, so I thought I’d mention it.

China cabinet makeover, glass cabinet makeover


This “library” is made of chipboard with a wood veneer over top.  This means sanding it down and re-staining it wasn’t likely to be a success.  If I sanded just a skinch too much, I’d be through the veneer and then I’d have to paint to cover up the ugly chipboard.

I decided not to risk it and gave the cabinet a light sanding, just to rough up the surface and remove any layers of furniture polish, then primed it and added two coats of Benjamin Moore Advance formula paint in Black Beauty.

China cabinet makeover, glass cabinet makeover

The drawer and shelves were stained with the same custom stain that I used to refinish my dining room floors.

China cabinet makeover, glass cabinet makeover


China cabinet makeover, glass cabinet makeover

I LOVE how it turned out!!


The depth of the cabinet is 13″ and the diameter of my Christmas chargers is 14″. 🤦🏻‍♀️ 

I’ll use this china cabinet makeover for now, but will have to sell it off eventually and create a better storage solution that will fit everything I had intended it to.

China cabinet makeover, glass cabinet makeover

It’s okay, I still haven’t replaced my baseboards from when I refinished my dining room floors, so the original plan to make built-ins might still come to fruition.

China cabinet makeover, glass cabinet makeover

China cabinet makeover, glass cabinet makeover

China cabinet makeover, glass cabinet makeover

$20 plus paint – not too shabby if I do say so myself!

Have a great one!