…how to paint inlay

Older pieces have interesting and beautiful details – at least if you are lucky they do! This china cabinet is no different and the inlay needed to be treated with delicasty just like the vintage glass that I did a video short on.



You can see that here.

I know some of you have asked how I painted this inlay. Very carefully. Sometimes a feature like this will just be nailed into a frame. I have also seen it where it is in between two pieces of glass, which can be a bit trickier.

The first thing you need to do is to carefully extract the inlay. Typically, this decor piece is very delicate and made of thin wood. It can snap easily so go slowly. This particular inlay was attached with very tiny nails.


I then put the inlay on a surface to paint both sides. You want to make sure that you paint both sides because you will see the inlay when the door is open and when it is closed.



Hold the inlay flat so it will not bend and break. You will want to feather on the paint so it will will take about 3 coats. Here is one coat. You can see that it needs at least another.


When you return the inlay into its position you will want to use the same nails so save them in a safe place! Carefully hammer into place. I will show you how I go about painting inlay in a piece that has glass on both sides once I tackle this cabinet below. (She is still looking for a good home BTW.)


If you are careful in the end you will have a beautiful piece.



  1. Melissa Spence says:

    Lovely piece! I have a similar piece…no inlay tthough that I would like to paint . Is this French Linen with Old White interior? Contemplating French Linen or Paris Grey. Have used FL on chest of drawers and love it! Have thought of cutting FL with Old White for a slightly lighter version. Thoughts?

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