After: Finished! The cabinet was sanded and cleaned, then primed and given several coats of paint. I chose a very pale blue, just a shade darker than the walls in the sitting room/TV room. The shelves and inside backing are painted white and the shelves were given a protective varnish finish...such a nightmare but it does a good job protecting the surface! And the glass door?!...A complete pain in the ass! The glass is old and is seriously fragile and has razor sharp edges. Originally the glass was tacked in place with small nails and a strip of wood, but that wood broke when the glass was removed prior to painting, so a clear caulking was used to secure the glass in place. It looks okay from the outside (don't look too close), but the caulking is less than pretty on the inside. Oh, and heads up...it sounds pretty dumb, but if a drawer is already a little snug-fitting in the first place, 4+ coats of paint will NOT help the situation. I never thought about it until trying to get the drawer into the unit this morning...it did not come close to fitting. Two hours of planing and sanding (plus clean-up) later and the drawer fits...now for more touch up paint.
Unfortunately the cabinet didn't get done in time for Christmas (and the great dining room reveal!) but I am happy with how it turned out - even if it did take several months longer than anticipated! I now have a home for the china I received from my Nana several months back...it is so good to get things unpacked after all this time!