DIY: Painted armoire for neutral nursery

March 2, 2016

This piece (and post) is pretty special for me as it's the first piece of furniture I've refinished for someone else's home!

Our sweet friends, N and S, recently became parents to the most adorable baby girl and when they asked me to refinish a gorgeous (but dated!) armoire, I jumped at the chance to create something totally unique for them!

N told me that the armoire belonged to his grandfather and I definitely understood the sentimental value of giving it another life (having just reupholstered my grandfather's bedroom bench).

The piece was beautiful; sturdy and solid...but totally wrong for their sophisticated, sweet nursery. Baby Y has a gorgeous light grey crib and dresser but since we couldn't get the exact color info I decided to paint the armoire to coordinate instead of being matchy-matchy.




When I say this armoire is solid, it's no joke! That thing was not going anywhere so I refinished it in their nursery.

{so, naturally, it took me an eternity. they might've started joking that it was my room instead of Baby Y's. S + N, Thanks for being so patient with me!}

To start, I took off the doors, drawers and old hardware. The armoire was in great condition so I only had to fill a few little holes with wood filler.


{I love this one}


The instructions say to apply with a putty knife, but I just use my finger to push a little into the holes making sure to wipe it in all directions and then use another finger to wipe up the excess.
{i know, i'm basically a caveman...}
 After it dries completely, a little light sanding is all it needs.

I love using chalk finish paint for painting inside and since this piece wasn't going anywhere it was our best option here. I have been wanting to try out Lowe's in-house brand, Valspar's, new 'chalky finish paint' and this was the perfect opportunity.




 I chose the color 'Kid Gloves' for the majority of the armoire. In the recessed trim detail and recessed drawer panels I mixed the 'Kid Gloves' with some Americana Decor chalky finish paint (in 'Relic') that I had on hand to mimic the light grey of the crib/dresser and tie the armoire in with the other furniture.

 {I love this brand also - here in 'Relic'}


I really liked the Valspar paint. It went on nicely and evenly and has excellent coverage.


To avoid brush strokes, after I brush the paint on I use these foam rollers to smooth out the coat and to make sure the paint is applied evenly.



{making progress!}


{cabinet doors reattached!}


Time to start the grey accents! This part took a looong time.


The straight parts I was able to tape off, the rest of it I free-handed ever so carefully using a super tiny craft paintbrush for the edges and a slightly larger one to fill in the middle. I like these brushes:




{I used the smallest one - second from the left - for the edges and the left-most one to fill in the middle}


That grey accent seriously took me 3 hours (spread out over several days to allow for drying). It was tedious but well worth it - I love the way it came out!
{and I also learned that had I gone to med school, I would've been the worst surgeon ever. my hands were shaking like crazy from gripping the tiny craft paintbrushes and intense concentration.}

Once the cabinets were finished, it was time to start on the drawers. They were definitely easier since I could tape most of the edges!






{all painted!}


After everything was painted, I applied the sealing wax coat. I brushed it on in small sections with a 2 in" brush, let it sit for a minute or two and then wiped away any noticeable excess.

After letting the wax coating dry overnight, I added the new hardware.


I absolutely love the knobs S chose: these for the cabinets and these for the drawers.
{Hobby Lobby is a magical place, N! #sorrynotsorry}





 {After! What a transformation!}


I love how it came out and I know that N and S love having such a unique and personal piece for Baby Y's nursery! N and S, it was such an honor giving new life to a piece that will (hopefully) be with y'all for along time. Thank you for such an amazing opportunity and I hope you love it as much as I do!



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