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DIY: Painted armoire for neutral nursery

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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