Armoire Makeover

Hey there sweet Friends! I am back today with my Furniture Fixer Upper girls, and we are all sharing furniture flips! I am excited to see what my friends have transformed. Look for their projects at the bottom. 🙂

I’m sharing an armoire I picked up at the thrift store for $75 a couple of months ago.

You may remember this photo I shared on my Facebook page when I found it:

It was showing some age for sure, but a steal at $75!

I’ve included a few affiliate links so you can find the products I use.

I thought this might be the perfect piece for milk paint. Wouldn’t it be so pretty with a perfectly authentic looking chippy finish that milk paint is so famous for?

Like this:

What? You don’t like it?

Ah milk paint…I love you and I hate you.  These were photos I sent to my Mom while I was working on it. It continued to flake off way more than I liked.

This definitely was NOT the perfectly chippy finish I was imagining  in my head. I felt so bad for doing this to my pretty armoire. It was also bleeding through and just looked old and dirty.

So I sanded the doors back down:

Then I coated them in spray shellac, and pulled out my perfectly predictable chalk paint instead:

Armoire painted in Annie Sloan French Linen and Pure White

Ah better. This is Annie Sloan chalk paint in French Linen mixed with about a third of Pure White.

I have very mixed emotions about milk paint. Although I do love the subtle chippy look it can create and I really wanted for this piece, I just don’t like the unpredictable nature of it. I may have cursed while painting this. Ok I did curse. A lot. (Don’t tell my kids.)

I don’t want to feel angry when I paint. I love painting furniture, so I think that’s the end of me and milk paint.

I painted the decorative details on the doors and the legs in the front white:

I sealed the outside with Annie Sloan’s clear soft wax. See my tutorial for painting furniture with chalk paint HERE.

The inside of this armoire is my favorite:

Armoire painted in Annie Sloan French Linen and Pure White

It was in beautiful condition, and had absolutely no odor, so I just gave it all a quick spray of shellac to freshen up the finish.

Then I painted the drawer fronts.

Armoire painted in Annie Sloan French Linen and Pure White

I love the contrast. Wouldn’t this be great in a guest room so your guests could have a place to unpack their suitcase? (Me: Wouldn’t it be great to have a guest room??)

Armoire painted in Annie Sloan French Linen and Pure White


Armoire painted in Annie Sloan French Linen and Pure White from

I decided to sand down the top and stain it in Minwax Dark Walnut to match the inside…

Armoire painted in Annie Sloan French Linen and Pure White

(See more on how I stain wood HERE.)

I reused the original hardware. I gave it a coat of chalk paint and sanded, then waxed…

Armoire painted in Annie Sloan French Linen and Pure White


Armoire painted in Annie Sloan French Linen and Pure White

It may not have the delicate chippy finish I was longing for for this piece, but it looks pretty and well-cared for now.

Armoire painted in Annie Sloan French Linen and Pure White

One more peek at the inside…

Armoire painted in Annie Sloan French Linen and Pure White


Armoire painted in Annie Sloan French Linen and Pure White from

It ended up being more work than I bargained for, but I’m really pleased with the results!

Here’s what my friends are making over today…follow the links below the image to see the afters:

1. Girl in the Garage

2. Petticoat JUNKtion

3. Prodigal Pieces

4. Just the Woods

5. Interior Frugalista

Can’t wait to see them myself!

Check out all my previous Furniture Fixer Upper posts HERE.

I’ll be back on Tuesday sharing the makeover of this sweet little piece:

Have a great Holiday weekend! 🙂

UPDATE: Bam! No need to wait…check out the makeover of this little cutie HERE now!



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  1. Mary Kaiser says

    LOVE, LOVE, LOOOOOOVE this piece!! That turned out amazing, so glad you didn’t like the milk paint finish. Round 2 turned out so much better. I would find room in my already to full house for that piece. Some times I find that a few curse words make the project turn out so much better, as is the case with this piece, BEAUTIFUL!!

    • Thank you, Mary! I’m so glad you like it! It end result was worth all the cursing ha ha! XOXO

  2. Oh Christy! The armour turned out gorgeous! I love a piece with the dark wood and white paint. I’ve been planning to paint some side tables white and stain the tops dark.

  3. Melva Kroll says

    I’m new to your blog! Hello! Did I see butterfly’s near the doorknobs? If so, and it’s not my very early in the morning eyes I would loved for you to have kept them. The piece is still beautiful!

    • Hi Melva! Welcome and thank you! It looked like there may have been butterfly stickers on the doors at one time, but they had been removed when I found it. You can see where they were because so much dirt had accumulated around them! XO

  4. Christina in FL says

    Christy, this armoire turned out beautifully. I was kind of expecting a graphic on each or across the doors. She is pleasantly chic in her white adornments. Love the mix of the two colors and her white legs. 🙂
    As for milk paint, I thought it worked best on raw wood or with an acrylic primer of sorts on items with a finish presently in place. If I have to “prime” a piece, it’s getting painted with chalk paint. :))))
    You, yours and your readers have a great Memorial Day weekend also.

    • Thanks, Christina! You know me so well…I would have definitely added a graphic to the doors had it not already had the white spade-looking pieces carved into the doors. I thought it might have been too busy? Yeah, girl…if I gotta prime, forget it ha ha! Have a great weekend! XOXO

  5. Great restore on an old, beat up piece! I so agree with you about milk paint. The “perfect” flake is so hard to achieve and I honestly think it works best on really primitive pieces without a whole lot of detail. Did you use Miss Mustard Seed’s paint? It works pretty well and there are additives to keep the flake more limited. Chalk paint is reliable, distresses easily and there are few surprises! Though I usually make my own version of “chalk” paint, I recently picked up several jars of Buttercream that was discontinued at Joann’s. I am really sorry they discontinued it because it is fabulous!

    • Thank you, Suzan! I did use MMS and I have the bonding agent, but I wanted it to chip…just not so much. I’m sure if I practiced more, I would know how to use it better, but I don’t have time for that ha ha! Buttercream sounds like a beautiful color…sorry it was discontinued. Have a great weekend! XO

  6. I loved the chippy! And I love the new look too. I totally get why you changed it up as it isn’t for everyone. You tried and made it fabulous. Great save!!

    • Thanks, Larissa! If it hadn’t of chipped so much on the bottom left door, I might have been okay with it, but it was just a bit too much for me. Glad its done ha ha! XOXO

  7. This turned out so pretty. I like the detail on the inside. I use Old Fashioned Milk Paint and they have a product called Extra Bond if you don’t want a chippy look. I love working with their paint. In full disclosure, I am an Old Fashioned Milk Paint Brand Blogger but it is a great product and you can get all kinds of looks. I hope you will give it a try.

    • Thanks, Debra! I only used the milk paint because I did want it to chip, and since this piece didn’t have any shine left to it at all on the outside, I thought it would chip perfectly here and there. Unfortunately it chipped just too much for my liking. Maybe I’d like the Old Fashioned Milk Paint? I may give it a go some day, but not for a while ha ha! Have a great weekend! XOXO

  8. Sandra powell says

    This is a stunning makeover Christy, ????Love the inside how you did it , it adds so much character! As usual great job!!!

  9. Jamie Kennemer says

    Ooh lala❤️❤️ Beautiful! Love love the stripe drawers!

  10. It turned out so great! I love that you even added the detail of the striped drawers on the inside.


    • Thank you so much, Nancy! I love that surprise on the inside too. 🙂 Have a great weekend! XOXO

  11. Marcie Lovett says

    Wowee wow. What a beauty! I started off thinking “Christy has lost her mind, paying $75 for a cabinet.” Then the big reveal of the interior – not a cabinet. It was a headache (and a learning experience!) but now it’s just marvelous. Good investment and great result!

    • Thanks, Marcie! Ha ha…yep it’s really pretty and functional inside! I’m glad I kept going and got her done! Enjoy your weekend! XOXO

  12. Sherry Stuifbergen says

    I couldn’t figure out WHY you put the white accent on doors…until you showed us the inside. I love the stripes on the drawers inside. I guess I was expecting a “stencil” on the doors or something. Yes how do you control the chipping. Too much work to redo but YOU did it. A wonderful find and I take it, you are not keeping it but selling it. Your booth is a nice outlet to “feed” your “habit.” Thank you. again for a great post.

    • Ha ha you know me well, Sherry! I definitely would have added a graphic of some sort to the doors if it didn’t have that inverted spade-looking detail carved on the doors. I thought it might be too much to do any more. I will be selling this one, and yes my booth is the perfect way to feed my habit ha ha! Have a great weekend! XOXO

  13. ColleenB. says

    Fabulous! Like the finished make-over; just enough white to show off the piece instead of having all one color.

  14. Really beautiful. Good to know about milkpaint. I love chalk…

    • Thanks, Lisa! I know others have had great success with it, I just don’t think that look is for me! I’m sticking with chalk paint! 🙂

  15. I haven’t used milk paint before. I’m like you- I like the chippy finish it gives but have heard it’s unpredictable. All in all, your piece turned out beautifully. Even if it’s not what you initially wanted. Love. Wonderful makeover!

    • Thank you, Cecilia! I have used it a handful of times, and it either chips too much or not enough. I do love that look that others seem to be able to get! XOXO

  16. I hear you re: your love-hate relationship with milk paint. I started refinishing furniture exclusively with milk paint until I discovered chalk paint. If you add bonding agent to the mixed paint, I promise you can control the chippiness. I love how you painted the interior drawers with your signature stripes – a happy surprise waiting inside! The armoire turned out beautiful, Christy, despite all the headaches. Pinned 🙂

    • Thank you, Marie! Yeah I either get too much chipping or not enough. And honestly, the whole having to mix a batch as you go is for the birds ha ha! Have a great weekend! XOXO

  17. Wow, this turned out great! Sometimes a choice word or two can speed the process along…ha! The old farmhouse I grew up in had only one closet and there was a chiffarobe in my room that I used. Speaking of the farmhouse, it bore no resemblance whatsoever to the current “farmhouse style”.

    • Thanks, Donna! Yes a little cursing is necessary sometimes to get through it ha ha! I bet your old farmhouse was a great place to grow up! XOXO

  18. Totally gorgeous, Christy! I SO agree with you on the milk paint, which is exactly why I haven’t tried it yet. I want to be in control of what my paint does, LOL. How lucky that this piece was in perfect condition on the inside. I’m sure it will sell fast! xo

    • Thank you, Jen! What was most frustrating is that it is not cheap and I used an entire bag of it on this piece. I didn’t have enough to redo it in the milk paint even if I had wanted to. For the same cost in chalk paint, I can paint several furniture pieces… will be sticking to that ha ha! Have a great weekend! XOXO

  19. oh it is delightful and I glad you went with the chalk paint. I am still loving the painted piece with the stained top.

  20. Julie Briones says

    Okay… when I read ‘milk paint’, I may have actually let out a tiny gasp. And, my eyes may have gotten as big as saucers! LOL! Then I saw what was happening and I was sad, but knew there was a lot more to the post, so I calmed myself down. YAY!!!! You went back to your style, and I love it! Love the contrast between the wood and paint, too! Lovely! What a roller-coaster-of-emotion-type post! Whew!

    I too have a love-hate relationship with milk paint. I love it for the style that it gives to farmhouse homes… at least some of them. But, I’m realizing I can appreciate it SO much on Miss Mustard Seed’s blog, but then be happy and realize that I think I’m definitely more of farmhouse/coastal cottage style. 🙂

    • I am right there with you…this piece just looked old and dirty to me. I think I prefer a piece that looks like it has been cared for ha ha. Oh well…maybe I will try it on a smaller piece some day…in the way distant future! Have a great weekend, Julie! XOXO

  21. Nancy Walden says

    I love the armoire! I used chalk paint to update my dining room furniture. I never did figure out why a couple of spots on the top on the lower section of my hutch wouldn’t take the paint. I bought it new and it had always been covered by the hutch top so I wasn’t expecting some spots to bubble and peel. I sanded it down and used Kilz primer before painting it again. It was frustrating to have to stop mid-project to go buy primer, etc. but at least it worked!

    • Thanks, Nancy! Nothing worse than having something go wrong mid-project. Glad you were able to resolve your issue with your hutch, I bet the set is lovely! I’m glad I have this blog to keep me working…otherwise I might have pushed this into a corner and moved on to something else ha ha! XO

  22. You should move to LA and be a stylist for the studios. You have the touch.

    • Aww you are sweet, Bonnie, thank you! Wouldn’t that be a fabulous job?? 🙂

  23. Hi, love your finished product. I shake my head at all the milk paint stories of things not going right, and the expense of it all. I painted furniture and sold it for over 15 years, vintage and new and never had some of these issues. Thanks for an honest post of what really happens. Your results are great, and I’m sure all the effort will be worth it. Thanks for sharing, Sandi

    • Thank you, Sandi! I’ve seen beautiful results with milk paint and even had some success with it myself in the past, but it is just too unpredictable. It created a lot of extra work for me on this piece and time is money! Have a great weekend! XOXO

  24. JaneEllen says

    I was thinking after seeing inside that your piece was meant to be a chif-a-robe. Only thing missing is mirror on outside of door which covers the closet area. Your save of this piece while frustrating to you, turned out as was meant to be finally. So glad you started again to give piece the finish it needed, is very lovely. How I would love to have your piece. What a gorgeous piece you made it into as it deserved.
    Enjoy your weekend

    • Thank you, JaneEllen! You are right, this is a chifferobe, and I probably should have called it that. I’m glad too that I stuck with it and now it’s done! Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend! XOXO

  25. Wonderful job! Lovely!

  26. Christy, I’m feeling a little furniture envy:) This is such a great score and I LOVE the striped drawers inside. I can’t tell you how many projects I have re sanded, uugh. But, its all worth it in the end. Your final product turned out gorgeous!

    • Thank you, Jeralyn! It was a total bummer to have to sand this back down, but I’m glad in the end that I did! XO

  27. The new paint job is better! I love the lacy items inside!

    • Thanks, Rose! It was a bit of trouble to sand it back down, but I agree…much better now! 🙂

  28. Sandi Biquet says

    Hi Christy,
    Sorry the milk paint didn’t work for you on this project. I love the way it turned out. Your hard work paid off. I also like the painted drawers. It adds some interest to the dark interior. It’s a great piece for a Guest Room or perhaps a child’s room.

    • Thank you, Sandi! I love the chippy look, just not when it is way too chippy! The painted drawers are my favorite, a little surprise when you open the cabinet. XOXO

  29. Tracey Martin says

    This turned out AMAZING! Especially the inside. You have such VISION. I love the super chippy look, but in this case, I’m really glad you went with Plan B. 🙂

  30. Love the stripes! I find that whenever I shellacked a piece to prevent bleed through, milk paint chipped like crazy. Now anything requiring the shellac treatment gets painted with chalk paint.

    • Thanks, Melissa! I didn’t shellac it first because I knew that would cause the milk paint to chip too much, but then I got too much chipping anyway AND bleed through. It was a hot mess ha ha! I think I’ll be sticking to chalk paint for a while! 🙂


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