Thrift Store Chifforobe Makeover

Hello beautiful friends! This is my last reshare. I’ve actually been working on the rest of my Haul of Shame this week, so I’ll be back next week sharing what I did with those items!

Today I’m sharing this armoire, or more specifically…chifforobe, that I picked up at the thrift store for $75 a couple of years ago:

It was showing some age for sure, but I thought it was a steal at $75! I’ve included a few affiliate links so you can find the products I use.

I decided to reshare this one in particular because it shows that not everything always goes as planned!

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 had in mind when I chose to use milk paint. I felt so bad for doing this to this 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. It is a close match to DB Driftwood, mixed with about a third of Cotton.

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.

I don’t want to feel angry when I paint. I love painting furniture, so that was pretty much 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?

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 it looks clean 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! A friend of mine actually ended up purchasing it from my shop!

Here’s the next piece I painted, inspired by this armoire:

See the makeover of this little cutie HERE!

See ya’ll Tuesday with my Trash-to-Treasure friends and a brand new makeover! Have a great weekend!!



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  1. What a gorgeous little cupboard – perfect for a spare bedroom or even a nursery room 🙂 I can see how a perfect chippy look would’ve looked amazing – I’ve never used milk paint and I’m worried I wouldn’t like the finish on anything. I like the stripes on the inside drawers too. We can always rely on chalk paint can’t we? 🙂

    • Thank you, Petra! It really is such a great storage piece. And yes, I love my perfectly predictable chalk paint! XOXO

  2. Mary Kaiser says

    I remember that beautiful transformation when you did it, and your friend was so lucky to get it!!! I just love every transformation that you do, your the BEST!!

    • Thank you so much, Mary! I am so thrilled that my friend ended up with this piece! Enjoy your weekend! XOXO

  3. Love it now. Who needs the added uncertainty of how your paint is going to behave lol,

  4. Love the finish! I inherited an old buffet from my dads estate that I’m going to paint. My problem is, it has been sitting in my garage for around 10 months to try and let it air out. My dads second wife and her family were smokers and it has that ugly smell lingering in the wood. I’m afraid paint is not going to get rid of the smell. Do you think spraying it with the shellac would take care of it? I’m at a loss, and I know I can’t bring it into my house with it still smelling bad.
    Thank you for any advice.


    • Thank you, Vivian! Funny you should ask this today because this weekend I picked up a dresser that I didn’t realize had a smoke smell to it. I read somewhere a while back that a wipe-down with cheap vodka will remove the odor, so I am going to give it a go…just picked up a bottle of the ABC store’s least fine vodka to try it ha ha. I’ll let you know if it works, but yes, shellac should also seal in those odors. XO

  5. sharon austin says

    That turned out really cool! Looking forward to new projects next week. 🙂

  6. I love the chalk paint way better than the milk paint. It looks awesome! I also love how the top matches the interior. It all came together very nicely… =)

  7. I really like the contrast of the dark wood with the white paint. The inside is perfection!

  8. Mary Loveland says

    It is always fun reviewing your old projects, they are all great projects and it’s a good reminder of the “possibilities”. Thank You

    • I’m so glad you enjoy seeing the oldies too…I always think it’s a shame that most projects only get seen once and then get buried in my project gallery! Thank you, Mary!! XOXO

  9. Very pretty. I have felt the (only in my head) peer-pressure to try milk paint, but it seemed like such a hassle. Now I can tell myself it’s ok not to try it. 😉

    Did you free-hand the white decorative moulding? I have a piece that has moulding I could free-hand, but I’m afraid I’ll mess it up. I read to use a sea sponge.

    • Thanks, Lizzy! I have seen others have amazing results with milk paint, but I just haven’t been so lucky! The detail on this piece was flat, so I painted them in with a smaller brush, then I used a really small brush to touch up any areas that went over the lines. Good luck with yours! XOXO

  10. Testing!

  11. Cecilia from Georgia says

    I like to revisit past makeovers so this was great! Have a wonderful weekend!

  12. So gorgeous – and yes, I love the inside!! I’m so jealous of your thrift store finds…they’re actually affordable! The thrift stores in my area all charge an arm and a leg. 🙁 Anyway, I love what you do. Beautiful work!

    • Thank you so much, Becky!! Some of our thrift stores can be outrageous as well, but there are a couple that are very reasonable…I always stick with those! XOXO

  13. I liked how you showed it both ways and with the different products. What a big difference the chalk paint made. I love how you did the details too like the drawers inside. Pinning for inspiration.

  14. Beautiful! I trash-picked a similar wardrobe a while ago; it’s been sitting in the garage waiting for me to get to it. This has me excited to start (but I think I’ll stay away from the milk paint!).

    • Thanks, Kelsey! What a lucky find for you!! Yes ha ha…milk paint has not been so kind to me! Good luck with yours! XOXO

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