Armoire: Shabby Chic & Fantastique REVEAL

This week marks the one year anniversary of Novo Decor Co. and today's post is a GREAT way to kick off the week!  It's reveal time for Sara and Brian's armoire!  Love reveals! 

The Story

I met Sara and Brian this past winter during our sons' hockey season.   Sara asked me to take a look at an armoire they wanted to use in their guest bedroom.  Since their guest room has no closet, the piece would be perfect for serving that purpose. Sara and Brain recognized it's potential for great storage, but they also knew it needed a new look!  Here's what Sara said about that:

"We thought of painting it ourselves but just don't have the time right now."

And that's when Sara reached out to me!  Finding the time is often a barrier that gets in the way of tackling projects like this!  Maybe you can relate?  The good news is, there is a solution.  I was happy Sara and Brian sought my services to help them achieve their goal.  

 Here is what the piece looked like before I started working on it: 

Serving a variety of storage purposes over the years, and surviving four military moves, this armoire has made its way to Sheboygan, where Sara and Brian currently live. They wanted to blend all their things when they moved in together, and this armoire was something they knew they could definitely use. 

The new look?  Sara knew what she wanted:  Cream color, shabby chic.  Based on that request, I drafted up two ideas and two price points.  Sara and Brian chose an option, and less than a week later the piece was shipped over to our place (thank you Brian!). 

The Process

The piece was purchased from a "naked" furniture store.  It was natural pine.  Since shabby chic was the desired look, layering with paint was necessary.  The piece had to be primed and painted in a darker color FIRST.  This had to be done to create the base (darker) layer, so that when the cream colored paint was painted over it and sanded, the darker color would show through.   Here is how that looked.....

from "naked" to shabby chic......

1. Prime the sections that will be painted in the darker color. Why prime?  Priming helps adhere paint to wood.  That way as you sand away the cream colored paint, the darker color will remain.  I also primed the interior (shelves) before applying the paint.  The interior of the piece was not distressed, but simply painted using the same cream paint as the exterior. 

2.  Paint over the primed sections with the darker paint (two layers)

3.  Lightly sand to create a smooth surface

4.  Apply Vaseline to edges and any areas where the darker color is desired (when you sand the cream colored paint, these are the areas where the darker color will show through)

4.  Begin application of the cream colored chalk paint.  (light and fast strokes). Sand.  Paint a second layer, sand. Continue layers until desired coverage is achieved.

more painting and sanding....

5.  Once the piece was evenly covered in the cream chalk paint, distressing came next.  I used a fine grit 220 sand paper to lightly sand the entire piece, with more aggressive sanding (still using fine grit paper, but applying more pressure when sanding) to achieve additional distressed sections.   The areas where the Vaseline was applied sanded off easily and quickly. 

6.  Wipe down the entire piece with tack cloth, or a clean lint-free cloth to remove all dust from sanding.  The surface must be free of particles for the next step which involved application of protective topcoat. 

This armoire could very possibly provide shelter for 3 small mammals, maybe 4.  Reminds me of a cabinet I painted last year.....that post to come! 

This armoire could very possibly provide shelter for 3 small mammals, maybe 4.  Reminds me of a cabinet I painted last year.....that post to come! 

and finally the last step....

7.  Apply Polycrylic.  Polycrylic is a protective topcoat necessary for preventing finger prints, scratches, and marks on your painted surface. Two coats is recommended.  I waited 24 hours between layers of topcoat.  

Steps 1-7 were also done to the doors, which I detached from the armoire before beginning the project.  After the whole piece was painted with topcoat, it was time to re-attach the doors and all the hardware!  Tip:  Always label your hardware so you know what goes where!  Re-attaching hardware in new locations can make a difference in how doors close, or even line up! You may have to purchase new hardware if the original pieces are in poor shape. 

For an added touch, the drawers were lined.  I also painted the backdrop and drawers of the piece in a different color, for some contrast.  

Glass knobs replaced wooden ones....

Shabby Chic & Fantastique! 

The piece looks new, fresh, and different.  Just what Sara and Brian were looking for.  Thank you so much guys for asking me to do this for you!  Hearing what you had to say about your new piece puts a giant smile on my face..........

"We love the armoire!  What an amazing transformation!" 

"We were excited to have you do it for us"

"We are more than impressed!"

Are you contemplating a painting project?  Get started at the link below!

13 Must-Have Staples for your next Painting Project