Hand Painting an Old Armoire

I know I say this a lot… but I am in love with yet another piece of furniture.  This antique armoire or Chifferobe is a turn-of-the-century piece that is well constructed and has many beautiful features.  Despite the fact that it was not in the best condition and has had some parts that were falling apart, it I still love that it has a mirror that is tillable, cedar in the tall cabinet part and gorgeous spindle legs.
A friend of mine was using it her charity store as a display piece and decided one day that she no longer needed it! Yay for me!! I love how serendipitously pieces find their way to me 🙂As this piece had never been painted before, I knew I wanted a chippy, well worn look to it when it was done so I decided to use milk paint for it’s recreation.  Milk paint can be a little bit harder to use than chalk paint or latex, but it creates a beautiful, antiquey feeling finish that is especially lovely when done.
I chose Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint in Linen as it would provide a creamy white backdrop for what I had in mind!Milk paint tends to go on thinner than latex or chalk paint so it took 3 coats before I got the coverage that I wanted.  After the 3rd coat, it still was not completely covered but it was a nice, mostly opaque colour.  You can see the difference between coat one and two in the above picture on the right.One of my favourite things about milk paint is the chippiness that you can achieve with it.  I used a bonding agent with the first coat as I didn’t want the entire piece to chip but it still did in some spots.  You can see that after the second coat, it began to chip slightly.Once the cabinet was the colour of Linen that I was pleased with, I began the process of hand painting a floral pattern on it.I chose Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint in Apron Strings for the flowers and used it both full strength (on the right) and mixed with some Linen (on the left) for highlighting.I lightly chalked out the basic design that I wanted to paint before I began.  This gave me a loose guideline to follow as I was painting and allowed me to centre the pattern the way I thought would complement the piece before beginning.Once the hand painted floral pattern was done, I used extra coarse sand paper to distress the piece to give it a well-worn, well-loved and well-aged look.I am a lover of details and believe that details make a piece extra special so I painted the bottom of each drawer and the bottom of the cabinet to add a special little pop of colour inside.After all of the painting and distressing were done, I finished the piece with a coat of hemp oil.  Hemp oil not only gives old wood a nice “drink” and finish but it helps to bring out the details of the distressing.I am amazed how completely transformed this piece was with just a little paint and hand painting!  What a difference a little bit of paint makes.


26 Comments on " Hand Painting an Old Armoire "

  1. Lisa

    I am not usually a fan of painted antiques BUT I love that piece! It looks so crisp and clean. Very beautiful!!

    1. Lisa

      Thanks Ruth. It wasn’t in the best condition before so if definitely needed an update. I don’t like antiques that are in good condition painted either and only every paint what is ready for the trash because no one wants it 🙂

  2. Lisa

    love this piece, i would love to feature if, if that would be ok please let me know,

    1. Lisa

      That would be wonderful Lauren, I don't mind at all 🙂 I just checked out your blog and love what you do – beautiful pieces! Lovely to meet you and will definitely start following your site.

    1. Lisa

      Thanks Jenna!

  3. Lisa

    Thanks go much for stopping by Coco! This was an especially fun one to work on 🙂 I have really enjoyed your website as well and will definitely be back to visit often.

  4. Lisa

    Wonderful handpainted detail on this gorgeous chifferobe Lisa!

    1. Lisa

      Thanks so much Brenda!

  5. Lisa

    Lisa, this is stunning! It's the perfect piece for milk paint. I love the way you added the hand painted flowers and added just the right amount of distressing. It's amazing. Thank you so much for linking this up to our Something to Talk About Link Party we can't wait to see what you have in store next week. This is a show stopper! Hugs, CoCo

  6. Lisa

    I saw you over on Something to Talk About. This is beautiful, your artwork is lovely!

    1. Lisa

      Thanks so much Jennifer!

  7. Lisa

    This is absolutely beautiful! Wonderful job and I'm so jealous of your painting skills!

    1. Lisa

      Thanks Denise! I do love to paint… probably too much 🙂 Oh who am I kidding, you can never love painting too much!!

  8. Lisa

    This is beautiful! You did a great job with the flowers too! Thanks for sharing at Something To Talk About Link Party!

    1. Lisa

      Thanks Angie!

  9. Lisa

    How beautiful! I found you through Something To Talk About Party. I have an old chifferobe that belonged to my grandmother that I look at all the time and think about painting. I've never thought of using milk paint.
    You did an amazing job of this piece.

    1. Lisa

      Chifferobes such a beautiful piece of furniture! You will have to tackle the paint job one of these days 🙂

    1. Lisa

      Thanks so much!

  10. Lisa

    This is so pretty. I really like redesign and this is almost a miracle. Love the flowers you added.
    I am stopping by from the Much Ado About Monday Party.
    /Charlotte – My Green Nook

    1. Lisa

      Thanks so much Charlotte! I love painting flowers… even in the dead of winter in Canada they help it to feel a little cheerier 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

    1. Lisa

      Thanks so much Sharon!

  11. Lisa

    This is so pretty! I found you from MMS Friday furniture party!

    1. Lisa

      Thanks so much Christy and thanks for stopping by 🙂

Leave a Comment...