Armoire Transformed Twice…Finishing Up with Chalk Paint

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This thrifty armoire transformed into a beautiful, blue, “aged” piece makes for a lovely storage AND statement piece.

This post has been updated 2/2023

But it looked like this when I found it…

wood armoire before paint

I’m sharing how an old armoire transformed can not only be a beautiful statement piece but can also provide much-needed storage, too!

dark blue armoire with yellow walls and green shutters beside it

I bought this armoire about 16 years ago at a consignment shop.

But it didn’t look like this when I bought it. Yeah…no.
And it didn’t look this way after I painted it…the first time.
Yes, I painted it twice. This armoire transformed…2 times. 

If you read my blog regularly you aren’t surprised, are you? (If you follow me on Instagram then you’ve already seen a snippet or two of this since I always post about things there long before they end up making it to the blog.)

Here is the “before”, the first color, and the “now”…forever paint.
Ha right. More like the “for -now” paint, right?? No, I can tell you, 10 years later, this one stuck!
EASY Aged Look with 3 Paints & 2 Waxes! Armoire transformed! #agedfinish #chalkpaintfurniture #bluefurniture

It had a natural-looking wood finish that didn’t seem to have any type of poly on it when I purchased it. I left it that way for 5 years when I decided I needed a statement piece in the room. And I suppose red really does make a statement.

So that’s what it got.

Except red was not the right color…as I found out after I painted it.
Kind of like the laundry room cabinets I also painted red. You might remember that. It was short-lived!!lol
Then as I was putting the doors back on realized …really quickly…that I hated it!
That was a fun week. ha!

Back down they came and I immediately repainted them. (this was last year, mind you…and I’m already planning a redo and repaint in that room as well. It’s gonna be great!) Edited- It’s done and it is! You can see the laundry room makeover here.

The armoire did stay red for almost a year until I decided what it needed.
Blue, of course!
My favorite color.

A color that I used to not really like at all in home decorating, however.
My home has gone from reds, maroons, golds and dark greens to a coastal feel with blues, teals, corals, whites, etc. Isn’t it funny how our tastes change?

I’m SO loving it and can’t wait to share my finished rooms with you all! (if you pay a bit of attention to the photos you’ll see some snippets of the changes we’ve made to this room…hint: the armoire is in the same location in all photos)
(edited: you can see “my rooms” now)

But first…this armoire’s story…

I painted it with regular latex first go-round. Distressed slightly, added some fun new funky knobs, and was done.

The second go-round got Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. It looks sorta like Aubusson Blue, doesn’t it?
But it’s not.
I mixed this color from 3 other colors trying to get something like this….my inspiration here:

blue candlestick

With these 3 colors:

3 cans of paint

All fabulous colors.
And yes, I have quite a lot of them.  I love to mix and they really do mix well into various shades of beautiful color.
As this was an older post, I no longer really use Annie Sloan paints. Nothing wrong with them at all, I have just moved on to other paint lines that I like better. (Fusion Mineral paint, for example, that I sell in my shop here)

NOTE: All “before” photos were taken with my old camera….” after” photos are taken with my new “big girl” camera (that I’m still learning how to use) and are more realistic color-wise. Also, this one was hard to photograph as the details (wax, color shading, etc) really pop out more in the photos than they do in real life. I painted this one before Christmas but had such a time photographing it that I waited until I purchased the new camera to post about it.

So here was the first “rendition”…of what I thought I wanted…

blue armoire with white top

But, um, NO.
Sometimes the creative process really is just that….a creative process.

The white top had to go.
Plus I thought the paint looked a little “flat” for the look I was after.

2 small dishes of blue paint
And even though the dark wax I was planning to add would create some dimension, I decided it needed more color-wise.
So I mixed up lighter and darker shades of the paint I had mixed to paint the base.
I then took 2 dry brushes and lightly dry brushed the 2 colors over the piece to give it some of that needed depth.

Want to see a VIDEO on exactly how to dry brush? All the ins and outs, here >>> “How To Dry Brush – Video


blue painted armoire

A little distressing…even better still.

blue armoire with sanded edges to distress

Top and bottom …with a clear coat of wax applied.

armoire doors up close

up close of door showing different wax and paint colors

Curious about chalk paint?? I wrote an entire post devoted to all the pros and cons of using it, here >>> “Pros and Cons of Chalk Paint For Furniture

blue armoire paint

Finished up with some clear wax and dark wax combined.
I mixed a large amount of the dark into some of the clear.
I didn’t want a “perfect” looking finish. I wanted lots of dark, dimension & depth.
I wanted this armoire transformed and for it to look aged.

I don’t use wax often anymore. I feel like there is a place for it at times (not often though!). But I can recreate this effect and look with glaze, stain, etc., without all the work that is involved when using wax. Here’s a new post that I recently shared of a table I did just that on.

I also added the stencil to the bottom section. I had originally planned to do it on the top too but just wasn’t feeling that.

Want to know about 26 other chalk style paints?
I’ve got the low down for you right here! >>> 26 Types of Chalk Style Paint For Furniture

Definitely got that aged look, didn’t I?!

armoire looking aged with stencil

Some close-ups…

up close of knobs

up close of details

up close of distressing

An armoire transformed, for sure.

EASY Aged Look with 3 Paints & 2 Waxes! Armoire transformed! #agedfinish #chalkpaintfurniture #bluefurniture

Lots of dimensions….with that wonderful aged appearance I love. Much better.
The red was nice but it was just way TOO bold. Not that this piece is not…it’s just bold in a different way.

PIN it to save it!

EASY Aged Look with 3 Paints & 2 Waxes! Armoire transformed! #agedfinish #chalkpaintfurniture #bluefurniture

So red, blue? What do you think? First better or last? Is anyone else as wishy-washy as me?
Nah, I love paint and to paint…and I love change, so this was not a chore to me.  Not really, okay maybe a little!! haha!

But I love when I’m finally on the right track and see it coming together finally.

Come back by next week to see these “shutters”….aka bi-fold doors! And what I did with them.

UPDATE!!! See them now, here!!

Have a wonderful week!


    1. Ha ha..yes always Kim! ;) But I actually did this one before Christmas. I could not get a decent picture of it with my old camera so I waited. Got a bit better picture with my new camera but still much to learn there. ;) And why yes, yes you do see B & B peeking through. Well sort of. It’s faux B&B that I will be posting about soon. :)

  1. LOVE the blue! I like red too but the blue is suiting you more right now. It’s just paint after all so I totally understand painting and repainting things to suit you! You know my motto – if you’re tired of it, paint it! :) You did a great job with this piece.

    1. Hi Sharon! Thank you so much. Haha yes the blue is suiting me more right now. You do know me friend! ;) And yes, I am so with you on the “it’s just paint”. My motto too…paint lover that I am! ;)

  2. You did an amazing mix job! I am way to color scared to mix like that, afraid I will hate it & will have wasted the paint. The blue is beautiful & the stencil work only at the bottom is perfect.

    1. Hi Ellen,
      Thanks so much! No need to be scared! It’s hard to “mess up”…especially if the “messed up” and old look is what you are going for. :) No wasted paint, it all works out in the end. Thanks for stopping by !:) xo

  3. I love the blue, fantastic job. I love the detail and explanation you gave too. Looking forward to your other projects.

    1. Hey Mandy! Thanks! Yes, blue is good!! ;) I didn’t use to think so but I’m a total “blue lover” now. If you don’t have anything with this color now can you just imagine something with this color in one of your rooms? ;) Nice little pop of color. Yes, I am a paint enabler.

      1. Yes, I love the color blue also. Another job well done. Can’t wait to see your other items you are working on.

    1. Hi Jeanie :) haha…thanks so much for that! ;) Glad I’m not the only one…knew I couldn’t be!

  4. That is one of my favorite painting tricks. Wow, this is by far the best version, it looks gorgeous. Don’t change it again!

    1. Hey Karen! Yes me too! I love mixing it up a bit sometimes. ;) And, lol, it will probably stay this way for awhile anyway.

    1. Thanks so much Cindy! I actually used 2 stencils to create this design. The main one (top and bottom of the design) is by “Laser Cut Quality” from Michael’s, Style #BLM-803-Damask Motif. The other (on each side) is also from Michael’s but I no longer have the packaging for that one. The stencil is blue plastic in color though. Hope that helps!

  5. This turned out great and I love how real you are in your post. Sometimes achieving the look we want has its trials and tribulations, haha. Gotta love the creative process :)

    1. Thanks Katie! :) Oh yes, so true!! Most of my pieces come together with much trial and tribulations. ;)

    1. Thank you Lynn! Yes, I do love the contrast of those colors against the new white woodwork. I’m betting it stays this way awhile too. ;)

  6. This is one of the most beautiful pieces I’ve seen on blogs lately. And a great tutorial as well! Feel free to share this on my blog. Oh, and I started following you. Lots of beautiful projects!

  7. Love the changes Nancy — it turned out fabulous! Pinning! Thanks so much for linking up to ITS PARTY TIME. xoxo

    1. Thank you Vanessa :) This shade is so lovely in person. It’s hard to capture it fully in my pictures. I had such a time trying to get it “life like”. Thanks so much for stopping by!

  8. Turned out gorgeous, Nancy…. I’m really getting sold on that Annie Sloan Chalk Paint!! I’ll have to try some one of these days, and I know just where to come for all my tutorials :) ~ Amy

    1. Thank you so much Amy! Yes, come over to the “chalk paint” side. ;) You definitely need to try it!

  9. Stunning, stunning, and more stunning! Love the blue! Can I ask a dumb question? {You are used to these from me by now, right? ;)} What is dry brushing? I hear people refer to it all the time, but I’m not exactly sure what it is. LOVE the effect it creates, though! Have a wonderful weekend, Miss Nancy!

    ~Abby =)

    1. Thanks friend! :) I love the blue too! Dry brushing is just that…using a dry paint brush and putting just a very light touch of paint on the bristles. Then lightly painting it onto your piece. (not using a lot of paint at all)
      Hope you are having a great weekend!

  10. Did you do any prep before you painted it with the chalk paint? I have always heard red was one of the hardest color to paint over. I just purchased an old dark red cupboard and if the color does not work out I will want to repaint it with chalk paint. What do you suggest?

    1. Hi Susan!
      No, I didn’t do any prep work at all before the Chalk Paint. I’ve painted over red several times. This armoire was red latex and this other one was Primer Red Chalk Paint (sideboard here–> I didn’t have a problem with coverage from either one with either color. I think you will be fine if you want to repaint it!

  11. What a transformation, looks lovely! I want to paint something similar but Annie Sloan paint isn’t cheap and easy to come by in Australia, how much paint did you use for 2 coats?

    1. Thanks!
      Gosh I don’t remember but it wasn’t much. The AS paint really does go a long way. You could create this look with a latex or milk paint though!


  12. It is beautiful! I love your positive attitude. Whenever I have to re-do projects, I often want to throw it away or rip it apart. Your patience is wonderful.

    1. OH thank you Debbie!
      Well, I’d probably throw away a lot then! I will be the first to admit that I have done my fair share of re-dos of first time fails!
      I think maybe I’m just stubborn. ;)

  13. Came across this on pinterest, and I have the same exact armoire! I have been hesitant to paint it, but this post has given me some serious motivation! Thanks!

    1. Hi Marybeth!
      Oh yes, do! I think you will love it painted. Mine sat unpainted for years….what a difference! :)

  14. Hi, I’m just in the middle of painting a very cheapo armoire. I’ve finished painting it a pale blue with paint left over from the room. So I came online looking for my next step and found your site. I already have a similar stencil which I had bought and never used, so your project is just perfect timing for me. My question-what kind of wax do you use to give it that depth? Brand and color please. Thanks so much. Joan

    1. Hi Joan,

      The wax I used was Annie Sloan’s clear and dark waxes. It is not really what gave this particular piece the depth however. It was the 3 paint technique that I did (mostly, the dark wax added a bit). I used several shades of the same color (lightened and darkened) and applied all three to give the piece dimension.
      Hope that helps! :)

    1. Thanks Lizzy!! I got on a red kick around that time. Just one statement piece but even that was too much. lol I also painted my laundry room cabinets red back then thinking I wanted to go bold! Bold it was. So bold that I don’t even think the paint was dry before I was repainting them off white (at the time)!! haha A paintbrush in my hand is sometimes dangerous!! ;) xo

  15. Love this post! And, yes, BLUE! Love how the red came out just a bit from the distressing, but then the natural shows through, too!

  16. LOVE it! You must have a lot of patience. I always want my paint dry NOW so I can continue working on it. Can’t wait to see the whole room.

    1. Thanks Robyn! :) I don’t really!! lol I am more like you said. I do have a dedicated hair dryer … for paint! ;) Have a great weekend! xo

  17. Oh my gosh! I adore this piece! My heart was thumping! I wanted so much to see the inside! You did a remarkable job on it and absolutely wonderful color!!!

    1. Aw thanks Rose!! :) The inside is a mess!! lol Well, not too bad. I keep my outdoor (plastic ware) dishes for summer cookouts and such and board games in the top half. The bottom half is gift wrap, ribbon, cards and tape. Very useful!! But I didn’t paint the inside. ;) xo

  18. I wasn’t following you in 2013 so this is the first time I’ve seen this. Love it! I mixed ASCH paint in Pure White with Cream to paint my builder-grade oak master bath vanity. I also used a stencil but I added a raised design by using vinyl spackling instead of paint. I planned t leave it all one color but I ended up carefully hand painting the raised design–twice!!–before I was happy with it.. I used the same technique with a different stencil in the main bath. The vanity is wider and tall enough that I could add legs for a furniture-look. This time I used a mix of Old White and Pure White and antiqued it with a mix of Scumble and a brown tone paint (Honfleur). The finish is darker than I had visualized but the antiquing accented the design beautifully and I love it! I used clear wax on both.

    1. Oh yay!! Yes, I like to share some of the oldies occasionally because I think that some of the newer readers might not have seen them. :) Your projects sound great! What a fun technique! I have some “spackling” type of stuff in a small jar that I’ve yet to use. It’s made to do just that, leave a raised area when used with a stencil. You’ve inspired me to pull it out and give it a go! :) xo

  19. No disrespect intended but I feel like the top two doors need something to balance the piece. Anyone else feels this way??

  20. It is beautiful. I am dying to try this with some of my furniture but am a novice. How did you do the distressing part of it.

    1. Thanks so much Janice! :) For the distressing on this one, I just used a fine finish sandpaper to rough the edges up a bit. Pretty easy to do! xo

  21. Hello Nancy,
    I think the blue is the BEST. It is your color palette. I clicked on the “laundry room” re-do…I was curious to see the red cabinets…but no?? Everything you did in there is pppppperfect.
    I just picked up an oak coffee table, that is a bit orangey and too shiny. I think when the weather warms up I am going to try the Gel Stain….like you did your stairway. Is it really that easy??? I am hoping!!! Would you recommend any else….I don’t want to strip it!!! Too much work. Just want a quick fix!!! It’s my third coffee table…I change my mind again!!!

    1. Hey Addie!
      I think so too!! :) Yes, the red cabinets only stayed for a day or so!! haha! I knew it was WRONG for that room. The other makeover you saw came years later.
      So, for your table, if it is shiny, be sure to lightly sand to remove the shine before doing any gel stain. You don’t always have to but I feel like it is just better practice. Yes, loved the stairs with it, so much easier than sanding those all down. I carry stain and finishing oils in my shop but they may not have enough coverage for you. Something like General Finishes Gel Stain might be a better option. And I totally get that change up, same!!! xoxo

      1. Thanx….on the table helps….when I saw your steps, I just couldn’t believe it could be that easy!!!..yay!! YES!!! this table is VERY shiny…so I will be knocking that down. xx
        PS…I am a February too!!! Tomorrow is my day!!! 02/24th!!

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