With a fresh finish and simple inserts, you can turn an underused piece of furniture into a practical and hardworking solution for optimal storage.



Before the transformation, this massive bedroom armoire was nice and sturdy, but too dark and impractical for a small room. With many drawers, cupboards, and shelves, though, Carla Sayklay, of Vintage Chic Trading Co, thought it had a lot of potential for organized storage. All it needed was a new purpose.


First, the casework begged for a color update. To prepare a piece like this for painting, it’s a good idea to give it a thorough cleaning with TSP (trisodium phosphate) to remove dirt and degloss the surface. When it was dry, Carla painted the entire exterior with Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint in Paris Grey. Because the cabinet was so dark, it needed two coats.

She painted the trim, top, and center shelf in Old White and let dry completely.

Working in sections on the exterior, Carla rubbed on a thin layer of the clear wax and followed over it with very thin layer of dark wax. She used a soft cloth (an old t-shirt will do) to rub off the dark wax for a nice aged finish. In areas where the remaining wax looked a little too dark, Carla just put a little of the clear wax on a piece of cloth and wiped over the dark area to lift the dark wax to the desired patina.


To open things up a bit, Carla removed the inset door panels on the small cupboards and replaced them with ½-inch pewter poultry wire, securing it with staples. Then, for creative contrast, she painted the interiors of the small and long cupboards in 2 coats of Annie Sloan’s pretty Scandinavian Pink. She left these surfaces unwaxed.


The dining room is the perfect setting for the revamped armoire. The newly outfitted wardrobe section of the armoire stows an array of freshly pressed table linens that hang neatly from the rail on trouser hangers and keep the cloths fold-free. A shelf above stows cake pedestals.


A generously-sized retail wine rack from World Market fits perfectly into the other wardrobe space of the armoire. It’s large enough to hold enough sips for several dinner parties. The shelf above and drawer below hold additional service pieces and all the accessories any self-respecting sommelier could need.


Everything you’d want for a dinner party or get-together is at your fingertips in the multitude of drawers. Small baskets keep napkins and napkin rings tidy in one drawer while boxes sort candles by size in another. Wider drawers are ideal for stacking placemats, chargers, and flatware.

Have you renewed any tired furnishings lately? What’s your best “ta-da” or biggest “oops?”

Project and styling by Carla Sayklay, www.vintagechictradingco.com
Photos by Robert M Peacock

© Caruth Studio

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