Friday, March 18, 2011

White Shabby Chic Armoire - Another Trash to Treasure Project (Part 1 )

Well hello all!!!!  I haven't posted in almost a week- I have been super busy.  First of all, I've been interviewing for a new job.  After being off for one year, I've decided to go back to work.  While I love being home and looking after my husband and home, and working on lots of projects, I really miss the
 day-to-day social interaction with others.  And where is this new job?  Well, probably the best place for a
 do-it-yourself junky : Home Depot.  I will be on there Merchandise Execution Team, if I am selected after my second interview next week.  It's looking very good though.  I'll keep you all posted.

Secondly, I've been busy with my next trash-to-treasure transformation project- a White Shabby Chic Armoire.  As I mentioned a few weeks ago, my husband found a vintage wood armoire/wardrobe out for garbage ,at the end  of a neighbours driveway.  This along with some other furniture items came home with me to be transformed.  I've been wanting a new armoire for my bedroom for years now, and have been living with a slightly out-dated almond gloss armoire from the late 1980's.

Here's what the armoire in our bedroom looks like now:

As you can see ,it's far from the Shabby Shic/Vintage Cottage style that I love.

Here are some pictures of the type of armoire I long for in my" boudoire".

Love the beadboard panels on this one.

This one has some great distressing.

This one also has some great vintage cottage detail.

I love the cut out detail at the bottom of this piece.

My dream armoire wouold have some of the elements from all these pieces, so I was really excited when my husband found this piece.  It's vintage wood, in fairly good shape, and just perfect for a Shabby Chic paint and distressing make-over.  Here's what the little gem looked like before:

See the nice panels already there, just waiting for bead-board inserts.  And a lovely cut-out bottom

The mirror was just barely in place with masking tape and a few small nails. Very easy to remove and replace with...........? ( I'll keep you in suspense for now).

There was only one  itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny problem with my new treasure.  It kind of has a funky, old-wood smell.  Not really musty, and there was no mold in it.  But just a little something unpleasant lurking in those wood pores.  So I did somne research on the good old internet for possible solutions- Some suggested a vinegar and water wipe-down( this didn't work).  Still another suggested a weak bleach and water
 wipe- down ( this sort of worked, but I still smell a lingering old, sour odour)- does anyone know what I mean.  I just don't want to put my clothes in there until I resolve this. Yet another source suggested sprinkling a mixture of baking soda and coffee grounds over the bottom of the shelf and inside the wardrobe and leaving it overnight.  I tried this, and I really smelled coffee in the morning (better then the other odour), but after I vacuumed out this concoction and did the sniff test, I could still smell it.  It seems better, but still not good enough.  So I think I am going to go with the most drastic solution, which is to seal the entire surface with varathane when I'm done.  Let's cross our fingers and toes, and hope this works.  If anyone out there in Blog-land has a solution, please let me know.

                                                             And let the transformation begin:


First I washed the whole thing down with TSP.  Followed by all  the above suggestions for neutralizing the odour.  This has been an ongoing process for a week.

Add decorative wood applique's to the four front corners of the piece.

Remove mirror, making sure you snap it in half while your at it ( no blood was shed).

Cut and glue bead-board paneling into the insets.  The wood was too thin for the smallest finishing nail
 (3/8 ") and extremely  hard  so I ended up using a staple gun and 1/2 inch heavy duty staples.  I did this very close to the edge as I'm, going to trim the edges.

This was my first attempt at using bead-board, and it turned out pretty well.

I bought a piece of 1/8 " hardwood to mount bead-board for the space where the mirror originally sat.

Next, I mitre cut 1/4 inch doweling and glued it with Weldbond, around the ouside of the beadboard paneling, using blue painters tape to hold it in place over night.  Made sure I covered up my staples.  Some were visible afterwards, so I ended up taking them out with plyers.  The Weldbond holds the bead-board just fine. Then I  filled in any gaps with paintable latex caulking , let it dry, and sanded smooth.

Next, I took a hammer and screw-driver, and beat up the armoire a little more.  It already had some dings and dents, but a few more never hurts ( Well, maybe it hurts the armoire, but not me-hehe!!!!!) and it sure was fun.

Now for the fun stuff.

First coat of primer- it still shows some of the brown through.

This is the point where I had a  minor mishap .  As I was tipping the armoire to get it up on some wood blocks, to get it off the floor, I felt the whole darned thing falling forward .  All I heard was a smack and a crack, as the door swung open and hit against the dresser in the room I was working in.  I was a little afraid to look, and my husband, who was having a nap in the next room ,came running in to see what had happened. We tipped it back up, and sure enough, the poor door was injured.  It was held together by 2 wood dowels- one had snapped in half, and the other had come completely out.  That's what you get for trying to take short-cuts ( I thought I would just leave the door on and paint the hinges and all the same color).  But this was not to be. We removed the door, and made some minor repairs, and now she's as good as new.  I will re-attach the door after it's all painted. Well, small heart-attack averted, now back to work.

I  primed the entire armoire with my favourite primer- Zinser 1-2-3.  No sanding required, and since it's still a little cool outside, I don't have to vacuum up anything.  In all, I used 2 coats of primer, since it was a dark color to start with.

Here it is with 2 coats of primer on the outside.  I can start seeing my vision come to life now.  I'm getting excited!!!!!

Here's a close-up of the beadboard panels on the side.

Here's a close-up of the bottom where there's some nice distressing going on ( YUMMY!!!!!)

Here's the inside so far- it has a nice hanging bar, but I'm going to be adding some shelves and other goodies.

Well, that's as far as I've got with it , so you'll have to stay tuned for Part 2  and possibly, Part 3, depending on how creative a get with this.  Hope you've enjoyed this as much as me.

Until next time, Au Revoire!!!!!!!


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  2. Not sure I can stand the suspense, I am so looking forward to the gradual transformation. :) Thank you for linking up to my K.I.S.S. blog bash last week. This weeks blog bash is in full swing again!! If you haven't already please be sure & link up more of your creativity, I look forward to seeing all your great ideas. :)

    Drop by The Tattered Tag

  3. I've gone through your blog and found it really useful particularly the pictures demonstration is really useful to understand and apply in home as well. I really love white color and when I get any old piece of furniture, I love to try to make it with white so it could be matched well with my existing white painted furniture and I hope that your ideas will really enhance my way of painting.


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