Painting this armoire has been on my to-do list for about 4 years. Maybe more. If it had been a smaller project I probably would have finished it long before now.
When the lovely ladies at Dixie Belle Paint contacted me to review their paint I decided it was time to tackle this big guy and transform him once and for all.
Now for the details, how to’s and before shots, when I thought I had an EPIC FAIL on my hands plus how I fixed that epic fail.
I bought this armoire about 20 years ago from an unfinished furniture store. I stained him and used painted green accents for the knobs, feet and appliqué.
For his first 10 years this piece was in our living room and housed our main tv. Since we moved to our current house, and my husband bought an enormous tv, we’ve used it in our bedroom for storage.
I debated getting rid of it or moving it elsewhere in the house but thought I’d try painting it first. I’m so glad I did! The transformation from stain to paint has made such a difference it’s like a brand new piece! It makes the whole bedroom feel brighter!
To get started I washed the entire piece down with soap and water. Use a small amount of dish soap and water to clean your piece. DO NOT USE Murphy’s Oil Soap. I’ll explain below how I know this.
My goal was to use several neutral colors to give the armoire a subtle, layered look.
Dixie Belle comes in a multitude of colors. I chose 4 for this project plus one glaze.
From left to right (above) Drop Cloth, Driftwood, Dixie Sage and Hurricane Gray.
I poured a bit of each of the darker 3 colors (Hurricane Gray – top, Driftwood – center and Dried Sage – right) in small plastic cups to get started. I thought I might mix them as I went but ended up using just the Dried Sage first. I also, wasn’t sure which brush I wanted to use but liked the 2″ bristle brush best.
I started with Dried Sage, following the grain of the wood using mostly vertical brushstrokes.
Shown with one coat of Dried Sage.
Dixie Bell is a mineral paint similar to chalk type paints so there’s no need to sand before hand.
For the second coat, after the first coat had dried, I used Driftwood and continued painting in vertical strokes. I purposely didn’t use a solid coat. I wanted to see the layers of the different colors of paint.
Showing Dried Sage with Driftwood layered together.
Next I used Drop Cloth which is a creamy white and began lightly dry brushing over the first two layers.
While liking the direction this experiment was going it still wasn’t quite right.
I loved the color at this point but the Driftwood was just too gray for my bedroom.
And I didn’t like how heavy handed I’d been with the dry brushing.
Time for more layers.
For the next layer I mixed Dried Sage and Dropcloth together.
This was where I began writing a post in my head entitle “Sonya’s Epic Painting Failure”.
I was convinced I didn’t know what I was doing!
How was I going to fix this mess?!?
Time for more layers.
The color I liked best was Dried Sage but it wasn’t quite right on it’s own.
So I mixed a 50/50 concoction of Dried Sage and Hurricane Gray.
FINALLY! I love this combination!
As I painted, I allowed some of the previous layers to show through and covered up the ones I didn’t like.
I was very happy with the results. I didn’t want to distress the armoire but I did want to glaze it. I wanted to use a light glaze to darken the armoire slightly and give a very subtle aged look.
I chose the Dixie Belle Grunge Glaze. Dixie Belle also offers a clear coat you can use before glazing or waxing.
Here you can see the left side of the armoire and the lower left front have been glazed. It added just the right amount of aging as well as giving the gray a more “taupe” appearance which works perfectly with my space.
I tried 4 different brushes but liked the one on the far right for applying the Grunge Glaze.
MY NEW ARMOIRE
I LOVE IT! I couldn’t be happier!
NOTE: Here you can see a bit of unintentional distressing that occurred when I applied the glaze. I actually like the way this turned out but I didn’t mean for it to happen. So I emailed Suzanne at Dixie Bell to find out what I’d done wrong. She graciously called and we talked through the painting process.
MY MISTAKE was using Murphy’s Oil Soap (Hello, Sonya! oil soap!) when washing down my armoire. DON’T DO THIS! Thankfully it didn’t hinder the finish in any way except this bit of distressing but now you know what NOT TO DO!
I found the brass and crystal knobs at Hobby Lobby.
I also removed the bun feet to give the armoire a different look.
I LOVE IT!!!
The Dixie Belle paint was so easy to work with and I really love their color choices.
Visit Dixie Belle Paint Company to see all their products.