Upcycled Furniture

Project DIY: 70’s Armoire

We love a good DIY project! Not only is it fun to give new life to old things, it is a great way to keep items out of the landfill. Part of a sustainability mindset is finding ways to use what we already have and therefore purchase less.

The DIY Project: Making over a 70’s cabinet into a stylish armoire

Why I Love It

We were turning our den into a bedroom for our little girl but had to solve the problem of a closet as the room doesn’t have one! Rather than building something more permanent I decided to look for a standalone piece of furniture that had some charm and character and would add some whimsy to the room. And, of course, that’s what you think of when you see the piece below, right? I thought that, once painted a flat colour, it would have a lot of texture and maybe feel like something a bit special!

I should also mention that I did consider practical elements: it had spots for baskets to hold socks, hats, and other small items, drawers for larger items and space for a hanging rack as well.

The Plan

Lots and lots and lots of paint! Paint inside and out and maybe some wallpaper on the inside of the doors. I also planned to change out the hardware to actual brass as the handles and knobs that came with the piece were imitation aged brass.

I found the handles below at a salvage yard and I think they might have come off of a boat. They’re very heavy and were just the colour of brass I was looking for!

New hardware

Supplies List

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Drawer knobs
Hanging rack

The Process

I started out attempting to make and use my own chalk paint but wasn’t happy with the texture and colour. If making your own chalk paint is something you’d like to try there are many recipes to be found online. Most of them consist of some mixture of acrylic paint, water, and plaster of Paris.

I switched to Annie Sloan chalk paint instead and was really happy with the result! I ended up using my home made chalk paint as a base layer and the more expensive paint on top as a finish coat.

To seal the paint I used two coats of Polycrylic applied with a foam brush. The recommended finish for chalk paint is wax but I find the waxing process somewhat time consuming and the cost of wax for a project this size would have added up quickly!

The Finished Product


What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments!