Modernized Armoire


I have a cottage style home which means very little storage space. I purchased an armoire from a friend several years ago with the idea that one day I’d paint, stain, or at least change the door handles.

I wanted to modernize the whole room. It currently serves as a makeshift office, spare bedroom and a lazy catch-all storage space. The thought was to get rid of a lot of useless stuff and shift the room toward a contemporary office space that could quickly convert into a bedroom when guests arrive.

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Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

I have a small living room, “charming and cozy” in real estate lingo. My smart architect friend, Kevin Richards of Richartz Studios, suggested I hang a mirror opposite a window to reflect views from our garden into the space – making the room appear larger. This appealed to me, as I like big mirrors, so off to IKEA I went with Heidi and Mary Jean (and our styrofoam for recycling!). Here’s what we came home with, the Songe mirror, 3′ X 4′ – unfortunately the wrong color….

But that’s OK because I have my favorite little jar of paint and some cheerful helpers –

– and we got it done in no time flat! No prep, not even a quick sanding…because sometimes we girls are impatient…

Done – one of our easiest projects yet, and it really does open up the space with reflected light and green, thanks Kevin!

I’m wondering if this magical paint trick will work on my paint encrusted door hinges – or if it will chip off with use – maybe we’ll give it a try next week…

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Kitchen Chairs Update

My kitchen table and chairs were a thing of the past. I purchased them long ago and remember thinking they were fine for the time being. I certainly didn’t realize I’d still have the same table and chairs 20 years later. Durable, yes! Lovely? Not so much and never were.

To be fair, both were functionally adequate. The main features I didn’t like were the color, shape, style and finish. Those are pretty tough features to overcome…essentially everything. But, why not give it a try? It really couldn’t get much worse.

We brainstormed an approach knowing that the goal was to reduce the cringe factor as I entered my kitchen. We broke it down and made a plan to tackle the elements that we could influence starting with the easiest – painting the chairs and the table legs.

AFTER and BEFORE. Painted table leg in the middle.

Below is how we got it done.

Step 1.  We lightly sanded all the surfaces of the chairs and legs with 150 grit sandpaper. Then used tacky cloth to remove all sanding dust before priming.

Step 2.  I used a quality latex primer that I had on hand from another painting project. I somehow deleted the photos of this so use your imagination – white flat finish chairs and legs drying in my basement. The chairs already looked better with just the primer.

Step 3.  Next I applied two coats of Benjamin Moore (Aura) “Split Pea” (2146-30) semi-gloss paint to the chairs. Heidi had some left over Pratt and Lambert “Field Gray”, matte finish paint for the table legs. I didn’t need much so I decided to use that.

I’m feeling pretty good about the chairs. We’ll let you know how the table goes! Stay tuned!

What can go wrong? Catching the running drips was a constant challenge. I did the best I could and decided to be ok with a few minor drips here and there. I knew I could touch up sand, prime, and spot paint if the drips really bothered me.