Gray Toy-Storage Armoire Makeover

I first had the privilege of originally sharing this makeover at Redfly Creations, but I wanted to share it here in case you missed it. Our playroom (aka the sunroom) is right off our living room, and I did NOT want to stare at little boys’ toys all the time, so for $30 (off Craigslist), I get to look at this instead:

Much better than soccer balls and remote control cars, right? ๐Ÿ˜‰

It did not look like this originally. It was a boring, blonde, lifeless wood. You can see a bit of the original color peeking through here:

I managed to do this project during nap time (yes, really!). I mixed up a little homemade chalk paint using a SW Dovetail sample (the same color I used for the window frame in my bedroomย and the letters above my son’s crib… this $6.50 has gone a long way!) and slapped on a couple of coats. I then lightly distressed using a sanding block and waxed the piece with Miss Mustard Seed’s soft wax and antique wax. I love MMS waxes because (though fairly pricey) they go on so smoothly and quickly; hence the nap-time accomplishment. ๐Ÿ™‚

The knobs, my little bit of whimsy for the playroom, came from Hobby Lobby. I love how they play off the coral of the walls (which, incidentally, is the only room in my home I have not painted, and I’m having a love/hate relationship with it… what do you think? Too much off the living room? Or just right as a pop of color and fun playroom???).

I love the hand-painted details on the knobs.

And, since it is a playroom, I decided to liven up the inside of the cabinet, as well, using Sweet Annie (by Olympic from Lowe’s) since I already had some in the shed. Again, I mixed up some homemade chalk paint to cut out any prep work. I like how it’s a subtle but fun surprise when you open the armoire.

Not too shabby for $30 and an afternoon of work, is it? And in case you ever get a chance to come play at Maison de Pax, just remember to put the art supplies on the top shelf, musical instruments on the second, cars on the bottom, and costumes in the drawer. ๐Ÿ˜‰


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  1. Hi Rachel! What a beautiful piece and I just am in love the with knobs you used! Thank you so much for joining us and sharing at Best of the Weekend! Pinning! Hope you are having a wonderful week!

  2. hi if I use chalk paint for a shiny old armoire and dresser, I don’t need to a primer? If I cannot find the color I want, can I mix white chalk paint with any latex eggshell paint?

    1. Hi Miriam, great question! In theory, you do not need a primer on anything when using chalk paint. A very glossy, shiny finish can sometimes be difficult for anything to stick to, though, so I would at least recommend cleaning it really well (to remove dirt and grease). Some people have even used liquid de-glossers on especially shiny pieces, but I have never worked with anything to which chalk paint did not stick. And yes, you can adjust the color of chalk paint with latex, but it could affect the adherence a bit. I have mixed up my own chalk paint (see more details here) before, so you may want to add a little plaster of paris to ensure that you don’t get so much latex that it affects the adherence. Did that make sense? I hope this helps! ๐Ÿ™‚

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