Friday, August 12, 2011

Pine dresser & armoire makeover

When Josh and I started talking about nursery furniture for our baby girl, I knew I wanted it to be white. We happened to have a pine set on hand from Josh’s childhood. We weren’t using it for anything other than to fill up space in our guest room (which was turning into the nursery anyway), so I figured why not paint it myself and save some money in the meantime?!

Here’s what I started out with:

First, I removed the wooden knobs, because I knew I wanted to replace them. I also decided that I would remove the doors to the armoire for some open storage. I kept the doors though, just in case we want to put them back on in the future. We also removed the mirror from the dresser. We figured we'd have no use for it in the nursery since we’ll be using the top of the dresser as a changing table. We kept it too, in case we want to add it back onto the dresser once she gets a little older.

Next, I knew I had to do something about this leaf pattern that was on both pieces. It just looked dated to me and I wasn’t a big fan, so I had to come up with a way to cover it up!

At first, I tried to find some other type of decorative wood strips that I could use to cover up my existing leaf pattern, but nothing I came across was the right width. After some thought and searching around various stores, I decided that the best way to cover it would be to use thin, balsa wood strips which I found at Michael’s.

They were so thin that I could easily cut them to size with an inexpensive snap-off knife.

I didn't record the exact price, but they were about $2 per strip.

Once I had the balsa pieces cut to size, I used Gorilla glue to adhere the strips to the dresser.

Look out if you’re using this glue! It expands to 3 to 4 times its size while drying!

To fill in the small space left between the balsa strip and the dresser, I used white all-purpose caulk which I had on hand.

Once I let that dry for the recommended amount of time, I primed the dresser and armoire with Kilz Clean Start Zero VOC Primer. I ended up doing 2 coats since the pine had some dark knots that I worried might bleed through. For the paint, I did 2 coats of Harmony Zero VOC in Extra White (off the shelf) from Sherwin Williams. I wanted to finish off both pieces with Minwax Water-Based Polycrylic but since it’s not VOC free, my wonderful husband volunteered to do it for me!

After the paint was dry, I lined the inside of the drawers with this pink contact paper that I found at Michael’s.

I knew I wanted to do something cute and fun on the inside of the armoire since it would be open. Originally, I had bought some pink damask fabric for it, but then I came across this perfect wrapping paper at Michael’s!

At first, I thought it would be best to glue the wrapping paper to the back of the armoire, but after testing a piece, I realized there would be no way to get a smooth end result. I ended up just using lots of small strips of double stick tape which seemed to work out really well. I trimmed out the inside edges of the cabinet with some pink grosgrain ribbon to hide the paper seams. I just glued it on with some Fabri-tac.

For the hardware, I found these at my local World Market and I think they ended up looking great on the furniture!

Here's the end result!

I found perfectly sized baskets to fit inside the armoire’s cubbies at Michael’s. I plan on putting things like newborn mittens, headbands and hats in these for easy access.

Here are some side-by-side before and after's:

So, do you think this was a successful transformation? Have you given any furniture in your home a makeover lately? Or, do you prefer to buy new pieces and save yourself all the work? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!


  1. It looks really great, love the idea of leaving the doors out looks so much better.

  2. Wow, great job Rach! I love the knobs and paper you picked, it is perfect and is going to be so helpful with all the storage.

  3. Thanks Genevieve! Hopefully I'll be able to keep that open storage area nice and neat once baby is here!:)

  4. That is awesome, Rach! So, so cute. And you are genius, I would never have figured out how to cover up the pattern in the wood like that. You need to be on HGTV. :)

  5. Great makeover! It came out so cute!

  6. Thanks Alex! I'm glad you like it:)

  7. I second Tara's comment. Can you help me decorate my home? Seriously!! I live in the vicinity of the Fairfax Homegoods store.

  8. Thanks Nikki! Send me an email!!:)

  9. I just found this post to get ideas on making over an armoire. I loved your armoire and wanted to find one similar. I found the SAME EXACT ONE!!!! How funny is that. They're asking more than I'd be willing to pay, though, so we'll see if I can talk them down. Here is the link to the Craigslist ad where I found it. You can see it's the same as yours ;)

  10. Love it! Can you please tell me which finish you used in the paint- flat, eggshell or semi-gloss? Thanks so much.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...