Today I am able to share a few tips, having recently given an old wardrobe a new look.
It was a few weeks ago when I bought it; I think it was the scroll detail at the top, the curved sides and the dinky little key in the lock that got me!
With some paint to lighten it up, I knew it could be made lovely – perhaps for a girl’s bedroom. I don’t get to do many girlie projects around our male-dominated house, so I thought it would be fun to make it over and then (hopefully) sell it.
Although I got it for a very good price, it is from the makers Lebus Furniture who had a reputation for quality furniture years ago. (I didn’t know that until I googled the name.) I suddenly felt a little more responsibility to do a decent job.
Fortunately I received some good advice, from Jackie who paints furniture over at The Barrister’s Horse. Apparently when using a light coloured chalkpaint on a dark, glossy item it is important to sand and prime first, as the dark finish can bleed through the chalkpaint.
These are the steps I took to ensure a good result:
Sand all over – just enough to dull the surface and provide a key for the paint.
Wipe off the dust off with a damp sponge (just water, no soap or cleaner which could affect the paint application).
Prime the surface – I used a general water-based primer and undercoat in one from B&Q.
Leave to dry then do a second coat.
Your wardrobe will look something like this which is not that pretty yet:
Next apply your chalkpaint (you can thin it with water if it is too thick) using a large, synthetic bristle brush – working quickly and painting in all directions. It dries fast, so if you miss a bit and go back to it just a few minutes later the paint will drag a little, but it doesn’t really matter as you are not intending to get a smooth, silky finish.
Once the paint is fully dry (maybe leave a day or two) wax it all over. You can use a brush or a lint-free cloth e.g. an old white t-shirt to apply the wax.
Finally you can distress the edges and details with a sanding sponge (if you do it before applying the wax it creates a lot of dust) and wax again
For my wardrobe, I used Old White (from Annie Sloan) all over and then picked out the scroll detail with a mid-grey that I had mixed up myself. I also painted the grey along the top edge of the wardrobe and its feet at the bottom. I used one of the kids small paint brushes to navigate the lock and hinges carefully
The wax I used was clear Autentico wax which went on easily and had no strong smell (previously I have tried Briwax which is very pungent and left oily looking patches). I applied the wax with a cloth and once dry gave it a buff.
I guess it could suit either a bedroom or even a hallway as a coat cupboard. Either way, it was a great project to try and perfect my painting techniques. You can see more of my furniture makeovers here.