Chalky Washed Armoire

Thanks so much for all the lovely comments about my bedroom revamp.

One of the most mentioned and asked about items was the armoire. Well, ‘armoire’ is perhaps a tad too fancy, it’s just a plain free-standing robe really.

It was funny to read all the different comments eluding to its colour. Most of you thought it was a shade of blue, others blackey-grey and one of my friends who saw it in person was convinced it was actually green! Well, one of those is kinda right. I used a black base and a french grey wash so technically I guess it’s a shade of grey.

I picked this robe up for $90 off eBay. It was basically brand new and perfectly sized for the little nook in my bedroom. It was just a tad too “piney”.

Remember my inspiration board…

Even though the armoire I included was charcoal I ummed and ahhed for ages about what colour to finish my robe in. I eventually decided to stick with black to play off the white bedding and cream walls and add some depth and drama. So, after two coats of acrylic black and one acrylic seal coat I popped the robe in my bedroom…and hated it! It looked far too crisp and contemporary for the soft, relaxed feel I was going for.

Enter plan B. I carted the robe back outside and sanded it down hard all over, paying extra attention to the edges, then popped it inside again…arghh, still not right!

Plan C. Stuff taking it back outside again! I diluted some french grey acrylic paint with water (about 50/50) and working in sections – yes, right there on my bedroom carpet (I did put an old towel down) – used a cloth to wipe it on paying special attention to any nooks and crevices. I then wiped it back off again with a damp rag in the direction of the grain.

And it worked! After three or four coats I achieved the level of lovely soft chalkiness I was after (oh, and a very fashionable french grey palm too – mental note, wear gloves next time).

I had never attempted a faux finish like this before and kinda just made it up as I went along though it was super easy and the result is awesome (if I do say so myself :-) so I highly recommend just giving it a go!

To finish I simply added some new antique brass hardware and hey presto…

  1. Sarah B says:

    It’s wonderful Kristine! You are inspiring me to ‘update’ a couple of pieces of furniture at my place. I just need to decide what to do with them!

  2. Tiffini says:

    Love how it turned out..I would have done it right in my bedroom also…on my third time…lol! Your home is so “homey”:)

  3. No matter what color you name it, it’s just absolutely gorgeous!!!

  4. NanaDiana says:

    I LOVE IT all over again now that you told me how you achieved that look. Sometimes unplanned colors are the best of all! Hugs-Diana

  5. Yup. It’s official. I LOVE this finish!! I’m going to try and emulate it sometime soon, that’s for sure. When and where, I’m not sure. :)

  6. michelle says:

    I just love it! Things sometimes turn out the best if you just make them up! :) It really is beautiful!!!

  7. Shaunna says:

    Beautiful…you know I love this one! -shaunna :)

  8. Turned out fabulous! I love it…great job:)

  9. Your armoire turned out gorgeous! The color is so yummy even if it took several tries to achieve, I love it!!!! Beautiful bedroom :o)

  10. Okay maybe I read it somewhere but didn’t get it, what did you dilute in it? Was it 50 water and 50 acrylic paint?

    • The Painted Hive says:

      Yep :-) I didn’t measure though it was something like that.

  11. it is just gorgeous and perfect in your room. it’s amazing how our vision only gets us so far, and then sometimes things don’t turn out how we intended, but in the end it’s all for the best! you got a great look, even if it took a few turns to get there!

  12. Gorgeous piece! The height and width is so unique and how perfect for that very spot! I LOVE the softness the colour eludes. The black underneath was indeed meant to be. :)


  13. Olive Cooper says:

    You weres so right to go with the grey as black would have been to severe. Just lovely.

  14. Looks stunning! What did you dilute the paint with?

    • The Painted Hive says:

      Thanks! Just tap water.

  15. It is beyond lush! I love the do-it-yourself mantra. :)


  16. chair up says:

    Your “have a go” attitude will get you places Kristine! Can you just imagine what you would have had to pay to buy a piece like this in a fancy store (doesn’t bear thinking about).
    How the heck did I miss your bedroom reveal?!?!?! It is breath-taking, I absolutely LOVE it!

  17. Robin says:

    After all that work you have a beautiful armoire. It looks amamzing!

  18. Great finish!

  19. I love when things go a different direction and turn out beautifully. Looks fantastic and how lucky to find just the perfect size piece for there. I will look at “piney” things differently on craigslist!

  20. Looks so good Kris and thanks for sharing how you achieved the finish, I may just have a try at this finish too.
    Donna xx

  21. Whether it’s grey or blue or green, it looks fantastic! It’s great that you were able to achieve the chalky look you were going for with the grey paint. Sometimes you just have to take a shot at doing something and see how it turns out :-)


  22. Kyandra says:

    Hi Kristine, how I love your bedroom revamp. It is stunning. I really like the way you put your gorgeous vignettes together.Love that large K…. So extremley talented. Take care Kym X

  23. It has a very northern feel, your decor.. Cool in your choise of colour, like many Danish, Swedish etc. indoor decorators and architects use.
    I say this, being all the way from the other side of the world.. :)

    I am very inspired by your, what shall I call it, craft-womanship :)

  24. Anna says:

    Kristine…it looks awesome! Absolutely amazing job..and what a bargain..isnt Ebay just the best. I just won two beside tables and am really undecided as to what colour I want to paint them…this now has me leaning more towards grey.

    Awesome job lovely…had to laugh about the grey palm..exactly what I would have x

  25. Emily says:

    Just love what you’ve done. You are always such an inspiration. I have a similar piece sitting in our garage just waiting to be restored :) You’ve successfully given me that little “nudge” I needed to
    Pop on over to my blog/store sometime soon! Love to have you visit :)

  26. Alison Gibbs says:

    Kristine it looks fabulous. Great combo of colours to get the look you wanted

  27. I am totally in love with your armoire…I’ve been loving grey lately and this is so perfect, great job! I’m going to add this to the links on my crafty linking party but would love it if you’d stop by and share some more great projects too! It’s always a really inspiring get together, just the features from the previous week totally worth checking out…all the best and hope to see you there!

  28. Mrs T says:

    when you say “acrylic” you are meanning craft paint, yes? I searched today for a “french grey” craft acrylic and could not find one. found a “french BLUE” the looks near to yours.

    could you point me to a brand name of the paint?
    thanks so much! I love this make over! makes me so ready to do my master bedroom NOW instead of someday :(

    • tlane says:

      I love what you did to your amoire and want to achieve that exact look to an unfinished piece i have. Could you tell me the exact color and brand paint you used. Thanks!

      • The Painted Hive says:

        Hmmm, this post is from a while ago now though from memory I simply used black acrylic wall paint. I believe the brand was Dulux. The grey wash is a combination of acrylic paints I had left-over which I mixed-up and diluted with water.
        Hope this helps a bit :-)

  29. Mami Made It says:

    Fantastic work!

  30. Kristine,

    I was so hoping you’d tell us how you did this finish. So, the black is underneath, then the french grey acrylic was brushed on and wiped off? I thought I saw some white in there. It is gorgeous, Kris. I’m laughing at your hands, because that is how I walk around all the time! I have to tell every one of my patients that I don’t have dirt under my fingernails, it’s just that I couldn’t get the paint off.


    • The Painted Hive says:

      That’s exactly right. A simple black base coat with a french grey wash over it.

  31. Jenny says:

    This is stunning!!

  32. Deborah says:

    Gorgeous…such a nice soft look it has.
    Beautiful job you did!

    Deborah xoxoxox

  33. Hi Dear, what a great armoire! The finish is beautiful with such a great color and tone. Wonderful tutorial, thank you so much for sharing. I have the honor of visiting you from Coastal Charm’s link party, xoxo tami

  34. Vicki says:

    Oh my! Stunning!!

  35. DANA says:

    That is awesome! I would love for you to come link up at our Strut Your Stuff Party!

  36. Love it! Love the colour and texture. What a transformation.

  37. Love the way this turned out no matter what color it is!!

  38. Just curious, I did a similar thing to an armoire and a chest in my dining room this month. I love the look as I also mixed a bit of water with paint for a wash, but it feels too chalky to the hand. I think I am going to put some kind of a wax paste on it. Do you have the same feel to the wood…

  39. Moms Crafty says:

    Love love what you did with this piece and the finished product and color is fabulous! Beautiful revamp!

  40. felicité says:

    I think that’s one fo the best furniture makeover’s i’ve seen on any design blog- congrats, it’s BEAUTIFUL! xox

  41. This finish looks beautiful! It was worth all of the dragging it in and out of the room.

  42. Amanda says:

    i have been debating attempting some sort of finish like this on my sons headboard for his “big boy bachelor pad” makeover that is underway and you make it sound so simple, i might HAVE to try it.

    i’m your newest follower and simply cannot pull myself away. everything is soooo lovely.


  43. I LOVE this! I saw it on remodelaholic and came over for the tute! I definitely want to try this and am just waiting to find the perfect piece of furniture for it. When I do I’ll be sure to send you a link so you can see how it turned out :) Thanks for the deets!

  44. ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS! I love the finish. I assumed you were going to say “chalkboard paint” and chalk, but ya didn’t. I LOVE IT

  45. Becca says:

    SO STINKIN GORGEOUS! I am racking my brain trying to find something I can paint that color!! Love it. Love it!

  46. Jeanne Jabaut says:

    I just discovered your blog and I love it. I am sure I will return to it again and again. I already two things I want to try. Keep on blogging; I love your writing, you are very entertaining.

  47. Toni says:

    Love it. I have an old white cabinet that’s needed a makeover. Now I know what to do with it.

  48. Monica says:

    Hey, where did you get the brass hardware from? I am looking for some nice vintage-looking ones.

    • Hi Monica
      I found the hardware on eBay though that was a few years ago now.

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