Tag Archives: DIY

DIY Armoire Makeover

Hi there! I have a new furniture DIY project for you!

Ever since we tore out our massive melamine desk and shelves before the new floors were installed, we’ve been looking for more storage for our office and craft supplies. I came across a posting for a free armoire on facebook and it looked perfect! 5 drawers, plus three shelves inside the doors:

My hubby was not impressed with the furniture when he got home with it. I had been under the impression that it was made of solid wood, and it turned out that it was mostly made from particle board. The bottom of the sides of the armoire were falling apart, there were stickers and stains in various places, and most worrisome to me, it wreaked of cigarette smoke.

“It’s going to be beautiful!” I assured my hubby. “Just you wait and see.” But I wasn’t entirely convinced. The sides and back of all the drawers were particle board and plastic. I knew chalk paint would adhere to anything, but I had never used it personally to paint plastic. I just wanted to cover up the cigarette smell.

I got to work. I cleaned the entire piece and vacuumed it out. I used Goof Off on the stickers and it worked semi-well. I covered the areas where I had used Goof Off with an oil based stain blocker by Zinsser (which has got to be the smelliest paint EVER, by the way). I wore my respirator for the Goof Off and the stain blocker! And I went to Lowes and bought their chalky paint in the color “Kid Gloves” by Valspar. $30 a can – not cheap, but still cheaper than Annie Sloan.

After the first coat of chalky paint.

I took off all the hardware and spray painted them with a brilliant bronze color. (I forgot to take a picture of that process.) I spray painted the screws, too.

I was pretty undecided about what to do about the chipping particle board at the bottom of the armoire sides. I talked with my husband about the possibility of removing and replacing the sides entirely, but it looked like it was going to be an involved process with no guarantee that it would turn out as planned. He then suggested adding a molding to the bottom. “That’ll work!” I exclaimed! So back we went to Lowe’s to get molding… he cut the molding and screwed it in. I think it looks great and it was a relatively easy fix! Kuddos to my hubby for working on it in the blazing middle-of-the-day heat.

Adding molding to the bottom to cover up chipping particle board.

And here’s how the molding turned out:

I finished painting the piece. It took 3 coats of the chalky paint and I used up the entire can. Since the piece wasn’t exactly in pristine condition, I decided that it would be fun to distress it a little. I had bought some sanding blocks (medium grit) and sanded most of the edges and corners. I definitely would NOT recommend using an orbital sander for this purpose.

I added one clear coat of Annie Sloan’s wax (it was what I had on hand) and buffed it out with a rag. Then I reattach all the spray painted hardware. Hubby helped with that as well as returning the hinges and replacing the roller hardware on the doors.

I added contact paper (leftover from when we moved into our house last fall) to all the drawers and shelves.

Hubby and I somehow managed to carry the extremely heavy piece inside (where there’s a will, there’s a way, I suppose!).

And voila! The smoke smell is gone, and now we have a place to store office and craft supplies! Total cost for paint and supplies came to $55.

Are you working on a DIY piece of furniture? I’d love to hear about it!




Filed under DIY, Furniture Makeover

DIY Rustic Wooden Sign

I am very excited about this rustic sign my sister and I just finished featuring the verse Philippians 4:8:

DSC_0154 DSC_0158

Before I go any further, I must say that the idea for this sign is not my own. I saw one similar to it on an Etsy shop. However, the price tag was a little too steep for me ($40+), especially since I wanted to buy two. Believe it or not, the cost to make two of these signs was only $5!  With a lot of patience, you can make one for the cost of a latte as well.

Supplies you’ll need:

  • 2-3 fence boards, depending on the size of your sign
  • Table saw or circular saw
  • Orbital sander, coarse grit sand paper
  • Semi-gloss white paint
  • Minwax’s dark Walnut Stain
  • Wood Glue and Clamps
  • Rags (2-3)
  • Polycrylic (optional)

First, I went to the hardware store and bought 3 fence boards. Each board cost about $1.60. It was not kiln dried*. When I got home, my husband cut two of the boards to make a total of 20 smaller boards (I needed 18 (9 boards for each sign) and had 2 leftover). I ended up not needing the extra fence board. Cutting up the boards was probably the most labor intensive part of the project, although my husband seems to like that sort of thing.

Once I had the 18 individual boards, I followed Joanna Gaines’ tutorial from her Magnolia blog to make new wood look old and distressed. It’s super easy. The steps are: paint with semi-gloss white paint (I already had some in the garage–it’s the same paint I use to touch up kitchen cabinets and baseboards). Sand with coarse grit paper. Lastly, wipe on Minwax’s dark walnut stain followed by lightly wiping off the stain with a second rag.

So there you have it. It’s simple! Here are some pictures from the process:


18 boards (to make 2 signs). Each piece of wood is the exactly the same size. You can make your sign any size as long as the boards are the same size.

Painting each board with semi-gloss white paint.

Painting each board with semi-gloss white paint.



The barbecue look. I didn’t like it so I sanded it down to the original wood grain (which only took about a minute per board).

After I gently sanded the white paint, this is what they looked like. I didn’t like the fact that they looked like they had been barbecued. So I flipped the boards over, sanded them down to their original wood grain, and painted them white again. Then I sanded the white paint down to make it look distressed (basically I started from the beginning again–thankfully it didn’t take long at all thanks to my orbital sander.)

Then I wiped on the Dark Walnut stain and gently wiped it off with a different rag.


I had some of this stain leftover from the coffee table I refinished.


The final result. Happy with how the wood grain looks.

The next day, I started the process of gluing each of the pieces together. This required some large clamps that thankfully my hubby already had from building a bench a few months back for my birthday. Because we didn’t have too many clamps though, it took me a few days as I waited for the glue to set and harden. I used Gorilla wood glue, and wiped off the excess with baby wipes (that’s what happens when you don’t have much time and it’s all that happens to be siting nearby).

Once all the pieces were glued, my sister painted the lettering (I took a picture but somehow my phone deleted it-ugh!). Since I never use small paintbrushes, I didn’t even dare try to paint it myself! (There are other alternatives you could try if you’re not inclined to paint letters by hand either — some people print and cut out the lettering, then trace it on the wood and fill it in with paint.)

I then covered the sign with polycrylic (an easy 2 minute step). Lastly, my husband mounted wall hanging hardware on the back.

And now for only $2.50, I have a lovely sign that will remind me of Philippians 4:8 whenever I look at it! (A much-needed reminder while I attempt to cook dinner while also dealing with less-than-happy children).


*If you buy wood that isn’t kiln dried, it may needed several days to dry out prior to painting it.


Filed under Crafts, DIY