Before & After: Mid-Century Armoire


This mid-century armoire revamp has been a long time coming.  We’ve had this gigantic piece for about 6 years and I’ve been wanting to redo it for about 6 years. Although I honestly have no clue as to the original age of the armoire, it had heavy iron hardware that was medieval looking, but got a lovely facelift from Matt’s mom in the 80s with a teal, coral, gold, and white motif.  You can’t see the amazing sponge painted detail in the before photo, but it’s there! I was reassured by my mother-in-law that this was pretty awesome in the 80’s.

armoire before and after

When we got around to stripping it, we first stripped away all of the blue and coral, but I realized that I liked the white.  The armoire is very large and in all wood, I felt like it might be a little too overwhelming woody (super descriptive, right?).

Anyway, This piece is staying in the baby’s room and since the crib I like is a walnut and white two-tone, I thought the armoire would look nice in the two tone as well.


A lot of the decor I’m leaning toward for the baby’s room is mid-century, so I wanted to kind of keep this piece with a little of the mid-century style.  I had two different styles of hardware that I really liked, both from Anthropologie.

hardware options

I ended up going with the bar handles for a few reasons, firstly, because I already had two holes in the doors.  But also because I felt like the bar handles had a little more whimsical, feminine feel.  And then there was the sad fact that the screw bolt on the knob handles wasn’t long enough to fit through these giant doors.  So, my decision was kind of made for me, although I was leaning toward the bar pulls anyway.

The white that was left on the doors was still a little beat up, so I taped it off and gave it a fresh white coat of paint.

armoire process

DSC_3779 DSC_3781

I like how it turned out!  Someday in the future, I wouldn’t mind stripping the entire thing and giving it a grey-wash finish, but since I had no gray wood in the nursery, I didn’t really make sense right now.  This is one of those pieces, though, that is so heavy, thick, and solid, that it could probably be refinished 25 times and still be uncompromised.

As we do more and more updates to the baby’s room, we’ll keep showing you all!  I am hopeful to have a big portion of this room done within the next month.  Stay tuned!

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