This wardrobe was a 30€ bargain at my local brocante. You can see from the before photos below that it was a well made piece of furniture. With its interior lined with fabric, intricate carved details, it’s draw lined side cupboard and brass fittings – I fell in love with it.
The wood was worn in places though, some of the trim had been knocked off and it was very dark in the little bedroom I planned to make its home. I decided to paint it with chalk paint and highlight the ornate carvings. I’m not going to bore you with the application of chalk paint – it’s not new and there are lots of how tos on Pinterest that are excellent quality. Instead I thought I’d focus on how to highlight the trim.
FYI – normally I’d remove all the hardware, but this was impossible with this scenario, so this has affected the way I’ve dealt with the piece.
Remove all the drawers
I spray painted the shelf like drawers entirely with gold paint. I then spray painted the interior of the other drawers. prior to painting them with chalk paint.
Paint with chalk paint
I know you will probably know all about chalk paint, but I love to use it as when it, inevitably, gets knocked and some comes off it doesn’t leave ugly, chip holes.
I put on about two to three thick coats. I needed the extra layer to cover the dark stain. Thank God the old stain didn’t bleed into the paint like when I up cycled this secrátaire.
Sand with very fine sand paper
I find doing small, circular motions the best to sand. It’s not a glass like finish, but it is smooth to the touch.
Start with the Flower
You can see my paint here, which is acrylic paint. You notice I have two shades of the pink and green along with white…
Start with the paler pink and paint the roses, not forgetting the underneath of the flowers…
I needed a couple of coats, but there’s minimal drying time. Take a flat artists brush and put some coral pink on there, then start to dab it in the gap between the bud and its exterior petals. Add some within the centre of the bud and underneath and at the edges of the petals.Keep blending to have darker and lighter pinks.You’ll notice I used darker in the crevices on the bud’s petals.
As that’s drying move onto the leaves.
You can see my different shades of green with the white below. Start with the darker shade in the crevices, then start to add a little of the lighter green to give it some dimension, then start to add more lighter shades on the tips and high points of the leaves, as if sunlight is catching it there.
Paint the ribbon with the coral colour, without adding any lighter paint.
Go over the coral and exterior trim with gold paint.
Start to highlight areas of the relief in gold as below. Just after this was dry I went round with my flat brush again and painted the chalk paint over the top to clean up the edges.
Wax the painted finish
Complete the entire wardrobe with chalk paint, highlighting the relief and adding gold to any other details you want to. When this is done wax the exterior of the wardrobe with transparent wax. Then you may want to take some dark wax and give it an aged feel.
Add gold to any interior areas you want to
As I had some interior areas that I felt could do with some extra highlight I painted these gold too.
Use acrylic varnish on the inside
The interior of the wardrobe is going to have a lot more wear on it, so you may want to varnish this with water based, transparent varnish. You can even use this on the exterior instead of wax if you wanted to.
This is what the wardrobe looks like when completed…
It reminds me of the one in Beauty and the Beast….,
(I don’t know whether that’s a good thing). It goes beautifully with the secrétaire in the corner. I’ve got a dressing table and some chairs to finish then I’ll post an update.