Armoire Sunny Refresh: Chalk Paint Makeover

Chalk Painted Yellow Armoire

Chalk Paint to the Rescue

The move to sunny California ignited a complete design overhaul of my dark, heavy NYC furniture and accessories. The new sunny zip code also heralded the creation of chic, budget-conscious ways to transition my  shack into a cozy beach cottage. I knew chalk paint by Annie Sloan was going to be the key to this transformation since my chalk-painted leather chairs turned out smashingly well.

Gray Chalk Painted Leather Chairs

Gray Chalk-Painted Leather Chairs


Wide Yellow Armoire

Most of the transformation has to be kept under wraps for now until the release of my new book, Decorate This, Not That! in spring 2018.  But I can share the recent style refresh of the dark, espresso-colored TV armoire that used to be an eyesore in the living room.

Bye-Bye Black Armoire

Black Armoire BEFORE

First on the makeover To-Dos: add some architectural oomph to this plain Jane armoire with inexpensive O’verlays in a double Greek Key pattern.  The overlays are very easy to cut and glue (E6000 did the trick), and they give a style nod to the Hollywood Regency era that I love so much. The overlays shipped in two days and totally fit the slim décor budget.


Before ordering overlays sight unseen from the internet, use white chalk and measure out and draw the exact proportions of the molding directly onto your furniture.

Before Overlays

Citrus yellow (on the green, chartreuse side) along with Kelly green and black accents make up the overall color palette in this room. I had half a can of Annie Sloan’s English Yellow chalk paint left over from another project, and I thought it would brighten up the armoire nicely. The color treatment just needed a little twist in texture and finish so the room didn’t look too matchy. It took two layers of yellow paint and two top layers of Annie Sloan Old White (watered down by 30%) to get the coverage I needed.

White Layer Armoire Demo

The white layers were sanded down to reveal the yellow underneath, giving the overall piece a vintage, unique distressed pattern. Once dried, clear wax enriched the color and protects the paint.

Close Up Hardware Yellow Armoire

The armoire was not designed with hardware pulls. Instead it opened and closed with a spring loaded latch which left annoying fingerprints with every press. Adding these gorgeous Harvey Handle brass pulls from Anthropologie was like finding the perfect earrings for an outfit.

Don’t be afraid of repainting a large piece of furniture. It does take some sweat equity, but in the end you’ll have a custom piece that is unique to your petite abode.