Friday, March 9, 2012

Neglected to New

This armoire that was built in 1938 had been negledted for many years. It was kept at a cottage and was covered with stickers by several kids that used it over the years. My client had imagined refinishing this piece for years but never got around to it.

I had a lot of work to do to remove years of use but once I stripped the old finish, sanded and did lots of filling and repairs it started to come back to life.

This armoire had always been used as extra clothing storage at their cottage but my client now wanted to use it in her dining room to display her favorite dish set.

With a jig-saw I cut a hole in the door leaving about 2" of wood around. I measured and had glass cut for the new window. I framed the door with some wood trim that had a similar detail to the rest of the piece. At first the new trim stood out against the old door but once it was all stained it, looked as if it had always been there! We chose glass shelves for the inside to let more light through.

We kept the original hardware and cleaned it up a little. It really stands out now next to the dark stain.

For the color, my client wanted this armoire to be refinished with a dark stain to go with other dark furniture she had. 

I started off by using a dark wood oil stain to bring out the grain of the wood.

Next, to get an even darker treatment, I thinned some dark brown artist's oil paint with turpentine and and painted it on like a wash revealing the wood grain underneath through the brush strokes. This treatment was a perfect solution in the end because it hid all of the imperfections and patching I had to do.

Now this armoire has gone from neglected to new!


  1. Looks fantastic! What a difference!

  2. Thanks so much...and the best part was that my client was so happy with it!

  3. I dont' think I would have thought to add a glass door! AWESOME