DIY · Dumpster Finds · Paint

Furniture Rescue: An Armoire Goes From the Curb to Our Home

If you know me, you know that I am a proud dumpster diver. I always keep my eye out for furniture that has been discarded at curbside. If I see potential in an item, I drag it home (much to my family’s disgust). Sometimes, I realize that it won’t work, and I send it back to the trash, but sometimes I get lucky and I find a keeper. For over a week last spring, I saw a nice armoire in a neighbor’s driveway. I knew that the neighbor had already moved and that the armoire was destined for the trash, but since it was in the driveway, I couldn’t take it. I patiently waited until it was moved to the curb, and then I pounced. The armoire was large and unwieldy, and it took the whole family plus our building’s janitor to get it all the way down the block and into our apartment. But it was well worth the effort, because I knew with a little paint and TLC it would be perfect for our daughter’s bedroom.

Here is a photo of the salvaged armoire in our mudroom before I started painting it:


The armoire was in great condition, which made my job easy. I gave it a good cleaning, took off the hardware, and sanded it to prepare the surface for painting. I have always wanted to try Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, but it is difficult to find, and I am impatient when I start a project, so I walked to the Home Depot and bought their version of chalk paint instead. Chalk paint has an ultra matte finish, and you don’t need to use a primer, which is appealing when you are someone who likes to get projects done quickly! I used this for the exterior:

screen-shot-2017-01-28-at-5-06-32-pmAlthough the instructions on the paint can say that you only need one coat, the initial coat I applied to the armoire looked a little streaky, so I did a second coat. I applied the paint with a brush and, where possible, with a roller. For the inside, I decided that a contrast would be fun, so I painted the shelves and drawers this pretty blue:


I painted the chicken wire on the door panels white, as well. I made curtains for the inside of the doors from a sheet that matches my daughter’s room. The project took only a day, and I was happy with the result.


Here is the inside:


I used the blue paint for the trim around the exterior.


The armoire provides much-needed storage for my daughter. The drawers are full of art supplies and toys. I love having her things off the floor and organized and contained in a pretty, one-of-a-kind piece of furniture.

Now, I’m off for my daily walk. I will be looking for more treasures along the way!


3 thoughts on “Furniture Rescue: An Armoire Goes From the Curb to Our Home

  1. Good morning, Elizabeth, I love your idea of the inside curtains, and brilliantly added the top backing to the armoire!

    I’ve been using Anne Sloane paints for refurbishing furniture for the last couple of years. I use to be able to purchase it at Camelot Village, and it was discontinued. Now when I travel to Albany and buy it at a salvage store. Recently my husband bought me a can of Rustoleum Chalk Paint, and surprisingly, so far I love it just as much as A.S Paints.

    Have a fulfilling day, and I love your work!


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