10 Incredible DIY Armoire Makeover Ideas

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Today I’m sharing with you 10 amazing armoire makeover ideas you can do yourself!

We all probably have these old furniture pieces at home . . . you know the ones with good bones and lots of storage space, but maybe just not so nice to look at anymore?

Or perhaps your decorating style has changed and that heavy wooden armoire feels out of place with your new colors and design?

Whether you’re looking to make over an antique armoire or a newer, mass-market piece, this post is full of great ideas for how to give that old armoire of yours a new life.

10 Armoire Makeover Ideas

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Thomasville Armoire Painted Dark

The original finish on this armoire was so visually heavy, with all those grain lines running everywhere.

My client wanted it to still have a dark finish but a more modern look, so she chose to paint it a dark charcoal gray color.


painted thomasville armoire
Now the dark finish is sleek and the piece makes a stunning addition to her living room.

See more of this makeover here : Painted Vintage Thomasville Chest in Fusion Ash


French Provincial Painted Armoire

Another vintage armoire here that gets a paint makeover! This one is finished with a light gray chalk paint and sealed with dark black wax to bring out the decorative details.

Today I’m sharing with you 10 amazing armoire makeover ideas you can do yourself! We all probably have these old furniture pieces at home . . . you know the ones with good bones and lots of storage space, but maybe just not so nice to look at anymore? Whether you’re looking to make over an antique armoire or a newer, mass-market piece, this post is full of great ideas for how to give that old armoire of yours a new life
See more of this makeover here: French Provincial Makeover with Jolie Chalk Paint


Boho Style Armoire

Maybe your style is a bit more colorful!

I went to my paint stash and dug out 3 different blue paint colors to use for this boho-style finish.

armoire painted in multiple shades of blue
See the full tutorial for how I got this finish here: Color Blending with Fusion Mineral Paint { Painted Armoire Makeover }


Two-Tone Armoire

This makeover uses a light color on the outside, with the inside of the armoire painted darker.

Antique China Cabinet with Fusion Sterling and Homestead Blue

This is a great idea if you want to showcase some pretty white dishes or other light-colored collectibles.

See more of this project here: This China Cabinet Gets New Life with Fusion Mineral Paint { Furniture Makeover }


Updated Armoire with Fabric Door Panels

Marty over at Marty’s Musings gave this basic and blah pine armoire an update using Annie Sloan chalk paint in the color Pure White. She also shares a clever way to update each door panel using a thin piece of wood wrapped in fabric.

armoire makeover ideas


White Painted Armoire Makeover with Raised Stenciling

Here’s another great example of an antique piece of furniture painted a nice, clean white. Denise over at Salvaged Inspirations also added a touch of something extra to her armoire makeover by creating a raised stencil pattern on the side panels.

armoire painted and stenciled

What Type of Paint to Use for Painting a Wood Armoire

A fresh coat of paint is the easiest way you can makeover an old armoire. It really is amazing what a change of color can do for a piece that you’re just not in love with anymore.

If you’re working with a solid wood piece, you have a lot of options for what paint to use for your project.

Chalk paint is a popular choice and is the most DIY-friendly paint on the market. If you’re a new painter, starting with chalk paint for your project is a great idea because it requires minimal prep work and is almost impossible to mess up.

If you want to create a more distressed or primitive look, you can try milk paint. There is a bit more of a learning curve to using milk paint, but once you get the hang of it, you can create gorgeous finishes that mimic the look of real, old, chippy paint.

One more option for you is Fusion Mineral Paint, which has been my paint of choice for a while now. Like chalk paint, it’s easy to use but offers better long-term durability and doesn’t require an extra topcoat.

I think Fusion does a fantastic job at providing a sleek, finished look for your painted project, so it’s my paint of choice for when I want a solid, modern finish.


How to Prep an Armoire before Painting

The first thing you always do when painting old pieces is to give them a good cleaning. My personal favorite cleaner is this biodegradable TSP Alternative.

how to clean your furniture before painting

You can read all about how to properly clean your furniture before painting here.

It’s also a good idea also to lightly sand the entire piece after you clean it. This helps open up the pores of the finish and gives the paint something to grip.

If there is old paint on the armoire, you will also want to give that a scuff with sandpaper (around 180 grit) and sand smooth any places where the paint is dripping, pooled, or otherwise looks icky.

Starting with a smooth surface is the best way to make sure your final coat of paint looks nice and smooth too.

I usually also remove all the hardware before I paint–knobs, pulls, and door hinges. Be sure to store them somewhere safe and where you won’t forget where they are–speaking from experience here!

With solid wood furniture and the paints mentioned above, generally using a primer isn’t necessary. However if you are painting white or another light color over very dark stained wood or paint, you can save at least one coat of paint by using a white primer as a base coat.


What Topcoat to Use After you Paint your Armoire

The topcoat you will use depends on the paint you use, as well as your desired finished look.

If you use chalk paint, you have to seal the paint with something to help it be durable and long-lasting.

Furniture wax is typically the sealer of choice for chalk paint, you can read all you need to know about furniture wax in this post here.

A coat of clear wax will soak down into the pores of your chalk paint and provide the protection you need. If you want to create an antiqued finish, you can use a dark wax over your chalk paint.

For all about using dark wax to create an antique finish, check out this comprehensive tutorial: How to Use Dark Wax and Antique Glaze

If you’re working with milk paint, you can also use a furniture wax, or you can use a hard polyacrylic topcoat.

Read our full tutorial about the 3 Ways to Seal Milk Paint here.


More Creative Armoire Makeover Ideas

Raw Wood Antique Armoire

Perhaps the painted look isn’t quite your style. If that’s the case, try stripping the finish off an old wood armoire for a raw wood look, which is perfect for that french or english antique style.

Rachel at Maison de Pax did just that with this piece she inherited from a family member. You can read all about how she used a power sander and oven cleaner (yes, oven cleaner!) to strip the finish off this armoire.

If you want to read more about how to strip furniture, check out my method in this tutorial here.


Wallpapered Interior White Armoire

This project is truly inspiring!

Over on her Songbird blog, Maryann shares the makeover of this huge wooden armoire. The entire armoire (including the inside) got a fresh coat of white paint, but then there’s another added surprise!

Maryanne added some extra storage shelves and covered the inside of this piece with gorgeous bird wallpaper. Now it’s as pretty on the inside as it is on the outside!


Kids Art Desk Repurposed Armoire

This project literally started as a pile of trash on the side of the road.

Gail from My Repurposed Life found this child-size armoire on the curb, and cleverly repurposed it into a kid’s art desk. The final result is incredible!


Armoire Turned Open Shelving

For another trash-to-treasure find, Christina from OhMySander.com found this piece on the curb and turned it into farmhouse-style open shelving by removing the front doors and adding wood strips to the back.

New hardware from Hobby Lobby and a fresh coat of paint rounded out this bright and fun makeover.


Where to Find Old Armoires

If you don’t already have an old armoire lying around your house, the good news is that they are pretty easy to find for cheap!

The 90’s and early 2000’s were the eras of big, chunky furniture (think that big TV entertainment center you had), and as we moved into the last decade that style has faded some.

Because these pieces aren’t as popular now, I see large armoires from this era at thrift stores all the time. So be sure to check your local Goodwills, Salvation Army, Habitat Restores, and any other local thrift stores you may have on a regular basis if you’re on the hunt for a piece like this.

Another option is to do some garage sale shopping. Take a few hours on a Saturday morning and cruise around your area to see what kind of furniture people are getting rid of.

Or like in a few of these makeover examples above, you might get lucky with a freebie on the curb one day!

If you’re looking for an older antique armoire to work on, your local antique store will likely be your best option.

I have also found antique armoires being sold on online garage sale sites, like Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist, although they usually sell pretty fast! So if you find one you like, be ready to pay and set up a pick up time quickly so another shopper doesn’t steal your find.


I hope I’ve been able to give you some ideas today for how to restyle, refresh, and repurpose these old-style armoires.

Everyone always needs more storage, and I’ve shared above several clever ways you can use add more storage to your home and not sacrifice on your style to do it. 

If you’re interested in other style furniture makeovers, here are a few more to check out:

Antique Dresser Painted in Fusion Mineral Paint Oakham

How to Stencil a Dresser for a Unique Finish

How to Strip Furniture {Nightstand Makeover}

How to Reupholster a French Chair | Makeover Reveal

How to Paint Furniture with Metallic Paint


Friday 28th of April 2023

Hi Melanie- Your updated blog is easier to navigate and I like how you organized your content. I always love seeing your furniture makeovers! Thanks for the inspiration.

Melanie Alexander

Monday 1st of May 2023

Thanks Anna! Yes, it desperately needed updating and I was so grateful to have our new version launched! Thanks for stopping by :)


Thursday 6th of April 2023

Stumbled across your blog through another blog, love what you do!

I do have a question,I’d like to subscribe to you Blog, but don’t see any link to do so! Help!

Melanie Alexander

Friday 14th of April 2023

Hi Kim! Thanks so much for stopping by :) We recently had the blog rebuilt and so are still in the process of getting our finishing touches all added back in. There should be an option to join our email newsletter though now on our sidebar, thanks for wanting to come along with us!

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