Painted Armoire Makeover

Are you ready to give your old and tired armoire a brand new look? Painting furniture is an easy way to transform a piece of furniture that may have seen better days. In this blog post, we will guide you through an easy painted armoire makeover that will leave your furniture looking polished and updated.

Whether you are a seasoned DIYer or a beginner, this project is simple enough for anyone to tackle with confidence. Get ready to breathe new life into your drab armoire and create a stunning piece that will elevate the look of any room.

photo of wood armoire before makeover

My sister bought this armoire for her bedroom and asked if I could help her paint it. It was in excellent shape, unlike most of my makeovers, but this tone of wood just isn’t her style.

Click here to subscribe

So, she brought it over and helped me, help her paint it.

Which I was happy to do because I’ve been really burnt out in the painting department lately. It was so nice to have some help and some company while we painted.

Supplies Used for This Painted Armoire Makeover

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. I also may earn from other qualifying purchases with other companies or get free product to review and use. All opinions are my own.

Get our list of the best painting furniture supplies here!

Preparing Furniture for Paint

Before we start slapping on the paint, we have to Prepare Furniture For Painting, to make sure it sticks well, and to make sure it looks really good when all is said and done.

Just like with every makeover, we removed the hardware first. We even unscrewed the hinges from the door… which if you’ve refinished furniture… you know can come back to bite ya.

But this piece is new enough that I didn’t think it would be a big deal to put it back together.

Then my sister cleaned the whole piece with Krud Kutter and a damp rag to make sure the surface was clean and to help the paint stick.

Here’s exactly How to Clean Furniture Before Painting.

And then she breezed through scuff sanding the armoire with my Surfprep Sander.

Scuff sanding the armoire with Surfprep Sander

Sanding before painting helps the paint stick to the furniture. Learn how to scuff sand your furniture, and see why it’s so important in our Sanding Before Painting Furniture post.

She used the ½” foam sanding pads in medium grit for anything that wasn’t flat. And then she used regular 220 grit sandpaper for the flat areas.

If you don’t have an electric sander, here’s my guide on how to sand wood by hand.

Here are more Sandpaper for Furniture Painting options.

Removing Wood Stain from Wood

My sister wanted the top to be a warm grey wood color, so while she scuff sanded I thought I could quickly scrape off the old finish with the carbide scraper… nope!! I tried and tried but it barely removed the topcoat!

I was worried about sanding it all down, fearing that I would sand through a thin layer of veneer and into a layer of MDF or particle board since this armoire is fairly new.

There are do’s and don’ts when dealing with particle board, learn more on how to paint particle board furniture here.

So, to play it safe, we decided to use a chemical stripper to remove the old finish.

Spraying Stripwell QCS onto the armoire

We used Stripwell QCS to remove the finish. I’ve gotta say, this stuff is quickly becoming a favorite of mine. Stripwell QCS is a simple and safe chemical stripper that has virtually no VOCs, which is rare with chemical strippers!

(Use code SUNLIGHT10 to get 10% off your order of Stripwell QCS!)

Check out my Stripwell QCS review here.

Learn how to use Stripwell QCS chemical stripper in this How to Refinish a Dresser post.

This finish was THICK! We ended up doing 2 rounds of stripping to get it off. Not surprising though since the carbide scraper barely did anything on this one!

Check these posts about How to Remove Wood Stain and How to Remove Stain from Wood to learn more.

Here’s our list of the Best Wood Stain Removers to help you make an informed decision on which remover is best for your project.

Prime Before Painting

While we waited on the stripper, we primed the drawers and door with BIN shellac based primer to help the paint stick, but mostly to Stop Stains from Coming Through Paint.

Rolling primer onto drawers

My sister wanted to paint this piece white, and if we didn’t prime it, I was sure we would have stains ruining our white paint job.

Check out the Best Primers to Stop Tannin Bleed here!

We brushed and rolled 2 coats of primer on to make sure we had full coverage everywhere.

When the primer was all dry, we sanded it smooth with fine grit foam pads, just to remove the texture that was left behind and make it feel smooth. We used the vacuum to suck up most of the dust and then wiped everything down with a tack cloth again.

Restaining Wood with Paint

The next day the top (where we stripped off the old finish) was dry, so we were able to sand the raw wood with 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the wood and remove a little bit of finish that was leftover. 

Sanding wood with 220 grit sandpaper

I also used some medium grit foam sanding pads to sand the curves on the side of the dresser by hand. Then I cleaned off the dust.

My sister loves her wood to have some grey in it, so I mixed up some grey and cream paint to make a light gray color, and then I added some water to the paint to create a wash.

This process is very similar to whitewashing wood.

Brushing gray wash onto raw wood

And then I brushed the wash onto the wood quickly, with a Zibra paint brush and wiped it away quickly to give it a slight grey tone.

Ahhh it looks sooo good!!

Learn all about How to Restain Wood furniture here!

Painting Furniture White

Then we brushed and rolled some Sherwin Williams Emerald Urethane Trim Enamel in pure white onto the rest of the armoire.

Check out my list of the best white paint for furniture here.

Brushing and rolling white paint onto armoire drawers

This paint is high quality, self leveling trim paint that dries to a very durable finish.

Check out my honest Sherwin Williams Emerald Urethane Trim Enamel Review here.

I’ve sprayed in on in the past, in this post about Painting Furniture White. But this time we just brushed and rolled it on with a Zibra Chiseled Wedge paint brush and a mohair mini roller.

We painted 2 coats on everything, letting it dry completely between coats (recoat time is 4 hours). This paint doesn’t need a topcoat. Actually, you shouldn’t topcoat it.

Here’s everything you need to know about Painting Furniture with Enamel Paint.

Topcoating Stained Wood

But, the freshly stained wood on top did need a topcoat for protection.

I topcoated the wood on top with a Zibra topcoat brush and 3 coats of waterbased polyurethane to protect the wood from getting damaged easily.

Topcoating top of armoire with polyurethane

Learn more about Topcoats for Painting Furniture and how to apply topcoat to painted furniture in this post.

White Painted Armoire

Then we put everything back together and we put on some new cute hexagon knobs on the drawers and door.

Check out our How to Change Hardware on a Dresser guide.

And here’s what it looks like now!

Get more inspiration from these stunning painted armoire ideas.

Closeup of armoire painted white
Armoire painted white

More Before And After Makeovers

Click any of these “before” photos below to view the “after” of that makeover.

White painted armoire with wood top and gold hardware
Closeup of white armoire with gold hardware

How stinking cute! I think I need to paint more furniture white, because I LOVE this crisp white look! If you feel the same way, here are more white painted furniture ideas!

If you want more amazing furniture makeover ideas, check out this post for inspiration and step-by-step guides on how to transform your furniture into stunning pieces.

What do you think of the new look? Would you have painted it all one color? Or do you like the wood top? Let me know in the comments!!

Painted Armoire Makeover

Armoire painted white

Are you ready to give your old and tired armoire a brand new look? Here's an easy painted armoire makeover to make your furniture look polished and updated.


  1. Remove the hardware and clean the furniture with Krud Kutter. Scuff sand everything to get it ready for paint.
  2. Remove the stained finish on top with Stripwell QCS.
  3. Apply 2 coats of BIN shellac based primer with a paint brush and roller.
  4. When the primer is dry, sand smooth with fine grit foam pads. Use the vacuum to suck up any dust then wipe everything down with a tack cloth.
  5. Brush and roll 2 coats of Sherwin Williams Emerald Urethane Trim Enamel in pure white with the Zibra Chiseled Wedge paint brush and mohair mini roller.
  6. Thin out some grey paint and apply it to the raw wood top.
  7. Once the wood is dry, apply 3 coats of topcoat using the Zibra topcoat brush.
  8. Put on new hardware.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

More White Painted Furniture Makeovers

Click here to subscribe

Follow us on YouTube to get more tips for painting furniture.

Or share your project with us on our Facebook Group and be part of our community. See you there!

Old wood armoire

One Comment

  1. Esmé Slabbert says:

    What a nice, clean bright white, and it is beautifully done. Love the door handles for accent.
    Thank you for sharing your links with us at #277 SSPS Linky. See you again next week.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *