Let me start by saying that the word organization makes my palms sweat. I’m not good at it, and it sometimes makes me feel really uncomfortable. When I picture organized homes, I think of stuffy and cold. However, I also have organization envy. So this next project was one I was excited about but also dreaded at the same time. The office (once referred to as the pretty room) is a sore spot in our house, it’s the place we put “stuff.”
I’ve been looking (for years) to get an armoire for the computer to hide “the stuff”. Finally I found what was looking for on Craigslist for $40 (within my price range). While she wasn’t bad I had an idea in mind.
I took the hardware and doors off, removed the shelves from inside, and lugged everything out to the driveway to get working on it. With the husbands help I used a paint sprayer and sprayed a few coats of KILZ primer on (the only primer we ever use). This began the beginning of several challenges. Some were out of my control (mother nature and the Wisconsin Spring weather) and others were well-deserved (I tried to just get it done and paid for it in the long run). You see I started to strip the varnish, but then thought I’d just sand it, and then thought the primer should work just fine. To make a long and painful story short and sweet- between my husband and I we sanded, primed, painted, and stripped it all back down and started over 3 times. A true testament to our marriage!
Lesson Learned #1: Take the time to prepare your furniture, it’s worth it in the long run, and while I’m at it lesson 2 is when spraying paint/primer it’s better to apply more thin coats than to try to cover with a thick coat. Reason being- you end up with a bunch of runs that are impossible to hide.
Once the armoire was primed we used Rustoleum Heirloom White spray paint (5 cans to be exact). I am an addict of this stuff. Menard’s happened to have a sale several weeks ago plus a rebate (each can was only .99 cents) so I stocked up and now I am looking for more things to paint. At one point I ran out and my husband thought he’s just run to town and pick up the next best thing (which he thought was ivory Krylon) it wasn’t. It looked pale yellow. I ended up leaving the inside of the armoire less than perfect with some of the ivory paint still on because it wasn’t worth it to me since the inside won’t be visible unless I’m working on the computer- and as stated above I’m not neurotic about stuff like that.
After the painting I took some dark brown Oops paint from Home Depot (I actually added some black acrylic to make it even darker) and mixed with Ralph Lauren Glaze. You literally need less than a cup to cover the entire armoire. Thanks to All Things Thrifty and her glazing tutorials I was much more satisfied with this project over the last glazing project. Glazing is much easier than it seems. The one thing to keep in mind is to really get the glaze into all the little cracks. I even made a special effort to get the dents and scratches glazed up. Also mix up your techniques a little. I wiped most of the glaze off with a wet rag, but I’d also use a dry rag or a dry foam brush to go over it to give it a more weathered look. It’s not supposed to look perfect. Here she is up close.
I went to a local warehouse (M Schettel Freight) where they literally have everything you could possibly need in life (including the kitchen sink) to pick up a few unique handles (.99 cents each) . Since hinges can sometimes be a pain to match up I opted to keep the old ones. I added a gob of glaze to all of the hardware and let it semi dry before I wiped it off.
Now, in order for this reveal to be as amazing as it really is you need to how it impacts the room overall. So here are a few shameful pictures of the office before we reorganized and added the beloved armoire…
A huge task off the list! This one brings a smile and big sigh every time I walk past. And yet the space is functional. I cut some cork board (double thickness) to fit inside the right panel door to hang the little stuff that typically cluttered stuff up (adhered with E6000 because we’re close friends!)
I’ll dedicate another post to the organizational systems we’ve instituted as a result of this project. I have a new love affair with my pretty office space! Best of all pretty little armoire project cost me less than $60.
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