My Armoire Makeover: Painting It Navy

Don’t you love when you can revive a piece of furniture you’re totally tired of, and suddenly fall in love with it again?  That’s the story of me and my armoire.


living room armoire


We originally bought it for our first nursery in 2004, and when it wouldn’t fit up the stairs in our next house, it landed in the front living room as a big art supply cabinet for the kids.


By the time, we moved into our current house a couple of years ago, I was tired of its bulkiness and cherry finish and listed it on Craigslist.  But, it never sold and ended up storing all kinds of “stuff” in our garage.

armoire before



Then, one day I had a thought.  (Yes, really.)  The dresser in our bedroom had never quite looked right, and I hated seeing the TV sitting on top as you came into the room.  So, I invited the armoire to come back and live inside the house:


painted blue armoire



I went with this rich navy blue:

Benjamin Moore Hale Navy



It took one coat of primer (I used Zinsser) and two coats of paint in a satin finish.


Painting furniture



Our TV fit perfectly by taking the top shelf out, and I’m happy to be able to put that ugly cable box and cords behind closed doors:


TV cabinet in bedroom



Besides buying the paint, my only other investment was hardware. I spent a total of $13 by buying two IKEA pulls for $10 (and sprayed them metallic gold), and I picked up a bag of brass  knobs at my local Habitat ReStore for $3.  (I always check the hardware section when I’m there!)


navy armoire with brass knobs



Pressing on with our bedroom update, I have big plans for this wall in our bedroom.  I’ll show you in the next couple of weeks.


painted navy armoire makeover



Do you have any furniture around your house that you’ve re-fallen in love with lately?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.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


I’m working on some this week. The bedside tables in our Master bedroom are being painted a high gloss deep navy. Can’t decide if I want silver or gold hardware though.. =) Great Job on the armoire, it turned out lovely.

What a great transformation! Love the color you chose and I think armoires are fantastic in the bedroom for hiding the tv. And, now I’m kicking myself, because I have a similar armoire to redo, was at Ikea (3 hours away) last weekend with pulls like this in my hand, and ended up putting them back. Ugh! I guess they’ll be on the list for the next trip! :)

Beautiful! I am in the middle of painting an heirloom dresser in a dark blue, and am already excited by the result. One more coat of paint and it’s going to the bedroom! It took a bit of courage to paint, but I’m sure it will be worth it. Your armoire reinforces my decision, so thanks!

wow! i wouldn’t even know that is the same piece! love it! i had a “country” looking chest that i wanted to get rid of…painted it wrought iron(martha stewart) and added MS brass rectangular cup pulls. now it’s one of my favorites in the entire house! isn’t paint magic? ;)

Did you use oil or latex paint? I am wanting to paint a wall of bookshelves, but am worried how the paint will hold up as we *use* the shelves for books! Thanks for any advice…

I think it looks great, and I admire your guts to do something this drastic-with wonderful results!

Does anyone have any bad experiences spray painting metal pulls/knobs? I have had some where the paint rubs off where you touch it repeatedly-like wears off. Any ideas?

That looks SO SO good Emily! I have such a similar scenario. Bought a cherry wood armoire that was a nursery piece, now it sits in our entry and holds our art supplies. I’ve been debating painting it a chalky gray or navy. This really inspires me to bite the bullet. You picked fabulous hardware too! I love reinventing furniture and the thrill of thinking how much money you just saved;)

I love how you can revive a piece of furniture into a new setting and it looks like something brand new. I especially love the gold pulls and knobs! I’m loving anything gold right now!

Emily, you are my kindred spirit as I have just finished painting three bookcases from my childhood. It was a huge project but I love the results. I gave them a new life by painting them white and raising them up with a 15 inch riser with moldings. Now they look like built-ins. They have such awesome lines, I couldn’t part with them and I have fond memories of storing my toys as a kid in the cabinets. More importantly, I love Hale Navy, it’s my wall color in the den. I’m about to use it on a game table I’m redoing. The Hale Navy is actually darker than it appears on the PC, so I am really appreciating your armoire transformation! You inspire me every day. Keep it coming.

LOVE! I am going to re-paint my bedroom suite — the WHOLE thing! Yikes! :) And, I am a complete newbie. Do I need to sand it first? Or just use a primer and go for it?

thank you!!!

Melanie, I painted my pine bedroom suite about 4 years ago. It was about about 20 years old so it wasn’t very shiny and I dont use a lot of wood cleaners so it didn’t have any build up of oils on it. I didn’t sand it and it still looks great. I had a professional painter tell me to always use 100% acrylic paint when doing things like this and so far it hasn’t failed me. I have found that most outdoor paints are 100% acrylic. I am really wanting to paint it this blue now! Good luck!

I remember you instagramming this a few weeks ago. So happy to see the result. I think the navy is perfect, but that hardware is even better! Great idea to look for hardware at Habitat… was just there this past weekend, but didn’t even think to look!

I love the blue you chose. Its not so dark that it looks black but yet it doesn’t have the country blue look. Perfect. The armoire looks wonderful. I have a remade armoir in my bedroom as well. We had an old (really old) cabinet that i bought second hand years ago. It had a large opening bottom center where a cosole TV sat. I told it was old. The cabinet was divided with shelves all across it. My husband turned it over and made the top the bottom. He applied crown molding to the top to finish it.Closed in all the cubbyholes and put on doors. He also made a new shelf and doors for the TV opening.. I wish I could explain to you hw awesome it is. It’s about 5 ft tall and 6 ft long I painted it a moss green but I am really loving this blue!! everyone one that sees it loves it and I love having all the extra storage in my bedroom. Keep up the good work. Love your blog!!

I love it when someone makes over an old armoire! I love the hardware you chose!

We are making over a pine armoire and turning it into something that holds things for our master bathroom.

Do you think you will do a contrasting treatment on the inside sometime
in the future?

I love it, Emily! I’m now totally regretting dropping my armoire that we tried to sell in multiple garage sales off to Goodwill. It was very similar and you can never have enough closed storage, right? Oh well…I’m am sure that it now belongs to someone who is loving it! And I love Hale Navy…I used it on our bedroom dresser makeover with gold pulls…there is just something so sophisticated about that color combo! ;)

I just love this! How has it held up over the years? May I ask if you sanded it prior to priming or in between coats?

It’s holding up great. I don’t think I did any sanding. Pretty sure we just primed and painted. I usually don’t sand unless it’s an ultra-glossy finish to begin with…

Love this! We just re-did our master bath & I used a similar navy on the cabinets (BM Van Duesen which is on the same swatch as Hale Navy) with antique brass hardware and it looks AMAZING! Was thinking I may tackle our bedroom bookshelves & your post has given me inspiration! Thanks for posting!!

Hello, I am trying to find those Ikea pulls – do you know the name of them? I can’t find them on Ikea’s website. I need wide ones like the ones you used!

Hi Emily! Lovely piece and I am thinking on painting two pieces in my bedroom that are just boring!
Did you sanded before priming? Hi w did you prepared the piece?


I have pieces quite similar to these, and I can’t stand them. They are black and dull! I’m glad this worked for someone. I will report back and hopefully share pictures of the makeover!
I’m going for a distressed look I think.

This looks lovely :)
Other than the primer & paint, did you use anything else – like a top coat?
I assume you didn’t sand either?
Thanks so much!