This is an antique armoire that I recently “reinvented”. It lives a very useful life holding my plethora of china and miscellaneous knick knacks out of view and out of reach of little fingers. The profits from this piece will go to Amazima. Click here for details on how to purchase. And for those of you who’d like to DIY…
Here are the before pics of the armoire…well, halfway before. (I’d already started painting when I thought to take a picture.) I painted it with Annie Sloan Old White, deliberately using vertical and horizontal strokes to try to give it as much texture as I could and offset the chevron diamond pattern in the veneer.
And then I started painting on the vines. And a few flowers. I used a Royal Albert cup and saucer for inspiration on my roses. And this bird chest and this Italian painted furniture were the inspiration for the birds and vines.
I found these great free images from the Graphics Fairy for vintage French postcards with these adorable birds, and attempted to decoupage them on (cheating, I know, but I have a 2 and 4 year old!) It worked, but ended up looking…well, decoupaged. Not like the amazing original art I had in mind. So I ended up painting over each of them. It probably took way longer than just painting the birds in the first place, but I like the way they turned out.
Then I painted the verse on the center panel. “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. So don’t be afraid, you are worth more than many sparrows.” This part freaked me out. I have a major aversion to those cheesy “word art” vinyl things. And I didn’t want the words to detract from the piece. I printed the verse in a font on my computer, then painted it on using this technique.
I loved it. But it was still too new and bright, so I took a deep breath, put the kids to bed, and started waxing. Wax on, wax off, wax on, wax off. (First the whole thing in Annie Sloan clear wax, let dry, then wipe on dark wax, then before it has a chance to dry, wipe off with clear wax.) This gave me the look of that hand painted Italian Furniture that I was going for.
You can see on the inside of the door where I painted my “practice” stuff. Because I was shaking in my boots about diving in on the front. And I’m too lazy to paint a practice board. Keeping it real.
And this is a very bad photo of the finished piece. It really looks way better than this. Really. If you don’t believe me, I’ll have you over for brunch and prove it to you.