DIY: Armoire Transformed into a Classroom Treasure- Part 2

This project was supposed to happen over the summer, but I just got too excited.  I have my Science & Math CSET on Tuesday and I have a ton of nervous energy.  After putting in my studying time for the day, I would use any remaining “free me” time to work on the armoire.  Yes, I missed the Fiesta Days Parade, Pancake Breakfast, Carnival, and going to the gym over the past three days, but this glorious piece is complete.

If you remember from Part One of this post, I found this treasure on the curb marked “free.”  As soon as I saw it, I knew its purpose.  It was going to be the centerpiece for my classroom library.  Deciding on the perfect color was the second most difficult part of the project, but was not without trial and error.  I’ll get back to that later.  Ready for the finished piece?  Me too!

Original Piece


Step One:

First, I removed the thin backing and pulled off all the hinges, unsightly nails,  and that weird bar across the top.  I took precise measurements, so I would know the dimensions of the wood that I needed to purchase.  Yes, I had to borrow my youngest son’s measuring tape out of his tool box because I couldn’t find my husband’s.  😦

Since this piece will store books for my classroom library, I needed to add some shelves.  I purchased one large thin piece of wood for the back and had two thicker pieces of wood cut for the shelves.  I also purchased a small strip of wood to support the upper shelves.  Did you know Home Depot cuts wood for you!?  I didn’t!  I was thrilled because it took that whole step off my plate.


Step Two:

My next step was to decide on an Annie Sloan Chalk Paint color.  I headed over to my all-time favorite local store, Patina’s in Fairfield.  I brought in samples of the colors that I wanted to use in my classroom and we decided on a neutral yellow color.  Initially I thought it was a great color… until I painted it on.  Ewe.  I wanted to love it, but it reminded me of nacho cheese and that was not the vibe I was looking for.  Ca-Ching! Back to the drawing board!  😦



Step 2 (revisited):

So, after my first color fail, I headed back to Patina’s.  I decided that I was going to use my favorite color- blue.  I purchased a four ounce container of Florence ($13.00), a can of Napoleonic Blue ($40) and I had Old White at home.  Using their color swatches in the store,  I devised my plan.


I painted the outside of the armoire quickly with a mixture of Napoleonic Blue and white.  This was going to be the outside color, but it turned out a tad too light for my liking.  I decided to use it as the base and painted on the second coat with straight Napoleonic Blue.  Having the lighter blue underneath crated a beautiful undercoat effect!

As the blue was drying, I decided to paint the backing with a teal/aqua color.  This color will appear in various places in my classroom and I think it will tie in nicely.  I’ve placed the ratio above for your convenience.

I painted the interior and shelves with Old White last.  I figured if anything was going to get scratched or messed up, it would be the white.  I had to paint on two coats of Old White to cover the nacho cheese.



Once the paint had dried, I waxed the white and then the blue with Clear Wax.  I waited to put the backing on so waxing would be easier.  This way, I could get in from both sides of the piece.  Since I will have lots of hands and fingers over this, I made sure I generously sealed the piece.  When the waxing was done, I added the backing and I was in love.  ♥♥♥



Step 3:

Changing the hinges and hanging the doors were the most trying and frustrating part of the project by far!  I’m certain it was the combination of never hanging cabinet doors before and doing this alone, but I literally wanted to rip out my hair.  My only advice, get your hubby or someone else who has done this before to help you, not your impatient and annoyed 12-year old son who wants to get back to playing his Xbox.

Two hours later… the doors were hung and sealed.  I found some beautiful knobs from a local vintage store and finished the piece with them.  I’m hoping my students will find them magical and enticing and will want to spend lots of time reading about adventures, discovery, and newfound knowledge .  All in all, I’m thrilled with the results and cannot wait to have it filled with books in my classroom.  Not too shabby for something I found on the curb.  ♥♥♥

FullSizeRender 47 copy





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