Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Painted French Armoire

I really have to get better at documenting my painted furniture - lately I've been a bit slack in using my proper camera and have just been snapping quick pictures with my iPhone. It sometimes doesn't do the piece justice. Anyway today I wanted to share with you a beautiful very old French armoire. 


The armoire was in a pretty dirty rough state when I bought it. I am pretty sure someone had been using it in a shed or garage. Mint green oil paint was splattered on it and it was very grubby. I spent a fair bit of time scrubbing it cleaning, vacuuming it out (there was a little animal's (rats?) nest in the carcass, underneath the drawers) and sanding it. There are lots of borer holes but that is to be expected in these old French pieces and really they just add to the character of it. It also had lots of chipped veneer and broken handles but still very beautiful.


I am so inspired lately by Leslie Stocker of Colorways and love her layered paint finishes. They are very authentic and exactly what I felt this piece needed. I used ASCP French Linen, Old White and Paris Grey, mixed and layered. The inside of the shelving area I painted with ASCP Old White. I then used ASCP Clear wax and MMS Antiquing Wax to add the final layer of patina. I am so happy with the final finish.

French painted armoire by Lilyfield Life

When I say I used a layered paint what that actually means is for the first coat I painted a solid coat of  French Linen, next I did a couple of washes of various mixes of French Linen and Old White, I then dry brushed Paris grey, and then dry brushed Old White. Waiting for the paint to fully dry in between each coat. Dry brush in the direction of the grain of wood. With the washes, I brush on the diluted paint and then when it is semi dry I wipe it off with a lint free cotton rag. It takes a bit of experimentation and practice but if you hate how it turns out just paint over it.

French painted armoire by Lilyfield Life

I replaced all the handles as only two were complete with these lovely drop handles from Chippendale Restorations. 

French painted armoire by Lilyfield Life

Here is a close up of the painted finish. While you can see brush marks, I have sanded it very well and the armoire was silky smooth to touch. Waxing your painted furniture gives such a beautiful finish.

how to layer paint for an authentic french look

I showed the before photo on my facebook page and within minutes had four buyers lined up with their interest. Samantha was third in line but ended up being the successful buyer and she came and picked up the armoire on the weekend and will use it to store her linen. She was so happy with hr purchase and that makes me happy.

Fiona xx

French painted armoire by Lilyfield Life

sharing at MMS

9 comments:

  1. OH wow! what a beauty!!!! i love this so much, fiona!

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    1. thanks Cassie - i really loved it and was wondering whether to keep it but it was too rustic for Phiil. So i sold it.

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  2. It is gorgeous! I love layering paints...gives a piece some interesting depth. On a side note, doesn't Leslie Stocker have the most amazing eye? She can see any paint finish and identify the corresponding ASCP paint colors! She is brilliant and her blog Colorways is a fabulous resource!

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    1. Thanks Robin. I am completely obsessed with Leslie’s painting at the moment. She is a treasure!

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  3. Oh my, another gorgeous piece Fiona! Amazing work as usual.

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  4. Really stunning Fiona. Thanks for the mention,
    Leslie

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    1. my pleasure Leslie. the gratitude is all mine for your inspiration. thanks xx

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  5. Beautiful piece and I love the finish you did on it. Inspiring!

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