The" French Grey" Armoire
It isn't every day that you come across an Ethan Allen armoire for $75!
But it just so happened to be my lucky day on that crisp Spring day, almost 2 years ago. I was shopping at one of my favorite resale furniture shops in the beautiful northwest Arkansas when it immediately caught my eye. My first thought was that I was looking at the price wrong. After reading it for the tenth time, to make sure I had read it correctly, I began to think there must be some major damage. I checked all the drawers, hardware, and edges of the piece. Although it had several nicks and scratches, they were on the surface and easily fixed.
My next thought? SOLD!!!! :0)
I quickly removed the paper tag with the $75 on it and claimed it as my own! I then bravely opened the inside to see if it was a mistake. On examining the inside, I could see that the back panel, which is pretty cheap material on most furniture any way, had a big cut out hole for a TV. This obviously was when TV's were bulky and not sleek flat screen's like we have in our homes now. "No problem on the hole", I thought. I could just replace the backing with something else.
Next, I noticed all the small drawers. I will admit that I get a little giddy when a dresser or armoire has little drawers and shelves inside. I don't know why, but it just makes the piece even more interesting to me. I start to imagine all the uses and neat things I can put inside them.
The top shelf, (where the gargantuan TV must have been sitting) had big groves in part of the shelf. It looked like there must have been another drawer that the previous owners had taken out to fit the TV. I knew I would have to either replace the shelf or figure out how to fill such deep groves in order to make it work. I decided the work to repair it would be worth it!
I proudly marched my little self to the cash counter, holding the paper tag in a death grip, for fear someone would wrestle me to the ground for it! Without a backward glance or looking at anything else in the store, I left with my new treasure! Here is a look at the before:
In order to refurbish a piece like this to pristine condition, I would no doubt have to spend countless hours sanding and filling holes; that is, if I wanted to restain it. But we all know that I wasn't going to do that! That's right! I was going to do a light sanding, fill the deeper scratches and nicks, and then I was going to paint it!
In choosing the paint color, I picked a light grey. I loved the dark wood of the original color so I knew that I would be distressing the paint to expose the warmth of the dark wood; giving this piece a richness that it deserved. After all, it is an Ethan Allen!
After sanding the surface and filling any holes, I detached the hardware and the cabinet doors. I ended up spray painting the brass hardware with Rustoleum Bronze to give it a darker and more substantial finish. The darker bronze brown would accent nicely against the light grey color.
I then had to decide what to do with the deeper groves on the top shelf of the interior. I decided I would first try to fill the holes with several applications of the wood putty; sanding and allowing appropriate dry times between applications. If it didn't work, I could alway try to replace the shelf. But after several successful fillings, it began to fill nicely and in the end, I was happy with it!
I painted several coats of the "French Grey", as it later became named. I made the chalk paint color myself, using this Chalk Paint Recipe, which you can also reference here.
Next, I lightly sanded the edges to give it that "French Chic" look and waxed with a clear satin wax.
I chose a cottage bead board to replace the "hole-y" backing, which complimented the piece nicely. Here is the finished look of the interior:
I am in love with this paint color, although any grey paint has my vote! How do you spell this color? Is it Grey or Gray for you? Stangely, I will alternate between the two spellings, but this one in particular is definitely a Frenchy "Grey".
Hope you enjoyed this furntiture transformation!
Until next time......just be you!!!!