Thursday, 30 June 2016

Armoire reveal... and why you should avoid oil based paints.

Gosh it's been a while! Is anyone still out there?
We've been through some rather tubulent, uncertain times since we last spoke. And that's just in the master bedroom, let alone our great nation.

I have sooo much to tell you. But first I must get this Armoire post out of the way. I finished it in February so I'm a little slow. I first wrote about it HERE.

I'll remind you how it looked when I found it, unloved and wearing some very bad paintwork.
Despite this, I fell madly in love.

Once I had accepted the fact that I couldn't keep it, (there was no way of getting it round the bend of the stairs) I decided to paint it in off white as white is the best selling colour for bedroom furniture.

I stripped and sanded, strengthened, de-wormed and replaced a missing trim and primed the bare wood. Luckily there was no bleed through so I got away with an ordinary primer.

I decided to use an 'oops' paint, a massive can of oil based eggshell I got for a fiver at my local paint merchants as the tint had gone wrong.

BIG MISTAKE! In the 16 to 24 hours it took to dry, it became a magnet for every airborne cat hair and dust particle I didn't even know I had. I married an OCD hooverer so I thought we were pretty clean. But no. It looked appalling.

I will never, not ever, use oil based paints again.

One good thing about the EU, love them or loathe them; they cleaned up our paints by taking out the toxic chemicals. This has caused problems with your average oil based white gloss yellowing in a matter of months, but the knock on effect has led to superior water based paints.
My kitchen is painted in water based paint. I can scrub it, knock it and it doesn't absorb grease.
My stairs are painted in water based paint. We walk on them. (Okay, they might be slightly trashed but, we have a LOT of furniture changes in this house which leads to more wear and tear than the average home. It would happen had I used oil based gloss too.)

Water based paints are the way forward. I'd certainly go for quality when you can. Ronseal for floor paint, F&B for cupboards, every time for me.

Anyway, lecture over.

A little more sanding, a new paint and hey presto...

It was finished.

All fresh and lovely. And very much stranded in the dining room.

I did some light distressing as this is good for furniture that will be in transit. A little ding here or there won't stand out.

I kept the original hardware as it was so deliciously French...

The wonderfully mottled mirror was taped off as I couldn't remove it...

A new rail replaced the old hooks and my work was done.

By the time it left us, I was actually glad to see it go, not heartbroken  as I'd expected to be. We'd been squeezing past it for over 6 months as it took over the kitchen or dining room. Sometimes love just dies and there's nothing you can do about it.
It was clearly meant for someone else.

Back next time with the master bed/walk in wardrobe work which led to this...

Not great is it?
It was at this stage that I received an email from a journalist wanting to photograph the house for a magazine. Instead of jumping for joy, it just made me very very sad.

One day....


  1. Hiya!! Cor, that was a labour of love. Whoever got that was a lucky duck! That last photo fills me with fear!!

    1. Fills me with fear too! I actually had a nightmare that I was sleeping under it and 'things' were dropping on me... xx

  2. OMG where's your ceiling? I hate to think what happened.
    The armoire is fantastic, hope you got a fortune for it. Glad it's not just me who has paint disasters. xx

    1. Thanks Fiona. The ceiling is on the driveway in lots of rubble bags. :( xx

  3. oh my goodness! That armoire is lovely - I remember you starting it and glad it's turned out so lovely. Hope all is well with the ceiling!

  4. That was a cracking makeover, it looks brilliant and I hope you got lots of cash for it.
    That non-ceiling looks scarily like spider territory. xxx

  5. I love it but I fully get how you were happy to see it go in the end. I've had ceilings like that in the past, ours were lathe and plaster - complete nightmare when we pulled them down! I'm trying a bit of a make over with a pine display cabinet at the moment, I've chopped bits off it and stained it - a bit scary and I'm not 100% convinced I've got it right but hey, I didn't like it as it was so I'll keep going ... xxx

  6. It's gorgeous! I hope it went to a suitably loving home. What a shame about the journo photos :( I had the same heartbreak last year when a TV show called me about doing a DIY makeover on my own house- only to have my flat purchase fall through two weeks later :( No TV show for me (right now... we can but hope!) xxx


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