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How Green Was My Armoire?


So, before we can officially enter into Phase One of the porch makeover, we have to get Big Betty outta there.

She’s destined to hold our TV, etc. but has, in the meantime, been languishing on our porch while I gave her the shabby green coat she’s decided she wants. Seriously. The bitch has attitude. (Check it.)

I’d finished with the outside, but after going back and forth for a while, I decided I would have to do the inside too — I just don’t like the painted-on-the-outside-only look. Not for cabinets, not for dressers and definitely not for a TV armoire whose doors would be open as much as closed.

A lot of people are totally cool with the two-tone look. And, to be fair, the wood is beautiful and if I left it as-is and just used a thin layer of wood finish (in “Natural”) it would probably, technically, look great.

But I’m a little too OCD to not obsess about it. I know I’d be sitting there, trying to watch “Louie” and all I’d be thinking about was the damn mismatched wood. Not worth the chewed fingernails.

Unfortunately, I had begun to run quite low on tinted stain (a.k.a. devil paint) due to my aggro “I’ll give you something to cry about!” episode. And I was NOT about to go buy more of that crap.

Luckily, I managed to eek out a thin, thin layer covering the main inside areas, and a slightly thicker coat on the the doors. I figure they’ll be open a lot, so I want them to look good. (But since the main cavities will be stuffed full of electronic equipment/DVDs/games, a thinner coat there won’t be as noticeable. I hope.)

Tip: Remember where you left the lid of your paint can! (That’s my foot.)

Then, because the devil paint — even when fully dry — peels like a bad sunburn, I coated the entire thing, inside & out with a super-thin layer of low-VOC sealer.

Tip: If you live in a humid place, this extra step can really pay off. It keeps the paint from getting “tacky” in moist climates, which prevents peeling. (Like when you try to move your books off the bookshelf & end up taking half of your paint finish with them… Yeah. That happened.) I never bothered with sealer in AZ, but certainly will here in PA. Also — it reduces off-gassing & gives your piece a nice sheen. As opposed to a nice Sheen. Those are on backorder ;->

True, the sealer is kind of expensive — I paid $17 for a quart at my local hardware store — but you only need a teeeeeeeny bit to cover a lot of area. So, if stored properly, one can should last ya a spell.

Just brush it on. Long, even strokes, Daniel Son.

Huh… It’s really hard to take a picture of yourself painting. Live & learn.

Then smooth it out. Just drag your brush through it until it seems to disappear. (pic: below, right)

If you get glops in the corners (or just get over-excited & lay it on too thick) don’t despair. Just run a dry brush over it.

A nice, light application will only take 20 minutes to dry, at which point you can make your own call about adding another coat. I’m not going to. This is a “shabby chic” piece. I don’t want to primp it too much. One coat is enough to keep it from peeling. Done and done.

REALLY hard to take a pic of yourself painting…

Here’s a shot of the side/doors of the armoire with one coat of sealer.I love the way the sealer grabs the light. It also brings out natural honey tones of the wood under the stain (paint).

It really did turn out well. Almost everyone who has seen it has ooh-ed and aah-ed. Almost. My neighbor across the street still maintains that I’m a crazy person. Oh, well. There’s always a bloody critic.

Now all I need to do is clean the living room carpet & bring Big Betty on home! We’ll be anchoring her to the wall, of course. Gotta think safety with a monkey kiddo running around!) Stay tuned for a post on all that… I’ll take lots of pics of the process. But first:



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