I love French Armoires. So far I own three. One is waiting in my bedroom to be upcycled (with nice double mirrored doors) and the other one two have a loving home in my kitchen. As the one in my kitchen had a single large mirrored door, I thought it would be good to experiment a little. I had seen lots of Amories/Hutches (as they are known in America) with chicken wire replacing the mirror door and I thought this look would be great in my French country style kitchen.
Mr H pulled one of those faces when I mentioned the words… “Can you help me remove the mirror and replace it with chicken wire”, but, he was assured that it would look great and he helped me start the makeover process.
After the mirror (wow it was heavy) was removed from the door frame, it was easier to work with but it did cause a few problems with the joins coming apart in the top left corner. I guess the piece was so old it did not like being disturbed and the glue just dried out.
I knew that I wanted a heavily distressed piece and it wanted it to be a light(ish) Grey. I also wanted to highlight the edges with a vintage white and then blend in with the distress process.
I made my own version of ‘French Grey’ and painted it with two coats. I was actually painting this piece whilst the kitchen was also having a makeover. So, there I was backwards and forwards doing both the kitchen and the Armoire.
The edges I thought worked really well in the white and enhanced the curves of this fantastic piece of furniture. I sanded and distressed in places and when I come across parts that I did not like or went a bit overboard with the distressing, I just topped up with Grey or white where necessary.
I used Autentico Grey Wax to distress further and seal the coats for protection. Next, the damaged areas were glued and clamped to set and the area prepared for the chicken wire to be placed. This turned out to be a bit tricky than once thought but with patience it was in place and I loved it. In fact it looked better than I possibly thought.
Mr H then drilled holes in the door and top drawer and fitted small ornate door furniture left over from another project. For me, it just finished the piece off and looked as though they had always been there… and of course made the drawer easier to get into.
I then saw some wallpaper in my local DIY ‘Castorma’ store and thought it would look great in the back of my Armoire. This was tricky as the back had panels and of course the paper was not wide enough. So, I stapled and glued the paper and was really happy with the result.
I also wanted to paper the front of the small drawers but I could not remove the drawer furniture and rather than force and damage, I decided to paint them vintage white, which I think works well. I prefer the white to the Grey.
What is great is that this unwanted Armoire has become a versatile piece of furniture that stores all my kitchen crockery and pans. The drawers have all my baking tins and trays and it is a centre piece in my kitchen.
I look forward to working on my Bedroom Armoire (minus the chicken wire) 😉