Shabby Chic is all the rage, take a beautiful piece of antique furniture and slather it in latex paint, then rub some of that paint off to make it look antique. In other words, take something that looks like an antique, cover up all the real signs of age and then make it artificially look antique. Still not make sense? Don’t worry, it doesn’t make sense to me either. That is why when my wife found this armoire on Craigslist, we decided we needed to save it. (As you can see in the before picture, we couldn’t even wait to take the picture before we started removing the paint)
The outside had been defaced but the inside was still untouched.
Fortunately, all the paint was latex so it came off fairly easily with a green paint stripper. Just apply the paste, let it sit till it changes color and then peel it off in long strips with a wide putty knife. The hardest part was getting the paint out of all the cracks where the frame and panels came together and where the trim was attached around the top and bottom. But with some hours of effort from my wife it was finally removed.
Since my wife and I do love antique furniture for the character of its age we decided not to take the wood all the way down and repair all the imperfections. Instead we left it the way it was, minus the shabby chic. We then added a couple coats of Boiled Linseed Oil, followed by several coats of polyurethane.
Then I added some shelves to the interior to transform it into a computer armoire. I didn’t want to impact the piece too much so the shelves are attached with a minimum of brass screws, instead of a more permanent method.