Art Deco Armoire Make-Over

I’ve had this Art Deco Waterfall armoire for more than ten years. But it wasn’t always white. It used to belong to my mother in law and it was a hand me down when she got it in the early 70’s. It had been left behind by the previous owners of her house and my MIL had  it for many years in one of her bedrooms. When she tired of it she gave it to me and I crammed it into my laundry room where I used it to store my old VHS video collection. Recently, I decided to transfer my video tapes to plastic storage boxes and I figured I could take the now empty armoire up to the mountain house for extra storage. I love Art Deco style and I didn’t want to part with it. But there was no way I was going to take it up there in it’s worn and beaten up state so I decided to paint it. After thinking about it for some time, I decided on a shade of  antique white. Not quite white and not quite ivory, but somewhere in between.  Before painting it however, I added several wood appliques which I purchased on Ebay for just a few dollars. The  face that I added to the front of the tall door is resin and it’s the “Old Man Of The Sea”  a mythological character from the story of Sindbad the Sailor. I thought it added an interesting touch to an otherwise plain door, even though my best friend told me it was creepy. I think it’s pretty cool. And I do love the tales of Sindbad. Here’s what I started out with:

As you can see, the front had water stains on it from the heavy rains which were sometimes blown into the open laundry room by strong winds and would wet the door.  The handles on the doors and drawer were made of thin wood strips and the heavy beveled mirror had begun to get black stains on it from the humidity. I removed the wooden handles but I debated whether or not to replace the mirror with a new modern (but much thinner) one. In the end I decided to just use the original heavy beveled mirror in spite of the stains. They just don’t make mirrors like that anymore.

The armoire also had cracks in several places where the wood had expanded and contracted so I had to fill them in with spackle and then sand them down.

Here it is halfway through the first coat of paint

And here it is three coats of paint later:

I added new handles to the doors and drawers.  I didn’t like the original wooden ones and these tortoise shell Art Deco style handles add a bit of color to the white.

A close up of the Old Man of the Sea face. He’s not creepy. He’s actually quite handsome, I think.

The black spots on the mirror are effectively hidden by a few knick knacks placed in front of it.

Here’s part of my collection of hummingbird nests. Before we got our cats, tiny irridescent hummingbirds would build nests in our palm tree year after year which I carefully took down after the babies had learned to fly and had left. I ended up with quite a collection of adorable little nests. They’re all lined inside with the softest fuzz that feels just like the lint that builds up in the filter of my clothes dryer. The large one is a sparrow’s nest which was built in the branches of my Lady Banks Rose one year.

The real eggs hatched and flew away. So I made little ceramic eggs with clay and painted them blue

Here’s the inside of the armoire which I also painted. There’s alot of shelf space there.  I think it might be a handy place to store sheets and towels.

The armoire was just the right size for this little nook in the wall.

Linking to Show and Tell Friday at: My Romantic Home


2 thoughts on “Art Deco Armoire Make-Over

  1. Incredible work as usual. I can’t believe that gorgeous, spotless, armoire started out as
    such a knackered and generic-looking thing!

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