This blog post explains more detail on how and what we did to update the armoire to fit our style and needs. Or more like how we gave our armoire a makeover it deserved (we don’t mind makeovers, right?). Main steps are also showed in our video, below (which is an awesome quick video to give you an idea of how easy we updated the armoire). If you haven’t watched it, you’ll definitely want to if you you’re not a fan of reading! I mean, I tend to write long posts and sometimes I can’t help it. This is my first video ever for the blog post so please let me know what you think below in comments! I’m hoping it is one step forward, and help especially those who don’t have the time to read…I totally feel ya.
“But anyway, my words of advice will be to not be scared of a rough looking piece of furniture. Nothing is impossible, and beautifying a piece of furniture from Craigslist, FB Marketplace, etc. to fit your needs is definitely possible.”
If you want to know more and why we did what we did and how we came to our decisions, read on below for more! I promise you that the hardest thing for us was finding the time to work on this piece of furniture and waiting on the stain to dry. Finding time is actually always the hardest thing about a DIY project, right? But anyway, my words of advice will be to not be scared of a rough looking piece of furniture. Nothing is impossible, and beautifying a piece of furniture from Craigslist, FB Marketplace, etc. to fit your needs is definitely possible.
1. Trim the Deep Scratch Off
To be honest, I didn’t expect it to have so many imperfections in person, but we drove too long to just not take it for that reason. I was also too in love with the look of this armoire! So despite what the seller told us, we went ahead and shoved it in our car, knowing that this thing needs some work before we use it. So to bring the armoire back to life, the first thing we did was trim off the top edges because there was a massive scratch that a wood filler probably wouldn’t cover well enough. If you watched the video on how we did this, it may look simple but it involves another step. We used a circular saw to do it but in order to cut as straight as possible, Leo had to cut AGAINST SOMETHING, shown above. That’s why he had to screw in a piece of 2×4 wood on top of the armoire. Holes from the screws will just have to do. Like Leo said, its just the top where no one but the person who cleans it will see! So he went ahead and used the circular saw and trimmed off as deep as the scratch was.
One side of the armoire was actually slightly uneven since it had two different pieces glued together, so he went ahead and trimmed the slightly longer side too so that it could be even with the other.
2. Disassembly and Sanding
Now that the hardest part is done, now its the annoying part…sanding. In order to make it easier, we took off the doors and shelves. To protect the bamboo we just taped it off so that we can sand the wood around it. Using an electric sander to quicken the process, we sanded off the old layer of stain.
3. Stain Preparation
After sanding, you ALWAYS want to wipe down the whole piece so that no dust and debri mix in with paint or stain. Make sure you always use a dust free cloth, otherwise you leave lint that you don’t want mixed in with your paint or stain. We also used a blew the inside out with a leaf blower for extra security.
4. Staining: And Black Stain is a Real Thing
I wanted the armoire to be black and thanks to Emily Henderson’s blog, I learned that there is such a thing as black stain! Home Depot doesn’t carry it in store but Lowe’s does, and boy oh boy, it was SO MUCH EASIER than painting the whole thing black with paint. You just take a rag (with gloves on, of course), put some stain on it and start wiping the piece down. Note that we did NOT condition the armoire first with wood conditioner. We decided we didn’t need to take that step. Leo used a lint free rag for the first coat but I thought that it would be better using a lambskin stain applicator for the second coat because the stain seemed to seep into the wood too much and I really didn’t want to do more than two coats. So we bought the lambskin applicator and it actually didn’t work out so well. Reason being was because it went on way too thick and Leo ended up having to wipe off a lot of excess stain off the armoire. So back to the rag he went. He just put it on a little thicker than the first time without having any excess stain to wipe off and it turned out beautifully.
5. Reassembly and Styling
Well the title of this step speaks for itself. Once the stain has dried, we placed the shelves back in, took the painters taps off, and placed the doors on. I then gave the armoire a good clean wipe and Leo and I brought it inside. We placed the armoire in the living room and I got it styled with most of my decor things, albums, Bibles, extra linens, etc. It could totally look great as a dresser in our room also or even in our kitchen if we had more wall space but for right now it serves best in our living room. But really, with a beautiful piece like this armoire, it could be perfectly styled in any room! Now that’s what I call a great score, even though we bought it more beat up than expected. Just after this little makeover project, the armoire finally fit out style and needs perfectly.
“It could totally look great as a dresser in our room also or even in our kitchen if we had more wall space but for right now it serves best in our living room. Now that’s what I call a great score…”
And now to kill your curiosity…
Was this Minwax Black Stain the Real Deal?
Find out below
We didn’t have to stain a 3rd coat, just in case you’re wondering. Even though there were some spots that seeped into the wood more than others, that actually turned out to be my favorite part about the armoire makeover. Instead of looking so “brand new” and refurbished, it looked like it was always that color with some “faded sun spots.” Rustic, eh? Not too much but the perfect amount. But that’s only if you use a lint free cloth to apply the stain. Otherwise, the stain applicator placed the stain on too thick with drips and we’re just not about that life.
Instead of painting wood black, you can stain it black. No primer needed. So was the black stain a total win? Totally was, my friends.
I will warn you though, this stain is far away from being anywhere near matte. But it worked perfectly well for this project; the armoire was begging for a makeover that it deserved.
More into painting? I suggest you check out this great post I created about painting furniture. There are a lot of TO NOT TO DO’s in there that just might help! And if you’re curious about black paint, check out how our dresser turned vanity turned out!