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Crafts Home & Garden

Milk Paint Furniture Upcycle

Milk Paint Furniture Upcycle

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It was high time I got to work on some of the larger pieces for my home and decided to give milk paint a try on an old armoire.  This is a great milk paint furniture upcycle.  This armoire was black, not at all a piece that worked in this new coastal style interior.  If you haven’t used milk paint, you may want to give it a try, my husband and I both are so pleased with the outcome!


This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience.  Click here to read my full disclosure policy.BEFORE PICTURE OF A BLACK ARMOIRE

This is a fine piece of furniture.  Really, it has a function, lots of storage and isn’t bad with the black finish and the texture with the rust color appearing in the indentations in the wood.  But this does not work in my new light and airy coastal style.  It was time to take the leap and take on a painting project!  Restyling an old armoireThis really was such an easy project, if you are afraid of diving into painting an old piece of furniture, don’t put it off, it wasn’t as scary as I thought!  I began by taking off the hardware.  I thought I would have to take the doors off, but my husband told me he didn’t think so.  We dove in!  General Finishes does recommend using a 50/50 mix of denatured alcohol and water to clean your furniture before you paint it; and then a wet scotch brite pad with the mix and scrub the wood surface. This process will remove any dirt and grime.

DSC_0887Updating an old armoireWe began by hand sanding the armoire with 220 grit sandpaper.  We just did a light sanding to knock off the shiny surface.  We did not de-glaze the surface first.  DIY Armoire Milk Paint MakeoverHere you can see the difference on the parts of the armoire I had finished sanding versus the one door I had not yet touched.  After the entire piece was sanded, I cleaned it well with a clean damp cloth and let it dry before beginning to paint.Milk Paint restyle of an outdated piece of furnitureThe painting began and I can’t tell you how thrilled I was with the color and the “look” the milk paint gave to my old armoire!  The color I selected was inspired by the sideboard in my casual dining room.  This piece adds a lot of storage space for my many linen napkins and napkin rings.  
Using milk paint to update an old piece of furnitureThis closeup shows the finish as it is looking after one coat of paint.  This is the look I was going for, so I didn’t even add another coat of the milk paint, I just kept going to finish the armoire.Using Milk Paint to restyle an old armoireHere she is…all painted and ready for wax!  The next step was protecting it with three coats of Johnson Paste Wax.  I let it dry completely between coats of wax and buffed it with a nice clean dry cloth between coats.Restyling an old armoire with milk paintNew knobs, of course.  These antique-looking white ones were the perfect final addition.  This close up picture also shows some of the detail of the finish with the single coat of milk paint.  Of course if you want a more solid color finish, an additional coat would give that to you.  Milk Paint Furniture Restyle

Here is is finished and adding a whole new look to our master bedroom.  Even though we do have a flat panel television, this armoire hides it well and adds additional storage to the room, too!

Written By

Chloe is the creator of Celebrate & Decorate. Chloe is passionate about having a comfortable and well designed home - she also loves to entertain family and friends. Learn more about Chloe. Follow Chloe: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, YouTube


  1. Chloe,
    That is one large piece of furniture and it looks so much nicer in a light color. I like it very much!

    1. Thank you Barb, I was so happy to come home from vacation and see it again! I am loving that color too!

  2. What a transformation! Love the color. I like how you left it at one coat for a shabby look. I am scared of milk paint because you have to mix it, therefore I haven’t tried it yet!

  3. Beautiful outcome. Paint is awesome to give something new life. I love milk paint also

    1. Thank you Cynthia…I don’t know if I am addicted, but I am not so fearful as I was!

  4. Chloe, I love what you did with this armoire. You don’t have to ask me twice to paint a piece of furniture. Gorgeous color ~ so soft and coastal. Thank you for sharing at Your Inspired Designs.

  5. Chloe,
    The lighter, brighter color gives this armoire a whole new life. Just beautiful!

    We would love for you to share this at our new linky party, Monday Social, that goes live at 4:00 p.m. {CDT} on my blog. Link up your photos from Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, as well as your blog. This is a great forum for sharing your social media addresses and for finding social addresses of others. Hope to see your beautiful newly-painted armoire there!


    1. oops… left off the day of the week… Monday Social goes live at 4:00 p.m. {CDT} on SUNDAYS.

  6. Chloe, this armoire makeover is so beautiful!! Love the lighter color and those knobs are perfect. You did a wonderful job on this!!

  7. Your armoire looks fabulous!! What a great transformation! I have an old three piece entertainment/hutch unit down in my craft room, I use it to store all my dishes, that I really want to paint but have been afraid to start! You may have given me the courage!! Thanks for showing all your steps!

  8. It turned out beautiful! I love it. Do you make your own recipe of paint or buy it already mixed up? So pretty. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

  9. Marina Brivio says:

    Dear Chloe sei stata bravissima hai ottenuto un ottimo risultatoanch’io amo molto il bianco, in casa mia i muri sono bianchi e anche i divani , le fodere delle sedie e il letto

  10. Maria Millier says:

    Great transformation, and gives me for the first time inspiration for an old armoire that we acquired over seas. It is currently a natural wood stain, but after seeing your lovely makeover, I want the same look as it will make the room brighter. Thank you for sharing and being inspiring to me….

  11. Penny Hoecker says:

    Turned out beautiful

  12. I love chalk paint Chloe and for all the same reasons…I redid my whole bedroom suite a year or so ago and I love it even more today. It was scary at first because the beautiful oak finish on my pieces was simply gorgeous, but it was time for a change and it really lightened up the master bedroom and made it feel more coastal, light and airy.
    Now, I can change out pillows and accessories for the changing seasons and it looks like a completely different room. It is currently pink which is a holdover from the pink Christmas look…(which I loved so much) but I have had it turquoise, brown/orange, red and green…whatever the season. Love it so much and I know you love yours too. Good job. Hugs

  13. Deborah Rupert says:

    Chloe , I love how you did this over! it look`s so pretty and fresh looking ,I have all dark wood and love the painted furniture . It make`s a room look so bright and clean looking .I wish I had the energy to do all that you do you are so talented .

    1. Thanks so much Deborah! This was an easy project, sanding and then one coat of the milk paint!

  14. Stunning transformation! Love the color you chose too. So glad I found your post on the link party! Happy Summer, Kippi

  15. It is absolutely gorgeous! Just a bit of a strange question, why did you do on the inside? I need to find one to turn into a wardrobe.
    Love everything you do.

    1. Thank you so much Debbie! I have a shelf inside the top half of my armoire that holds are flat panel television above and some books below. The bottom part of the armoire has one shelf, I found some baskets that fit on the shelves and store out of season clothes in there. There are plenty of these armoires out there since we all went to flat panel televisions! Good luck!

  16. It is a lovely piece either way. But I do like the new lighter look. It looks so pretty.

  17. Did you leave the inside black? I have a similar one woukd love to change color.

    1. We left the black inside only because we just use the bottom for blanket storage and the top part for our television. Depending upon what you want to use yours for, you could paint it, decoupage it, wallpaper or even use come cork board for the inside of the doors to pin up photos or reminders! Thank you so much for stopping by! I love to hear from my readers!

  18. Pepper Wright says:

    Please tell me what you mixed with the snow white paint. Great job and loving it. Trying to learn how to do milk paint.

    1. Hi Pepper! Thanks for stopping by Celebrate & Decorate! I didn’t mix anything with snow white paint, I used General Finishes Halycon Blue, the link just got changed somehow. I am fixing it, I can see why you were confused! Thanks for keeping me honest!

    2. So sorry Pepper, I told you it was Halycon blue, but I was wrong, it is Persian blue. The link in the post is correct now.

  19. Julie Briones says:

    You did a wonderful job on this cabinet, Chloe! Love the color and the finish! Blessed to have you at Tuesday Turn About!

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