Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Vintage Children's Armoire Makeover

A 1950s children's armiore comes back full circle for use in our twins' nursery!

I found the manufacturer's sticker on the inside, indicating it was the "Storkline" brand of furniture, which made all sorts of children's furniture from the 1930s through the 1960s. I believe the wooden pulls are original to the piece, as they seem to fit that era and we have no record of my Grandma ever changing the hardware on it. It was originally owned by my Grandma for my mom's nursery when she was a baby, and subsequently used by other mothers in our family, including by my mom for me in my baby nursery (which was, by the way, done in Peach and "Williamsburg" blue colors with a stenciled teddy bear theme- classic 1984!)

The last person to use it was my cousin for her children, and she is giving it back to me to keep the tradition going :)  It has been painted many times, and its last treatment was a coat of solid plain white flat paint with no finish on it. Since the walls of the nursery are an off-white and we have white cribs in the room, I wanted a piece with a little more contrast.

the armoire- "before"

Soooo, I'm trying out a new color in our house- the beautiful Annie Sloane "Duck Egg Blue" from her Chalk Paint line. I chose this because its non-toxic and without strong fumes like a lot of traditional paints and I just loved the lovely, calming look of the color. It's very versatile and is easy to make lighter or darker with added tinting or coats of wax and other treatments overtop of the paint. It also works well in our gender neutral nursery since we are not finding out the sexes of our babies until birth.

We took these steps we took in giving this piece a new look:

1. Removed knobs and any other exterior hardware from piece

2. Sanded down the piece (I used a handheld electric sander) and wiped with damp cloth

3. Applied a coat or two of the chalk paint (it dries very fast in between coats!) and let dry

4. Applied coating of clear furniture wax, let sit for an hour, polished piece

5. Heavily sanded wooden pulls for a distressed look, cleaned, and returned to finished piece

Here is what the armoire looks like now in our nursery:

my little vignette on top of the dresser: a lamp, some vintage books, antique blocks, my newborn hospital photo and my baby shoes that my mom had bronzed

I added a bulletin board above the armoire covered in fabric and showing off family photos

The armoire actually holds quite a bit, and will be a great storage piece for many years to come. Besides "hang up clothes" for the twins, we are using it to hold items such as crib sheets, blankets, burp cloths, pacifiers, socks and mitts, baby safety and hygiene items, bibs and baby spoons, baby slings/carriers, and hooded towels.

I am pleased with this furniture makeover and love how easy the chalk paint is to work with. I guess you just got another little sneak peek of the twins' nursery, but no more until the final reveal :)  Now on to the next nursery project!

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  1. What a great looking peice !!! Have a wonderful day

  2. I love it!! I really like that fabric above the armoir! Lovely!

  3. I love it, Megan! Duck Egg Blue is my favorite, go-to color in our home. It's so soothing. I love, love, LOVE that fabric on the bulletin board! I've been looking for color inspiration for our office and you just gave it to me so thanks, friend :)

  4. I love it in the new color! And I like how you distressed the handles to give it an aged look. It's so special that it has been passed down in your family - I love treasures like that!

  5. I love this, I had a similar piece when my children were small. What great memories. You did a fantastic job of restoring this one. I would love for you to link up to my ongoing party - Inspire Me --http://www.astrollthrulife.net/2013/08/179th-inspire-me-tuesday.html Hope to see you there. Hugs, Marty

  6. I wonder if this dresser is also made by the same company. The handles look identical. I was going to buy this, fix it up and resell it...maybe use the paint and color you chose.