I posted here about some updates I did to my daughter’s room for her 5th Birthday. One of the projects was converting an old computer armoire into a dress up armoire for my daughter’s ever-growing collection of dress up dresses.
Below is the computer armoire before. It seriously dates me. We used to house our giant computer complete with huge hard drive and keyboard. It was very useful back in the day and is very well-built and has some nice detail work on it. Now that we use a laptop, this bad boy has been collecting dust in our garage for about 5 years. I was about to get rid of it when I had an idea for re-purposing it.
The first thing we did was tear out the shelving. We made sure to save the keyboard shelf as we intended to use it on the bottom of the armoire for my daughter’s shoes. The goal was to put it on the track so she could pull it forward and see all of the shoes including those hidden in the back. Here is a photo of the armoire with the shelving removed. Sorry for the poor photo quality, but my garage does not get the best light!
Next, we took some MDF board from the Home Depot and cut it to fit the inside walls of the armoire. Ripping out the shelving had left some marks on the sides that we wanted to cover. Plus, I wanted to cover the inside with decorative paper, so using the MDF board would make it very easy to apply.
Next, I painted the armoire using American brand chalk paint by Art Deco from the Home Depot. I used a color called Everlasting which is between a true white and an off white. It was very similar to Annie Sloan’s Old White.
I did not sand or prime this piece before painting because it is not required when using chalk paint. I needed three coats of paint to cover the entire armoire. Here is a photo of what it looked like after one coat.
I would say the coverage of the Americana brand is similar to that of Annie Sloan. I think I had to do three coats because I was doing such a light color over a dark wood. I applied a coat of wax when I was finished and then distressed some of the edges for a weathered look.
I wanted to cover the inside of the armoire with a print. I envisioned something floral because her room has a botanical theme. I really wanted to use wallpaper and figured that it would be relatively cheap since I was covering such a small surface. Not the case. Most of the wallpaper I fell in love with was over $100 and you had to buy it by the roll.
As an alternative, I found this adorable floral wrapping paper called “Garden Roses” from Paper Source. It was only $3.50 a sheet to boot! I applied it directly to the MDF board using wallpaper paste. I used a ruler to work out any wrinkles. If you don’t have wallpaper paste, Mod Podge that is specially formulated for paper would probably work too. It turned out beautifully! I think the key to wallpapering with wrapping paper is to use thick, quality wrapping paper.
Finally, I installed a rod inside the armiore at a level where my daughter could easily reach the dress up dresses all by herself.
Here is the final product with some of her dresses lined up. I am so pleased with how it turned out and am so glad I decided not to get rid of this beautiful piece of furniture. My daughter loves it and feels so special!
Have you ever tried Americana brand chalk paint? How do you feel it held up to Annie Sloan?