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Free Ultimate Furniture Painting Guide

Creative armoire makeover with *NEW* key stencil

Welcome to the story of the tiny little armoire that didn't know what it wanted to be when it grew up and the creative makeover process involved!!!

I ADORE these dainty little cabinets with their lightweight and simple frames just begging to be dressed up! And I always imagine them being used as dress-up cabinets for little girls!

Creative Armoire Makeover by Traceys Fancy

If you are a new reader, hello and welcome to the Fancy Fam! With over a decade of furniture painting experience, I can honestly say that sharing my projects through this blog is still my favorite way to inspire! I've got years worth of fun and creative ways to update your home decor and furniture through paint! If this sounds like something you'd like to have delivered to you every Sunday be sure to sign up for my weekly newsletter here!

Creative Armoire Makeover - Before

I used this armoire as a teaching piece in one of my private groups - Curiously Creative.

Very often when I do this, I complete half of the project prior to the class and use the unfinished half to teach on.

You can see the armoire here in its blank state.

Creative Armoire Makeover (before) by Traceys Fancy

And below, you see the armoire with molds placed on half of it and primed in Boss Gray. Learn more about how I prep furniture for chalk paint HERE.

Creative Armoire Makeover by Traceys Fancy - half prep for a class

I was teaching raised texture in the class so I completed a raised damask using a stencil and DB Mud on the lower portion of right door as well.

Creative Armoire Makeover by Traceys Fancy - half prep for a class

I was now prepped and ready to teach my class!

Supplies Used

Primer/Paints/Top Coat



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My "Original" Design Plan

During the class I added molds to the left empty door front and taught them how to create raised stencil with the Damask Stencil and Mud.

We primed the entire piece in Boss Gray and were now ready to begin the fun part....painting!!!

I had planned on using bright and bold colors such as lime green, turquoise, hot pink, purple as part of my creative armoire makeover! You can see here a shot from the live class with all of those bold colors in place!

Creative Armoire Makeover by Traceys Fancy - bold bright color palette

The honest truth here is that sometimes projects change direction smack in the middle of the project!

I receive so many emails from many of you asking how to pre-plan a project from beginning to end. I believe it is helpful to have a plan or at least direction but I hope you will ALWAYS stay open to shifting your direction when it just isn't feeling right! And I also recommend just STARTING even without a plan fully in place. Many of you get stuck in the planning stage and become paralyzed by all the options.

Just put a coat of paint on and see where it takes you!

This piece took me in a completely different direction and I did it alone! I had no camera rolling. No video being captured. Not even a single photo was taken of the pivot!

I walked out into the shop the day after I painted all those bright colors you see and just thought NO! I'm starting over!

The Final Creative Makeover Design: "Dreamy" Armoire

This is the final look! I softened the color palette and I toned down the energy by creating with fewer colors. I chose to go for more of a "dreamy" vibe vs a "party" vibe!

Creative Armoire Makeover by Traceys Fancy

Color Blending

Let me explain my color palette from bottom to top as this was how I created my blend.

The base of the armoire is painted in Aubergine. As I moved up I began to add in a bit of Plum Crazy which blended with the Aubergine giving me this really deep violet color which I love!

As I moved up above the half way point I began to introduce Peony which lightened my violet just a bit. I then topped off the armoire with Mint Julep working the line where the Peony blend and the Mint Julep meet to create that velvety blur which I find very dreamy!

Creative Armoire Makeover by Traceys Fancy

So a total of four colors that work beautifully together is all it took!

PRO TIP: If you want to try blending colors but don't want to try it on furniture practice on paper plates with craft brushes! It's a great way to see what colors work well together before you take it on a bigger scale!

If you'd like more blending instruction before you dive-in, check out my Check & Color Blending Course.

Design Transfer

The Buds and Branches design transfer that I used across the bottom is one of my favorites!

I've used it many times before. Remember this checkered top accent table? And how about this chest of drawers?

floral design transfer on creative armoire makeover by Traceys Fancy

Applying Stencils

I used TWO stencils on this armoire in two different ways.

Raised Victorian Damask Stencil

The Victorian Damask stencil I used with Mud to create a raised texture. Mainly because my group asked for instruction in that, but also because I'm a texture lover so why not?!?!

Creative Armoire Makeover by Traceys Fancy - damask and key stencils

Once dry, I used Gold Gilding wax to accent it.

PRO TIP: Laying the stencil back over the raised & dried form (it fits back in like a puzzle) and used a brush to apply the gold wax.

Key to Success Stencil

The Key to Success stencil is BRAND NEW....and I LOVE it!

It's a small stencil and the keys are placed closely together which I also like.

But on this specific piece I felt it would be too busy so I stenciled one key at a time and spaced them out. I used gold gilding wax to make this stencil and it is NOT raised!

Creative Armoire Makeover by Traceys Fancy - key stencils

Adding GOLD to the molds

I applied gold gilding wax over every single mold.....the keys, scrolls, centerpiece and the clock....because there can never be too much gold!

Creative Armoire Makeover by Traceys Fancy - molds

Then the entire piece was top coated with Flat Top Coat.

And in case you didn't notice, how about those gold butterfly handles on the center doors AND the bottom drawer?!?! Aren't they the cutest? I found them at Hobby Lobby!!!

Creative Armoire Makeover Reimagined!

So that's it folks! Sometimes the project knows what it wants. You just have to be willing to set your own ideas and plan aside and follow it's lead!

Try that new Key to Success stencil! You will NOT be disappointed!!!!

This piece was created as part of my Curiously Creative private group. If you think it sounds like something you would like to try, get more details HERE!

Creative Armoire Makeover by Traceys Fancy

More Inspiration: Painted Armoires

I have been painting furniture for years and years! Here are some additional similar designs for your inspiration:

And also, to see the Bud & Branches design transfer used in different ways, click to see this piece or this piece.

JOIN ME FOR MORE...with Curiously Creative

If you enjoyed this and want more of a deep dive into home decor and DIY processes, I would love it if you joined my exclusive online creative group, Curiously Creative. I show up LIVE to guide you through every step of updating, upcycling, crafting, and creating on-trend home decor and gift-giving ideas!

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Creative Armoire Makeover by Traceys Fancy

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