Beach Cottage DIY white paint makeover, the armoire

Mon 14th, Jan, 2013

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Good Morning from Bali, well these pics aren’t from Bali but I am blogging from Bali!

Yep we hopped on a plane and made our way over here for a little Beach Cottage does Bali holiday…our lovely Barley is being looked after at home and I can tell you I am not sure I will be leaving him again in a hurry…

But while I am here fitting in as many massages as one woman can possibly do in one holiday (note to self if I ever get stinking rich a personal masseur from Bali will be top of the list of things I will indulge in) I thought you might like to see pics of the armoire.

I don’t always blog when I am away, switching off and re-charging is good for the soul I believe, though sometimes it ends up that I blog more especially if it is a lazing around kind of holiday…this one has been out and about and hanging with my family so less online time…and as you may have noticed I haven’t been here for a few days…I am hoping you noticedWinking smile


Anyhoo back to the armoire…I will never ever be able to think again of white paint and my dubious DIY skills without the droop joke (and how funny that I am now in Bali, land of the drooping troll) but aside from that all I can say is wowzas, I am pleased with how this girl turned out.

Ladies (and one man in The Netherlands – are you still reading Netherlands?), this has been a hugeeee project and, I must say, not for the DIY shy or faint of heart…now I am NOT  a professional here, I don’t mind drips and droopy bits and imperfections, that indeed is the whole reason I started this blog – to show my efforts at making things over, without spending a tonne of money and winging it but still having a home that says you…

But I have had a bit of experience in painting things white and this one was tough…

First of all it’s pretty huge, secondly it was dark and thirdly the panes of glass…oh those panes, oh the masking up, oh the fiddly painting, oh the scraping off the paint, oh the cleaning!

About three quarters of the way through this I abandoned ship, big time, the stroking of her as I walked by definitely stopped, I gave her dirty looks when I woke up in the morning and kept opening the doors, peering inside and wondering one of two things, firstly if I should just say stuff it and fill it with linens while it wasn’t finished and secondly how many favours would I have to do to get Mr Beach Cottage to either finish her or ship her right back outside from whence she came..



He took the first option, I won’t talk about the favours.

And now she is sort of finished but if truth be known could have done with more work and more scraping and foofing…I will say that she is far from perfect…really, she could do with one possibly two more coats on the inside and the finishing to the woodwork where the panes of glass meet the wood is not up to much…but after hours and hours of work I decided to go for the, ahem, rustic, distressed and more appropriately real-girl, real makeover look…

Once I started to distress with the sandpaper though everything did come together and we are friends again…but I most definitely won’t be winning any craftsmanship or painting awards for this beauty.  Not that I want to win one of those anyway.

But really, perhaps this is the beauty of this after all.

I mean $150, the help of the males in my life. a whole lot of love, some polka dot lining and a stack of vintage linens and to my eyes that’s pretty beautiful.

I’ll be the one in the corner stroking a piece of furniture.

Or being massaged



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46 Responses to “Beach Cottage DIY white paint makeover, the armoire”

  1. Oh my goodness…..I want that armoire ASAP! What an amazing job Sarah! I’ll take the contents too. Have a wonderful time on your holiday although it sounds like you already are well on your way!

    • sarah says:

      thanks Shirl’ we are well on our way, it’s beautiful here, but very humid and hot…very different climate to the dry heat at home x

  2. Dawn says:

    What a beautiful armoire, and the bedding is displayed so pretty. Love the space:)

  3. HRH Sarah says:

    I absolutely love the way she turned out, Sarah! If she had been too perfect, it wouldn’t have been right :)
    Congrats on your lil’ Bali Holiday (which is super fun to say), and please enjoy an extra massage for me and all of us gals stuck in real life doldrums without a masseuse in sight.

    • sarah says:

      oh I will Sarah! I am indulging in this holiday for sure…Mr Beach Cottage and I worked hard for this all year :-) x

  4. WOW, that was a lot of work! And, double WOW, WOW, does it look pretty!! And, triple WOW, WOW, WOW, you flew to Bali?!?!

    • sarah says:

      haha yep we are here in Bali and have been for a while….it’s lovely!

      and thank you on the armoire, I am pleased but glad she is finished lol!

  5. Amanda says:

    Its so pretty and i adore the blue roses/flowers quilt!
    Happy holidays to you all x

  6. She is pretty.. well worth the effort put in to make her beautiful

  7. Mumofsix says:

    Ha ha, you made me laugh! I think she looks gorgeous. I think you’re amazing for starting such a project. I’m doing our banisters at the moment. They were, and in some places still are, smurf blue. I have been heat gunning and scraping and I hate the very sight of them! Keep stopping and starting. We are on a break right now.

    Hope you have a wonderful holiday. I hate leaving our pets too.

    Love from a very cold Brighton, Sarah xx

    • sarah says:

      smurf blue, sounds nice ;-)

      I think the best way is little and often once you get sick of it…worked for me!

      hello cold Brighton, must say Bali is HOT XOXOXO

  8. I love how it turned out… I painted a (smaller) glass cabinet last summer and I thought I would never finish it! It’s not perfect, but I love it just the way it is!

  9. Zuba says:

    this looks SO good:)

  10. Marie says:

    What a job…glad you stuck in there because the armoire turned out amazing. Congrats and happy 2013!

    Enjoy Bali and relax.

  11. Helen T says:

    Hi Sarah, I have to say I had noticed you hadn’t been about for a few days, felt a bit like a stalker cos I was checking for new posts in the am & pm, so I was very happy today!
    You’re ‘tatty little cottage by the sea’ and adventures in white have become a part of my daily routine just like the morning paper!
    The amoire looks fabulous and I particularly love your styling of the linen, my personal fave is crochet and those folded peices look quite substantial and I an experiencing ‘crochet envy’ lol.
    Have a fab vacay with the famz

    • sarah says:

      thanks Helen, yes I have had lots of emails from others who were wondering where I was too! I must say I am the same with the blogs I check in on…

      I am on a serious crochet binge at the moment…not sure where it is coming from but I am having lots of ideas for home decor with it…


  12. Le BHCH says:

    well done you ! and enjoy a lovely break … she will be even prettier when you return – best le xox

  13. laurie says:

    She turned out just beautiful, Sarah! I adore the way you created the happy, beachy vignettes inside her doors. After all of that work. you deserve a massage, girl! :) Great job! Enjoy your exotic holiday!!

    xoxo laurie

  14. karen says:

    Awesome job Sara on the makeover, you can really tell the difference in the transformation from the first coat.
    Barls must be missing his BC Crew but you need a little time for yourself too so you can come back to your beach cottage readers refreshed :) Enjoy your Holiday. Conch Cottage Girl

  15. Annie M says:

    I had noticed you had been absent for a short while and thought it might have something to do with the big surprise for the Beach Cottage crew. Lucky you to be in Bali and I hope you have a wonderful time. With your babies growing up as my own are you will need to relish the family holidays as it becomes harder to do as they strike out for independence and begin to have commitments elsewhere of their own. So enjoy that precious time with them.
    The armoir looks gorgeous and as always with your wonderful styling of polka dot lining and beautiful linens it has that lovely BC touch I have come to love…well done you Annie M x

    • sarah says:

      yes thanks Annie, it was a Christmas surprise for our kiddos – a holiday to Bali …yep we have had to deal with sporting commitments of one of our kiddos for quite a while now so are used to having to work around that, but now our older one also has important school stuff, plus this time of year is slow for our business too so we knew this school holiday was one we could all easily go on so went for it :-)

  16. Tamara says:

    Wow Beautiful – what a transformation and what a lot of hard work! Well done for sticking at it! X

  17. Looking pretty good, the ol’ girl. If there’s any flaws, I can’t see them. Enjoy Bali and have a great time rocking that swimsuit!! ;-) Hx

  18. Love this Sarah! You are an inspiration to me!!! I love your love and passion for all things beautiful, it’s truly blessing to all of us.
    Thank you and bless you!
    Nat xxxx

  19. Felicity says:

    I have been looking for an armoir exactly like this one for what seems like forever and have had no luck as yet, maybe one day. I love yours, I love the height and the legs. Have a great holiday, my daughter is going to Bali next week. She has had so many negative comments about her trip, as she has just turned 18 and everyone has an opinion but she is very sensible and has been to Bali many times before but this is her first trip without an adult.

  20. alison says:

    The armoire flaws n all, the family Bali holiday, it’s all good Sarah. Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.


  21. Clare says:

    So glad you stuck with it and finished because what a beautiful piece you have created…… Well done! Enjoy your holiday ;)

  22. Well, up close she may look a little more distressed than you like, but from here, she looks gorgeous. Great job, Sarah!

    Enjoy your getaway to Bali – I’ve heard it’s gorgeous!

  23. cheri gibbs says:

    This is so pretty- loves the lines anyway and it looks great white! No need to worry- it looks perfect from here too! Love the pliant dot liner and
    everything in there!!!
    Have a great trip- I will have to channel the Bali
    experience – since I will not be there any time soon anyway!!!
    Sounds divine though! Enjoy!

  24. Alice says:

    Well done Sarah she turned out beautifully! Loving all the little touches like the distressing and the lining paper (genius in my opinion!). Me (ofcourse) being me….I would paint that back inside panel bright turquoise (like your door)because it is glass it will pop amongst your beatiful white and peep between your gorgeous linen….Sigh… What a find….She was worth the effort (and favours)Sarah!

    • sarah says:

      haha, thanks Alice, nice idea…but I am not going anywhere near her with paint for a very long time x

  25. Kim H says:

    Gorgeous!! Love it! I’m on the lookout for another rustic 1930′s/40′s kitchen cabinet with lots of glass s I’ve run out of room in my new kitchen and all of my stuff from storage is still not here yet. .I plan to paint it white so wish me luck…lots of glass and painting is no fun.

  26. dianne says:

    Sarah what a beuatiful job. I love the lining and the linens that you have placed in it. your perseverance has paid off. WOW!!! Bali!!! I only dream of places like that. Looking forward to all the pictures. Wanted to let you know i enjoy your blog so much. love your writing.

  27. Elisabeth says:

    I am in love with this!! You did such a great job on it. I was wondering if you ever changed the top of the pine table with the white legs? I was trying to find a post on it to see what you ended up deciding to do but I didn’t see one. I’ll keep looking though! Great job on the armoire!

  28. boomerang jane says:

    Hi Sarah. Oh how I love this. So pretty. I am looking to have my first attempt at painting an old piece of honey pine furniture white I read a previous post about the undercoat that you use (i’m assuming you used that on this piece too?). You have also suggested the different types of pain such as water based, enamel, low/high gloss etc. Could I ask what you went with on this piece please? Appreciate the inspiration.

    • sarah says:


      I always use an undercoat/primer.

      For paint I use water based enamel (like oil bases but less hassle on clean-up) mostly but if I want a really nice job I use oil-based (the finish is slightly nicer but really there’s hardly much in it) …for a more matte look (not good if you have kids) I use emulsion / water based paint (I love this look but it marks REALLY easily)

      hope this helps, enjoy x