Upcycled Armoire Cabinet – DIY Farmhouse Cabinet Freebie!

9 Materials
3 Hours

The Hubs and I have been upcycling furniture for over 6 years now. Everyone in our small rural community knows that we love to save junk. It is a good thing, because I have tons of eyes that scout for me. It’s not unusual for me to get a call or text to tell me there is a piece of furniture on the curb or even on the side of the road! The Hubs surprised me one day with this cabinet. And best of all, it was FREE!


A coworker no longer needed it and asked if we could do something with it. Ummmm YES! One of the doors had a major ding and could not be repaired, so we just removed the doors.

Doors Removed

As it sat in my shop, I pondered over it for days, trying to envision what direction to take. I knew it had to be painted. The orange wood was so outdated and so ORANGE.

Supply List:

- Chop Saw

- 220 Grit Sandpaper

- DeWalt Sander

- Sherwin Williams Latex Paint in Savvy Green

- Polycrylic

- Paintbrush

- Brad Nailer

- Minwax English Chestnut

- Wood Strips (cut from scrap wood)

After invading my paint stash (because I was too darn lazy to go to the store), I found this beautiful green by Sherwin Williams I had leftover. I had already made up my mind that I was not painting it white, I wanted color. The color was called “Savvy Green”, a light airy green. Normally, I do use chalk paint, but I did not have any colors in stock that I wanted to use. You do not have to use chalk paint on furniture, if latex paint is more available, go for it! The colors are ENDLESS!

As you all probably know by now, I am a fan of the farmhouse look. I knew I wanted to add wood to this piece. I decided to remove the old, ugly back and use thin wood strips to give it a planked look. The Hubs had scrap wood left over that would be perfect (you can use any wood that you have on hand). He cut the strips to size for me using his chop saw. He sanded the pieces until smooth using 220 grit sandpaper. I then applied Minwax Stain in the color English Chestnut.

Stained Wood

He also built two wood shelving pieces to go inside the cabinet using plywood and cutting it down to size. (Eeeek, I forgot to take a picture ughhh!)

I put the strips aside to dry overnight and started prepping my cabinet. I gave the cabinet a good cleaning, inside and out, with my vinegar and water solution, making sure to allow the cabinet to dry for an hour.

I gave the cabinet one coat of the Savvy Green, allowing it to dry overnight. I painted the inside as well as the two shelving pieces the Hubs constructed. The next day, I applied a second coat and allowed it to dry overnight.

Now this is my favorite part. Distressing. I just love the way it makes a piece look worn. I used 220 grit sandpaper and went to town. There is not a wrong or right. I distressed heavily around the edges and drawer edges where normal wear and tear would occur. I also distressed on the sides of the cabinet as well.

The next day, I applied one coat of Polycrylic to the entire piece and the shelving pieces. I also gave the wood strips one coat. After allowing it to dry for a day, we inserted the shelving pieces using the same clips that came with the cabinet.


The final step was to attach the wood strips to the back using my brad nailer.

I found the pretty knobs for the drawers at Hobby Lobby. They really compliment the wood back. The pulls were brass pulls that I had in my stash. I painted two coats of the Savvy Green and then applied a coat of Polycrylic.


This piece sold the very day I advertised it. Such a beauty now!

Visit me over on the blog for more great projects!



Resources for this project:
See all materials
Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Hometalk may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page.More info
Lucie - Oh my sander
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
3 of 15 questions
  • Alice Alice on Jan 19, 2021

    I wonder how long the paint will last on this before pealing off, with no sanding underneath?

  • Linda Wyatt Linda Wyatt on Jan 19, 2022

    Can’t understand why you didn’t keep the integrity and beauty of this piece. Do you think you could redo without the shabby chic?

  • Rnn71089084 Rnn71089084 on Oct 03, 2022

    I have this bedroom set. It was made by Broyhill. (Two bedside tables as well). It’s in perfect condition but I love painted furniture and we are moving to the Florida coast. I WAS going to sell this because I just don’t want that oak anymore. After seeing this I’ve decided I want to keep the set and save myself some money. Should we sand it lightly first or will a deglossing prepare the wood enough for the latex? I always knew it’s it would be cute painted with different hardware.

Join the conversation
3 of 132 comments
  • Reneekiefer Reneekiefer on Jan 18, 2024

    I'm not a fan of farmhouse chic, but i absolutely love what you did with this cabinet; love the color and that was very brave to paint the new handles; just love how the whole thing turned out.

    • 56680139 56680139 on Jan 18, 2024

      Actually that is not farmhouse, it is "shabby chic".

  • Talisha McCann Talisha McCann on Feb 20, 2024

    I never comment on anything on the internet but as I went through reading these comments I was so put off by the attitudes and the absolute misery that oozes from some of you. This is a beautiful piece of furniture in my opinion and that is all it is is my opinion and you did an amazing job with it. You have great taste. And that is what it is her taste. Not yours negative commenters. So what if she didn't send it and you would have that's great. What if you don't like Farmhouse or shabby chic or whatever you would like to call it since people like to point out and correct others. It amazes me how people troll you've got to be bored. Live and Let Live and get a life. Thank you. Have a great day. 😍😠🤬