Asked on Sep 07, 2018

How can I change color of this wardrobe?

by BUanca


this is my bedroom closet, it’s been installed with this wood and color. I realize now I hate it, how do I make a change? Contact paper? Wallpaper?paint?

Please help

Closet needs makeover

  14 answers
  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Sep 07, 2018

    You can do any of those. If you decide to paint, I would rough it with steel wool rather than sanding. Whatever you do, clean with TSP or denatured alcohol. That will help with adhesion on the wallpaper or contact paper as well as primer/paint. If it's real wood, you can also stain it a darker color. I would think about java gel stain.

  • Sally Alter Sally Alter on Sep 07, 2018

    You could do any one of those things and more. Whatever, take the handles off first then change the color. I think I would paint it. There are some great chalk and milk paints now which require no sanding or primer. No fumes either. Try Dixie Bell or Annie Sloan. Research these on line, videos too.

  • Sharon Sharon on Sep 07, 2018

    You could stain it darker, just sand off any finish and pick a nice dark stain or gel stain.

    If you want to paint it , be sure to use a stain-blocking primer like Zinseer B-I-N to prevent bleed through first, give a light sand and then paint with whatever you like.

    Personally I wouldn't do contact paper as with daily use its gonna peel around the edges.

  • Monique Monique on Sep 08, 2018

    If you decide to paint it, which is what my personal choice would be, using chalk paint doesn't need any sanding or prep work, other than a good cleaning. Easy peasy! Good luck with your decision!

  • Monique Monique on Sep 08, 2018

    Forgot to mention that you can make your own chalk paint for pennies compared to buying any already made chalk paint like Annie Sloan which is way too expensive!!

  • Have you considered a contact paper to cover it up? There are lots of new patterns out there. Some are easily removed in case you change your mind down the road.

  • Chas' Crazy Creations Chas' Crazy Creations on Sep 08, 2018

    You can do any of those - I used a hybrid contact wall paper to do my laundry room - here's the link if you want to see it...

  • Emily Emily on Sep 08, 2018

    Although I don't know for sure, this piece looks like a classic to me. And while I love painted furniture, I might hesitate to paint this piece because of its quality.

  • Helen Bleazard Helen Bleazard on Sep 08, 2018

    Hi there. I tend to agree with Emily, however if you are stuck on the idea of a change, then I would definitely chalk paint them. You can really do so much to enhance them as a feature in the room - using colors that blend in with your color scheme.

    Good luck

  • Before you make a choice, ensure that the closet is actually solid wood or wood veneer before doing any sanding or deglossing. If this piece is laminated with what amounts to a thin layer of paper or plastic wood-look material and sealed with some kind of clearcoat product, it will not respond to sanding, deglossing, or painting the same way an actual wood surface would. It looks like wood from the picture, but some higher quality laminates look pretty good. While you can paint laminate surfaces, they can require different preparation and your choice of paints may be affected.

    From a practical standpoint, a closet is a large and permanent part of a bedroom, so unlike a dresser or nightstand, it cannot be easily replaced if you decide you no longer like what you have done to it. Whatever you choose, doing something that is easily changed, such as painting or staining, rather than something that may leave behind holes, glues, or other residues that are hard to remove, may be a choice that you will be happier about long term. If you decide to change the hardware for a different look, be sure to keep the old hardware in case it goes better with the next decor change you may decide to make. Hardware is expensive.

    Whatever you do, think about the overall style you want your room to have, then decide how the closet fits into that scheme and proceed from there. It is hard to give specific advice without knowing what style you would like to end up with for the whole room.

  • Raymond Murphy Raymond Murphy on Sep 08, 2018

    Prime it out with gripper primer from Glidden, paint and then use an Alkyd Enamel that has a Satin Finish. Also known as melamine paint this paint is known for not leaving brush texture usually experienced in plain latex paints. Beer paints have a very exstensive pallet of colour.

  • Rae Rae on Sep 08, 2018

    My history with paint is since it is a closet it will get a lot of use and like mine will get some chips and bangs. I would do a stain and those little chips and bangs can always be touched up.

  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Sep 09, 2018


    Keep in mind that a closet wardrobe will be getting a lot of wear over the years so I would think staining it a darker color and putting a very durable varnish on it would be the best way to go. I say that because I have seen where the paint on the cabinets some of my friends have painted has a tendency to chip or rub off around the door knobs.

    Take one of the drawers to your local "professional paint store" (instead of one of the big box stores) for expert advice on how to refinish this and what products to use.

    Of course you can google different sealers and finishing products to educate yourself before you proceed.

    Make sure you take off the doors and all hardware when you start and let every coat you put on dry thoroughly before putting on the next one.

    With the rainy season approach in some parts of the country, make sure you do not try to varnish in humid weather!

  • BUanca BUanca on Sep 09, 2018

    Thank you all for these remarkable advices and ideas, however I’m more confused than ever , will just see what I decide and will sure post it