French Linen Painted Armoire

We’re sharing another project from Loblolly today, a French Linen painted armoire!

For the first time in a long time, I only have before and after photos of this antique armoire makeover.

There’s not a single “during” picture of the actual process.

And that’s strictly because this French Linen painted armoire makeover almost didn’t happen.

And when it finally did happen, I was virtually painting with little light around midnight because my mom couldn’t bear to look and went to bed.   

To Paint or Not to Paint…

To be perfectly honest, for weeks we were totally on the fence about whether we should paint the armoire or not.

My mom bought this piece from an estate sale in Georgia decades ago.

Normally, it would be on the “no paint” list. 

But our family has lived in 13 different homes over the years.

And with every move, the armoire got more and more banged up.

A little chip here, a major knick there.

Until one day the top fell off the bottom in an unfortunate accident.

After that, the top just didn’t sit quite right or close the way it was supposed to anymore. 

Still, my Mom loved the lines and the French feel of the armoire.

And for whatever reason she just couldn’t let it go yet.

I finally convinced my Mom we should paint this armoire based solely on the fact she had no plans to get it repaired given the expense of the restoration.

Loblolly is not her primary home and that’s exactly where this piece currently resides.   

So, with a knot in her stomach, she went to sleep, and I stayed up painting.  

Choosing to Paint the Armoire in French Linen vs Paris Grey…

At first, I painted the armoire with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Paris Gray.

But it was way too blue. 

Then I tried French Linen and it was exactly the color we needed.

Three coats of paint later, the antique armoire had a new lease on life and the French Country feel my Mom has always loved.

French Linen Painted Armoire Using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in French Linen-The Crowned Goat

I painted the metal appliques by dry brushing a mix of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Pure White and Valspar’s Faint Maple in all the nooks and crannies with a fine detail art brush.

Then I lightly sanded the appliques to “age” them even further. 

Since we won’t be using the armoire to store clothing (my dad created a separate space for those needs in the walk-in closet) we decided to repurpose the armoire as an activity center for the littles. 

We used to have markers, crayons, and coloring books in one area and cards, puzzles, games, reading books, and toys in another area. 

Now everything is together in one place and the littles can reach what they need.  

As always, make sure there are only age-appropriate toys in your activity center drawers so that your child’s safety is of top priority and consideration.

I didn’t want to freak my Mom out too much, so I left the inside unpainted. 

French Linen Painted Armoire: My Mom’s Reaction…

The morning after this piece was finished my Mom made a beeline for the entry THE MINUTE she woke up. 

She didn’t even make a cup of coffee or anything which says a lot. 

All in all, she was excited about the way this French Linen painted armoire came together.

And despite whatever misgiving she had in the beginning, I think she’s happy we saved it. 

French Linen Painted Armoire-The Crowned Goat

Questions to Ask Before Painting an Antique…

If you’re in the midst of trying to decide if you should paint an antique or not, consider asking yourself these questions before you start…

  1. Is this antique valuable in any way?
  2. Is the piece in perfect shape?
  3. Do you have the skills to enhance the piece? (I say this with love because I have seen some heartbreakingly bad DIYs at so many thrift stores and charity shops. Pieces like this are probably not for beginner painters…or latex paint…in my honest opinion)  
  4. Do you have the right paint and/or materials to do this piece justice?
  5. Why do you think this piece should be painted?

Ultimately, the decision to paint or not to paint an antique piece of furniture will be completely up to you. I hope these questions will at least help point you in the right direction though. 

Antique Armoire Painted with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in French Linen-The Crowned Goat

Let us know what you’re painting or what antique you’re shopping for this season!

Other French Country-Inspired Projects to Enjoy:

Update from Loblolly

Antique Chandelier and Progress Update from Loblolly-The Crowned Goat

French Country Cabinet Makeover

French Country Cabinet Makeover-The Crowned Goat

French Linen Painted Buffet and Hutch

French Linen Painted Buffet and Hutch-The Crowned Goat
Until next time, I’ll see you on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.

Many blessings,


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  1. I love French Linen and all my living room furniture (well most} was painted that color about 9 years ago. Some furniture only gets better with paint and your armoire was definitely one of those antique pieces. Now the beautiful appliques are highlighted and really show out. It’s a lovely piece and you did a wonderful job. I agree, Paris Gray is just too blue (for me). Perfect decision, CoCo!

    1. Thank you so much, Debra, I really appreciate it. My Mom could not look while I was painting so I’m glad I was able to pull it off for her. I know painted furniture is not as popular as it used to be but I swear it is one of the quickest and most inexpensive ways to update things. I still have 4 more pieces to paint at Loblolly so I’m crossing my fingers they come out well. Thank you bunches for your sweet encouragement! Hugs, CoCo

  2. I love the finished look of the armoire, it looks so beautiful. I also really appreciated your tips for deciding on whether or not to refinish an antique. It really can be a tough decision.

  3. I love painted furniture, so maybe I’m a bit biased, but I think it looks lovely painted in French Linen! I love how the detail and hardware are highlighted now! It’s a gorgeous piece! I’m going to be painting my childhood dresser in a few weeks! I’m so glad your mom likes it! Great job! Blessings, Donna

  4. That is gorgeous! I’ve only painted a few smaller pieces. I definitely fall into the category of not having the skills to enhance the project. 😂 I love all of the painting projects you have done though.

  5. It’s a tough decision to make! Right? To paint or not to paint? That is the question. I 100 % feel you made the right choice and I love the linen color. The fact that you repurposed it to store toys and games for the littles is just a cherry on top.

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