…guest post

Kelly from Stylish Patina (my ASCP Stockist) asked me if I would do a little guest post last week. She’s going to format it a little differently, but I thought I’d share what I wrote for you all. 

I thought I would show you a little before and after of my favorite piece. I’ve done many projects for my own home and will do many more because I am always switching things up. I think my favorite piece, however, is the very large amoire that I have in my bedroom. I had been searching for one for a very long time when I finally found the perfect piece on Craigslist. I wanted a beautiful place to put my flatscreen and it had to have doors so I could tuck it away and not look at a big black screen all the time.

The piece cost a bit more than I wanted to spend, but I splurged because I know how hard it is to find a large piece that has great detail. I was hesitant to show my readers the before picture as I’m hesitant to show you all now. The reality is is that it was really pretty in its natural, stained wood. It’s the kind of piece that could easily provoke the Chalk Paint haters of the world to come yelling at me once again. I’ve had my share with individuals commenting on my YouTube Tutorials, writing things like, “How dare you paint over that beautiful wood!” But, like I tell my clients, if you hate the look of your grandmother’s coffee table and your choice is to either hide it in the garage “saving” it in all it’s ugliness or paint it and put it in a place of glory in your living room for all to see & use. Well, the choice seems easy to me. Just don’t tell your mother you painted it until it’s already said and done!

That being said, here are some before images:



Still with me? Don’t hate me because I paint furniture.

I am a huge fan of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. Yes, it is rather expensive, but the benefits are worth it. I’ve used many other types of paint to refinish furniture and I always come back to ASCP. I have three small kids so the fact that I don’t have to prime & prep my pieces before painting them is a big relief to me. I also think she has the best color palette to choose from. My favorite colors fall into the neutral family. They are the most European/Cottage-looking colors and that is the look that I love for my own home. If only I lived on a hill in the English countryside too. Sigh.

My amoire is such a large piece that I didn’t want it to visually take up the entire room. If I painted it Graphite or a dark color then it would be a bit of a black hole in the corner where all light would be sucked up! When you use a lighter color it blends into the walls, the carpet, the trim and the natural light coming through the windows. My amoire is the largest piece in my bedroom, but some days I don’t even notice it’s there.

Here’s how it looks in my bedroom:

Small Room Design

And here it is when it made it into the pages of Arlington Magazine.


My intention was to heavily distress the piece so that it offered an aged, storied look. I sanded it quite a bit and used dark wax in many of the crevices and edges.

I’ve layered this shabby, white look throughout my bedroom so adding an antique white painted piece just works. Here’s a peak at the rest of the room.

Image 8

I’m so happy with the results. It works in my bedroom now and if I ever decide to move it because it is a neutral it can easily translate into a family room or living room. I find that if you choose neutral colors like Old White and Country Grey you really won’t regret it. You could regret red or purple or green. But, you will never regret a white.



Blue Egg Brown Nest


Image 1





  1. I love that armoire in your room and genuinely prefer it in its “after” picture. My Dad has a beautiful bureau (I think you guys call them a secretary) that used to be my Granny’s. I’ve got my eye on it but he says “you’ll paint it over my dead body” 🙁 It will have to stay mahogany for the foreseeable future 🙂

  2. The armoire is lovely. Was it an old piece, what wood? But my real question is about the shutter screen in the corner. Did you just scrub an old one, or age it somehow? I have one that’s a little too grubby to bring in as it is, and am not sure what it needs to spiff up my den corner.
    Glad you’re back, I’d been missing your posts!

  3. Dana Hamilton says:

    I’ve been following your blog for a while now and I too love the look of paint over wood 🙂 Can you show us a picture of the armoire from the front? I would love to see how the details show up painted, and all the pics are from the side.

  4. That is a stunning piece for sure! Love it.

  5. Thanks for sharing. You have inspired me in my business. Blessings to you!

  6. It’s a beauty! Soulful and inspirational just like you.

  7. marilyn in Mt. Vernon, VA says:

    It is GORGEOUS! Someday I’m going to take the plunge. Daniela’s comment (above) is perfect: I agree! Hope you’re doing better, sweet Christen.

  8. WOW, if that is your bedroom- amazingly beautiful and romantic. And the piece is stunning, I so would love to buy piece #1 and paint it. I still need to get myself some of the AS paints. 🙂

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