The Shack: Our Little Poconos Getaway and Painting Vintage Furniture (Post #17)

Welcome back.  I want to continue the discussion of affordable decorating, using vintage and second-hand furniture.  In my last post, I shared with you the secret of my two affordably fabulous upholstered chair finds.  By visiting Estate Sales, Second-Hand Stores, and Antique Markets, I am able to find so many wonderful furnishings at a fraction of their retail price.  Of course, knowing what to look for is key!


This great little storage piece wasn’t always so attractive. In fact, it was in pretty rough condition when I found it. But it’s amazing what a fresh coat of paint and some new hardware can do!

When I came across this terrific furniture piece, I noted that it was heavy and made of solid wood.  The drawers were dovetailed and there was no warping or damage on the piece.


Obviously, once used in a child’s room, the doors on this piece had cutouts of bears applied to them. I removed those and sanded the area well, so no remnant of those shapes would remain after painting.  I also filled in the holes where the door handles had been applied, since I intended to use beautiful new hardware to update the piece.


Originally painted a muddy gold color, this solid wood piece had great bones but was showing its age. It had obviously been a child’s Chifferobe from the 1940’s or 50’s.  A Chifferobe is a piece of furniture which incorporates both hanging storage, like a wardrobe or armoire, and drawers.  This child-sized Chifferobe had hanging storage on the right side and dovetailed wooden bin drawers on the left side, both of which were hidden behind the tall pair of doors. I took the entire piece apart (a super important step when painting vintage furniture) and gave the entire thing a good sanding, before I started to apply the paint.

I chose two paint colors for the Chifferobe, to give the piece some graphic punch.  I like the idea of adding some bold, colorful pieces into the interiors at The Shack, but I want to keep those colors in the warm scheme represented by our area rug.


I chose colors that I thought would enhance the palette inspired by my wool Karastan area rug at The Shack. Two versions of gold, a strong caramel gold and a lighter butter color were selected to use on the chifferobe.


In this photo (taken in progress, even before we painted the walls at The Shack) you can see the inside of the Chifferobe cabinet, where the wooden bin-drawers are located. The right side contained hardware for hanging child-sized clothing. As you can see, this piece has great storage!



I spackled and painted over the holes for the original hardware on the Chifferobe. Then I selected updated pulls as replacements to the round wood knobs which were originally attached to the piece. Oil-Rubbed Bronze was chosen as the finish for D-Handles on the lower two doors and simple Bin Pulls for opening the top drawer. I made paper cutouts of the hardware and taped them into place, to be sure I liked their new location, before drilling new holes and installing the pretty new hardware.


The chifferobe is the perfect size for this wall between the main floor bedroom and the opening into the kitchen. It provides valuable storage for puzzles and games (which we use often in this vacation home). I think it looks great, combined with a modern oil painting on canvas, a fun vintage clock and interesting accessories (plus a basket for Silvia’s cat toys too!).


I’m really happy with how the bold caramel and soft butter colors on the chifferobe pop on this soft greige wall at The Shack.  And the new drawer and door hardware does so much to make the vintage furniture piece feel a bit more modern.  All these layered warm colors add to that ‘mountain house’ vibe I’m going for.  I’m totally loving the new look at The Shack!

Thanks again for joining me in my updates at The Shack.  Several of you have reached out and told me you’re following along with my progress.  It makes me feel so good to hear from you, and know you’re out there cheering us on in our renovation journey!

Until next time, make sure to like Robinson Interiors on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter, and DO stay tuned for future updates on The Shack!

Click on this image to be taken directly to my website for more information on Robinson Interiors.

Click on this image to be taken directly to my website for more information on Robinson Interiors.


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