Industrial Armoire





Introduction: Industrial Armoire

I wanted a storage unit near my front door in an industrial style similar to "Restoration Hardware" but couldn't wrap my head around spending $4000.  So this is what I came up with for $75 and a little elbow grease.  It started with a craigslist find with "some cat scratches" for $15, a little stain, some metal strapping and random connectors from the decking section of my local big box store. Obviously, you won't be able to replicate it exactly but hopefully the technicques I used might inspire your own creation!

Step 1: Supplies

Driftwood stain from Rustoleum
Ebony Stain from Cabot
60 grit and 120 grit sandpaper
Lightweight metal connectors from the decking department
framing tabs
various washers, acorn nuts, screws,
Dark gray metallic paint for "aging" the metal connectors, framing tabs, washers etc.
tight mesh fencing similar to chicken wire
3 inch number stencils or stickers

Orbital or palm sander
power screwdriver
T-shirt rags, foam brushes and/or Q-tips :)
wire cutters

Step 2:

I removed the moulding which was a little too ornate for the look I was going for and then sanded the entire piece down to bare wood using an orbital sander and 60 grit sandpaper. I applied a number sticker to the top right of each of the doors and drawers.  Then I wiped on the driftwood stain and immediately wiped on streaks of the Ebony stain.   The 60 grit had left the wood a little rough which made the stain absorb unevenly.  This actually ended up adding  to the industrial look but after the first coat I thought that I had really messed up and it was going to look like a streaky mess but I perservered!  I let the first coat dry and then added more layers of each of the stains until I was satisfied with the look.  While waiting for the stain to dry between coats, I unevenly dabbed, streaked and wiped on some dark gray metallic paint onto the metal connector pieces to make them look older.  I used Martha Stewart Gunmetal but other brands would probably work.  I also painted the inset part of the doors a flat black to make them recede.  I just painted over the number stickers I had applied and then peeled the sticker away when the paint was dry. 

Step 3:

After applying polyurethane (in a matte finish), I screwed the metal connector pieces onto the armoire.  I used thin long pieces on the very top and very bottom to look like strapping and secured it in places with wood screws and large washers.  I used the corner connectors to cover the cat scratches that were on my piece but you can use different parts to cover up whatever flaws your piece has.  I used door handles from the gate/fencing department because they looked more industrial than anything in the drawer hardware department.  I attached cleats (normally used for securing a rope) as the drawer pulls.  I cut and placed the wire mesh fencing material into the door inset and secured it using the tabs from the picture framing department.  I removed the bun feet and replaced them with casters.  Then I wheeled my industrial, Restoration Hardware, rustic armoire into place.  Send a pic of your next creation if this instructable inspired you. 



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    22 Discussions

    This is grrrrrrrrreat! Love the retro look with the attributes of steampunk.

    My mom did something like this years ago converting console TV's into curio cabinets.

    The "chicken wire" you used is actually wire mesh. This looks like 1/8". It also comes in 1/4" and 1/2".

    1 reply

    Thanks, I had that wire mesh stored in my shed for so long, I couldn't remember what it was called. I love the slick modern look of the futuristic fifties but I like the industrial/steampunk to add a little grit, too. Post a pic of what your mom has done if you get a chance.

    I haven't seen military boxes but I would guess they are similar style. Thanks for your comment!

    I use a wooden case that was used to hold two Howitzer shells as a Gig box for my DJ rig. pretty much raw wood, built for purpose.. nylon rope hand holds.. a simple chest..

    also.. I think that cat was angry at that chest.

    Cool! Do you DJ heavy metal? Get it? Howitzer shells=heavy metal. OK that was a really lame play on words. :) I didn't ask to see what kind of cat made these scratches since I was afraid they would bring out a jungle cat!

    I've been known to break out some old school industrial electronic late night at my halloween shows :D
    I forgot to mention that the build and re-purpose looks great!

    Have ever been military service ?! if you was there you could see lot of heavy box for weapons or other important parts

    Take care .... Mohammad

    Awesome! I love how you used odds and ends from different departments to get this look. Thanks for sharing.


    Very cool!

    Cat scratches? From what? A tiger?...Awesome looking cabinet, by the way. I'm planning on making a new bed frame/headboard for my son and I think he'd really like something done in that style.

    1 reply

    4 years ago

    Really liked the style and now I'm planning my own for my man cave. I voted for you :)

    1 reply

    Thanks! I think something in this style will look great in a mancave. Post a pic when you get it finished, 'cause I love to see what other people come up with.

    omg, you should enter this into designsponge's before/after thread.

    would love to see something industrial and toothy like your creation featured there!