Modern Jewelry Armoire Makover





Introduction: Modern Jewelry Armoire Makover

How to take an antique looking jewelry armoire and give it a modern makeover. "Modern" solutions to store jewelry are difficult to find and expensive. This is an inexpensive and easy alternative.

Step 1: Get a Classic Looking Jewelry Armoire

Take an antique jewelry armoire, you can normally can find one at a thrift shop or craigslist. Mine was given to us by a friend (ours was missing a mirror on the inside top lid).

Step 2: Remove All Hardware/drawers

With a screwdriver, remove all the hardware (drawer pulls) and hinges. Pull out all the drawers.

Step 3: Cover the Inside of the Drawers

With painters tape and paper (paper rolls found in painting section of your hardware store), cover the inside of the drawers. Most of these armoires are lined with a felt type of material, which I chose to keep in it's original color to keep the same texture/feel. Depending on the material inside of your drawers you can skip this step.

Step 4: Paint

To keep with the modern a feel, I choose a glossy white paint. This was the most difficult step. Depending on the original finish of the armoire, you may choose to sand your piece before painting. I opted not to, and in retrospect probably should have. I had a high gloss lacquer finish on my piece. I assumed with enough primer and paint I didn't need to sand. After my first coat of paint I realized that some sanding was needed, as the paint started "bubbling". As a result I used approximately 3 cans of white primer spray paint and 4 cans of high gloss white spray paint (estimated $40 US). Paint outdoors to ventilate and for faster drying do so in the sun. Spray primer first, evenly. Let dry. Then apply high gloss paint. Use smooth, slow, strokes. Since I did not sand, some bubbling did occur, but nothing too noticeable. Allow to dry.

Choose a decal of your choice. I purchased mine online at ($15 US). Before purchasing the decal I took the measurements given online and estimated how the decal would fit on the armoire. I chose black to keep with the modern feel and show a high contrast.

On separate cardboard/paper, lay out all the drawer pulls and spray paint. Allow to dry.

Screw hinges and insert dry drawers.

Step 5: Add Decal and Finish

Align decal over armoire. Slowly remove backing and working from top to bottom, apply decal. Pressing down with dull scraper/spatula, over curves, bends, and corners. Once decal is applied, with an exacto knife, cut slits where drawers separate/open; pressing in edges of cut decal into crevices using the same exacto knife or scaper.

Apply drawer pulls.


(*BONUS: I had an old mirror and spray painted those borders white as well, worked well in bedroom and kept with modern feel of room; can see in final photo)



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    25 Discussions

    Personally, I'd never ruin an authentic piece of antique furniture for a project like this. You'd be better off to build it yourself and then paint it. This particular piece of furniture reminds me of the one that they sell at CVS for $39.99. They always have a good supply of them at Christmastime. If, instead, you did this to an actual antique just because it was missing a mirror, I wouldn't be happy about it. But hey, it's not my money. I think this would look pretty awesome if you painted the piece black and used a cool blue, magenta or even a white decal. Regardless, it's a good idea and your results look great. Thanks for the photos!, although you can find other places who carry it by searching google "audrey hepburn decal"

    This is great.
    On your next project - make sure to take pictures while you're painting and transferring.  Or whatever it is you're doing. More pictures!  :D

    3 replies

    Thanks! I'll do that next time. This was my first time posting a project and realized I hadn't taken picures once it was too late...but next time I'l document it better.

    I totally get it.  I was impressed by the quality of your first project here, and want to encourage you to make even more!!!
    I look forward to seeing them :)

    Looks so hot! I bet a Monroe one would look just as great!

    ohhh sweet! Might have to try this with something. Looks pretty awesome. : D

    Great job, my sister would love it. Could you tell us where we might find a similar decal.  That picture works so well with the overall look.

    1 reply

    I googled "audrey hepburn decal" and found several sites. I used, because they specifically listed the dimensions of the decal and I was able to compare it to the size of my furniture piece.

    I LOVE this instructable! I want to go out and find an old armoire so I can make this.

    This came out *beautifully*. I especially love that just a hint of the decal continues on to the side. This adds great interest to the piece. Love love love. :]

     I love the way the armoire came out but the two hardest steps have to pictures making it hard to do the project. 

    1 reply

    I realize I don't have picturse for that. I apologize but this is my first project and to be honest I didn't know I was going to post this when I did the project. I hope the lack of photos doesnt discourage anyone from tyring this. I don't think photos of those final steps would have helped anyone too much. I just simply painted with spray paint (white primer first, then high gloss white) like you would anything else. Careful to use smooth even strokes. As I am a novice it took me longer than it should take most. But I simly applied a coat, let dry, and repeated. The decal was also pretty simple. I just lined up the decal. Once the positioning looked good, I removed the backing and starting from the top I slowly pressed it on to the wood. Please feel free to ask my any questions...

    Easy there...Not trying to keep any "big secret" or become famous. I did describe the painting..if you are referring to the actual image of Audrey  Hepburn, that is the decal. Step Five mentions that. I just simply purchsed a decal online and applied it. Any decal you buy online will come with instructions on how to apply.