Painting Pine Furniture

This is a repost from July 2009, but it’s one of the most common questions I get asked:: “where did you get your armoire?”

I recently painted my yard sale purchased, pine armoire.

This is how it looked before. I think about 25% percent of houses in my neighborhood have a piece of furniture that looks like this. I love how warm it was and how it was such a great victim to withstood the abuse of 3 boys.

I’ve wanted to paint this piece since I saw Meredith’s painted armoire {here’s her before}. So, naturally, two weeks before we moved, I grabbed a pillow and an oval box for color inspiration and then all my color wheels and found a color I thought would be a good choice.

My goal was to have a robin’s egg blue but not a bright one like Martha leans toward but a dirty, natural feeling blue. Also, since I was painting over pine that had plenty of knots, I wanted to make sure it was a color that would look ok if and when the knots bleed through the paint. Because bleeding always seem to happen with knots.

I have painted raw pine in the past. I’ve used coats of primer and paint and within weeks, yes, WEEKS the knots start to bleed through. This time, I tried Behr Paint and Primer in One. {And wouldn’t it be nice if I were getting a big fat check from Behr since I’m broadcasting how much I love this product? I am not. Behr has no idea what a Nester is.}

So, it’s been almost 6 weeks now and so far, no bleeding. I will tell you if and when I see any signs of knots coming through. And if and when they do come through, I will be ok with that because I picked a color that will look even better with knots.

Here’s how I, the world’s most horrible, impatient painter, painted my armoire. And it turned out great.

1. Put the furniture on movers {those round things} and put plastic on the ground and move the armoire onto the plastic away from the wall. I did this all by myself thankyouverymuch. I think I even left the TV plugged in.

2. Get your professional paint roller holder thing and line it with your professional liner. Cake pan and aluminum foil.

3. Get your paint. Here’s the formula for what I used if you must have it. I think I would have been happy with any of the 20 colors I choose from. Usually, when people try to pick a robin’s egg they go waaaay too turquoise. You almost want a gray. Then, when you put the color next to gray it should look robin’s egg. {216 is the bottom number under the “B”}

I used Sherwin Williams Halcyon Green 6213. But remember, you really cannot tell what paint colors truly look like by looking at a computer screen. And I adjusted this photo so you could read the words so, if you think you would like it please get a sample first. In real life, the color is more greenish grey than what you see in the photo on my computer. Quietude, the one above also looks fantastic. I like the eggshell finish. I don’t like it really shiny so eggshell is a good choice for me. Why did I do a color match? Because I decided to paint this the same day I painted this. I didn’t have a Behr color wheel and I didn’t want to go to Home Depot, grab colors then come home and decide. Which is how you must do it. Never decide a color in a florescent lighted store. You need to choose it in the room where you will be using the color.

And for the record, the color in our front room is Sherwin Williams Comfort Gray.  It’s a more watery, lighter, gray blue than the deeper more intense blue/green Halcyon Green.

4. Start with a brush and do the corners. Or start with a roller and do the sides. I don’t really have a set way. I did wipe down the piece with a damp cloth first too, I guess I should add a number in for that. But other than knocking off the dust, no prep work.

5. I took the drawers out and left them for later. I also removed the handles with pliers because I didn’t want to mess with painting around them. I picked out some I liked better.

6. Decide where you want the paint to stop. You can paint all of the inside or be lazy like me and just do the doors. I simply painted whatever I could with the roller and let it stop at the edges. No brushing meticulously for me. I only used the brush in the tight corners and around the hinges.

7. I admit I didn’t do the best painting job ever to grace the internet. I painted three coats, I waited a few hours between coat one and two and then overnight before I did the third coat. I think it took me maybe 4 hours total from clean room to clean room.

8. I liked the fact that I had big square hinges to work around. I got a little paint on them but so? I’m not expecting the paint police anytime soon. They are busy arresting people who are too afraid to paint, because we all know that is a much bigger offense. And, yes, I left everything inside while I painted it.

9. Why am I still numbering? Here are some close ups, I won’t bore you with my words…

I love that you can still see the wood when you open it up.

Don’t forget to paint the top. I didn’t paint the back.

Where I decided to stop the paint. There’s no wrong.

I didn’t let the paint dry long enough before I shut the doors so there is a little paint that rubbed off. I could fix it but I probably never will. {One year later~still haven’t}

There you have it. I feel like every time I see this piece it thanks me for taking the time for painting it. It was so quick and simple. My only regret? I should have painted it years ago.

Want to paint your own furniture but want to do a little more professional job?  My friend Mandi from Altar’d furniture wrote an ebook that will tell you all the tricks and tools that she uses in her business {she sells painted furniture}.  For $10 you can get her secrets and step by step real, correct processes to paint something that’s nicer than my yard sale armoire.

click that button to find out more

One year later update:: I’m really surprised that NO KNOTS have shown up through the paint.  It’s like a painted pine miracle.  I still love the color and it’s held up great.  Twice, when I’ve had the paint out for anther project, I’ve put a little paint on my finger and touched up a few tiny places where the paint has rubbed off {mostly caused by me moving furniture}.  I still LOVE the color and the piece painted.


  1. Jessica Stowe says

    You should be making money on Behr 2-1. Because of this post, I went out and bought the stuff in an antique white and am in the process of repainting my dining room set and chairs :) Thanks!

  2. I have that armoire! Oh my goodness. I’ve never had any desire to paint it until now. I love it blue! Gorgeous.

  3. Great paint job and
    1 I love the color. Have a nice weekend,

  4. Im in heaven. Why? Because just recently Ive started finding gals who have MY armoire! Mine is still the natural pine and Ive been too afraid to paint it b/c I didnt want to mess it up. But I also have other weird circumstnaces. The challenge in my home is that it was built in 1820. So its FULL of the original woodwork(which is beautiful, dont get me wrong) but dark wood color. Totally doesnt go with a pine armoire. We got ours for $150…along with a matching desk and chair, mirror, lamp, sofa table,our sleeper sofa couch, oversized end table, 2 beautiful barstools and an iron outdoor table with 4 wicker chairs! All b/c our best friend(another young pastor) worked for a non for profit organization that picked up furniture when people moved, donated, etc…
    We just happened to be visiting this pastor friend on a Memorial Day weekend and my hubby went in to work with him when this shipment came in. They called me and said “we’ve got some SARAH furniture down here that you need to come see.” Needless to say, it was a pain to make arrangements to get all of that furniture back home…. 2 1/2 hours away…but I did it!:)
    Just found you today and seriously cant get enough!

  5. Oh, I remember this post.. I was impressed that you painted the doors with the hinges still on… and you made me realize it’s okay not to paint the insides of things… I do that to but was feeling like I was the only one! Good refresher..

  6. So bold of you! I loved the armoire before but I love it even more after, way to go! ps: your living room is GORGEOUS.

  7. I haven’t tried painting furniture yet, but I’m so tempted. Currently, I’m painting our deck and it’s taking forever!

  8. Thanks for reposting! I always admire this armoire in every time you talk about it! I loved the turorial!

  9. That is beautiful… once again, Nester, you’re inspiring me. I’ve got a custom made deacon’s bench – that’s been waiting for me to re-paint. I wish I could do it today, but I’ve too much else going on.

    Like a fresh Strawberry Pie waiting to get put together.

    I love your blog…

  10. The color is obviously great and I like how the hardware just pops with it. A kind of masculine meets feminine. Nice mix. I also took note of how you used paint lids under the legs. Wish I had thought of that a while back. :)

  11. Thanks for reposting this, I was just thinking of this post and trying to find it again for an amoir I’m trying going to be painting next week!

  12. Here’s my first pine furniture painting project:

    Next up is the armoir, bed and side tables in my master bedroom.

    Thanks for the inspiration!


  13. THanks for reposting. We are looking at a house right now that has knotty pine walls (!!!). I’ve seen some great redos of this on the web and I think with some TLC it could look great. THe house has so many great things going for it, but it also has a LOT of knotty pine. DH and I are thinking it is a great opportunity for some sweat equity. Oh, and knotty pine cabinets to boot (but a nice kitchen w/ a lot of cabinetry…). Sigh. What to do, what to do. Thanks for the tips!

  14. I think that’s the perfect Robin’s Egg blue color. By the way, your last post really inspired me. I’ve been in my house for two years and made very little changes. Every day I look around and dream about what it could look like. I keep thinking that since I can’t afford what a really want I just won’t do anything, which is just plain dumb. I make other peopl’s homes look great for a living so why can’t I make my own look great regardless of how much I have to spend. Thanks for the little kick in the pants.

  15. Oh I love that robin egg blue and this is beautiful in your room.

  16. Thank you Nester for re-posting this. I have a very similar armoir that has a can of paint in the garage with its name on it. Thanks so much for once again reminding us thats its okay if it isn’t all perfect. :)

  17. LOVE IT! Im about to redo my dresser and armour.. thanks for the inspiration!

  18. I’m getting ready to paint me some newly thrifted side tables for our living room! Been thinking of attacking our less-than-stellar looking dining table as well….do I dare paint it RED!? :)

  19. Love it!

  20. My bedroom is painted Quietude- it’s a great color- sometimes it looks blue, sometimes, green, sometimes gray! LOVE IT!!

  21. I found this post a few months back and it inspired me to paint my own pine armoire. I liked it before–I love it now! It completely changed my living area for the better. Thanks for the encouragement!

  22. I feel really dumb for not thinking of the tin foil thing… Thanks for the tip!

  23. You’ve given me the courage to paint a little end table that I bought at a yard sale years ago. I’ll let you know how that works out!

  24. love halcyon green…I have my living room walls painted that color and just adore it! thanks for the repost.

  25. I loved this post….I’m looking at my pine armoire, and I’m so going to paint it! Just can’t decide on a color. My walls are peanut butter color and I have alot of white etc…..hmmmm


  26. I must admit. I am afraid to paint furniture. I am afraid that I would want it to be wood again because I really like the look of wood. However, more often than not I wish I could refinish it and make it darker. I know I could refinish it but it seems like a LOT more work than just painting. I don’t make decisions very well and that’s why I have 4 yardsale finds that I can’t decide what to do with but I know need changes.

  27. ok- totally random question, not totally related to paint- where do you get the color wheels/books/thingies?? I would love to have SOMETHING to look at without spending HOURS in home depot trying to pick something I might like at home and then having to go back 18 more times before I get something I actually like at home ;)

    also- behr premium plus ultra paint- AWESOME. My hubby is a painting maniac and he will never buy another kind of paint!!! its fabulous for color, coverage, and durability!!!

  28. I tried to leave a comment yesterday, but I guess the big blog monster didn’t like my link, or something.
    In any case, I wanted to say a huge thank you for this original post, and how funny it was that you chose this week to re-post. I finally got around to painting my armoire last weekend, and thought of you constantly! It looks absolutely gorgeous and (corny, sorry), my only regret is I didn’t do it sooner. I used the same Behr paint, which seemed to work well, and am now totally in love with a little mini roller set which cost me about $1.99 and made the whole finish look so so professional. I should really have invested in some furniture sliders, but at least I got a good workout! I will send you some pics when I have them – meantime, a preview is here:

  29. I’ve been wanting to paint a shelf (or two or three) that are in my garage waiting. Got them at yard sales, thrift stores and auctions for not much. But haven’t known how to do. I finally painted my mail box (which is an old bread box sitting on a stool on my front porch.) I was going to sand it, but instead let it sit outside and do it’s job of holding the mail for a while (six months) and the finish dulled nicely and I just primed and painted with what was already in my basement. I may just have gotten the motivation to go tackle one of my shelves. But the first part is getting the dust off. Then maybe roughing up the shiny finish … but first, just start!

    (um, yeah, sorry about this long, winding comment, guess I just needed someone to listen!)

  30. Thanks for the great post. We have a 50’s ranch with knotty pine walls, and wanted to paint them for years after reading your post I finally have the know how and the courage to do it. Thanks so much

  31. Okay, that does it. I have this exact piece and have been back and forth about painting it forever. I was toying with the idea of whitewashing it, but your color does it for me. And crazy thing is, my bedroom is painted Halcyon Green and my master bath Quietude!!?? We are paint soulmates. I’ve lived with the colors for 5 years and am still no where near sick of them. Yummy and soothing.

    so glad I’ve found your blog…now I can waste even more time as I pour through all your archives!

    xoxo. cassie

  32. The picture with coffee table what color is that
    Love it thank u


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  2. […] Sometimes you just have to wait. Or you choose to wait. Rome wasn’t built in a day. You can enjoy the process over time. Instead of focusing on the fact that my walls are um pink? I choose to look at my pretty painted armoire. […]

  3. […] local thrift store. Yes, they are working plantation shutters. I painted them the same color as the armiore, Sherwin Williams Halcyon Green 6213–it’s the same can of paint that was color matched […]

  4. […] By the way, lots of you have asked about painting those shelves.  They are the Southern Living at Home things that I could never afford when everyone had them years ago, but then last year over the course of a month I found 3 {$1 each} at yard sales.  I just painted them with my armiore paint. […]

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  8. […] so popular in the early 90′s; in true Nester fan fashion, I chose the grey green she painted her pine armoire. It’s a little out of the box for me but I think I like it. We are also retiring our old, […]

  9. […] – Income, School Supplies and Eggshell Blue By ooshela, on August 20th, 2010 Painting Pine Furniture @Nesting Place: I love this eggshell blue armoire. I love, even more, the freedom I felt when she […]

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  12. […] the end we went with a white bottom and a stained top.  I only did one coat of the paint/primer (behr all in one as recommended by Nester) because I like being able to see the wood grain.  I might change my mind and put on another coat […]

  13. […] Anyway, like I said, I think I want to paint the armoire (and likely the coffee table, if it stays). And I just happened to stumble across this before and after on The Nesting Place today: […]

  14. […] sanded it down and painted it Nester Blue. I want new hardware, but I still haven’t found the perfect pulls (I just spray painted the […]

  15. […] just use paint, instead) Armoire: Painted in Behr’s “Verdigris”(Thank you, Nester, for the courage to start this project!)Chair: HomeGoods, re-covered in “Carmen […]

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