How to glaze (pinstripe) an ugly maple armoire to look more like hickory without using a glaze. I used black paint.

Back in the 1990's we bought our first home and being a one income family with three children under 5, we were strapped for cash.  We bought a couple cheap armoires from a local store that looked pretty nice for the time period.  Maple.  Everything back then was a light maple or pine color!

Over the next few relocations around the country we always said we would get rid of the armoires but somehow they always came with us to the next house. The last 3 homes we've owned, they've been banished to the basement!  They work great for extra storage but boy, are they ugly!  Finally, during our last 1,000 mile move, I did get rid of one of them... but that 2nd armoire somehow snuck into the moving truck and came with us!

In our current home it lives in the basement, in an extra bedroom I use as a sewing and craft room when we don't have guests.  It works great to hold not only all my soap and candle making supplies, but my sewing patterns, sewing notions and all the board games our family gathered over the years.

But it was still really ugly.  And plain.  And my husband keeps telling me to throw it out.

Instead, I noticed the base color was really, almost the same shade as our home's kitchen and bathroom cupboards.  The only difference is our cabinets and cupboards have a black antique glaze on them to give them an updated hickory look. 

  • First, let me say I had NO idea how to pinstripe or antique glaze anything.
  • 2nd:  I had no glaze or materials at the house
  • 3rd:  I had no budget to buy them
  • 4th:  I don't like to read, watch or follow directions for anything.  Ever.  I just look at something I want to do, and think about it, then do it.  Sometimes it works out.  Sometimes it doesn't.  (Usually it does).

So one day last week I looked at what we DID have on hand to work with.

I found an old towel.
A can of black paint leftover from painting a wall of my daughter's bedroom (The blowing Dandelion decor)
I have a paint brush

Let's do this!  What do I have to lose?  An old, ugly armoire that my hsuband wants me to get rid of anyway?

The photos below don't do the before and after justice.  I took them on my cell phone quickly and called it "good enough".  But some of the other pictures (like the one above) show a nice view of the difference a tiny little bit of black paint made.

If you have glaze or can buy a cheap little can of glaze, by all means do it.  I didn't want to spend any extra money so I used what was on hand and I always come up with these projects at the last second and want to get started NOW anyway; so I never take the time to go to a store and buy things.  I'm creative though.  So if YOU have glaze, use it (I'll link to some below on Amazon too) - but I'm going to do it with leftover black paint.

I poured a small amount of black latex interior paint (eggshell finish) onto a styrofoam tray from some ground beef, I had washed and dried (I always keep little things like that and put them into my craft container).

Using a brush, I simply brushed some paint into the corners and edges of the cupboards and along the seam edge.

Very lightly and gently, wipe off. 

The harder you press, the more you take off.

Leave more in the corners and edges by lightly wiping, while applying the paint and wiping off most of it to give the rest of the wood a slight shade change and a few tiny pinstripes but most of the paint will be wiped off. 

In some areas if the paint started to dry a little quickly, I spit on the rag and wiped it off!  (Just keepin' it honest)  so having a damp rag nearby helps for spots you want to wipe off and redo (I was too lazy to run upstairs and get a wet rag).

This dries quickly so only do a small section at a time.

Here is 3 photo step by step:

Applying paint to corners and edges

Gently wiping it off, leaving it pooled in corners by not wiping hard

I wiped the flat areas to remove most of the paint while leaving paint heavier in the seams

I am thrilled with how it turned out and it only took about 30 minutes start to finish for the whole project.
If you want, you can cover with a light coating of spray varnish.  I didn't.  I like it just how it is.
Incidentally, my husband loves it too - and doesn't feel the need to throw out that 'ugly armoire' any longer!

Some related products you might be interested in:
South Shore Furniture, Prairie Collection, Armoire, Country Pine
Sauder Carson Forge Armoire, Washington Cherry
United Facility Supply Bag-A-Rags Reusable Wiping Cloths, Cotton, White, 1 Pound Pack (N250CW01)
Value-Pack 10-Pc Foam Paint Brush Set - Wood Handles
GF Milk Glaze, Pitch Black, Pint
GF Glaze, Van Dyke Brown, Pint



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