aaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!

That’s how I feel about the mess I’ve gotten myself into.

But before we dive into my hair-brained schemes about the future of villa Russo’s master bedroom, I’ll tell about where it all began.

This baby has been a thorn in my side for months now. It looks akin to a disaster. And trust me, I know what disasters look like. Check out the mess of clothes inside the glass. And the shiny gold drawer pulls. Also the fact that the handle on the door side doesn’t match the rest of the handles. The fact that it’s orange. Pick one. It all needed help. Oh, and to boot it’s laminate. As if things couldn’t get worse.

Please don’t misunderstand me. It’s a really nice piece of furniture. Heavy, roomy, lots of drawer space, and I l.o.v.e. the details at the bottom.

Ignore the blue/purple carpet. I think the school secretly hates its students and finds subtle ways to torture us. Blue carpet, example A.

So it has good bones, this armoire of mine. And it was free. *happy dance* I’ll do the math for you. Good bones + free= happy girl doing happy dance!

Ehem, enough self-revelation. Back to the armoire! So I got this idea in my head (Julie don’t laugh) that I was going with a totally neutral palette in our bedroom. Like, a white-out. I have big plans, some have been implemented already, and so far my lover has had nice things to say. Score. Happy wife. Happy husband. Happy happy happy! Also there is some grey. So white and grey. Very neutral. Eventually I will start adding back some pops of color, but right now I’m working on the white-ness. Enter stage left, the armoire.

dun dun DUN!

I got this crazy idea. Crazy awesome. Decided I would whitewash it. Which would be a fabulous idea right? I could sand it down, but wouldn’t have to totally strip it (irregularity is good in whitewashing, right?) before I got down to the good stuff. Where did I turn when I needed someone to agree with me and tell me I could do this and it would be easy? My good friend pinterest, of course.

I found the idea here on a website called Design Sponge. Via pinterest.

Adorable. I’m in love with the whitewashing idea. And it doesn’t look that hard.

So, I buy myself the sample size paint. I got the ultra white. Hellllllooo, neutral palette. Don’t forget to buy some wiping rags (or tear up some old t-shirts) and a paint brush. You’re also going to need a container you can mix paint in and water.

According to the directions I was following-ish you mix two parts paint to one part water. Mix well and you’re good to go. You can read the directions in the above link, they differ slightly from what I did. Just go with what works for you. Experiment.

I did some medium coverage in short brush strokes, then took a dry brush and ran a long stroke down the wet paint. At some points this was actually enough and I left it. Other times I took my rag and did some wiping. Again, just go with how you’re feeling and step back to look at your work every few minutes. It would look like this after the paint was on:

And the right side of this photo shows how it looked after being wiped:

That wasn’t enough coverage for me usually so I went back over sections a second time at least. And there were a couple that I went over a third time. The drawers, for example, have a few more coats because they are such a huge surface and I needed them to be really solid-looking.

I have to back up now and tell you that I didn’t end up sanding this piece at all. I tried, but the laminate is so thin that I was immediately hitting particle board. And particle board isn’t really the look I’m going for here.

Back to the armoire, after a few hours brushing, wiping, and repeating I was getting this:

Forgot to mention, I painted the inside of the door part solid grey. I really love how subtle it is and how it fades into the background to let the whitewash be the star. Sorry about the hideous drawer pulls. Spraying those oil-rubbed bronze is priority numero uno. Because they looked bad on the armoire before, but now they look bad AND they clash. Also I’m thinking about getting some super ornate/decorative handle for the door side. Since I’m sure matching the drawer pulls is impossible.

Ready for my favorite part?

The details!

Excuse me a moment while I collect myself and stop drooling. They are just so exquisite. I get this warm fuzzy feeling when I look at them. And these beauties are really a knock-out from a distance.

See how they add just the perfect amount of charm? Without being all I-belong-in-a-princess-room cutesy? Imagine with me. Oil-rubbed bronze handles, details, and baskets for that door side. I’m hoping to find some dirt-cheap wicker baskets and also spray them oil-rubbed bronze. So if you know of somewhere selling baskets for dirt, let me know. asap.

Here’s what I mean about the grey with the whitewash:

See how it’s not afraid to fade into the background, and let the whitewash pop? Is this all in my head? Somebody tell me you see it too. I would feel better about all my life decisions if somebody just agreed with me.

And now I warn you. If small children are sitting on your lap you may want to cover their eyes. In fact you may want to cover your own eyes. I’m about to show you a before picture of our bedroom. And I want you to be warned. You may not be able to get these images out of your head. Ready? Scroll fast.

I’m so sorry I had to do this to you. I promise, it hurts me more than it hurts you. This is the blank white box that I sleep in. And wake up to in the morning. Ack. It needs help! Also I wish I could tell you that it’s usually cleaner than this, but that would make me a liar. And I want this blog to be 100% truthful.

More truth: my mom tried really, super-duper hard to get me to be clean and tidy. But I’m stubborn like my dad. 🙂

I’ll leave you with another shot of the armoire. So maybe you can wipe the image of my disaster-zone bedroom from your mind.

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