A Fresh Look for an Outdated TV Armoire

Spring vignette on top of armoire

I finished painting my dated TV armoire, and boy-oh-boy does it look different for about $50* in paint and supplies! I didn't think it was horrible before, but after 20 years it was time for a change. My husband agreed and wanted to mount the TV on the wall, but I really prefer to have the option to tuck the TV away when it's not in use, so we agreed that I would paint the armoire instead.

Today I'll explain the process of how to paint faux wood. If you would rather just see the "after" photos than you have permission to simply scroll to the end of the post!

But first let me assure you that no antique furniture was harmed during this project, ha ha. This cabinet was made in the 1990's and is constructed of pressboard with a faux wood finish. So it's what I would call a cheap finish, although if I recall we paid a pretty penny for it back in the day.


Outdated 1990s TV armoire

At one time we used it to store VHS tapes and later DVDs. Now I use it to store my paints and supplies.

Storage solution for paint supplies


Of course the first step is to clean and wipe down the entire piece. I used a mild detergent and water. I considered replacing the cardboard back of the armoire, but decided to work with what I had instead.

Cardboard back of armoire

I used clear packing tape to add a little support to the back cut out areas. The extra support was necessary so I wouldn't punch through it while painting.

Clear packing tape used to secure cut out areas

I wasn't planning to paint the hardware, so I removed all the pulls. Once the pulls were removed I would lose the ability to open the drawers, so I created temporary drawer pulls with painter's tape.

Create temporary drawer pulls with tape


I chose a two toned neutral color scheme of Coco and Old Ochre. I layered the colors to add a little dimension without it being too dramatic of a finish. The faux wood finish was very smooth, so I applied a very thin base coat in Coco.

Base coat of Coco.

Next I used random brush strokes to apply a coat of Old Ochre over the Coco.

Layering paint colors.

I stepped back to look at it after applying the second coat. It looks blotchy while applying the layers, but after building multiple layers it will even out a bit. It's starting to take shape with the third layer of paint. I ended up with about 4 or 5 layers. Don't worry -- it does get better!

Second and third layers of paint.


The next portion of the project was painting the interior. Once again I used a very thin base coat over the faux wood. I used my Vintage Effects paintbrush which works especially well when painting faux wood or laminate.

Apply a thin coat of paint to create texture on faux wood.

The subtle brush strokes create a bit of texture which acts as a good base for my second coat of paint to adhere to.

A thin base coat helps the second coat adhere better.

I had one spot where the Chalk Paint "failed" and didn't adhere. Actually this was a user error rather than a product fail. Most likely it was due to improper cleaning and a bit of residual oil left behind. One fix is to sand the area, re-clean it, then reapply the paint.

Chalk paint failed to adhere.

Since I wasn't able to move the armoire outside to sand it, I needed another solution. So I wiped and scraped away as much of the peeling paint as possible. Then I applied a thin layer of wood filler, smoothed it out with a scraper, and let it dry before applying the second coat of paint. This method worked like a charm.

Use wood filler to help paint adhere.


And here's the finished armoire. There is still some color variation created by the layers of paint, but it's subtle without being to "flat". I sealed the paint with soft clear wax.

Painted 1990s TV armoire

Armoire painted in Coco and Old Ochre chalk paint

Armoire knobs and furniture tassel

I added touches of dark wax for a little extra color dimension.

Layered chalk paint with dark wax

The dark wax is mainly settled into the recessed areas.

Two toned layered paint with dark wax

Bat wing doors on TV armoire

The interior retains the cheap cardboard backing, but I don't think it's too noticeable.

Doors open on painted armoire

One of my favorite things about this style of armoire is the bat-wing doors. When they're open they fold back flush to the cabinet.

Bat wing doors open on TV armoire

Two toned layered paint colors on corner of armoire

I changed the vignette on top of the armoire a little with some hydrangeas in a basket. The basket is a little too large, but the color works, so I'm sticking with it for now.

Spring vignette with hydrangeas


I used approximately a half can or less of each paint color plus supplies I already had on hand to seal the paint (clear wax to seal the paint as well as touches of dark wax). Overall I estimate that it cost about $50 or less in product used. If you don't have the products on hand already it will take a greater outlay of cash to purchase the paint and supplies, but savings can be achieved using one color of paint instead of two. Each quart of paint will cost about $40. A large tin of wax costs about $25. Smaller sizes are also available for less money, but since I paint a lot it's more economical for me to buy the larger sizes. So it's easy to create a whole new look for about $100 or less. Which is much cheaper than buying new furniture!

Supply list:

(Affiliate links)
Chalk Paint - Coco and Old Ochre (you can save shipping costs by picking up from a local stockist).
Vintage Effects paint brush & large wax brush
Clear and dark wax
Lint free rags or blue shop towels (to wipe away excess wax; can also be used to apply wax instead of a brush)

You are appreciated and I thank you so much for stopping by The Black Sheep Shoppe today!

How to paint faux wood.

Before and after TV armoire.

Painted TV armoire before and after.


  1. The miracle of paint in revamping an appearance!!!

    A hint for the interior of your T.V. space...Lowe’s carries a neutral textured
    wallpaper that is paintable & I love it! My situation was similar to yours & I needed to cover up the interior of sloppy & drippy enamel painted beadboard inside of built in shelves (btw, not my paint job). I cut & glued the wallpaper to wrap around the interior back & sides of my shelves (not the top or bottom) & then painted & glazed the wallpaper. Camoflouged it completely & saved me hours of sanding & stripping stubborn enamel paint in tight spaces!!

    Cindy Lou
    Rockwall, TX

    1. Thank you Cindy! I love your idea to use the paintable wallpaper. I will check it out at Lowe's and most likely use it on a future project. :-)


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