This is how it looked in a snapshot on my phone when I purchased it.
*The lighting in the photo makes it look darker than it actually was.
The first step was to take doors off and drawers out. We removed the knobs and hardware and labeled and stored them in plastic bags. The inside shelf was also removed.
Then the entire thing was sanded and cleaned to prep it for painting.
I decided to use a paint sprayer on this project. Quite honestly, it was a big job to tarp everything off so that the overspray wouldn't ruin everything in sight. I do love the paint sprayer, and after working with it several times the process does go faster. And it certainly covers much quicker than brush painting.
With that said, I did the first two coats of paint using the sprayer and the last coat in areas that needed it using a very nice smooth bristle brush.
The inspiration for the finish on this piece came from some of the accessories the home owner had in her already gorgeous living room along with the photos of Asian style furniture found online.
And the base paint color choice for the armoire:Valspar Signature Interior Satin Paint - Heirloom Red
Here is what they looked like after they were sprayed with the base coat of red. I did have tarps draped all around it and above it while painting but I removed them before thinking to snap a photo.
Please pardon the mess. ;-p
Next, I used a mixture of black paint, clear glaze, and water on my faux finish. I had to experiment with the proportions. Honestly, I think it is a matter of preference and how dark you want your glaze to be. For this project I would say I probably used around 70% glaze to 15% paint and 15%water. In some areas I increased the percentage of paint to make it a bit darker.
A few important tips:
Working in small sections I would brush on the glaze mixture and then wipe with a soft cotton blend rag. (make sure it's not something that will leave fuzz behind). Also, be sure to complete an entire section in a continuous manner so that the glaze doesn't have time to dry before you are done. For example, if you only glaze half of a drawer facing and walk away from it and come back to do the rest you will have a definite line of separation between the two glazing times and it will look like a mess. The wet glaze will either darken the area where they meet or it will cause some of the glaze that was already there to come off leaving patches that are very uneven.
If you want to go back and make the piece darker (which I did on this project), you will need to wait until it is completely dry and set before applying another coat of glaze. I waited a couple of days, but it doesn't necessarily have to be that long.
Here it is after the first coat of black glaze. You can see the color comparison with the lantern. But we still wanted to have some darker areas especially in the corners and crevices of the armoire for a more dramatic effect.
This is after the second coat of black glaze.
You can see my sponge sander.
It is a very fine 180grit for lightly sanding between coats of clear Polycrylic sealer. I applied three coats of the Polycrylic using a soft bristle paint brush. Each coat was applied spaced out over the course of a week or so. But the reason for that was that we had a lot of rainy days and times that the air was too humid. I would recommend following the directions on the product based on your painting conditions. This Polycrylic sealer gives a very nice professional, durable, protective coat to the furniture.
Here are some photos I took with my phone when we moved it into its new home and put all of the hardware, doors and drawers back together.
And one last pic of it in the room.