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Unpainted Wood Wardrobe

Wood Wardrobe and Vintage Chandelier

I didn’t paint it! The vintage wood wardrobe is all dressed up and in the house. I hung an old chandelier from the clothes rod and it looks awesome if I do say so myself.

furniture knobs from Tuesday Morning

I also dressed it up with a few new knobs. I’m not sure about the knobs so maybe you can help me out.

Vintage Wardrobe Has My Name Written All Over It

This is how the wardrobe looked when I spotted it at my favorite junk shop. Who could pass that up. Only $35 too. My original plan was to keep it for myself and not to paint it. That’s just what I did.

Unpainted Vintage Wood Wardrobe And Junky Chandelier In The House


I cleaned it up and moved it into the house. Then I shopped my home for just the right accessories.

vintage furniture all wood

The wood wardrobe was a little moldy and a little smelly.

moldy wood

I started the cleaning job on the back. I used Simple Green for the wash down then also went over the back of the piece with diluted bleach.

removing dust and spider eggs

The inside and bottom along with the drawers got a good vacuuming.

cleaning furniture inside and out

Boy, the JTS sure got a good shot of me. Cleaning the inside casing is the hardest part of the job. Laying the furniture on it’s back makes it a tad bit easier to clean.

Howard's Restore a Finish

After the cleaning I used Howard’s Restore-a-Finish on the wood and also the inside of the drawers. The top drawer front has been “restored”. See the difference the Howard’s makes. It’s not a refinishing product but it can sure brighten the original finish.

hang a vintage chandelier in wood wardrobe

You may remember the chandelier I originally hung on a vintage floor lamp stand. I love how it looks hanging in the wardrobe. Of course all the wiring has been removed so it doesn’t work. It’s how it looks that counts, right??

rusty metal cart for magazine storage shop my house

The rusty metal rolling rack came from the junk shop too. I just bought it recently and haven’t even posted about my last junkin’ trip. Anyway, can you believe how perfect it is in this space. Now I have another place to store my many magazines. The knobs are from Tuesday Morning. I bought two boxes not knowing what I would do with them. I just knew they were shiny and you know how I’m attracted to shiny objects.

furniture knobs from Tuesday Morning

There were only two boxes of the knobs to be had. I put four knobs on the top two wardrobe drawers. Do you like the knobs or should I go more colorful, or maybe put the wood knobs back on? I think they work with the neutral wood and rust theme (insert Kathy smiley face).

vintage wardrobe with original wood finish not painted

I added décor I shopped from the house, trying and discarding items as I went. That’s the way to do it. Try different things till it looks right.

Dressed up vintage wardrobe with chandelier

Are you glad I didn’t paint it? How do you like the styling? What about the knobs? Leave a note and I’ll see you maybe tomorrow. Have a great day!

Click here to see more of my furniture makeovers ….More Furniture Projects.

Favorite DIY Tools and Paints:
Beyond Paint for Furniture 
Ryobi Drill (cordless)
Mouse Sander (cordless)
FrogTape Painters Tape
Howard’s Restore-a-Finish
Rustoleum Heirloom White Spray Paint
Rustoleum Metallic Copper Spray Paint
(Affiliate links for your convenience, read affiliate disclosure here)

Author: Kathy Owen
Kathy Owen is the founder of the home decor blog Petticoat Junktion where she shares tutorials on painting furniture and upcycling thrifty finds into unique home décor. Her DIY projects have been featured on the Home Depot Blog, Plaid Crafts, Behr Designer Series, and in numerous magazines. Kathy’s newest website is HappyHomeDIY.com

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  1. I like the knobs and styling! And as too not painting it….there is always time to do that later when you feel like changing it up with something different ?

  2. I love the knobs!!!!!! I think it is so chic with the wood as is … and not shabby chic – truly chic even for a ny apartment chic!!!! bravo

  3. I love this one,I think it was a great idea not to paint it and the way you styled it is also very cool. The knobs are beautiful 🙂 I would like to share this on my Instagram page @interior.thesign

  4. A chifferobe is an expression usually used in the south. I grew up w one. On the west coast it’s just a wardrobe. I grew up in Texas right on the Louisiana border. I knew right away what you meant! Wish I had the one I grew up with, it was lovely. If it’s old it might have a finish that has gotten soft, sort of gummy. Combo of shellac and vvarnish, but no plastic in it.

  5. Hey Kathy,
    Saw this on Pinterest and just knew it was yours! Such a talented gal! I love this. It’s wonderfully imaginative! You did such a great job with it. Nice that summer is winding down and I can check into a few of my fave bogs, yours being at the top!

  6. A definite steal! I purchased something similar at consignment auction about 20 years ago, around $200. Was told it was a Gentleman’s Closet. About 5″ tall. Had doors in open spaces. Seems there was a built-in mirror on inside of larger door. Had neat, big, junky legs. Cleaned it up, sold for $375. Love the new knobs!

  7. How about carved wooden knobs in a shade lighter finish?? I just tho’t of it as I was looking at the piece again. They might be hard to find or too pricey, but I think they’d be perfect.

    Also, (I know I’m taking up a lot of space here today!) I’m so glad to know that you have a lot of magazines, too! I love, love, love reading magazines and it seems like no one I know understands that! Especially my daughter who is a neat freak. Read ’em once and pitch ’em is her philosophy! Not doin’ it!

  8. That is an awesome wardrobe! It’s exactly what I’ve been looking for to store my sewing fabrics in. And the price is about what I’d want to pay! Alas! It’s not to be this week!

    I think you did a beautiful job on the wardrobe, The grain on those drawers looks so lovely. I’m glad you didn’t paint it. As for the knobs, I really like the glitzy knobs but not on the wardrobe. I especially don’t like that they are only on part of the drawers. Somehow they just seem too out of place, especially not being able to use them on all the drawers. And, to me, they look like they don’t belong with the vintage wood. I do think that you need some knobs that are a slight contrast to the dark wood. A burnished metal of some type, maybe? Or perhaps something in a pewter? I know I’m in the minority here, but I’m sticking to my guns! Since you’re keeping the wardrobe, Kathy, you can live with the glitzy knobs to see if they seem right to you. You don’t have to decide right away.

    It’s such a great piece, I am so envious!

  9. I love it. Great choice not painting it. I don’t love the knobs on this piece (in general yes) but it is definitely beautiful.

  10. I love the renovation—great work! The knobs are beautiful, and I like the painting also (I have a collection of vintage art). My only suggestion would be to consider wiring the lamp. I think the effect would be even more lovely to turn on the lamp in the evening. It would also make it easier for choosing a magazine to read.

  11. Oh, that looks wonderful. I love the blingy knobs on there and I didn’t think I would..it even looks good with them on just the top two drawers.
    If you plan to keep the “cart”, how about spraying it antique gold or oil rubbed bronze? I think it would fit the mood better.
    Another great find..thanks for sharing.

  12. Hated the knobs till I saw them installed! Love them on the piece. Do not like the white baskets. Agree with Janie, maybe brown baskets.

  13. I love it and it was such a good price! I love the way that you styled it with the things from your home. I think I would like the original wood knobs on all the drawers but that’s just my opinion.

  14. I like the knobs. Maybe paint, wallpaper the exposed interiors? I like the natural with the bling! Thanks for the inspiration. You could put twinkling lights on chandilier.

  15. I live the knobs! The chandelier is perfect in there? I like everything you did. What a great find and what a piece of art you’ve created…excellent ???

  16. It looks great and rusty chic! However, what do you think about spray painting those white baskets so the piece disappears more into the wardrobe? Love the chandelier!

  17. Nice score, Kathy – love the pretty blingy knobs! What about putting the other four on the bottom two drawers and then adding two larger unexpected knobs on the middle drawer to balance it out. That chandelier would look amazing lit up, just say’n *wink*

  18. I agree that the shiny knobs bring out the shine of the chandelier. Maybe try two brass knobs on the top two and use the shiny ones on the rest. I would electrify the chandelier. I would put a mirror in the space where you have the picture.

  19. I love it but as I stare at it in an overall way, I think I’d switch the knobs on drawer one with those on drawer four so it would look like I planned to use two different styles of knobs and not like I ran out of the blingy ones. What do you think? I do love the wood and agree with you that it didn’t need to be painted.

  20. I love the piece!! I like the shiny knobs. Maybe find two solid brass\gold, out those on the top drawer, and use the sequins for the rest of the drawers. Maybe do a dry wash of brass\gold on the inside of that top shelf because it is so dark. It would just sparkle a bit!!

  21. I have a Chifferobe (sp?) very similar, but i think i paid over $100 at an auction, many years ago! Mine has all the drawers and door though.
    I like how yours looks cleaned up, and also the bright and shiny knobs. If you’re planning on leaving the chandelier in it, (maybe electrify it?) then def the glittery knobs to match the bling of the chandelier! Use all those knobs (just leave the center or top drawer with the natural wood knobs?)

  22. I think it looks awesome! The drawer pulls make it perfect. Wish you had more they add just the right touch.

  23. Perfection! I like the mix of wood and bling for the knobs. It is lovely and something I would live to have in my own home. Always enjoy your projects, often find inspiration for some of my own.