How to Paint a Wardrobe White

If you have an undersized closet, a wardrobe is a simple way to get more storage space.

A white wardrobe won't clash with other furniture.A white wardrobe won't clash with other furniture.
Of course, these pieces of furniture tend to be big, and they can dominate a bedroom. A brightly colored or very dark wardrobe may overwhelm a bedroom, while white works well in just about any space. If you want to paint a wardrobe white, the process isn't overly complex; with a few hours of work, even a novice can paint a wardrobe white.

Go over the wardrobe with 220-grit sandpaper if the wardrobe has a glossy finish. If you're painting a raw, unfinished wardrobe, you don't need to bother with sanding. Glossy varnishes make it hard for new paint to adhere, but sandpaper roughs up the slick finish for easier painting.

Wipe down the wardrobe with a damp rag. This removes sanding dust from the surface.

Remove any hardware from the wardrobe. Most handles and pull knobs are removable with a simple Phillips or flathead screwdriver.

Move the wardrobe on top of a plastic sheet. You might need someone's help to do this.

Apply oil-based high-gloss white paint to the edges of the wardrobe and any ornately detailed surfaces first. An older wardrobe may have decorative carved wood and molding. These detailed surfaces need to be painted precisely, using a fine-tipped artist's paintbrush. For broader edges and less ornate details, a regular 2-inch synthetic-bristle paintbrush works well.

Paint the main wardrobe surfaces with a medium-nap roller and oil-based high-gloss white paint. Many contemporary wardrobes have clean lines, and you will be pleasantly surprised to find that a roller makes short work of large, flat surfaces.

Apply a second coat of paint after the first coat dries.

Reattach the hardware after the final coat has dried for 24 hours.

Things You Will Need

  • 220-grit sandpaper
  • Damp rag
  • Screwdriver
  • Oil-based high-gloss white paint
  • Fine-tipped artist's paintbrush
  • 2-inch synthetic-bristle paintbrush
  • Medium-nap roller
  • Roller tray

About the Author

Richard Kalinowski began writing professionally in 2006. He also works as a website programmer and graphic designer for several clients. Kalinowski holds a Master of Fine Arts from Goddard College and a Bachelor of Science in education from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.