Repurposing and wiring an armoire

Old 09-08-17, 07:17 AM
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Repurposing and wiring an armoire

Good Morning!!

I'm currently working on repurposing a armoire into an artist station.

The info: It's 76 inches high and 40 inches wide. There is crown molding that goes over the top edge so there is a 5 or so inch recessed area that could easily hide the business end of a light fixture.

My question is about lighting. I want to install recessed lighting in the top of the armoire to shine down inside of the armoire (a fold out easel will be installed soon) and yes, I realize that installing a recessed light will involve cutting a hole in the top of the armoire, I'm fine with that. I realize there are other types of lighting (under cabinet, strip lights, lamp, etc) however in my design, recessed lighting will work and look the best. Because I don't want any cords to show, all of the cords/wires will have to run down the back of the armoire.

Ideally I'd like recessed lighting, a dimmer switch installed in the desk area that I can reach while sitting (at the back is fine) and an outlet or a small power strip permanently installed under the desk behind the drawer (there is enough space, the top drawer doesn't go all the way back). I'd like to be able to plug it into the wall using one cord (the outlets in my house are grounded). About the power strip, it doesn't need to be all that powerful. I'll use it to plug in a very small travel hair dryer that I sometimes use to dry watercolors quickly or for charging my iPad.

While painting and refinishing old furniture is something I've done quite a few times and I'm good with wiring a lamp .... wiring a pot light with the addition of an outlet is new for me. I"m having difficulty finding wiring instructions, so I'm looking for suggestions, instructions or website recommendations that I can check out.

I went to my local big box home improvement store and while the employees were nice, they weren't all that helpful (my usual experience there) I realize that hiring an electrician is an option, I can't afford the expense.

Thank you!

I've included a pic, it currently has the back and top removed and a coat of primer.
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Last edited by ray2047; 09-08-17 at 07:33 AM. Reason: Rotate image.
Old 09-08-17, 09:51 AM
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You could do it one of two ways.

The easiest may be to stay away from 'wiring' and use pre-made devices.
Something like this would work for your dimmer. Then just connect it to a power strip with a 15' cord and plug it in.
Then find a plug-in light that you like. No wiring required!

The alternative would be to wire it up using 16/3 SJ cable (black jacketed wire). Wire it from a plug, to an outlet in a metal box, dimmer, etc. Gives you more flexibility, but you'll need to learn how to wire it all up. (I'm sure the fine folks here would be happy to help with the details!)

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