Experimenting with Chalk Paint

Finally getting those shelves up last weekend has totally inspired me to tackle some other projects that I’ve been meaning to do for what feels like an eternity. Here’s what I was up to today…

Like so many others, I’ve fallen in love with that country-chic look of a painted piece of antique furniture. Not just any old panted piece of furniture will do though, I tend to gravitate toward furniture with the more rustic look of distressed chalk paint. I really do love the idea of transforming something old and worn out into a swoon-worthy piece that can bring some personality, colour and texture to a room.

I convinced Brady to purchase this dresser from an antique store in town for our nursery when I was pregnant. It was a beautiful piece with a ton of potential … though the drawers and pulls looked like they had seen better days, I couldn’t get enough of the rustic wood top.  Even before we took it home, I had a very clear picture of how I would transform this dresser.  Two years later our son has a new dresser and that beautiful antique has been tucked away in our guest room, buried under all sorts of random stuff (everyone has some spot in their home that just seems to collect random things, don’t they?).  It’s really is such a shame to see it so under-appreciated, especially when all I can see is the amazing potential it has to add to our home.

Bedside Table Makeover | making it in the mountains4
Although I am crazy eager to get working on this piece and find a new home for it in our master bedroom, I’m pretty new to the world of chalk paint (and all things DIY really) and I really don’t want to screw this up.  Enter another project I’ve been meaning to do since the days of shopping for the nursery: this little bedside table would be a perfect practice piece for me.  Before Carson was born, I ordered this table on Amazon for the nursery and, though I’ve always liked the vintage style details, I’ve never really liked the bright white colour (a hazard of shopping online I suppose).  Painting this will not only give me a chance to learn the chalk painting ropes, but it would be a fun way to add some colour to our very bland guest room.

Bedside Table Makeover | making it in the mountains
So, here we go …

I started by removing the crystal knob and wiping down the table with a clean cloth.  Then I was ready to paint!  Seriously, because I was using chalk paint, there was absolutely no other prep involved (believe me, I triple checked!).  I chose to use this Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Provence.

Bedside Table Makeover | making it in the mountains

The paint is thick and everything I had read said that I would likely only need one coat, but I really wasn’t happy with the brush strokes and all the white that showed through after the first coat.

Bedside Table Makeover | making it in the mountains

So, I painted a second and it looked SO much better!

Bedside Table Makeover making it in the mountains3

Chalk paint dries incredibly fast, but I wanted to give this second coat a couple of hours to really set before I distressed it.  Distressing chalk paint is incredibly easy – all it took was a few soft swipes with some sandpaper.  It’s important to use extra-fine sandpaper (I used 120 grit) as it doesn’t take much to dig through the paint.  If you do take a bit too much off, just go back over it with some paint – it’s really no big deal.

Bedside Table Makeover | making it in the mountains

After distressing, I applied a thing coat of Annie Sloan Clear Wax.  In my research, this seemed to be the trickiest part – because it changes the colour of the paint slightly as it soaks in, it can be difficult to keep an even look.  In an effort to keep things as simple as possible, I used a rag to apply really small amounts of wax and worked hard to rub every bit of it in.  I had a tough time getting a good picture of it, but here is a shot of the top of the table as I applied the wax.

Bedside Table Makeover | making it in the mountainsAnd here it is!  Taking all of these pictures in different areas (my shop, garage & guest bedroom) ended up altering the colour portrayal a bit, but this last one was the truest.

Bedside Table Makeover | making it in the mountains

I was really surprised at how easy and almost fool-proof my first experience with chalk painting furniture was.  I honestly can’t believe it was so easy – it turned out exactly as I had hoped!  I cannot wait to transform that beautiful dresser for our master bedroom!!!

Bedside Table Makeover @ making it in the mountainsSignature1

Like this post?  Like my making it in the mountains facebook page to follow along with my journey!

Shared with: Craving Some Creativity, No Biggie, Too Much Time on my Hands, DIY Showoff, Pieced Pastimes, The Blissfull Bee, It’s Overflowing, The Happy Housie, Miss Mustard Seed, The Charm of Home, Chic on a Shoestring, My Romantic Home, The Thrifty Groove, French Country Cottage, Craftberry Bush, Liz Marie Blog, Imparting Grace, From My Front Porch to Yours, Green Willow Pond, Beyond the Aisle, Maison de Pax & A Stroll Through Life

The 36th Avenue The DIY'ers

32 thoughts on “Experimenting with Chalk Paint

  1. Nancy says:

    Wow, it totally transforms the table, the before and after are SO different!! You sure make it look easy and I just love the color!


    • Thank you SO much! It was a pretty huge transformation with just a little effort and the learning curve wasn’t near is bad as I though it might be 🙂


  2. Alicia says:

    Does the wax just act like another kind of protector/sealant? Im assuming it’s more eco friendly than other varnish options, but is it recommended for use with the chalk paint in particular? Or with acrylic paint as well?


    • Yes Alicia, it is a sealant and it is recommended for use with chalk paint. Annie Sloan recommends one coat to protect from normal wear and tear on most furniture and two coats on something that gets a lot of use like a kitchen table or cabinetry for example. I’ve read that you can reapply it down the road if you feel a need to and I’ve also read that you can apply it to woods to replenish and protect. Wax isn’t recommended for things that will be exposed to “a lot” (whatever that means) of water, so in that case I guess you would use a more durable sealant. As far as acrylic, I’m not really sure as I have no experience with that at all, but I think because it is meant to “soak” into the chalk paint, it probably wouldn’t work the same way with acrylic.


  3. I haven’t take the chalk paint plunge yet….getting my courage the more of these types of posts I read though! Thanks…stopping by from Imparting Grace Linky!


  4. This is a wonderful furniture makeover! I am inspired as I have some pieces that I want to do but I have been too nervous. Your post has given me the confidence to try it too! Pinning for future reference.


    • I’m sure you’ll love it Lyndsay! I didn’t use their brushes, just a good old paint brush and it worked just fine. I did read that their brushes help to keep the paint strokes a little less visible and that they are worth investing in if you intend to paint quite a bit. I definitely want to try one next time, just to see.


Would LOVE to hear from you!!!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s