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Chalk Paint Dresser Makeover

Like I shared on my last post we have had a couple of DIY fails to contend with lately.  One of the two (my lovely, unmountable fire place mantle) is still a sad fail after months of trying.  I did get some good advice to try out from some of you all so I am going to persevere on and get the darn thing hung up somehow!!

Our second “fail”, the dresser that refused to become a vanity, isn’t too much of a fail after all.  I had been wanting a piece of furniture for a giant blank wall we had in the dining room to store dining linens and maybe some china pieces in.  While I had been envisioning more of a shelf, I thought it would be fun to try to put the dresser in there for now.

After I picked up the dresser from my parent’s house and Scott and I spent forever and a day trying to give it some legs, we both were just too frustrated to continue and decided to find a new purpose for her.  Since it was a glossy wood, I decided to try and use calk paint instead of sanding/priming/painting/etc.

OMG you guys can I just say I am in LOOOOOVEEE with chalk paint? Like giant hearts and glitter and happy sappy tears in love.  This stuff is freaking amazeballs.  Love.  (I am not referring to chalk board paint like we did in our dining room wall– this stuff is totally different!)

I have to admit, I was very, very skeptical when purchasing.  The claims of no sanding and no prep work or priming sounded way too good to be true.  So I decided to take a leap of faith and try it.  I used Annie Solan’s Chalk Paint in Old White.  At first I was even more hesitant when I saw the price- it was almost $40 for a tiny quart of paint.  Yikes.  However, it was well, well worth it.  I opted not to get any of the special brushes or finishing waxes to save some cash, and started painting as soon as I got home.

Let me tell you guys- this is the real deal. I did zero sanding, zero priming and painted with a regular paintbrush onto the dresser and it worked! It had great coverage and the brush strokes were minimized compared to using latex paint.  The paint also dried really quickly (within 30 minutes) and I used far, far less then I usually do.  I ended up doing 2 coats and was left with 2/3 of the paint still! What is this magic stuff? I can’t wait to buy another color and try again!

I also decided to go with a more distressed look so I sandpapered the paint off around a few edges and then painted over it with stain in Old American.  To make it look a little more natural I waited until the stain was dry-ish (about an hour), then lightly dipped the brush in the chalk paint and gently swept it on top so it looked like the stain was the real color of the dresser covered by the white paint (verses random dark stain on top of a white dresser if that makes sense).


I kept the hardware exactly the same because I couldn’t have picked anything more perfect….look how sweet it is!

I love it! Isn’t it cute?

I haven’t stylized it or put anything inside the drawers quite yet.  Those frames are ones I made and I will be hanging them (and putting some art in them!) soon.  As I mentioned we ended up putting it in the dining room on the same wall as the entry way.

Previously we had this crazy giant mirror leaning against the wall.  This mirror is one of the two things we are keeping that came with the house (the other is another, much smaller mirror).  This mirror is gorgeous and huge and super heavy and we are still debating about where to put it, but for now we are leaning it up against the dining room wall that has chalkboard paint on it.

No worries- we still have the whole other half the wall to write on! 🙂

Just check out the detail on this mirror…it’s so pretty!

Here’s the dresser before & after…

So what do you all think? I’m excited to have more storage and dresser top to style…especially since we still don’t have a mantle 🙁  sad face all around!!!

I’ll still be posting my Friday Favorites this afternoon so come back and check out the coolest things I’ve seen on the www this week!

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Tania Griffis is an accomplished writer, blogger, and interior designer with a Journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma. She started her popular blog, Run to Radiance, in 2011, demonstrating her design expertise through the personal remodeling of six houses to millions of readers across the globe.

Tania also owns The Creative Wheelhouse, a respected ghostwriting agency for bloggers, further showcasing her talent for creating engaging and informative content.

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  1. Hi, I was researching chalk painted dressers and came across your site. I actually just picked up this exact same bedroom set on craigslist to try and chalk paint for my daughter’s room. I’ve never chalk painted before and since this is the same exact furniture as your dresser, I was wondering if you have any special tips? Does the chalk paint seem to be holding up? I am especially concerned about the top of the dresser. Did you use a clear wax over top the paint? Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Christy! How funny! This was my childhood furniture set too. 🙂 I did not use the wax but I did use an interior polyurethane spray on it and it has held up perfectly! I hope this helps! 🙂

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