Before and After Furniture Makeover in Turquoise

by Diane Henkler on 03/18/2013


The best decorating advice I have ever received was not from a big name designer, magazine, or book, but someone who I found was always right. That someone was my mom.  She was passionate about making a house a home and I remember more than once hearing her say – Don’t decorate a room all at once.  Let it evolve.  You will be so much happier and will  enjoy the room for many years to come.

I follow her advice when I decide what I am going to do to each room in my home. There is no rush to get it done – I have lived with hand-me downs my entire married life.  I don’t need the newest, best, or greatest – just what makes a room comfortable, light, and pretty enough, will do– no cookie cutter perfection – just a casual, comfy place that has good light to read by, a place to put feet up, watch TV, and a surface to place a drink.  Pretty comes last, but I will admit – it is the most fun!

I have been enjoying the fun part the past week helping my family room layer by layer evolve to the prettier stage.

Country Living Family Room

Image: Country Living

A few years before I started blogging, I was planning to do an overhaul of the family room.  I had stripped the room of its décor and left only the big pieces of furniture.  I painted the walls in a soft white color, then Ed lost his job and I just stopped. The expense was not necessary. The room was comfy and fulfilled our needs just as it was.  Wants went out the backdoor.  Since then, I have collected many images of how I want the room to look.  This room(above) is a bit formal, but I love how all the colors are mixed on top of the white backdrop and unobstructed windows.


Image: BH&G

Another photo of the type of look I am trying to achieve in my family room.  Love the pink throw – that is a big – WANT!

Before and After Furniture Makeover

sideboard before


This sideboard is a hand-me down from my mom and dad. I have had it for about 4 years. As you can see it has traditional styling with a country twist, has beautiful lines, and is in perfect shape. Even though it is beautiful piece just as it is, the orange-y brown color doesn’t excite me.  Since the layers of the décor in this room have been grounded in white, it is time to add the pops of color to get the room closer to my vision.  This piece will be the first big color infusion. It is also the first thing you see as you enter the room and I want it to invite people into the room with a big smile.


sideboard after


It adds an entirely new energy to the room – exactly what I was trying to achieve.  All done with the power of paint and some new hardware.


There are still more layers of décor to add, things to change or remove, but the room is starting to have a personality again.


When I put the original pulls back on after painting, they were too dark and the styling was too traditional.  I loved the label pulls that were on the library file drawers I recently redid in my studioffice.  I went in search to find something similar to use on the sideboard.  I found these brass label and drawer pulls in the Van Dykes Restorers catalog after seeing them on Pinterest on a dresser that Destiny from A Place For Us made over. I wanted un-lacquered brass, but they were sold out until July. I didn’t want to wait that long, so I opted for the bright brass and aged them myself to tone the brass down down a bit. Here is the link to the post on how I aged the brass.

how to cover the unfinished back on a piece of furniture

The sideboard was designed to go against a wall. The back is made of a stained plywood board.  Since I use it as a sofa table and the back shows a bit,  I also needed to address a way to improve how the back looked.


before: In the top photo you can see how the back of the sideboard used to look – dark brown and blah!

during: I found beadboard wallpaper on clearance at Lowes and bought a roll to cover the back. Very easy to do – took less than 20 minutes as the wallpaper was pre-glued and I just needed to wet the back, book it for a few minutes to get the glue released, and then applied it to the back. I needed 3 pieces to cover. I used a mat knife to trim the excess.

after:  Pretty Beadboard backing!


Once it was painted the same color as the rest of the sideboard it no longer is an eyesore.  Someday – maybe lamp cords will be a thing of the past.

I made Chalk Paint using the Calcium Carbonate Powder recipe to paint the sideboard turquoise.  Using this recipe over the non-sanded grout or Plaster of Paris DIY chalk paint recipes has one advantage – it does not harden at all after being mixed.  If you are painting larger pieces and need more than a small amount of paint – then I would suggest you use the Calcium Carbonate Power.


I made the paint color by mixing two colors of turquoise paint I had leftover from previous projects.  Glidden Peacocks Plume and Valspar Seafarer were the colors I mixed 50/50 in a bucket to come up with the color.   I used two coats and let the paint dry.   I then added a white glaze over it to add more lightness and depth to the color.


I used a coffee can to mix the glaze mixture using:

4 parts Valspar Clear Glazing Liquid
1 part white paint
Optional:  1/4 – 1 part water – just a little to thin the mix if needed


Working on one area at a time, I brushed the glaze/paint mixture on very liberally, waited a few minutes and then dragged another (dry brush) through the glaze and wiping the brush in a rag to clean off the glaze, so I could repeat the brushing off process.   In the photo above – the glaze was just applied – I have not dragged the dry brush over it yet.   Once you do – the white color will lessen. You can drag a dry brush over the area a few times to get the look you are after.  I wanted subtle.   I repeated the process until all surfaces were covered.


After the glaze was added, brushed off and dry – (wait at least 24 hours) I sanded all the edges with medium grit sandpaper to age the surface.

Many readers ask me how much they should sand a piece before painting. I sand everything before painting it with fine or medium grit sandpaper.  A quick going over with the paper attached to a sanding block is all that is needed to rough the surface a bit. It only takes a few minutes, but will help with lasting adhesion.  When distressing – it is up to personal choice how much aging you want to add.


I then added one thin layer of Fiddes & Sons paste wax, let it dry to a haze, and then buffed it with a soft cloth to bring out the shine.   I like this wax – it costs more than Johnson’s, but goes on like a dream and does not smell as much.  Johnson’s smells pretty intense, especially if you can’t work outside.


If you look closely at the doors, you can see the white brush strokes of the glazing coat that was left on.  Any glaze or colored wax will add color depth to the painted finish.    You can do the same thing with Liming or a white wax over a clear wax coat.


The new label holder drawer pulls add character and make the sideboard look more like a one-of-a-kind piece.



a few details…


When painting furniture with doors, I sometimes don’t paint the inside of the doors. If it was summer and I took this to my garage to paint, I would have removed the doors and painted both sides. Since I had to paint it in my family room, I decided to tape around the lip on the back and just paint around the edges. When the painters tape was removed, the insides of the doors, looked nice and neat with the outer edges painted only.


I bought the glass knobs for the doors at Lowes. They had silver centers that I spray painted gold using Rustoleum Metallic Gold spray paint so they would match the drawer pulls.


The new lampshades were a “find” on a recent trip to Target.  They are from the new Threshold line.  There were just two of them sitting all by themselves on the shelf. They had my name on them, so I had to bring them home :)



Paint is truly a DIY decorator’s best friend. It is amazing how it can transform a space so quickly and affordably. It literally can change a room in only a few hours.    Now I gotta tackle painting my “mollifier” in the room.   More to come on that soon.


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{ 122 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sandra March 18, 2013 at 1:12 pm

How beautiful!!! Love it! Thanks for the how to, I am thinking about doing a coffee table and I love this color!


2 Abbey March 18, 2013 at 1:33 pm

The gold handles are the perfect complement to that pretty blue! Your mom had great advice…


3 Christine in DC March 18, 2013 at 1:34 pm

I found your blog via Pinterest…LOVE the brilliant idea for covering the backs of furniture! I have always been perplexed by that issue…and spraypainting the interiors of the knobs. Also brilliant! Looks great!


4 Kelly @ Eclectically Vintage March 18, 2013 at 1:48 pm

Love it – the color and those pulls are fabulous!!


5 Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions March 18, 2013 at 2:10 pm

Beautifully done, Diane! I love the color you chose and how it picks up on the colors in your office that I can see in the background. This was such a nice update to an older piece. Love how you addressed the back with the beadboard wallpaper, too. Those drawer pulls are great!


6 Lynne March 18, 2013 at 2:46 pm

I love the makeover on your family piece of furniture . . . it gives me some ideas.

The Country Living LR image looks wonderful. Love the colors, shapes and patterns in the pillows. Again . . . gives me some ideas!!

Thanks Diane . . .


7 Shannon @Fox Hollow Cottage March 18, 2013 at 2:51 pm

This is an absolute dream. Gorgeous as can be! I can not gush enough over how pretty it is and how wonderful it looks. A treat to see!!!! You outdid yourself :)


8 Gail March 18, 2013 at 2:52 pm

Diane, I absolutely love the piece! The color is happy and fun. The beadboard wallpaper adds such a touch of character and charm. You are an inspiration!


9 Helen Henkler March 18, 2013 at 2:58 pm

As always, Diane, just beautiful. Thanks for the how-to.


10 Kimberly Ryan March 18, 2013 at 3:45 pm

How beautiful! Diane I appreciate your clear descriptions,instructions, and illustrations. The bead board wallpaper is a fabulous idea. I was wondering why you chose to use chalk paint?


11 Diane Henkler March 18, 2013 at 4:28 pm

Hi Kimberly – I have been painting furniture with primer and latex for years. I always was happy with the results, but after using chalk paint – I will never go back to using regular latex on furniture.( A few exceptions – maybe :) Chalk paint gives the finish and patina I always wanted to achieve and never could with latex. The need for no primer makes the finish much smoother as there are less coats of paint to apply. If I painted this piece to get good adhesion of the paint, I would have needed 2 coats of primer and 2 coats of paint. The surface can get thick. Chalk paint is thin and I only needed 2 coats – that keeps the surface very smooth. I also knew I wanted to distress the piece and chalk paint distresses beautifully. It looks great un-distressed, too.


12 Shauna@ Satori Design for Living March 18, 2013 at 4:06 pm

Gorgeous! Love your label pulls too!


13 Becki March 18, 2013 at 4:29 pm

The sideboard is gorgeous! And I love how you finished the back with the beadboard wallpaper!


14 Susan March 18, 2013 at 5:12 pm

Beautiful! I love the color and the beautiful pulls you used. The wallpaper on the back was genius! Nice job!


15 Carolee March 18, 2013 at 5:49 pm

I love this redo! So pretty:) I would like to repaint my bedroom furniture i might have to try this technique. Thanks for the inspiration!


16 Pam Clark March 18, 2013 at 6:46 pm

Thank you so much for this post Diane! I got several tips…..I’m going to paint a dresser to go in the middle of a room that’s going to become our closet. The beadboard backing is a perfect idea, I’d been fretting because of the ugly back of the dresser. Also, I’ve never used white glaze before, only dark and metalic glazes, so you’ve given me something to think about trying. Also, great idea to paint the screws inside the glass knobs, never would have thought of that either!!


17 Sheryll & Critters. March 18, 2013 at 7:00 pm

Wow, it turned out so beautiful. You always have the best instructions and the beadboard wallpaper!! Now I just need to get out and look around much more than I do. And I would have never thought of doing that…… just perfect.

And I like your family room much better than the pic in Country Living.


18 susan@avintagefarmwife March 18, 2013 at 9:34 pm

Thank you so much for the detailed instructions, and your piece looks fantastic!


19 Marti March 18, 2013 at 9:58 pm

It looks great and really transformed the Early American piece.. I love the blue, yellow and white combination.


20 Jennifer@Decorated Chaos March 18, 2013 at 10:19 pm

Oh I love it! It is soooo pretty! Thanks for saring instructions. I swear, just when I thought you did something fabulous you turn around and do something even better!



21 Deborah March 18, 2013 at 10:52 pm

FANTASTIC! Of course it helps that I’m a lover of colour like yourself and that turquoise is my favorite; but really this is one of the best makeovers I’ve seen in a while.


22 Jerri C. TN March 18, 2013 at 11:35 pm

GORGEOUS!!!!! I just repainted a french provincial dresser this weekend that will be an entertainment console & I was pining over Destiny’s pulls. Seeing them again on yours I am sold. Love it!!!


23 vickie March 19, 2013 at 12:05 am



24 Sylvia March 19, 2013 at 12:23 am

B R A V O !!!!!
Diane, you never cease to amaze. Thanks for all the inspiration and knowledge.


25 Jan Bergseth March 19, 2013 at 12:23 am

Love your room and your tutorial. You’re paving the path for the rest of us to follow down. The wallpaper idea is genius! Thanks again Diane, appreciate all your work and advice.


26 Debbie March 19, 2013 at 2:17 am

I absolutely LOVE how this has turned out! Amazing what you can do with a bit of paint and wallpaper.


27 Magali@TheLittleWhiteHouse March 19, 2013 at 5:39 am

It turned out great and the beadboard wallpaper is such a great idea.


28 Terry March 19, 2013 at 6:23 am

Your blog is a joy to get in my email box! The buffet is so pretty and you gave it so much personality. I thank you for all the wealth of DIY you bring to me though your blog.


29 Linda Southworth March 19, 2013 at 7:27 am

I love this too Diane. Now a chalk paint question. Have you used the ASCP brand, can’t remember if you have said so previously? Does the calcium carbonate/latex you mix, how does it compare? I splurged and bought a can of ASCP and I am in love BUT I am not in love with the price.


30 Diane Henkler March 19, 2013 at 9:42 am

Hi Linda – Go with the Calcium Carbonate – after using all the DIY mixtures and both Annie Sloan and CeCe Caldwells I have found that Calcium Carbonate Powder is the best all around. Inexpensive, mixes well and the mixture will last a long time if you keep it tightly covered.


31 Serena @ Thrift Diving March 19, 2013 at 8:31 am

Diane, what a pretty little makeover! I love your pastel palette of decorating. It’s very fresh. Great job :)

Thrift Diving


32 Jerri C. TN March 19, 2013 at 8:37 am

Update: I ordered the pulls last night & they are on backorder until July, 13. Are yours the unfinished brass?


33 Diane Henkler March 19, 2013 at 9:38 am

Hi Jerri – I did write in the post that they were back ordered until July :) The bright brass are more expensive, but I bought them anyway and aged them as I did not want to wait until July. I will be posting how I aged them tomorrow.


34 Vanessa March 19, 2013 at 9:14 am

I love how this turned out Diane! Beautiful.


35 Tina March 19, 2013 at 9:30 am

So pretty! I love your style! I have a solid oak china hutch with a natural golden finish that I would like to repaint in this manner, but I plan to use the piece on my covered patio outside. Do you have any advice for using this painting technique for outdoor furniture? The piece will not be directly exposed to the elements (no direct sun or rain), but it will definitely get damp during rainy weather and will have extremes of temperature in my north Texas climate (from the occasional 20 degrees F in winter to extended periods of 100 F in the summer).
Any advice as to how to achieve this look for outside?


36 Diane Henkler March 19, 2013 at 12:04 pm

Hi Tina –

The key factor when painting outdoor wood furniture is: 1. Don’t paint when it is hot out as the paint will dry too fast and not adhere properly Make sure it is not too humid either. 2. Make sure you seal the wood first so no moisture can get in that would expand the wood and ruin your paint job. You can do this with Zinseer Clear shellac if you want to distress(no white primer color showing through distressed areas). If you are not going to distress the piece – no wood showing through – use a primer like Kilz Original or BIN Shellac based primer. If you want to age the piece by distressing you will be exposing the wood – that will allow moisture in and could make the wood expand and ruin your paint job. You would need to seal the finished piece with a clear top coat of exterior non-yellowing polyurethane.

Rough up the piece first with sandpaper. Roll on two light coats of primer letting each one dry before applying the next. More light coats are better than heavy coats. Make sure all the wood is covered. To help with adhesion, I would run medium grit sandpaper lightly over the primed surface and clean the grit off. Now the wood is sealed and ready for paint, the moisture in the air and temp differences should not effect it. Buying a good quality of exterior paint will help, but I have read that chalk paint holds up well outside, it is just the wax that doesn’t. If you want to use water based paint- use exterior acrylic enamel paint in a flat finish – 2 coats – let each coat dry before applying the second. As far as the glazing coat, I have never used it outside, but if it is sealed properly with poly, it should hold up fine. After glazing – I would coat the entire piece with a good exterior non-yellowing primer.

Hope this helps.


37 Margaret March 19, 2013 at 9:44 am

Really love the color of this piece. It’s really a nice addition to the white and the new lampshades.


38 Nancy Carr March 19, 2013 at 9:51 am

Beautiful! Love this. Thank you for sharing.


39 Kathy March 19, 2013 at 9:56 am

Oh Diane, this piece is absolutely beautiful! I had to do a double take because I have a very similar sideboard that I refinished last Summer with ASCP in Duck Egg. Our home is a little more rustic, so I distressed it a bit more than you did and my oldest Grandaughter, age 7, told me it looked beat up and dirty LOL!
I noticed the beautiful pink, green, orange and blue storage boxes in the background! Love all the bright colors you are using! And the bead board wallpaper on the back of the piece is perfection!


40 ashley @ the handmade home March 19, 2013 at 10:38 am

absolutely gorgeous. I LOVE IT.


41 Kraig March 19, 2013 at 10:47 am

Beautiful work on the sofa table. I loved the beadboard wallpaper idea. I also enjoyed your layering of colors. Very homey!


42 Jacqueline Regueira March 19, 2013 at 10:51 am

Diane, this piece is beautiful! Congratulations! You did a fantastic job, the color, the glaze and the hardware! Love it thanks for all the tips too!


43 Diane Scott March 19, 2013 at 11:13 am

Diane, I love the way you transform pieces of furniture with paint. I have lots of dark stained pieces and dream of painting them. As soon as I get my husband on board with the “painting of stained furniture” idea I’m going to do it! Love the sideboard. Wish I could show you mine and ask your opinion :)


44 nest of posies March 19, 2013 at 11:14 am

oh Diane – this is gorgeous!!!! you did an incredible job. love the added tongue & groove to the back! so clever!


45 Vicki V March 19, 2013 at 11:20 am

Another EXCEPTIONAL project, Diane. Your blog is absolutely the best out there because you march to your own drummer and do what YOU love! Perfect in every way!


46 Ce El March 19, 2013 at 12:49 pm

I’m new to your blog and love your writing. Thanks so much for the paint recipes. I can’t wait to try this out; your instructions are perfect. Your blue sideboard is excellent.
You are saving me a lot of money on paint, when I already have left over latex wall and trim paint. I bought pricey name-brand chalk paint and attended a fun demo, but from now on I’m going to create my own, thanks to you.
Sincerely, Ceel


47 Erin {House of Turquoise} March 19, 2013 at 12:57 pm

Love, love, love, love, LOVE!!! You did an amazing job! Looks fantastic with the lampshades too….how lucky they had 2 left just for you!


48 The Single Nester March 19, 2013 at 4:34 pm

Just delightful! Thanks for the instructions!


49 Denise March 19, 2013 at 6:55 pm

Gorgeous! You are amazing Diane. That beadboard wall paper on the back of the chest is pure genius! You are one talented, creative lady. I would love to see you have your own show on HGTV…then your own magazine…then your own “DH” line at Target………then Obama appoints you “Secretary of the Amazing Shoestring Budget DIY”!

LOL…you’ve gotta dream BIG!


50 Elle March 19, 2013 at 8:06 pm

Great instructions on how to redo the sideboard. I have a piece I have been wanting to do like this. Guess it is time to get started! Thanks


51 Therese March 19, 2013 at 8:23 pm

I’m in love with the amazing glazed blue on your buffet and the dynamite drawer pulls you chose -Wow! what style you have.
Thanks for sharing like you do. I always enjoy reading your posts.
Cheers to you and yours!


52 Marilyn March 20, 2013 at 5:27 pm

I love it, Diane! Another great job.


53 Elizabeth H March 21, 2013 at 8:14 am

How beautiful that piece of furniture is. You are so talented and you explain so well. New blog for me to visit and I love it!


54 Avey March 21, 2013 at 6:41 pm

This is my favorite of your makeovers! Your description of the process and the photos are amazing! Thank you for sharing your talents, and a job very well done!!!


55 Wende March 23, 2013 at 9:03 am

I just discovered your blog! Wow! I love your sideboard and your comments about decorating. I like pulling things together over time rather than doing it all at once. I feel it gives a room a more personal, authentic look. I will be reading more of your blog. You have quite a talent for painting as well as writing!


56 Lori March 23, 2013 at 1:11 pm

I totally love the sideboard re do. One thing I love (other than the great color, cool plates, and great shades) is the placement of it! I wish more people would embrace putting a sofa/loveseat in a ‘floating’ space and anchor it with a sideboard or sofa table. I have a few friends I’d like to send this link over to and show them how great it can look ;)


57 antiquechase March 23, 2013 at 1:57 pm

this post has it all. Loved it. Newest follower!! Marcy


58 Deb Hrabik March 23, 2013 at 2:00 pm

So glad I found your blog!
Great color blue. Loved my visit here,


59 tara March 23, 2013 at 5:33 pm

over from a handmade home..ashley gave a shout out on this post!
that dresser is amazing and those lampshades make me drool. :)

I’m looking forward to perusing your blog for awhile on this dreary, rainy saturday.


60 Krista March 23, 2013 at 9:45 pm

I LOVE THIS!! It looks so incredible! You did an amazing job!
We have almost the same sideboard that we also redid (using homemade chalkpaint) in almost the same color of turquoise. Only difference is that we removed the doors and turned it into a media cabinet. I think it will be making an appearance in our living room very soon (maybe even tomorrow??). I am so inspired now that I see yours!
Love the pulls too – they are so fabulous, and you are right, they make it such a special and unique piece. Thanks so much for sharing your beautiful work!
Krista @thehappyhousie


61 elizabeth March 24, 2013 at 2:47 pm

i LOVE LOVE LOVE this makeover, and the lampshades so fuN!


62 Miss Charming March 24, 2013 at 8:45 pm

Absolutely gorgeous! I love the blue with the gold accents–just perfect. (And thanks for sharing your trick on finishing the back of the piece, too.) Lovely job, Diane!


63 Tracy O March 27, 2013 at 9:08 am

I have to say thank you a million times for this post. I have recently embraced the decorating over time mantra, not only for lack of funds to do a room at once but also because I would get frustrated that I couldn’t find exactly what I wanted…now I decorate as I find (and as money allows).

I am ready to re-finish a few pieces in my dining room that I recently liberated from its ugly early 80s wall paper and painted a creamy off white/tanish color. I have been searching for the right blue and right technique for my sideboard (that I inherited from my mom). I have considered ASCP and other techniques but nothing really has said aha! to me until your method…I love the end result and can’t wait to start…now to decide if I want to do 2 pieces in the same color or one in blue and one in grey…


64 Emilia March 27, 2013 at 9:35 pm

I said it before, but will say it one more time. I love that your blog is so REAL. I love all personal touches from your family life, even if it’s not always so bright. We all have these days, weeks or even months, when our dream makeovers are sitting quietly in our mind, waiting for better times. I am glad to hear that your better time arrived, and you can start your dream makeover. Wish you all the best.


65 Melissa April 1, 2013 at 2:34 am

Fabulous job! I love the idea of the wall paper on the back! I love this piece! And I will take your Mom’s advice to let a room evolve! Love your blog! Thanks for sharing your awesomeness!



66 Char @ HisandHerRestoration April 2, 2013 at 11:48 am

Love this furniture makeover…but what i love most is the drawer pulls and that you have them labeled in a stylish way! I have lots of storage in my house in the way of dresser’s, buffet’s, ect…but i never remember what i put where. These are awesome!

From your latest reader…found via Snap 2013.



67 Tricia @ SimplicityInTheSouth April 4, 2013 at 11:47 pm

I love everything about your dresser…the hardware, the beadboard wallpaper back (genius) and especially the color! Your living room looks like such a happy place. Your mom sounds like a smart woman. :)


68 sideboards April 8, 2013 at 3:04 am

Awesome creativity. I love the pics


69 cyndy April 10, 2013 at 8:12 am

Wow, wow, wow! Jaw on the floor! Amazing job Diane! I am beyond inspired. Thanks so much for walking us through everything and I can’t wait to give this a try!


70 Kerri April 10, 2013 at 6:19 pm

I am new to your blog and found it while doing research on DIY chalk paint. I have painted lots of furniture, I have used Flat latex and Milk Paint, Milk paint has always been my favorite, but I wanted to try Chalk paint. I don’t have a stockist around me and just CAN NOT pay $41 for a quart of paint plus $10 shipping online.

So, I got a “new” bed – got my calcium carbonate powder, went to lowes, and bought a gallon of Flat latex paint.

Mixed it, painted one coat, and am now waiting for my second coat to dry.

I painted a scrap piece of molding to try two different dark waxes I bought, (brand is Briwax – as from research it is one of the better ones and I could find it locally)

So I painted my sample board about 10pm last night, today around 3pm I went out to test my waxes, I first applied the clear, but as I rubbed it on (with a cloth) some of the paint seemed to “dissolve” and “move”

So why am I going on like this??? Well, here is my question, what sheen of paint do you use to make your chalk paint? Like I said I bought Flat, that seemed the most logical, but maybe that is a poor choice??? Did I not wait long enough?

Have you experienced a problem with the wax causing the paint to shift?
I did buy the Highest quality paint in the valspar line, what brand do you use? Have you noticed any one brand that works better?

I have many other pieces I will be painting, and I love the look the chalk paint makes so I would really like to keep going with it, but want to make sure I am on the right path.

Any help is GREATLY appreciated!!!

Oh, and LOVE your buffet! I would never have thought of the wallpaper thing, I would have replaced with actual breadboard, the wallpaper is brilliant! Cheaper and quicker!


71 Diane Henkler April 11, 2013 at 10:17 am

Hi Kerri – I have never had the paint move on any of the pieces I have done. A while back another reader experienced the same problem. I don’t think it is the paint, as I have used all finishes and brands. I probably use more satin or semi-gloss – only because that is what I have leftover from previous painting projects. Once you add the Calcium Carbonate – it will flatten the sheen.

The only problem I have run into is when using Non-sanded grout – the mixture can harden quickly. I only make it in small batches when I use that to make chalk paint.

I have never used Briwax – only Johnson’s and Fiddes & Sons. The brand of wax could have something to do with it, but I am not sure. I usually wait a day or two before I wax. You may want to wait longer. Another reason – the mixture was too thin or did not have enough of the Calcium Carbonate in it, perhaps try making it a bit thicker, but still easy to spread and let it sit for at least 24 hours before distressing/waxing.

I think if you try a different wax and/or wait for the paint to dry longer – you will have success. Let me know.


72 Michele April 17, 2013 at 4:11 pm

Hello! This piece is just beautiful–it’s my favorite color. I adore your style. I found you when trying to figure out how to distress a chifforobe I inherited from my uncle. I think this will work great!

I do have a question, though–my husband and I were going to lime the floor of the indoor front porch in our 100-year-old farmhouse, but after reading about chalk paint on your site, I think it sounds much safer and more likely to give me the results I want. Do you think it’ll hold up to all that foot traffic, though? And it’s an enclosed space, but it’s not especially well insulated, so it does suffer from some temperature variation. Should I do anything special to increase the longevity of the paint job? Good idea for an area like that?

Thanks so much!


73 Diane Henkler April 18, 2013 at 9:45 am

Hi Michele- I would not use chalk paint on an outdoor floor. I would only use porch and floor paint. With outdoor conditions and foot traffic, it has the durability needed. If you we’re going to lime bare wood that would work well,too. Add a few light coats of polyurethane over it. Either way- prepping it right is essential. Clean it well and rinse well. Let it dry well. Before painting make sure the floor is dry. Then use light coats of paint or poly, Let each coat dry before applying the next.


74 TRINA May 2, 2013 at 9:22 pm

Hi there!! love your blog! I have a question.. I am repainting my vanity and I have done this effect before but I am not going to lie I am really rough on it.. putting drinks on it my hair stuff.. is there a protection glaze or something that will make it a little more HEAVY DUTY ?? :)


75 Diane Henkler May 3, 2013 at 10:56 am

Hi Trina – The best thing to do would be to use a Polyurethane over the paint and glaze once it is cured. Minwax makes a good non-yellowing water-based one called Polycrylic. It comes in a satin finish. 2 to 3 light coats – letting each one dry before applying the next will give you the protection you need. As far as putting wet drinks down – no wood or painted surface likes wet stuff. I would keep a pretty coaster on your vanity to keep the finish nice.


76 Angie May 14, 2013 at 11:46 am

All I can say is WOW! This is a beatiful piece – I have seen beadboard wallpaper before on other projects but you just reminded me of how beautiful it finishes off a piece of furniture. Thanks for the inspiration!


77 peggy May 17, 2013 at 10:43 pm

I am so inspired! Love the glaze.. I am going to try this!


78 Suzie May 24, 2013 at 11:38 am

BEAUTIFUL!!! I have a sideboard that I am painting turquoise right now… I’m going to finish with the glaze like you did… I love it!!!

Thank you for sharing!


79 Rebecca May 24, 2013 at 7:06 pm

This transformation is absolutely flawless and beautiful… Thanks for sharing. :)


80 Joyelle Vollero June 3, 2013 at 12:40 am

Your pieces and talent are amazing! I love your detailed instructions. I’ve been trying to restore an old dresser and having a tough time getting a look I like. I’ve made chalk paint in a turquoise color, as well as cream and tried so many different things– painting one over the other, wiping it off, painting the other over the other, dry brushing, and today I made 5 different glazes to put over the cream and then over the turquoise and still it’s dreadful! I think I’ve settled on a solution (chalk paint in turquoise the whole piece and then glaze it-color TBD). This is my question….the chalk paint has a lot of brush strokes in it. Yours looks so smooth. Is there a special brush I really need to invest in? Thank you for any help you can provide. Sincerely, joyelle


81 Diane Henkler June 3, 2013 at 10:17 pm

Hi Joyelle –

I always use Purdy brushes – they are the best! They are more expensive, but will last for years if you take care of them. I like the angled ones.I have one in just about every size. Another reason you might be seeing a lot of brush strokes could be that your paint is too thick. Try adding a bit more water to the paint mixture. Of all the the DIY recipes – Calcium Carbonate powder comes out the smoothest, followed by Plaster of Paris and then the Non-sanded grout. The attempts you wrote about probably look fine – we are usually our worst critics.


82 Carolyn O'Connor June 11, 2013 at 1:11 am

Diane, I just found your website and wow…what a great job you do on your tutorial! I love the color of your piece and the wallpaper back…what an ingenious idea! I do funky painted furniture but have recently done a few pieces with chalk paint, and I think I love it! I am so impressed with your instructions and the time you take to answer everyone’s questions. You are a neat gal. You will have to check out my blog spot too and tell me what you think. I am having fun combining the chalk paint with accents of acrylic detail. Again, I love your piece~ I have a dining room set with a huge hutch that is dark stained pine just begging for a bright face-lift like this. Thanks for the inspiration.


83 gena June 18, 2013 at 1:15 pm

My husband and I decided to revive a dresser that was his great grandmother’s for our (soon-to-be-here) daughter’s nursery. We followed your instructions for this sideboard and it turned out fantastic! I’ll admit, I was skeptical because we made our own chalk paint from the calcium carbonate (and because I’ve never done anything like this before) but the results are fantastic! Thank you so much for the insight, that wax works wonders!


84 Manda Wolf August 23, 2013 at 11:41 am

That is awesome. I love the pulls. The paint color and technique are amazing and really add that special touch. It is amazing what some elbow grease can do to a piece of furniture.


85 Diana August 24, 2013 at 12:19 am

Hi Diane,
I am totally in love with the color of this dresser. I am redoing a spare bedroom to become the “grandkid’s” room and would love to paint an old dresser I have with this color. I am totally overwhelmed at all the choices of turquoise and aqua colors. Would you please tell me the color and brand. I would be forever grateful. BTW, I just painted a small nightstand using your calcium carbonate recipe and it turned out great. Thanks so much!


86 Diane Henkler August 24, 2013 at 12:20 pm

Hi Diana – I made the paint color by mixing two colors of turquoise paint I had leftover from previous projects. The two paints were Glidden Peacocks Plume and Valspar Seafarer. I mixed them 50/50 in a bucket. I also added a watered down mix of white glaze to wash over the finish to add some depth to the color.


87 erin August 29, 2013 at 10:08 am

why did you wax it rather than seal with a poly?


88 Diane Henkler August 29, 2013 at 10:39 am

Hi Erin -

It is all about personal preference. I added the wax to add a subtle layer of protection and a bit of patina since I knew the dresser was going to be moved around quite a bit. I usually don’t use poly on furniture, only on table tops for an added layer of protection. Poly to me just looks “too sealed” – wax adds depth and patina. I like the finished look better. On chalk painted pieces wax looks amazing and brings out the color of the paint. On latex painted pieces it doesn’t add quite the same quality since it does not sink into the paint as much, but I still like the way it looks after it is buffed better than poly.


89 Liz September 14, 2013 at 3:29 pm

Hi Diane,

You have lovely taste and a great talent. I have a pretty large, built-in Cushman cabinet with multiple inset doors and drawers, and I want to paint it (the original stain just sucks all the light out of the room). I feel convinced by your posts that chalk paint with calcium carbonate is the way to go based on the size of the project. My questions are:
1. With chalk paint, do I still need to sand the piece first?
2. Do I need primer?
3. I’m concerned about multiple coats of primer and paint leading to the inset doors/drawers no longer fitting- anything I can do to mitigate that problem?

Thank you so much in advance!


90 Diane Henkler September 21, 2013 at 5:38 pm

HI Liz –
1. You do need to sand.
2. No primer is necessary.
3. Use light thin coats – 2 should cover it

You can also add a few more tablespoons of Calcium Carbonate to the mix. It will still be very smooth. I think it helps with the adhesion when there is a bit more than the recipe calls for.


91 ann September 15, 2013 at 11:37 am

Thank you for sharing this gorgeous re-do – I’ve taken away several ideas! Just wanted to also THANK YOU for showing the beauty of gold hardware. I still love my gold/brass hardware, frames, doorknobs, etc. and was starting to feel like I’m the only one not ‘oil rubbed bronz-ing’ everything. This piece is perfect with the gold…


92 Jenny September 17, 2013 at 5:50 pm

Hi there! thanks for posting this. I have a SUPER NOOBIE question. Why would you want to use chalk paint over a regular latex paint? is that what you recommend for distressing or you also use it for other things that you would paint, such as kitchen cabinets….thank you in advance!


93 Diane Henkler September 21, 2013 at 5:09 pm

Hi Jenny – Chalk paint differs from latex in the finished look of the piece. It is all about preference. I think the wax coat is what makes it look beautiful.It adds depth and patina and makes the piece look like a quality piece, not just a piece of furniture that was painted. It distresses beautifully. Regular latex sometimes gets a rubbery sticky feel to the finished surface, chalk paint does not. When you try to distress latex, the paint rolls off in shreds. With chalk paint, the paint comes off smoothly. I did not use it to paint my kitchen cabinets, but you can. You can use it to paint anything, but it does need to be waxed or polyed to protect it unless you want a very flat aged look. I think it is the best way to paint furniture.


94 Diane C. September 20, 2013 at 12:34 pm

Hi Diane, thank you for a most informative, easy to understand website!
I have a breakfast table that has a white wash finish on the legs with a honey oak finish on the top. I would like to paint the honey oak top to black. I would like to have it look soft, not too shiny. Kind of the sheen that your piece above has. Should I use chalk paint and wax (or poly)? And if so, should I use calcium carbonate? If I use chalk paint, do I need to sand or prime beforehand?
Or should I go the traditional route with a satin acrylic latex paint? Thanks!!


95 Diane Henkler September 21, 2013 at 3:26 pm

Hi Diane -

Since I have discovered chalk paint, I use it on all the furniture I make over now – except on pieces I spray paint. You can’t go wrong going the traditional route of sanding, priming, latex, and poly, but I think if you use chalk paint, your table finish will have much more depth and character. I like using calcium carbonate powder because it creates the smoothest mixture. I sometimes add more of the powder (1-2 more tablespoons)to my mixes than called for just to make sure they have great adhesion – especially for a table top. I always sand the surface no matter what type of paint I am using. You do not have to prime if using chalk paint. If using chalk paint – know that is will take up to 30 days to cure. You can use it during that time, but full curing does take time so be gentle on your piece the first few weeks after painting.


96 Jennifer September 21, 2013 at 4:22 pm

The beadboard wallpaper idea is sheer genius! I had recently purchase a buffet to use backed up to the sofa (it’s a great room, so the dining table is right there too – but no wall to put a buffet.) I had been contemplating what to do about that couple of inches that you could see of ugly backer board when I stumbled across your Fall Home Tour, which led me to click away on your blog and voila! The perfect solution! The only sad thing is I have to wait 24 hours to paint! Thanks for being brilliant :-)


97 Kathy Nielsen September 26, 2013 at 11:45 am

Hi Diane, I just love this website. I go to you almost daily with questions and problems. AND you answer right away! Anyhoo….I have a round table painted with latex paint (black) and I painted white roman numerals on it (so it is a clock face)with latex paint and it looks to-o-o- black and stark white. How can I subdue the starkness of the table and give it a more artistic shabbiness to it? Thanking you in advance..I remain dumfounded!


98 Diane Henkler September 26, 2013 at 12:20 pm

Hi Kathy – the easiest thing to do would be to distress the finish and then put a layer of white glaze, lining wax, or clear soft wax over it.

Put medium grit sandpaper on a sanding block. Sand in a horizontal direction only across the table to distress the face of the clock. It will look better than sanding in all directions. Also distress a little around the edges of the table. Distress until you like the look. To further soften the look you can mix clear glazing liquid with white paint. 90% glazing liquid to 10% paint. It will be a transparent white stain to go over the surface. You brush it on and let it dry. You could also try liming wax to go over the surface to soften the stark look. Clear soft paste wax would protect it. I would experiment on a few scrap piece of wood to figure out the best way to get the look you are trying to achieve.


99 azm October 24, 2013 at 7:39 pm

Thanks very helpful. I have too just unemployed. Have taken up crafting and futniture painting to keep me busy.
Your tips have been very helpful. Pictures very informative visually. Great to see the looks. Thanks very much. AZM


100 Diane Henkler October 24, 2013 at 10:15 pm

I hope your unemployment does not last too long. Being creative is the best way to stay positive. Who knows, you may be able to sell some of your pieces and create a business out of it. Best of luck with your projects.


101 Karen October 27, 2013 at 12:14 am

I completely agree with letting a room evolve. We have been in our current home for 10 years and I have been letting my living room evolve for a long time. It is finally coming together, but it took 10 years for me to figure that out. Love the sideboard, and I really love the library pulls. What a fun switch up!


102 Janelle November 1, 2013 at 2:43 pm

LOVE the beautiful look you made from this project! I have a furniture piece I would like to redo (first time for me), and plan to use the chalk paint just like you did with the turquoise sideboard. However, in addition, can I paint a latex over parts of the chalk paint, before waxing (i.e. – would latex stick to chalk paint without some other process beforehand, like priming)? I would like to add a pattern to the piece in latex…unless you recommend using all chalk paint for the piece…Thank you in advance for your help!


103 Diane Henkler November 3, 2013 at 10:31 pm

Hi Janelle – I have never painted over chalk paint with a design painted in plain latex, but I think that using plain latex or craft paint over chalk paint will adhere fine since the chalk paint finish is very porous. The only problem that may happen is if using wax to protect the finished piece and not poly, the wax may take differently to the two paint finishes, I would use flat latex and then this should not be a problem. If you have gathered all of your supplies, do a test on a scrap piece of wood to determine if the wax goes over both paints evenly.


104 Janelle November 3, 2013 at 10:37 pm

Thank you, Diane! I appreciate your advice, and will do what you suggested. Keep up the beautiful painting!


105 Paige Wells November 23, 2013 at 5:13 pm

Diane, I have a question. I finished my desk. I loved the yellow chalk paint and then did the glaze. I tested an area 4:1 glaze to paint and thought it was too white so I did 5:1. I dragged as much off as I could but it is way too white. I lost all my bright yellow. I wanted it the same depth as your turquoise. (Subtle Glaze.)

Would it work to lightly sand the glaze and then add yellow paint to the clear glazing liquid and glaze on top of glaze? I hate it so light. At certain times of day, it looks white or at best a baby nursury. Room is hot pink and green. I was trying to add a yellow to pop like your turq piece. THANKS!


106 Diane Henkler November 23, 2013 at 10:42 pm

Hi Paige – Every application can yield different results when you are painting with layers of paints, stains, waxes, and or glazes. I usually do a test on a scrap piece of wood to make sure what I am adding is what I want. All is not lost with your desk. In fact – some of my dissapointments have tuned into favorites with a little bit of tweaking. To answer your question – yes you can add the yellow paint to the glaze and go over the desk to bring out the yellow more. Test it on a small area first to see if you need to add more or less paint to get the look you want – then proceed. It is also Ok to add a few layers – it will add patina.


107 P.B. January 2, 2014 at 8:26 pm

Thank you for the time you have taken to write all the how tos. Your piece is so very beautiful and one-of-a-kind! Happy painting for 2014!


108 Brenda from Texas January 30, 2014 at 1:36 am

Found your blog via Pinterest and I am obsessed with this DIY chalk paint! Hoping to start on my own project soon, thank you for your posts and how – to’s! Very helpful! xo


109 Judith Vee February 1, 2014 at 3:17 pm

I chose a very white paint (chalk) but I hate it . I wanted a creme white & now that it’s done ( hubby helped me) he does not want us to re-do :( can I simply go over the waxed pieces with creme? Or do I have to sand? Or is there an easier way? Or better way ?
Love your style! Judy


110 Diane Henkler February 1, 2014 at 5:21 pm

Thanks Judith -

It is said that chalk paint can go over everything – even wax. I like to always be on the safe side though. I would run 100 grit sandpaper over the surface to remove some of the wax. Clean it well and then you can repaint with chalk paint. Let it cure a few days before waxing.


111 Carolyn's funky furniture February 3, 2014 at 8:04 pm

Diane, your piece is beautiful! I love the color you chose and the white glaze really added depth and softness. I paint funky bright colored furniture most of the time, but I am starting to use more chalk paint. It is so much easier than sanding and priming. Thanks for posting such a great step by step tutorial! Carolyn


112 Kaylene February 5, 2014 at 12:06 am

Hi Diane, I just found your website and I have a question. I just painted my dining table with DIY chalk paint (really light gray, almost off white). I’ve heard mixed reviews on how I should proceed, because I love the shabby chic look. I have not yet distressed it and have just been trying to read up on different reviews. I was wondering could I distress and then mix glaze like you have but with dark paint instead of white seeing as how I already have a light base color and then wax it to seal it? I would really hate to have to redo, so just trying to explore options on what may look best. My vision is to have a white base, and antiquing glaze effect over top to slightly darken it but just slightly and then seal it with wax.

I apologize for this post being long, but I’ve mostly seen people chalk paint, wax, glaze and nothing after glaze to seal it. Being that this will be my kitchen table and I will have to clean it up I would like the method that will work best in the long run. Please help and thank you in advance.



113 Diane Henkler February 5, 2014 at 9:12 pm

Hi Kaylene -

There are two ways you can go about giving the white base an antiqued look. 1. Go over the finish with clear wax first. Buff it and then add a layer of dark wax. Laying clear wax on the surface first allows you to move the dark wax where you want it. If you just use dark wax right over the chalk paint, you won’t be able to move it around and it may end up looking uneven.
2. Use antiquing glaze. Once the chalk paint is dry, apply the dark glaze over the surface in circular motions. Have a second rag ready to wipe it off, leaving the amount of darkness you desire. If you add too much, quickly remove it with a wet cloth and start over. Once you have all the glaze on, let it dry. Apply clear wax over to protect and bring out the patina. If you want a more rustic looking piece – sand to distress after the clear wax protection coat. If you want a more polished finish, sand to distress before you add the clear wax to protect the finish.


114 Karen February 6, 2014 at 10:12 pm

LOVE LOVE LOVE!!! We just painted our kitchen a nice yellow and have dark wood cabinets from when the house was built in 1979. This color and style is perfect!! I have just discovered your site and I am so glad I did. For whatever reason I have a small inhibition about decorating, it’s like I have an afraid to try any of my ideas syndrome. I over think it until I think myself right out of doing it. Thank you for your post and I am excited to check out the rest of your work:) You inspire me to make my home more ME:)


115 carol February 17, 2014 at 11:47 pm

Hi Karen
I have just finished chalk painting my dining room table and chairs. I have also glazed them. I ordered some Fiddes wax in clear. My questions:
how do you apply the wax? Do you use a stencil type brush(as I have seen) or a rag. Also, how long do you let it dry(to a haze) before you buff it out??
Thanks so much for your help!


116 Diane Henkler February 20, 2014 at 7:44 am

Hi Carol -

I apply the wax with old lint free T-shirts. I don’t use brushes. I just dip a section of the rag into the wax and then rub it on the surface in a circular motion. Add more wax as needed to cover the surface. A thin layer is all that is needed. Use another old lint free T-shirt to buff. Just apply pressure in circular motions on the surface until you see a sheen come up. I usually repeat the process to get a higher sheen. The more you buff the more shine. The key is only adding the wax in thin layers. It takes some muscle, but when you see the sheen come up, you will smile at how nice it makes the painted finish look. Fiddes and Sons can be buffed right after you apply it. No haze will develop. With Johnsons Paste Wax – a haze will develop. I wait at least a day before I wax, this allows the paint to fully dry.


117 carol February 18, 2014 at 9:31 pm

Sorry, I meant Diane!


118 Diane Henkler February 19, 2014 at 10:33 am

Hi Carol – No worries XO I am used to being called by another name. My identical twin sisters name is Carol. I answer to it all the time :)


119 carol February 20, 2014 at 12:37 am

Hi Diane
Did you see the question that I posted before the apology? :-)
Sorry to bother you if you are still addressing this!


120 Maddey March 17, 2014 at 4:09 pm

Love it! I wish it would follow me home…


121 Brenda April 1, 2014 at 6:03 am

I don’t seem to find how you trimmed the gold? I know this should be obvious but can you give the details? Did you add the trim before or after your sanded? What brand of paint?



122 Diane Henkler April 1, 2014 at 8:11 am

Hi Brenda -

Are you asking how I toned down the gold pulls? Here is the link to the post on how to age brass:


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