Updating old furniture with chalk paint and sealing with wax doesn’t mean it has to be distressed. Chalk paint can be used to paint furniture and give it a modern edge, also. I did just this when I painted a dresser in my bedroom.
I have painted quite a lot of furniture using chalk paint and this is the second piece where I didn’t distress the painted finish. I didn’t want it to look old and aged. I wanted a new, bright and chic look.
Modern Paint Finish Using DIY Chalk Paint
I chose a periwinkle blue color by Behr called Beautiful Dream #590A-3. The perfect paint color name for a bedroom, right? I wanted something bright, but not too bold that read calm, relaxing, and serene.
Here is how the dresser looked BEFORE:
It belonged to my grandmother and had been painted at least 2 times before. Once by my aunt back in the 70’s and then by me in the 90’s. I posted about how I painted it in the post, how to age furniture without chalk paint.
I found the glass knobs at HomeGoods. A set of four for $8! They were in the checkout line area. The tassel I have had forever. It has moved from room to room to give it new life. I love it on the dresser.
I didn’t want a distressed look for the finish, but still whipped up a batch of DIY chalk paint to paint it.
Chalk paint is not only for the “old and chippy” look. It can look fresh and modern, too. I prefer the look and feel of chalk paint and wax over latex and poly on a piece of furniture. To me, it looks more professional – like a finish that has always been on the piece, not just a painted piece of furniture. The finish is smooth and glossy with none of that latex tackiness.
If you are not familiar with how to make and use DIY Chalk paint, you can find all the information you will need at the end of this post.
For the dresser I used the Calcium Carbonate Powder recipe to make my DIY chalk paint. It can be mixed with any paint even a paint and primer in one formula. I buy it at my local health food store, but you can also buy it on Amazon.
- I sanded the entire surface first with 100 grit sandpaper using my handy dandy hand sanding block. All it takes is a quick 5 minutes to rough the surface up a bit so the paint has something to adhere to. No major sanding needed.
- Clean off the sanding grit.
- To make the chalk paint, here is where you can find the recipe using Calcium Carbonate Powder
- I only needed 2 cups of paint to paint the dresser. I gave it 3 light coats and still have a little bit left.
I let the paint dry for 24 hours before waxing to protect and add sheen to the finish.
I have used many furniture and soft waxes and highly recommend the ones shown in the photo above, except Briwax. It has something in it that on a few occasions has taken the paint off a newly painted piece. It is better to use on bare wood. I don’t have Annie Sloan clear wax in the photo, but have used it, I would recommend it also.
Johnson’s is the least expensive and buffs to a nice sheen, but has quite an intense smell when you are working with it. Once dry, the smell goes away.
The key to waxing is really not the wax you use so much as how much you apply. Use only thin layers and buff with a soft cloth after each layer. Some pieces take more effort to buff to bring up a sheen. On this piece, it took 3 thin coats of wax to get the level of protection and shine I wanted. I used a mix of Fiddes and Sons and Miss Mustard Seeds wax. Have two cloths – one to apply the wax, and another to buff. Old t-shirts work well to apply the wax.
Chalk Paint Waxing Tip
Buffing tip: By experimenting with different types of cloths, I have found that a cut piece from a very soft lint-free blanket works great to buff the wax to bring up the shine. Not a wool blanket, but one that feels super soft against your skin.
Since the piece was old the inside of the drawers were very orangey brown. I wanted the piece bright and cheery so I painted them. I could have used chalk paint, but decided to use up white paint I had on hand. Since the insides of the drawers had stain on them, I needed to use a primer that would block the stain and wood tannins from seeping through the white. I used one coat of Kilz Original stain blocking primer first. Once that was dry, I used 2 light coats of semi-gloss Glidden latex paint in Ultra White.
I lined the bottoms of the drawers with gift wrap.
Nice and bright with no more brown in sight.
Each drawer has a key hole that has been painted over previously. I tried to strip the paint off of them, but the metal did not look good so I decided to paint each one to create a metal look with brass colored paint.
A fine tipped brush and this Martha Stewart liquid gilding is all I needed. I bought it at Michaels.
The final detail was adding the key tassel to one of the top drawers.
I placed the dot art on the dresser to style the photo. I am painting a mirror that will go above the dresser, but it is not dry yet. I will show you that later this week.
I am so excited to have this done. It makes everything I have done in my bedroom so far all come together.
To learn more on how to make and paint with chalk paint, check out these posts: