Painting Projects

Cheating with Chalk Paint – Side Table and Dresser Makeover

Everyone that knows me, knows how much I love hitting up yard sales (while my kids sleep in the back and my husband chauffeurs me around). So one Saturday morning I was pleasantly surprised to see my neighbour selling all her goodies just a hop, skip and a jump away!

I had been on the hunt for a dresser for my sons room and I came across this beautiful vintage 3 drawer dresser on casters. When I saw it, I knew it had to be mine! Thank goodness my sister was with me because I was about to give the guy $40 when she abruptly said “No way – Ill give you $25!” (I really need to work on my bargaining game if I’m going to be taken seriously). And just like that we were rolling this thing across the street back to my house. I don’t have a before picture because I actually did this project last year and I suck at remembering to take before pictures. I have to get better if I want this blog gig to work out – but it looked just like this.(thank you Google images).

I also had a cute oak side table that my moms friend gave me (thanks Fran!) when I moved to Timmins, Ontario for my first job. I have had it ever since and was waiting for the right time to spruce it up. And that time is now! My plan was to finish both pieces with the same touches even though they weren’t a matching set.

I actually liked it oak, however it does look really good all redone but those wooden handles threw me for a loop.

I’m pretty lazy when it comes to prepping pieces so I decided to use Rustoleum Chalk Paint in Aged Grey on both of them (very little prep required with chalk paint). It was on sale for $25 and I wanted something a little different but not too dark. I also decided to stain the top using Cabot Stain and Sealer in Aged Leather. This is a water based stain that was pretty easy to use. It dries a little quickly but overall I was happy. I don’t have much to compare it to though, because I don’t use stain often. I think it was a good option for this project because I was only staining a very small surface. For this project I used:

Step 1 – Sand down the top, give the body a light sand and wipe clean. Because I was staining the top of both the dresser and side table, I had to make sure all the previous “gunk” was off so the stain would go on evenly. I used a mouse sander with a medium gritt sandpaper and it got the job done. Even though you don’t have to sand when using chalk paint, I just felt better giving the body a light sanding and wiping it clean.

Step 2 – Stain the top. I used a foam brush to do this and it worked well. I did as many coats as I wanted until I reached my desired colour (I think I did 4 on the end table).  Just make sure you read the directions and let it dry in between coats. I used Cabot Stain and Sealer in Aged Leather and it dried fast so be sure to work quickly. Other stains may behave differently.

Step 3 – Paint that sucka! I used a brush in the grooves and hard to reach places and then the mini roller on all large flat areas. You can do what works for you but you will get a nice smooth finish with the roller. Remember chalk paint is flat so it will look somewhat dull and will feel coarse when its dry. Do two coats.

Step 4 – Apply a top coat (You know I love a good top coat). Use a foam brush to apply a few coats of Miniwax Polycrylic Protective Finish to the top and body of each piece. There are other protective finish products out there so if you have them on hand, feel free to use them instead! Use thin, even coats for optimal results.

Step 5 – Spray paint the handles and enjoy! I loved the shape and design of the original handles, but the gold just wasn’t doing it for me. I spray painted them black using Rustoleum Flat Black Primer Spray Paint. I have spray painted handles (dresser handles and my front door handles) in the past and they have chipped so I decided to also do a top coat using Rustoleum Semi-Gloss Clear Spray Paint. I didn’t actually love the way this sprayed – it was kind of clumpy and didn’t dry well but in the end I managed. And so far I have had zero chipping. If you don’t want to add a top coat, you could always just touch them up along the way if they chip. My side table actually had wooden handles that I could not remove for the life of me! I wanted them to be black as well but couldn’t be bothered to paint the whole handle black (which required taping and patience), so I just painted the front of the handle using leftover black paint and a mini-roller. I think it worked out awesome (and was way less work)!

Here is the final product – I just love them! They are the perfect addition to his room. They are neutral but still have some personality and can grow with him. He has a really big closet so he only needs a small dresser for now. I have a tall boy dresser waiting for a makeover in the basement for the day when he needs more storage though. In total this project cost me about $80 (dresser, paint and stain – I already had supplies, black spray paint and the top coat). I would say that’s a heck of a lot cheaper than new furniture and it’s way cuter too!



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