Have I told you that I previously did faux finishing part time? That was back in the day, when you spent hours & hours, using expensive products to achieve a distressed look on walls and furniture. Thankfully, there is an easier way to achieve those same results on furniture.
Here is how to use Chalk Paint to distress wood and furniture. It’s a super easy and quick way to transform your old wooden pieces into chic farmhouse style décor. Today I’m sharing a wall shelf transformation with step by step easy instructions that even a beginner can follow.
This wooden shelf was a great thrift store find for only 4.00, however, it needed a little update to work in my farmhouse décor.
Step 1 – Clean Shelf in preparation for Chalk Paint
Begin by washing or wiping down your piece before starting. Remove any stickers and sticky residue from the wood. With chalk paint, you do not have the sand the surface unless there is a really shiny finish on the wood. If there is, a light sanding to roughen the surface will be enough.
Step 2 – Protect your surface
Next, if you are working on a surface that needs protecting, place something under your item to be painted. Here I’ve just used a sheet of wax paper and some of my trusty tuna cans to elevate the shelf off the table surface and to protect it from my sloppy painting techniques.
Step 4 – Paint a light coat over the entire surface
For this step, you don’t need a heavy coat. I attempt to paint in the direction of the wood grain, but it’s not absolutely necessary.
It is so easy to use chalk paint for many projects because it’s very forgiving and dries really fast.
I like to use the Annie Sloan Paint brush for ease of application, especially for larger projects.
Once the project is completely covered with paint, close your paint can and protect your paint brush from drying out. The next coat can be applied as soon as the paint is dry to the touch.
Step 4 – Apply a second coat of Chalk Paint
Once the first coat is dry to the touch, you can apply a second coat of paint. Usually 2 coats of Chalk Paint will be sufficient especially when you are wanting a distressed appearance to your project.
Note: If you don’t want a distressed appearance, 3 coats may be necessary.
If your original piece is unfinished wood, see this technique to stain your wood before applying the paint.
Step 5 – Finish Wax for Chalk Paint
This final step can be done a couple of different ways. You can use a clear wax or a dark or colored wax depending on the desired finish. Caution: a dark wax will grab to the chalk paint resulting in a very dark finish. If you just want a tint, mix the dark wax with clear wax for a lighter finish.
- This is the first option. Apply the wax with a soft cloth over the surface of your project in small sections, allowing the wax to dry slightly. Then using a different soft cloth, begin to buff the waxed surface until you achieve a gloss appearance. This method will not remove the paint while waxing.
- Option 2 – This is my preferred method because I like a distressed finish on most of my chalk painted projects.
- Mix your wax with a small amount of mineral spirits resulting in a mayonnaise like consistency.
- Use a chip brush to apply the mixture over the project and wipe away any excess with a clean cloth.
- Once the wax mixture has dried, begin to buff until you have a gloss finish.
- Note: This method may result in removal of thin areas of paint causing a more distressed look.
Wax can totally transform the appearance of chalk paint. See the kitchen island makeover and how the addition of wax changed the island from yikes to wow.
Add Some Hardware to the Chalk Painted Shelf
To really dress this thrift store shelf up, let’s add some hardware. I purchased these fun hooks for cheap and knew I’d find a use for them.
First, measure the location of each hook and screw them to the board underneath the shelf.
Finished Chalk Paint Transformatoin
The transformation is complete and I quickly styled the painted shelf for your approval. I hope you like it.
Previous Projects with Chalk Paint
I did a quick makeover with Chalk Paint and then decided to do a complete transformation. See all the details at Amazing Furniture Transformation.
Here is a 3 Step Furniture Makeover that was quick and easy.
You can see this 2 hour Makeover and this Easy Table Riser Project! Both were accomplished by using chalk paint. My most recent post is a Simple Chalk Paint Makeover for Vintage Furniture.