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Simple Chalk Paint Makeover for Vintage Furniture

Hey y’all, I recently update a beat up dresser using these simple techniques and wanted to share them with you.

This simple chalk paint makeover for vintage furniture was a quick and easy transformation. It’s easy to give your vintage pieces a new life with these simple steps.

Vintage Furniture Find

The vintage dresser was a Habitat for Humanity Restore find that was structurally sound but the finish had seen better days. I planned to use the dresser in my shop, as a display and didn’t want to spend a lot of time refinishing the piece. If you find a deal at a thrift store, this is a really easy way to update the furniture without spending a lot of time or money.

First, I recommend cleaning any used furniture with Murphy’s Oil Soap. Remove all the hardware and wash all surfaces with the soap and water mixture. Be sure to squeeze any excess water from the sponge or rag before applying to the furniture. Rinse with clean water using a damp sponge or rag. Don’t over saturate the vintage furniture with water.

If there is any odor to the old furniture, you may need to use a disinfectant soap as well. Be sure to allow the furniture to dry for approx. 24 hours before starting your makeover.

Supplies for Chalk Paint Makeover

This simple makeover only requires a few supplies to clean and refinish furniture.

Once your piece is clean and dry, repair any holes or deep scratches with Wood Filler. You want to use a stainable wood filler for any area that you plan to stain. Be sure to allow the filler to dry, by following the package instructions.

Once the wood filler is dry, lightly sand with a fine grit sand paper. I like to use a fine grit sanding block.

Makeover Choices

I love the look of a combination of stain and painted furniture and this piece was a great option to leave the drawer fronts stained.

As you can see on the below image, the drawer fronts were extremely scratched. I didn’t want to remove the old stain, so I cleaned them and then added a layer of gel stain over the top. You can see how well this worked on the right hand image.

You will want to add the stain with a soft cloth and gently buff the stain until you have a desired finish.

Full disclosure, I wasn’t sure this would work but I’m happy to say, the drawer fronts look like new.

Chalk Paint

In addition, you will want to paint the remainder of the furniture with approx. 2 coats of Chalk Paint. You can see more details about How to Use Chalk Paint on this previous post. For this project, I used Annie Sloan Old White Chalk Paint.

Add Wax

The final step for this simple chalk paint makeover is to wax the entire surface with Dark Wax. This includes the stained drawer front as well. Refer to How To Use Chalk Paint for Tips on applying wax if you are not familiar with using wax. You do want to be cautious when using dark wax because it will grab to the paint. I will mix the dark wax with a clear wax if in doubt. Also, mixing with mineral spirits is an option.

Another way to save money on this makeover was to clean and reuse the old dresser hardware.

The vintage dresser looks fresh and new as a display in my shop.

Thanks so much for stopping by today!

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Margie Clements

Wednesday 2nd of June 2021

Love it! Like that you left the drawers the same. Thanks for sharing!

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Wednesday 2nd of June 2021

Margie, Thanks so much for your encouraging wors.

Kim | Shiplap and Shells

Tuesday 1st of June 2021

I LOVE this dresser Rachel! You make everything you do seem so easy.

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Wednesday 2nd of June 2021

Kim, Not everything is as easy as this one.

Marlene Stephenson

Tuesday 1st of June 2021

You made it pretty again, so important to make these old pieces shine like they once were.

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Wednesday 2nd of June 2021

Marlene, They don't make them like they used to either.

Cynthia Solomon

Tuesday 1st of June 2021

Hi Rachel...this piece looks amazing! I didn't know you had a you do any online sales? If so, would you mind sharing your web site? Thanks bunches!

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Wednesday 2nd of June 2021

Cynthia, I don't have my cloths online. Just my art and some vintage pieces occasionally. They are listed on this site under store.

Miche Ortega

Tuesday 1st of June 2021

Great job. It's a wonderful display piece. Thanks, Rachel.

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Wednesday 2nd of June 2021

Miche, I'm so glad you like it.