Chalk Paint on the Dresser

If you’ve been following along here for any time at all, you’ll probably know that I LOVE traditional dark wood furniture.  But, I never loved the red undertones of the dresser in our master.  Along with a bed and sofa, it was one of the very first things we bought for our home after the wedding.  Fourteen years later it is still sturdy and has great lines.  Not to mention, it provides a TON of much needed storage.  I didn’t want to part with it so I finally, with Mother’s help, tackled painting it!

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To keep it grounded in dark wood, I decided to leave the top unpainted.  I also felt that this would give us a much more durable surface over the years.  We use this dresser daily… multiple times a day… and you can usually find a watch, wallet, jewelry, and other paraphernalia deposited on the top.  We simply taped off the top before getting started.  The piece is really heavy, even without the drawers, so we slid it out from the wall, put a drop cloth under it and painted it right in the room.

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We moved all of the drawers to the bathroom and kept their hardware separate to make it easy to put it back on.  You never know when holes might have been drilled separately.

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After mulling over all of Annie Sloan’s paint choices, I settled on Coco.  The walls are gray (Benjamin Moore Pale Oak) but the curtains and bedding are linen.  I thought the brown in Coco would be a nice compliment to the linen AND not make it just fade away into the wall.

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Working with chalk paint is really a dream.  We didn’t sand anything.  Just got straight to work.  Mother did the detailed work with a brush, and I rolled every possible flat surface with a smaller roller.  We did two nice, generous coats and it was completely covered.  We also gave it a coat of Annie Sloan’s clear wax.  The whole project was done in ONE day.  The wax went on around 7PM and the next morning Mother buffed it.

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I couldn’t be happier with the results.  No more red wood in this room :-)

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My thoughts on chalk paint:

  • You will paint your piece just as you would with any other pieces, but consider watching some videos on how to use the wax.  And, speaking of wax, don’t skip that step.
  • I don’t have any special brushes for the paint or the wax.  Just nice quality regular paint brushes – one for paint and one for wax.
  • Between coats, I put my paint brush and roller in a large zip top bag in the fridge.  These projects can easily be done in a day and it saves you from having to wash and dry the brush multiple times.
  • A little of this paint goes a long way.  I used less than half of the can on this rather large piece.  The wax also goes a long way.  I have used less than half of my can of wax in the five years I’ve had it.
  • I’ve used Annie Sloan’s paint on a few other pieces, including the dresser in Whit’s room and mirror in the den.  Whit’s dresser has been in use for four years now and the chalk paint (clear wax) does not have a chip or scratch on it.  I hope our dresser is just as durable!
  • When I was working on the powder room update and painting that vanity, I decided to try Amy Howard’s one step paint.  It ended up taking TWO cans ($$$) and FOUR coats to cover it.  UGH!  I guess I originally read one step paint to mean one coat paint.  My bad.  Overall, I find Annie Sloan’s MUCH easier to work with, even considering that I put a coat of wax on it too.

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Coca was really the perfect choice with the linen bedding and new rug, and I love how much it brightened up that whole side of the room.

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Next up on the list for this mini-update is the chandelier.  Stay tuned!

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53 thoughts on “Chalk Paint on the Dresser

  1. It looks lovely – and reminiscent (to me) of the dresser in the family office. Can’t wait to see the rest of the room come together! xo

  2. I love how your dresser turned out! I have the same type bedroom furniture (dresser and highboy) and have wanted to paint them (or one of them) for a while but was afraid of how it would turn out. You have given me hope that if (and when) I do paint it, it should turn out fine!

    I was showing my daughter your Mickey Mouse items to purchase, she has a 20 month old that is OBSESSED with Mickey Mouse! Every morning he asks for “juice” and “Mickey”!

  3. Can you share how much paint and wax you used? I want to do my kitchen table but am unsure how much to buy. Thanks!

    1. Good catch… I think I’ll go back and add this too. For this piece… and it’s large… I used less than 1/2 of the can of paint! There’s so much left for other projects!! You would definitely be fine with one can on a kitchen table. I’ve had the same can of wax for 5 years or so and it’s not even half gone. You only need a little of the wax. I would definitely look up how the wax does on a kitchen table… Not sure if it would leave rings and stuff from glasses. We have to use coasters on our kitchen table, which is fine and part of the routine, but it’s something you will likely want to know going in. Good luck!!

  4. What a difference! I love using Annie Sloan…it is totally my favorite. The hardest part of using is it is picking a color because the colors are all so inviting. I can’t wait to see more of your mini-update. It’s looking gorgeous (but it was gorgeous to begin with).

    Nancy

  5. This looks so pretty in gray! I love it and want to paint my dressers now too. I just tried Amy Howard’s paint (and wax) for the first time and wasn’t too excited about it. The coverage wasn’t nearly as good as AS!

  6. Oh boy, I have to admit I was holding my breath with this painting project – the piece just seemed so lovely to even think of doing something to it. Hah, was I ever wrong. What a fabulous result. I think you were definitely on target with your color choice and in leaving the top alone. It looks so high end and is such a lovely complement to the rest of the room.

    1. I was too… that’s why it took so long to actually do it! I was nervous. Thank so much for your sweet compliments :-)

  7. It looks great and I appreciate the helpful tips! I would love to be around you and your mother when you decide to tackle a project!
    Everything you touch turns out beautifully.

    1. Thank you!! I always enjoy projects SO much more with Mother around. She’s a good worker, but mostly I just love having her captive attention :-)

  8. I did the same last summer but I mixed my chalk paint from a recipe on Lowe’s which at the time gave me more paint options and a shade of navy I was happy with. I totally redid a dresser and had to paint the inside and the drawers to give it some love and make it look nice. I painted the drawers light grey to contrast the navy and to make the inside of the drawers brighter. I also waxed the chalk painted part of the dresser. I’ve been using it a year and it’s held up great.

  9. I am so happy you posted this, I have been wanting to paint our hand me down dresser white but didn’t really have time to sand it. After reading your post and seeing the beautiful results I ordered the chalk paint in white, I can’t wait to to update it! You & your Mother did a fantastic job!!

  10. This is just beautiful! Maybe it is just the photo but I think that beautiful piece of art work above the dresser looks even more special above the painted dresser. Maybe the big piece of furniture with all those red undertones wasn’t letting the art have the attention. That being said it is all beautiful and I really enjoyed the tips. Now I want to try Annie Sloan.
    DiAnne in NC

    1. I couldn’t agree more. It’s a beautiful piece. I think it just faded into the wall before because the dresser was so heavy!

  11. Beautiful! I love using Annie Sloan – I used the Valspar brand for a dresser in the living room, and it was ok. I do like their wax as it’s a little easier to work with than the Annie Sloan veresion, but AS paint colors can’t be beat! Your dresser looks fantastic.

  12. The dresser–and your entire house–are beautiful! I have not used chalk paint before but I am now inspired. I have used milk paint, which requires mixing, thinning, etc. Did you have to thin the paint at all for your dresser, or were you able to apply it straight from the can? Thank you! Love you blog!

  13. Your dresser looks beautiful painted! I like AS paints but have been using a locally made one for some time now and I love it, Southern Honey Chawk Paint. It’s great and much less expensive than AS.

  14. Love your results. May I ask about the painting above the dresser? Is it a hiding place for a TV? Would you mind sharing details on it? Can’t wait to see the rest of your make over.

  15. It looks great!! I love chalk paint, but sometimes hesitate to paint a “good piece”. My daughter did a 60’s maple buffet/china cabinet–it is wonderful and such an improvement! Anxious to see the complete updated room.

    1. Ah… yes!!! I also hesitate to paint a “good piece”. Particularly an antique!!! But I think it really improves some things that have good lines or really bad color :-) The two dressers I’ve done have had orange and red undertones so the paint was a huge improvement.

  16. So the Annie Sloan wax, think that could be used to seal kitchen cabinets? I painted my kitchen a year ago but there are small scratches where the doors and drawers are opened – I am assuming from fingernails! I did a bunch of research and no mentioned sealing them but it seems necessary to me now.

    1. I definitely think it could! It is also on Whit’s dresser and he uses it boy-tough daily. No scratches in a few years!

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