Chalk it Up! Update Your Furniture with Chalk Paint

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Pinterest is both amazing and awful. Amazing because I find all these gorgeous craft and household projects I want to do. Awful because I find all these gorgeous craft and household projects I want to to! 😉 One of my better efforts was using chalk paint on some old furniture. The process was simpler than I thought and the results look amazing! Here’s how you can update your furniture with chalk paint!

This is my sidepiece…ahem, I mean, side table

First, I needed my subject. I had an old side table that used to belong to my grandfather. I’d inherited it from my mother and used it as a temporary computer desk in my mid-20s, but eventually gave it back to her due to limited space. When I moved into the home I live in now with my husband, I was on the hunt for furniture to fill it that wouldn’t break the bank. My mom gave me back the side table, which had weathered considerably in storage. I got mom’s blessing to repaint it and set out to give it new life.

Prep the furniture

If your furniture has any knobs or handles, remove them. Clean the piece. Don’t worry about sanding before painting – the chalk paint should stick without it. Put painter’s tape on anything you don’t want to paint.

Chalk paint recipe

There are several recipes to make your own chalk paint on Pinterest, though you can buy it already mixed. I don’t mind a little extra effort when crafting, and chalk paint can be expensive to buy. Here is the recipe I used:

  • 3 tablespoons of Plaster of Paris
  • water
  • 1 cup of latex paint, any color (I chose a deep red!)

Add enough water to the Plaster of Paris to make it just nicely smooth and creamy. Mix it well with your paint and you’re ready to go!

Paint a layer of your chalk paint on your furniture. Let the coat dry (around 1 to 2 hours) and paint another coat. If you think it needs a third coat, repeat the process!

Should I be distressed?

If you want your furniture to have that “shabby-chic” distressed look, take fine-grit sand paper and sand over the areas you think need to be distressed. Because my furniture was pretty weathered underneath the paint, I decided to leave out this step. If you sand, be sure to wipe the furniture down again before the next step.

Wax on, wax off!

Your final step is to wax your furniture, though you can skip this as well, if you’re satisfied with your piece. I used DecoArt’s Americana Decor Creme Wax in Deep Brown. It gave the table a deeper finish. I rubbed a nice coat of wax in, gave the piece ample dry time, and voilà!

Isn’t it gorgeous? This table now lives in my hallway and holds an old lamp that also used to belong to my grandfather, a framed photo of my cats, and a wedding photo album. It makes me happy every time I see it.

Here’s the best part, I enjoyed the process so much and had enough paint/wax/plaster left over that I ran out to Goodwill, found a $4 corner table and painted it up too! (The picture of it is at the top of this article.) Now it lives in my half-bathroom!

This was such an easy project – it just required time and effort. I hope you decide to try it yourself! Chalk paint is a great way to update your furniture! Happy painting!

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