How to transform furniture with chalk paint in 6 steps

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For those that follow me on Instagram @britflipper you may have seen that I started chalk painting a bookcase we brought over from the UK. It’s a pine bookcase we paid about £30 for and painted in Downpipe Grey by Farrow & Ball (on the left). Which I do absolutely love, but with repainting the lounge to a darker shade it would’ve looked lost. So I decided to paint it in Old White by Annie Sloan to contrast with the brown paint we’re doing.

Here’s how I did it in 6 steps, so you can try it on a second-hand bargain find too!

What you’ll need:

  • Chalk paint
  • Clear wax
  • Dark wax (if you want to age it)
  • A brush
  • Some lint-free rags
  • Fine sandpaper

I recommend Annie Sloan chalk paint, it’s a little pricey at $40 per quart but has better coverage and color than others I’ve tried. I also used the Annie Sloan clear and dark waxes. Make sure the rags are lint-free with no fluff or dust on them, otherwise you’ll end up waxing loads of bits into the finish.

Step 1: Firstly give your furniture a light sand. You don’t need to sand things when using chalk paint, but it helps to get rid of any lumps and bumps that you don’t want showing through at the end.

Step 2. Start painting! Chalk paint is quite thick, so if you don’t want it to look so textured you can water it down to give a smoother finish. I didn’t thin mine down, I wished I had now. But the texture definitely picks up the dark wax at the end if you’re distressing it which gives a nice effect.

First coat of paint
After one coat

Step 3. Keep painting until none of the old color shows through. It took me three coats, and I probably should’ve done four, but I have no patience!

Step 4. If you want it to stay looking perfect and clean, then all you need to do now is apply the clear wax. I applied it with a rag, rubbing it all into the grain. Then rub off the excess with another clean rag.

Step 5. If you want it to look distressed, start sanding off the edges to make it look worn.

Sanded edges on distressed furniture

Step 6. If you want to make it look really old and worn, apply the dark wax. This step takes a lot of skill to apply it well without making it look too dark. I ended up mixing a tiny bit of the dark wax with some of the clear wax so it didn’t make it too dark. If you do apply too much dark wax, just apply more of the clear wax over the top until it lightens up. Or if all else fails, try sanding it back a bit more before it dries.

 

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And that’s it, 6 easy steps to transform a bargain piece of furniture! I learned you can also paint other things like books, lamps, fabric etc. So I’m going to get adventurous and try a few other things and post them on here. Annie Sloan’s website has some great tutorial videos and tips. You can check it out here: Annie Sloan website.

Thanks for reading! I’d love to hear how your chalk paint projects go. Share in the comments section or tag me on Instagram @britflipper.

Until next time,

Jo

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