Another Chalk Paint Project

My Updated Studio

I found this executive “L” shaped desk at the thrift store. The finish was pretty beat up, all the parts were intact and except for a couple of stuck drawers, everything worked. It’s solid wood and heavy duty. I’ve been looking for something like this for about 6 years. I took it home, with the help of my family and good friend, and managed to refinish in white chalk paint. It took 2 coats to cover the dark wood and then I put a coat of matte polyurethane over all of it. It looks great and gives me so much more space to work with. The shelf on top of it, also comes from the thrift store, but I’ve had it for a few years. I painted it to match. I love it!
Chalk Paint Project

How to create a white washed, pickled or limed finish on wood.

White Washed FinishI have a small, cute footstool made out of oak, it had a traditional brown stained finish. The brown was horrible, so I wanted to lighten it up. Since it was small I was easily able to take it apart and sand all the brown finish off of the wood. It came off rather easily, it was a really cheap finish. After sanding, I washed it down with a wet rag and Spin N Span in warm water. I let it dry completely.

Then I used a can of Picked Oak colored Minwax stain and brushed it on. I like the oil based stains, I think, for me, I can get a more even color on my piece. I find the water based stains dry too fast and then they look uneven. It could be because I live in a very dry climate, if you’re in a humid climate the water based stains may work well for you.

Minwax stain

I applied the stain generously and gave it a few minutes to absorb into the wood. Then I wiped the excess off. I finished the piece with a water based polyurethane. I normally like an oil based poly, but this piece is so small and won’t get handled much, so I think the water based is fine. I used a matte finish so, there is really no shine to the final coat. I used  2 coats to finish it.

I’m happy with the results. You can get a real coastal look with this color stain. What do you think?

How to refinish with Chalk Paint

Quality Furniture

1. Purchase or salvage a quality piece of furniture. This is a solid wood piece of furniture, very well made with dove tailed drawers and all of it’s original hardware and it’s parts. The drawers and the front had not damage, but the top had some water damage causing the grain of the wood to be raised.I

Dresser Top Damaged

I removed all of the hardware a soaked it in a warm soapy solution of about 1 gallon of water and 1/4 cup of Spic n Span cleaner. I then washed down the whole piece with a rag soaked in the same solution.

2. I bought a quart of Sherwin Williams paint at Lowe’s in Splendor Blue, it is an interior flat paint. I used the Lowe’s recipe for homemade chalk paint.

SW Blue Color Chart


Mix your own chalk-finish paint using the following supplies:
Valspar flat latex paint
Plastic paint buckets (#40008)
Plaster of Paris (#41323)
Stir sticks
Plastic measuring cups (do not reuse for food)
Water (cool, not warm)
Paste wax (#45898)
Mix 1/3 cup of plaster of Paris and 1/3 cup of cool water; stir until completely smooth. Mix that with 1 cup of latex paint and stir thoroughly. This will make enough chalk-finish paint for one coat on a six-drawer dresser. Chalk-finish paint should not be stored and reused. If you have a smaller project, mix smaller amounts of plaster, paint, and water in the same proportions.


I then sanded the top of the dresser to smooth out the grain. You really don’t need to sand before using chalk paint, but I wanted to make the top really smooth. It took 2 coats of paint to get good coverage to my satisfaction. I didn’t want any of the brown stain to show from the original paint job.

3. Once that dried completely, (about 4 hours), I glazed it with a Valspar Water Based Glaze, the color is Bonbon. I brushed on the glaze and let it set for about a minute before I started to wipe it off. I don’t like to let it dry on the paint. I would say it’s sort of semi dry. I work in small areas. You can wipe off as much or as little as you like. I like to leave the corners and crevices dark. That’s what gives the piece definition.

4. Gold accents were created with Antique Gold Rub N’Buff. I put it a small amount on my finger and rub it onto the high points. For more details see my Bronze It post.

4. Finally I let that dry at least overnight. I then brushed an oil based varnish on top of it. I like to use Cabot’s. It does have a slight yellow tint to it, but I like the warmth the yellow brings to the piece. I painted 2 coats of varnish on the whole thing, except for the top. Remember I wanted it to be smooth, so I sanded it a couple of times between about 4 coats of varnish.

I’m really happy with the results. Let me know what you think.

Chalk Painted Project Complete


Painted Details

Painted detailsPaint Details

How to paint a bronze finish

How to Paint Something Bronze

You can easily create this bronze finish, here’s how. First you will need an item with some sort of texture or high and low points on the surface. This scroll edged mirror I purchased at a garage sale is perfect.

Scrolled Mirror


It’s original finish was not bad, it was silvery with a blackened antique look. But I wanted it more gold.

1. I cleaned it in a solution of warm soapy water with a little ammonia in it, dried it completely and taped off the mirror in the middle with painters tape.

2. I sprayed it with Rust-oleum, Metallic Flat Spray Paint in Burnished Amber. This is a great spray paint with the primer in it, it covers very well, but I sprayed 2 coats just to make sure I got it into all the little cracks and crevices. (Note: I’m not getting paid to promote this item.)

Rust-oleum Spray Paint Mirror Base Coated









3. I let the paint dry for several hours, maybe a day. I then added the golden highlights with rub n buff. Place a small amount on your finger and lightly rub the top of the item, trying to only hit the high points. Have a damp rag nearby and if you think it’s going on to heavy, try to wipe it off immediately, then just keep going. Even though you think you’ve used up all the gold, it will still rub onto the item. If you can’t clean off the excess with a damp cloth, try a little nail polish removed – gently so you don’t remove the paint layer underneath.

Rub n buff gold
I used antique gold for this product, but for the thermometer above, I used  gold. They both work very well for a bronze look. ( I am not getting paid to promote this item either, it’s just a great product).

If your item is going to live outside, I would spray it with a polyurethane, I’ve used this on some outdoor lanterns and it has all worn away from the weather.

Bronze Mirror Final Detail4. Here is the final product. Let me know what you think in the comments or if you have any questions about the process, I’m happy to answer them for you.

Bronze Mirror Final Product