How to refinish with Chalk Paint

Painted Details

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 BasedĀ 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

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