DIY Chalk Paint Recipe and a Dresser Makeover

It’s April! I love April. Mainly because I get to celebrate Easter(even though it landed in March this year), April fools day *winks*,  our church’s General Conference, our anniversary (7 years this year!!!) and hubby’s birthday all jam packed into one fantastic month! Also, it starts to get warmer and Spring is on its way to NY! I can’t wait to be out of the 30-40 degree weather range. Anyway, I am super excited to share with you my grey chalk paint dresser makeover today!
I did this makeover at the end of my pregnancy  when it was 20-something degrees outside and I loved that I could do this project without moving the furniture outside. I simply slid some cardboard under the legs of the dresser and painted it right where she stood! That is seriously one of the best things about using chalk paint!
You may remember this dresser from my original Master Bedroom post where my bedroom was black, white and mustard yellow. I gave it a makeover in a glossy black and adorned it with zebra handles. I was in love! I still love the black but it was not going to work in my new bedroom. You can see the full Master Bedroom post here.
I used a variation of Savannah’s chalk paint recipe but instead of using Plaster of Paris (which works wonderfully as well) I used regular unsanded grout.
For chalk paint, you will want to use about 2 Tbsp of unsanded grout per cup of FLAT latex paint. I also included using water because depending on the brand of paint you use, it may be too thick after mixing in the grout. It is okay for it to be a little gritty but stir really well with a paint stick until it has a smooth consistency. I used Glidden paint and needed to add 1-2 Tbsp of water with my grout+paint mixture.
DIY Chalk Paint Recipe -
Chances are, you will need more than 1 cup of paint depending on the size of your project. If you need more, you will just need to mix 1-2 Tbsp of grout per cup. I would recommend dissolving the group in 1-2 Tablespoons of water before adding it to the paint. This helps avoid clumps of grout.
*TIP: I tried using Wal-Mart’s Color Place paint and it did not mix well with the grout at all. I would not recommend using that brand to make chalk paint. It may work for you but it certainly did NOT work well for me.*
Next, paint over your piece of furniture. You do not need to sand or prime it unless there are imperfections that you want to smooth out. I did not sand or prime my previously painted dresser.
When your paint is completely dry, you can distress the piece with a fine grit sandpaper. I used a sanding block and it worked great. I loved that it was black underneath because it showed through slightly when I distressed it. I love it! Chalk paint distresses beautifully!
I really like how it brought out the detail of the drawers that might not otherwise be noticed without distressing.
Finally, I used the above pictured Paste Finishing Wax by Minwax. It has a light tan tone to the wax but it is not noticeable at all once applied to the painted piece. I have used it on cream and grey and not had a major color change due to the color of the wax. If you are doing a white piece, make sure you get a clear wax.
Cut up an old tshirt to wax furniture
All you have to do is use an old t-shirt or soft cloth to apply to the piece. I used my cloth and scooped a little wax out and rubbed it in a circular motion onto the dresser. It went on beautifully.

Here is where it sits in my bedroom. I still need to do some decor on it or on the wall behind it. Any ideas, send them over!

Also, be sure to check out my desk makeover. I used the same chalk paint recipe on the desk and the chair.
Have you tried chalk paint? Do you like it?
Hope you all have a fantastic day!

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  1. says

    So happy to hear about the wax not effecting the color! I just bought a tin on a friend’s recommendation and was concerned about the wax changing the paint color! Now I don’t have to return it! The dresser is beautiful too! Love the color!

  2. says

    I have had a dresser in my garage just waiting for the perfect inspiration. It’s been sanded and ready to go but I have been so intimidated on what I wanted to do but I think this post is the winner- I absolutely love the finish! And I’ve been clueless on what to use to seal it, so now I know what to use. :) Do you think it would matter if my dresser has laminate on it? I’ll be priming it, of course… maybe I should do a 1st coat of a dark color underneath so it can show through when I distress? Do you think I should seal the dark color before I add the cream?

  3. says

    Love how your dresser turned out. Quite a change from black but very nice.
    I printed out how you redid your dresser as we’re starting to redo some pieces we’ve had around our home and been storing. About time to do something with them, sell or use. At least by redoing our own things we’ll see if we’re able to make things over well enough to sell them. I’m very finicky according to hubs.
    I have an antique trestle table out in shed I want to redo as a coffee table, (maybe). Don’t want to have to cut it down or anything to be usable as a coffee table. I like that the trestle table has a shelf below also as I put magazines below and whatever else I find at the time. You’ve really inspired me to try redoing some pieces of furniture we have.

  4. says

    I LOVE chalk paint… I was only introduced to it last fall and have been going crazy painting everything with chalk paint ever since… the latest was a whole lotta turquoise chalk paint in our laundry room… lovin’ my new chalk painted cabinets and back interior door:) I have a HUGE bag of plaster of paris just waiting for some paint love:) Thanks for sharing your recipe! Your dresser looks absolutely fabulous!
    Krista @thehappyhousie

  5. says

    I have a dresser just waiting for some love. I’ve been looking for a good tutorial for the chalk paint, so thanks for posting your project! Looks like I have some work to do this weekend :)

  6. says

    It looks terrific. I have a recipe for homemade chalk paint but it uses plaster of paris instead of unsanded grout. Have you tried it? I will try the unsanded grout too. thanks susan @

  7. Lizz Combs says

    I love you dresser makeover. I too tried the Wal-Mart’s Color Place paint and found it to work really well for me. I found that the trick is to mix the unsanded grout with the water then add to the paint.

  8. Ann says

    thanks for the chalk paint recipe. I have some Annie Sloan but the color palette is limited and I’m not sure on how to mix so this is perfect! I have one quick question, will Eggshell or Satin still work, instead of flat?

  9. Marian says


    I love your dresser transformation! Now I will fill more confident about some projects I have, But I have a question: Can I put some dark wax for antique/ dark finished, if so, which brand would you advise me?


    Ladies like you make my day!!!

  10. Lady_Of_Honor says

    Regarding your light colored dresser, (I’m always a day late and a dollar short looking at these posts LOL) but thought maybe if you’re into shiny …. a full length mirror laid on it’s long edge? You can purchase an inexpensive one for less than $10.00 at a department store. If you want to remove the frame, I suggest using caution, I had one break on me and made me think it might sometimes be tricky. Then if you want “fancy” you could buy some etching cream and a stencil … do a little something around the sides or maybe just the corners … the ideas are limitless :-)

  11. Michele says

    Which do you find works best , the plaster of Paris or the grout ? I see you have used both , I was wondering what your comparison take on them is ?

  12. Larisa says

    Hi, I have one silly question but just to be sure… can i use simple wall paint?
    or does it have to be with latex? i already have wall paint and I wanted to know if i need to buy another one or not.. thank you


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