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.
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.
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!

How to stencil a design on furniture {Biplane Dresser Makeover}

My two little boys share a bedroom and it is a vintage airplane themed room. My kids love airplanes so we knew it was perfect for them. They have loved it! You can see the full post and lots of photos here.
Fast forward… and baby boy #3 is expected to arrive in March!
This bedroom is super super spacious so we aren’t worried about squeezing the little babe and his stuff into the room.  I have a list of about 800 million projects for baby but I needed to start with painting his dresser since we will be losing our warm weather here in New York pretty much any day now.

I looked for a dresser with a “flat front” for a month or so. I knew what I wanted to do with it but finding it was not easy. Craigslist and thrift stores were not helping me out. Then, one day I stumbled into a nearby thrift store “just to check” after the gym one day and there she was! It was marked $55 which is more than I normally spend but I was desperate! Then, I went to pay for it and they informed me it was 40% off! YAY! Made my day!

First thing I did was came up with a stencil for the front. I wanted to cover most of the front using a biplane reverse stencil. I got busy on my Silhouette software and after finding this image online, I was ready to go!

I cut it into two long pieces to make it easier to attach and to handle. Have you ever worked with a giant sticker? They can be tricky so cutting it into smaller pieces is always a good idea!

Next, I stuck the vinyl to the dresser front. I took an Xacto knife and trimmed the vinyl where each of the drawers opened make make sure everything was stuck down properly and everything lined up correctly.
Now, the drawer pulls were kinda tricky. Normally, I remove hardware and paint it separately then reattach. Well, these babies are nailed in really well and I really didn’t want to mess with removing and reattaching them.
So I did it in reverse. I taped off the pull so no paint got inside the drawers. Sprayed them with Krylon’s brushed nickel and a clear coat spray paint. Once it was dry, I taped the newly painted pulls off so I could spray the dresser Navy.
I also taped off the top and bottom strips of wood so a little more wood grain would tie it all together once it was all painted. You’ll see what I mean in a minute. ;)

Here she is all ready to paint. I primed the top with Kilz spray primer since that will likely get the most wear and tear. I don’t prime ALL my pieces but it never hurts to and it’s a really simple step.

I used my HVLP spray gun and air compressor to spray the dresser. I used latex paint and I did several coats of the blue to make sure I had good coverage on the entire piece.  I only used about 1/3 of a quart of blue paint. Dark colors cover well when using a paint sprayer.
Finally, I used my Xacto knife again to go around the edges of the now painted vinyl to make sure it didn’t peel up the paint as I peeled the stencil off. I learned that the hard way really fast. Luckily, my friend, the steady hand, was able to fix the spot I messed up a bit. Phew! Thanks Jen! :)

Ahh! I love it! See the “T” up there on the dresser. Let’s hope he “looks like” the name we picked. I have issues with choosing baby names! haha.

Do you see the stripes I added to the bay window area? The train table will relocate to the developing playroom and Baby “T”s crib will sit in the window area. Learn how to paint stripes here.

I really like the slight distressing I added. I think it makes the clean edges look more finished.
The possibilities are endless when it comes to stenciling on furniture. You could do virtually any design!! All you need to do is find some vinyl in the shape/size you want. Look on etsy or contact me for custom vinyl orders. You can visit my etsy shop here.
I hope you like it! I am super excited to be getting these baby projects done!
Follow Me on Pinterest

Coral and Gold TV Console

It’s done! YAY! Little refresher: I am adding lots of color, including coral, to my living/family room. I picked up a dresser than I planned on using for a tv console a few weeks ago from a yard sale for $35. My limit when buying used furniture is $40 so I was happy to keep this purchase under that. I was super nervous about painting a big piece a bold color but with a little nudging from a few of my dear friends, I DID IT and boy am I in LOVE with the turn out!

…and here she is after a few coat of Sherwin Williams “Emotional” mixed with a bit of white paint.  

I really love the legs, the detail and the little gold knobs! Man, I love it all! 
What do you think? Are you a coral + gold fan??

White and Grey Distressed Buffet (fave projects repost)

Here’s another one of our favorite and most clicked projects on our blog. This piece is timeless and is still one of our favorite furniture makeovers to date! 
Are you ready for one of our favorite makeovers ever??  I found this buffet at a second hand store in October a few short months ago! :)  I had a hard time deciding exactly what I wanted to do with it. 
 Sell it? 
Keep it? 
What color?
 Ahhhhhhh!!!  
The woodwork and the detail on this piece is so amazing, so it had to be perfect!  I FINALLY figured it out! I wanted white AND the details accented in grey!  It turned out to be a match made in Heaven!!
Here she is BEFORE:

AND… drum roll please…. 
Looooooove!!!!!

Check out that detail! A-MA-ZING!

Let’s take a peek inside! 
Hello, gorgeous!

Perfect place for extra storage!

See the chevron wall tutorial here.

The greatest thing is, I bought this piece and did a complete makeover for less than $50!! I know, right?!
Mallory says this is her favorite makeover that I’ve done! 
What do you think? Is it your favorite? 
What do you think about the grey and white!?
PS. Check out our “Party Time” tab to see where we’ve linked this baby up!

Homemade Chalk Paint

Ever Since I saw Annie Sloan Chalk Paint I fell in love but I did not love the price tag! I have been on the look out for a recipe for the chalky paint. My recipe is a little different from the ones I found.
Here is my recipe:
  • 1 Cup of flat latex paint
  • 1 Tablespoon of unsanded grout
  • water (add this the 2nd try)
With this chalk paint there is no prep work. I simply brushed on the paint with a plain paint brush. The first time I tried this it was kind of a mess! The paint was VERY gritty and hard to work with. The second time I tried the chalk paint I mixed a little bit of water with the grout and then added the mixture to paint!  The result was SOOOO much better! The paint was very smooth but don’t get me wrong the paint was thick but it was way better.
The dresser I used my homemade chalk on is a great piece that I bought from my aunt. It is the perfect dresser to help finish Millie’s room.

I used Oriental Silk by Behr for the base of the dresser and then I used Cream Rose by Behr for the drawers.

What I love about the Chalk paint is that when you distress, the paint has a very soft and dusty. It gives the look of perfectly “petinaed” piece of furniture.

I used my sanding to buff around the edges then to finished off the dresser I used a rag and polished on Howard citrus-shield paste wax that I found at Home Depot.
I totally love it!!! I will use my DIY chalk paint again! The soft pink and creamy white is a perfect match for this piece!
What do you think? Do you like the two toned look?

Black and Zebra Dresser Makeover

I found this dresser at a thrift store for $20.  It wasn’t marked so I asked the lady up front and she said “umm.. how about $20!?” I’m thinking..”$20 = sold!” and I found the mirror on the side of the road on a rainy yucky day. I knew exactly what I was going to do with her when I found her!
Just a little FYI, browse the “Free Stuff” section of craigslist when you’re bored. I find something cool a few times a week and try to snatch it up! It’s not always easy because some people beat you to it but if you’re fast, you can get cool stuff for FREEEEE!!! Practically my favorite word ever.
Don’t they look like they belonged together in another life? Long lost relatives reunited!
The mirror needed a little jazzing up so I added some wood appliques that I got from Hobby Lobby for $1.99!
Then, I called Savannah up the other day and said “here’s the deal, I am at a road block in my head for this dresser and all I need is for you to tell me what color to paint it right now and I’m sticking to it no matter what!”
Sav said “Classic black, Mal. You won’t get sick of it!”
Done. Deal.
After some primer and a minor color picking fiasco here she is in classic black!
Zebra knobs are from Hobby Lobby for 50% off last week! I’m kind of in love with them.
I wanted to add a little more contrast to the details, like we did on this and this.  You can’t really “glaze” black so I had to come up with an alternative to make the curvy details stand out a little more!
I used Martha’s Metallic Paint (available at Home Depot) and a big squirt of black paint to make a “black metallic glaze” if you will.  Then, I painted it on the details!

I’ve got a couple mini projects left in this room and it’s “DONE!!!!!!!” I am kind of excited to have a room that is “done” but I always like to change out little things here and there. I’m kind of in love with my room especially after the few little additions I still have to show you!  There is seriously nothing better than seeing all of your hard work pay off on something you LOVE! This dresser was surely one of my favorites!

Do you like the “Classic black” paired with the sassy zebra!?

Anthropologie Inspired Ordinal Dresser

I’ve spotted a few different renditions of Anthro’s Ordinal Dresser and every time I see it, I just love it so much! I am working on my boys’ room and I thought this would fit well with the Big Boy Airplane-esque room.
This is the dresser they had; we got it off of Craigslist when we first moved in.
  1. First, I sanded the whole piece down to the bare wood using my orbital sander.
  2. I hand painted it with “Oops” paint that I picked up for $6. Love it!
  3. Then, I distressed the heck out of the drawers and sides with my sander.
  4. I made a stencil and hand-painted the numbers. Before the paint was dry, I took a damp rag and wipes some of the black paint off to give it more of a weathered look.
  5. Finally, I added rope for the handles. The rope was a dollar store find.  I used a lighter to age the rope as well.
….and here she is!
I made the road map wreath for their room using this tutorial using a foam wreath form and two road map books, also from the dollar store! The wreath cost me $3 to make!

Retro Dresser turned TV Console

I found this sad little dresser on Craigslist for $15 and the family selling it lived like 2 minutes away from me so I drove over there, put the back seats down and shoved it in my little SUV!
 I didn’t really NEED a dresser but I did NEED a console for my tv in my living room. I wanted something a little retro/modern looking because I will have a lot of other fun stuff going on in my living room.
I had my hubs sand it down for me while I made dinner :)
We also removed the top 2 drawers and the drawer track to make a cubby space for our DVD player and other tv components.

TIP: We always tape off the back of the piece if we are not painting the back. All you have to do is tape off the back creating kind of a shield (see pic at right) and if you spray from the front of the piece, you don’t get messy overspray on the back and you end up with a clean line on the sides and top of the piece. Seriously so easy and makes your projects look more professional! :)

 I painted it a Satin bright white and distressed it just a little. The piece had some age marks in the wood and a small crack here and there so I wanted to distress it so it looked more natural. I sprayed the original hardware Oil Rubbed Bronze (of course!) Still luuuhving that stuff!
My dvd player is on one side and I’m planning on finding a cute basket for the right side to hold remotes, extra cables and stuff! :) 
Like the retro-ish style? I really LOVE how my living room is coming together. I’ll share more projects from that room as they get done!
What are YOU working on? 

Vintage striped dresser makeover

I LOVE navy blue and stripes; so, when Lindsay from The Wax Doll asked me to transform a desk and dresser she had into something special for her little boy I was SO excited!
 
Here is the Before:

 

 The flowers on the desk and dresser needed some MAJOR updating!
The desk and dresser had nothing special… very plain and straight lines so I wanted to give it some character by adding vintage looking stripes to match her boys’ room.
 
And here are the almost finished AFTER pics! 
 

 

 

 

 

 
I first painted the dressers white then let it dry over night, the next day I taped the whole dresser with the blue painters taped.. then I peeled off every other piece.. that way I did not have to measure everything out but I knew the width of each stripe was perfect!
Then, I painted the desk and dresser navy blue. I peeled off the tape right away.. then let them dry over night. Then, I hand sanded the both pieces. I buffed a few of the stripes a little more then others to get the vintage feel I was looking for!
 
I love how it turned out!
 
You will need to check back for the final product, because I did get new hardware and it made the piece look amazing!
I also helped redo Lindsay little boys room and I will reveal it very soon.. so stay tuned!
 
What do you think of the Vintage Stripes?