DIY: Fun Furniture Update

I know painted furniture isn't for everyone, and that's ok. Wood colored furniture isn't for me. I have a pretty dark house, due to the layout and window positioning, and big heavy wood pieces adds to the tomb-like atmosphere – so, I paint things and add my own personal touch!

My First Time Using Chalky Finish Paint

My first furniture update with chalky finish paint was this old dresser I bought from my grandma when she downsized her house this summer. It was such a cool piece that I wanted to use for storage, but I wasn't in love with the look.

Chalky Finish Furniture Update | @cupcakescrowbar

My Inspiration

I hauled it home and sat on it for a long time, knowing I wanted to update it, but not knowing exactly how. Then my super talented friend Lauren at The Thinking Closet shared a roll-top desk update that she did and I fell in LOVE! I've linked to her project with her permission.

Roll Top Desk Makeover. The best part? The element of surprise on the inside of the drawers: gem turquoise!

I adore the surprise of having the inside painted a different color, so took that for my inspiration.

Chalky Finish Furniture Update | @cupcakescrowbar

These doors turned out to be more work than I ever anticipated …

Chalky Finish Furniture Update | @cupcakescrowbar

For this project, I used Americana Decor Chalky Finish in Relic (above) and Primitive (not pictured). To seal and finish, I used Americana Decor Soft Touch Varnish.

Chalky Finish Furniture Update | @cupcakescrowbar

I painted first with Americana Decor Chalky Finish in Primitive …

Chalky Finish Furniture Update | @cupcakescrowbar

And after I painted with Relic, I realized I needed to touch up the Primitive  … which led to then painting Relic some more.

Chalky Finish Furniture Update | @cupcakescrowbar

I finally got it right!

Chalky Finish Furniture Update | @cupcakescrowbar

Big difference, and I love it!

After letting the paint cure overnight, I worked the whole piece over with the Soft Touch Varnish – it was really easy to use, and makes the piece literally soft to the touch. Pretty cool. I decided I liked the hardware a sunny yellow, so I used some paint I had out in the garage to do the door & drawer pulls.

Chalky Finish Furniture Update | @cupcakescrowbar

This guy lives in my kitchen now, and holds a ton of baking supplies – easy access for me, and I like how it looks in there!

Chalky Finish Furniture Update | @cupcakescrowbar

Using Lauren's roll-top desk for inspiration, I did the insides a bright yellow, too – matching the hardware outside. I also used a stencil on furniture for my first time here. This is Americana Decor Old French Script on the drawer fronts. I'll likely re-do it, as I've since learned to plan out the placement a little better.  You can't get good at something without making a few rookie mistakes, right?  I like the look of the stencil on the drawers, and will do it over with better planning. I'm happy with this piece as my first attempt and am really looking forward to updating more furniture!

Have you done any painted furniture makeovers? How did it go for you? What mistakes did you learn to avoid on future projects?


  1. Ruheena
  2. Kim domingue
  3. Gilmer Gal
  4. lynette j
  5. KAY G.
  6. Joyce Atlee
  7. laura tremblay
  8. chris aka monkey
  9. LaFawne
  10. Trina
  11. Kirsten in So. Cal
  12. Gwen Blackman
  13. Gale Yeargan
  14. Melanie
  15. Kari
  16. Sherry Fram

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