Thursday, February 9, 2012

Chalkboard Project: How to Paint Furniture

A few months back, our fabulous friend, Channa, invited us to help style a photo shoot for her. It was a sophisticated New Year's Eve Dessert Party and we used my home as the backdrop. (A painted backdrop was featured here.)  Channa's designed invitation and arrangements of chocolate and candy confections were set up and styled on some pieces near and dear to my heart.

This dresser belonged to my Great Aunt Rose. It used to be dark wood and it had lion head drawer pulls. The actual puller was a large ring in the lion's mouth -- not exactly what I would call fresh and modern. After a few coats of glossy gray paint and lots of attention, this dresser is now one of my favorite items in my home.

This is how I did it:

Step 1: Remove the old hardware. To prep the surface, I put some paint thinner on a rag and wiped over the entire piece.

Step 2: Fill in holes and touch up deep scratches with wood filler. Then using medium grit sandpaper, I lightly sanded the entire surface until it was slightly rough to the touch. I removed the dust by wiping it with a damp cloth.

Step 3: One coat of primer. I used Coronado's Grip & Seal Interior/Exterior White Primer.

Step 4: I allowed the primer to dry for 2 hours then I painted the dresser with Benjamin Moore's Kendall Charcoal paint (latex semi-gloss enamel). I ended up using 3 coats of paint although I probably could have gotten by with just 2 coats. I waited 3-4 hours between each coat.

Step 5: Following Jenny's advice, I poured Wipe-On Poly on a lint-free rag and wiped the surface to add an extra touch of gloss.

Step 6: Then came the fun part -- selecting great hardware and lining the interior with pretty paper. I found these knobs at Anthropologie and the shelf inside the dresser (not shown) is lined with yellow and white polka dot paper from Paper Source.

A lot of work, but a labor of love.  It's so nice transforming an already sentimental piece of furniture into something new and unique that I will treasure for many more years to come.


photography by Sarah DiCicco
paper products by Lily My Love
styling by Lily My Love and The Pink Chalkboard


  1. So beautiful! The step by step instructions are really helpful! (Maribeth)

  2. Thanks, Maribeth! How is your project going? I recently saw beautiful aqua knobs at Anthropologie and I thought of you and your project. Hope it's going well!

  3. Great Job! I loved your all images and especially your tips are really gonna help for painting furniture. I loved your color as well for this piece of furniture and I hope this color will really bring great match for my existing white painted furniture . Thanks for sharing this useful post.


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