DIY Tutorial: How to Refinish Vintage Furniture With Chalk Paint

Updated on November 5, 2017

My Love Affair with Chalk Paint

In early 2015, I visited a small shop located in Stroudsburg, PA. I fell in love with the many refinished pieces she had in the shop. She took me to a back room where she had a lovely display of Southern Honey Chalk Paints. From then on I have been painting like crazy.

I have been refinishing vintage pieces for over 20 years. I remember my first piece was a large table and I started out by removing the finish using a caustic product. I had to wear long sleeves, pants, thick gloves, and a mask. It took me weeks to dissolve and remove the finish. Then I had to sand and finally begin painting by using a primer.

No more!!! Now I can finish painting a piece in one day, wax on the next, and—voila!—a work of art is complete. Read below for instructions on how I refinished this chair.

What You'll Need

  • A vintage piece of furniture. It does not have to be solid wood like the chair I used. You can even use formica and the chalk paint will adhere nicely.
  • Chalk paint. You can make your own or use store bought. For this project, I used Southern Honey. The Nanny is the brightest white made by this company. The website states the color is actually "Stark Fresh White." I like the color but it did not go as far as some of the other colors and was quite thick. I also used Lucy, which is a wonderful vintage yellow and one of my favorite colors by Southern Honey. The blue I used is actually a mixture of chalk paint and acrylic art paint. The original color is Maurice but I found it was too dark for most of the pieces I wanted to decorate. I added some Titanium White by Americana. I kept adding the white until I liked the color.
  • Natural bristle paint brushes.
  • 220 grit sandpaper.
  • Paste Finishing Wax (I used Minwax).
  • Soft lint-free polishing cloth.

Step 1: Sand When Necessary

When using chalk paint, you don't have to sand to get the paint to adhere to the surface. However, in this case the seat had a lot of scratches, so it did need a little sanding. Also, as you can see in the first photo there were some paint drips on the chair. I sanded all the drips off as well as some of the deeper scratches on the seat.

Step 2: Add Color

My next step was to put down my first layer of paint. I used the Nanny. I knew that I would need two coats and that I was going to use more than one color. Honestly, at this point I wasn't sure what colors I was going to use but I knew I didn't want the entire chair to be white.

After allowing the white paint to dry for about an hour, I started adding the color. I began with Lucy, the yellow paint. And then added the blue. As I stated in the supplies list, I didn't like the dark blue, Maurice. I added Titanium White to achieve the shade of blue I wanted which is more of a Country or Colonial Blue.

Layering Colors

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Step 3: Apply Second Coat

At this point I added a second coat of white to the seat and bottom of the chair. If I wanted a more distressed look, I probably could have stopped here and done some sanding. I considered using a stain to get a more primitive look, but in the end I decided to go with a more chic and shabby look.

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Step 4: Let It Dry Completely

At this point, I allow my paint to dry completely. Whenever possible, I like to let it dry outdoors. The day was perfect with low humidity and off-and-on sunshine.

Step 5: Sanding and Distressing

The day after painting, I used 220 grit sandpaper to lightly sand the seat and back of the chair. It was amazing how smooth the surface felt after this light sanding!! I used a 150 grit to distress a few corners, legs, etc. For this piece I didn't want it too distressed. I just want a county kitchen look.

Step 6: Clean

Use a lint-free cloth to apply and buff the piece.

Step 7: Wax

I did not wax this piece before I took these photos because the weather forecast called for high humidity for the next few days, but I will later. I do like the look and feel of this piece but I think it needs the wax as a protective coating. I will use the Minwax Paste Wax, which I used on all my previously-painted pieces and love it! It dries to a protective hard finish and is easy to apply. I just put it on being careful to wipe off excess as I go. (If you let the excess dry, it is very difficult to remove.) I buff after the piece has been drying for about 24 hours.

So get out there to your auctions, flea markets, side walk offerings, and thrift shops! Find a piece, choose a color, and most of all, have fun!

Other Finished Pieces

Here I have a small dresser for a child's room, a table I refinished for my daughter, the top portion of a china cabinet, and a small shelf which I backed with floral paper.
Here I have a small dresser for a child's room, a table I refinished for my daughter, the top portion of a china cabinet, and a small shelf which I backed with floral paper.
This is my night table. One of m favorite pieces!!!
This is my night table. One of m favorite pieces!!!

Questions & Answers

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      No comments yet.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, dengarden.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://dengarden.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)