How To Paint A Chest Of Drawers With Chalk Paint

Painting a chest of drawers with chalk paint can breathe new life into old furniture, giving it a stylish and unique look.

How To Paint A Chest Of Drawers With Chalk Paint

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of transforming your chest of drawers with chalk paint, from preparation to finishing touches.

Table of Contents:

  1. Understanding Chalk Paint
  2. Preparing Your Chest of Drawers
  3. Choosing the Right Supplies
  4. Step-by-Step Guide to Painting with Chalk Paint
    • Cleaning and Sanding
    • Applying Primer (Optional)
    • Applying Chalk Paint
    • Distressing (Optional)
    • Sealing the Paint
  5. Adding Decorative Touches (Optional)
  6. Final Thoughts and Tips

1. Understanding Chalk Paint:

Chalk paint is a popular choice for furniture painting due to its ease of use and versatility. Unlike traditional paint, chalk paint requires minimal surface preparation and adheres well to various surfaces without the need for priming in most cases. It also dries quickly to a matte finish, creating a vintage or shabby chic look that’s highly desirable.

2. Preparing Your Chest of Drawers:

Proper preparation is essential for a successful paint job. Start by removing any hardware such as knobs or handles and cleaning the surface of the chest of drawers thoroughly to remove dirt, grease, and grime. Sanding the surface lightly will help the paint adhere better.

3. Choosing the Right Supplies:

Gather all the necessary supplies before you begin painting. This includes chalk paint in your desired color, paintbrushes or foam rollers, sandpaper, painter’s tape, and a protective finish such as wax or polyurethane. Consider the quality of your tools and materials for the best results.

4. Step-by-Step Guide to Painting with Chalk Paint:

a. Cleaning and Sanding:

  • Start by cleaning the chest of drawers with a mild detergent and water solution. Once dry, sand the surface lightly with fine-grit sandpaper to smooth out any imperfections and create a slightly rough texture for better paint adhesion.
b. Applying Primer (Optional):
  • Depending on the condition of the surface and the desired finish, you may choose to apply a primer before painting with chalk paint. A primer can help cover stains, seal wood tannins, and ensure better paint adhesion, especially on bare wood or previously finished surfaces.
c. Applying Chalk Paint:
  • Stir the chalk paint thoroughly before application to ensure an even consistency. Using a brush or foam roller, apply the paint evenly in thin coats, working with the grain of the wood. Allow each coat to dry completely before applying the next layer, typically around 1-2 hours.
d. Distressing (Optional):
  • To achieve a distressed look, lightly sand the edges and corners of the chest of drawers after the paint has dried. Focus on areas that would naturally wear over time, such as edges and handles, to reveal the underlying wood or previous layers of paint.
e. Sealing the Paint:

Once you’re satisfied with the paint coverage and any distressing, apply a protective finish to seal the paint and enhance durability. Chalk paint typically requires sealing with either clear wax or polyurethane. Apply the sealer with a brush or lint-free cloth, following the manufacturer’s instructions.

5. Adding Decorative Touches (Optional):

Get creative with decorative touches to personalize your painted chest of drawers. Consider adding new hardware, stenciling designs, or even decoupaging paper or fabric onto drawer fronts for a unique look that reflects your style.

6. Final Thoughts and Tips:

Allow the painted chest of drawers to cure fully before placing objects on or inside it to prevent damage to the finish.

Experiment with different techniques and colors to achieve the desired look, and don’t be afraid to embrace imperfections for added character.

Properly care for your painted furniture by dusting regularly and avoiding harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners that could damage the finish.


Transforming a chest of drawers with chalk paint is a rewarding DIY project that can breathe new life into old furniture. By following this complete guide and unleashing your creativity, you can achieve stunning results that will enhance any space with style and personality.

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