A Newbies Resource Guide to Chalk Painting Furniture *For Beginners*

At what point do you call yourself a furniture rehabist? A chalk painter? A furniture painter? Etc…

*(Hey before I get going, if you’re just here for the advice and want to skip my wordy ramblings scroll down to horizontal line and start there!)* Ahem…now for my ramblings:

I’ve now gotten my hands on 10 pieces of furniture, 6 of which are complete. I’ve painted 4 dressers, 1 hutch and 1 table. A desk is in my garage which is I’d say is 75% complete and I can’t wait to get it done and make it my first piece I am trying to sell. Another dresser is in my garage with some icky veneer I’ve been stripping and now it’s become my husband’s garage tool chest…but I do want to finish it and try selling that one too! Then I have some pieces of an old table that I have hopes of turning into a faux fireplace for home decor (haha!! We’ll see how that goes).

If you want to see more regular updates on my DIY projects head over to my instagram. Yes, I post a lot of mom stuff there too but I really enjoy sharing my projects as well!

So…am I in this club now of DIY furniture painters? I sure hope so, because man is this fun! Plus, I’ve just joined 3 different facebook groups where thousands (yes thousands) of other people are into the same kinds of things. I’ve always enjoyed the creative arts (music, writing, theater, drawing/painting) and I’ve always loved shabby chic, all things old and vintage and antique. For fun on the weekends, when I was in high school, my best and friend and I would visit antique stores instead of shopping malls… this was over 10 years ago. I’m finally getting to indulge a creative outlet and appreciation for craftsmanship and decor that I believe was there all along, I just needed the right time and place and tools in front of me.

Part of me does worry about this “trend” phasing out at some point. When will all this chalk painted and antique inspired decor go out of style? Because I hope never. Even still, I try to keep my pieces more classic and timeless because I want the look to last.

Anyway, maybe you’re like I was and just starting out with something you already own (like my dressers) and wanting to give it a face lift. Let this newbie share some helpful tips and resources with you as you get started.

I’m trying to remember how I discovered chalk paint… I know it started with my dresser set that I bought off craigslist one year as we moved. It was a very dark wood, very old looking (pic below), and I remember thinking when we bought them that I knew I wanted them to be white someday. It must have been Pinterest and reading blogs. I discovered that this “chalk paint” did not require much prep work and saw that there were a lot of creative things you could do with it. Then I participated in a One Room Challenge which really jump started me and forced me to figure out what to do with the dressers I had wanted to paint for such a long time. Then began my quest for blogs and ideas and research and Youtubers etc to figure out what I wanted to do. Then I repeated this process with every new piece of furniture I did. It does make for a lot of time online!! Here we go:

My favorite Tutorials and Blog/Sites/Youtubers to follow:

  • Christina Muscari: She uses a lot of Annie Sloan Products but some others too.
  • Annie Sloan: of course. The queen mother of chalk paint. I get lost in her videos and just…keep…watching.
  • Jamie Ray Vintage
    • She is such a wealth of inspiration. Her creativity is endless. She uses a lot of milk paint and some chalk paint/clay based paint. I have a learned a lot by watching her videos, especially how to appreciate and care for antique furniture.
  • Miss Mustard Seed
    • She has a few really helpful and fun tutorials on youtube and her blog is always eye candy for home decor!

The newest resource I have tapped into are Facebook groups!

OH my goodness…endless fun, inspiration, ideas, and a great way to get feedback and ask questions to thousands of other self-proclaimed DIY furniture painters!!! The facebook groups I’m obsessed with right now are:
Jamie Ray Vintage Group
Chalk Paint, Distress, And Decoupage Furniture Only
Furniture Painters and Crafters

List of products I’ve used (with links) and for what:

Bedroom Dressers and Jewelry Armoire:

  • Dutch Boy Chalky Finish Paint
    • This I just happened to stumble upon when shopping for Annie Sloan paint. When I realized Annie Sloan paint was sold nowhere near me an employee at Menards pointed me to this stuff. I had them mix 3 different colors for me. One was a white, a very light stone gray, and then a charcoal gray/almost black. I used this paint on my bedroom dressers and jewelry armoire when I did the One Room Challenge. Now that I think of it, I’m not sure why I haven’t gone back to this paint yet, because I thought it was great and my pieces are holding up wonderfully. Check out my Painting Day Post about this project!
  • *Minwax Finishing Paste

Dining Room Table and Hutch:

  • Annie Sloan Chalk Paint: Pure White
  • Annie Sloan Clear Wax
  • Annie Sloan Dark Wax
  • Getting AS (Annie Sloan) paint was tricky for me. There are no stockists in or near me and so I found a little boutique/workshop store in the Twin Cities area and drove there and got some paint. Then when I needed more I ordered it online through that particular boutiques website. Since then, this boutique has gone out of business. So I don’t know where you should get your AS paint from. Start here, on the AS website, to find a stockist near you.

Lego Dresser:


Pink Dresser:


(Current Project, flipping to sell) Desk:

  • Rustoleum Chalked Paint in Country Grey
  • Rustoleum Protective Topcoat
  • *Rustoleum Aged Glaze
  • *Shellac (used to aid in sealing and covering bleed through)

(see instagram for pics of the desk)

So there ya have it.

I’ve also used Pinterest heavily for inspiration and ideas and have bounced around to many blog sites as a result. I would love to try Jamie Ray Vintage’s DIY Paint but just don’t want to order online right now when I can go to a store and pick something up instead. Maybe eventually. Same thing with milk paint…but the “chippy” look does scare me a bit and I haven’t run into a piece that I really felt like should look that way.

I also have not addressed the stain I used for my table top and the stain I put on the desk and how I sealed both of those pieces. Maybe I’ll get into that in a different post. I am much more comfortable painting than I am staining at this point but sometimes that original wood should be enhanced and shown off!

What are your favorite products to use for furniture flipping? Do you have any advice or experience on the products I have used? How have you liked what you have used? Thank you for visiting today!

*The starred links are affiliate links which means if you click and end up purchasing something through amazon I may make a small commission.

Published by Jessica

Wife, mom, homeschooler, DIY-er, blogger

One thought on “A Newbies Resource Guide to Chalk Painting Furniture *For Beginners*

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