I scored this cute (well, at first not so cute) little dresser for $10 on Craigslist. It looked like the perfect thing for me to give a new look for my daughters room. It’s made of pine wood which is not real heavy so while it’s not a priceless piece of furniture it does the trick. All the drawers and hardware on it were in great shape.
My almost 5 year old daughter loves pink and blue and immediately told me she wanted it to be both colors. I reminded her of some paint colors I already had and she was agreeable to those. I’ll go over the specific colors and products soon.
I didn’t want it to be all over pink and blue though, so I had to come up with a plan and design that my daughter would like but that would fit a classy shabby chic theme without being ultra pink or “little girly”… something to meet in the middle and last her tastes as long as possible. Not knowing what exactly I would do with it I decided to pick up some basic white chalk paint* and cover the whole thing with a layer of white. I thought about possibly layering the paint and distressing. Doing white as a base would be a good idea if you want white to show through under other paint colors.
Before I began painting though, I scrubbed the whole thing down with a sponge and some soapy water. I removed the drawers too and once I knew everything was clean and dry I began the painting process. I didn’t have very much Annie Sloan Pure White left so I went to my local store and got some Rust-oleum Chalked Paint in Linen White*. This was my first time using this brand of chalk paint and this was a really easy piece to start with.
With a first coat of white chalk paint I like to have a wet brush and a little water handy. The first coat doesn’t need to have a ton of coverage on it and it will look pretty terrible at first, but that’s okay. I would pour some paint into a cup and then add like a teaspoon or a tablespoon of water, depending on how I’m feeling. Then stir it up and with a nice wet brush get going.The Linen White from Rust-oleum is very white. Very much comparable to Annie Sloan Pure White.
I did a second coat of paint and did not water down the paint this time. It went on nice and thick and completely covered this piece without any bleed through.
It’s important to note that depending on what piece you are working on the paint will sometimes bleed through and sometimes not. This current stain was very matte and sealed nicely so the paint stuck perfectly. If your furniture is oily, greasy, or has layers and layers of paint of stain on it already the paint job might be more challenging to get right. So be aware. Sometimes it is better to strip current finishes or sand your piece, but in this case the white paint went on fine without any sanding or stripping needed.
At this point I needed to make some decisions on how to make it pink. The paint I had on hand was Folkart Home Decor Chalk Paint which you can get on amazon.* I got my bottles on sale though at Joann Fabrics months and months ago to paint a little rocking chair for my daughter too. Sadly, the rocking chair broke before we even finished painting it. These little bottles come in handy for smaller projects. I got a bunch of them in various colors for the Lego Dresser. I am not a huge fan on this chalk paint because the consistency is very thick and almost goopy and just feels a little harder to work with for me. Since this is what I had, though, I needed to make it work.
I had this color in Vintage Victorian (link above) and Patina.* The Patina color isn’t really “blue” like my daughter explained. However, when she saw the bottle she said she liked it and wanted both colors. It’s more of a teal and light baby pink.
I began by gently dry brushing with the pink over the top of the dresser to see how that looked.My daughter was unimpressed with this look. So then I tried doing this:
She was also not liking this look at all either. And to be honest, neither was I!
So after some thought I decided to use what I had in white and pink and do a little more experimenting. When painting furniture you can’t be afraid to try new things and possibly mess up. I always think or it’s easy to paint over chalk paint with more chalk paint so you can’t be too worried about the process.
I ended up mixing my Rust-oleum White Linen with the Home Decor Pink. In this picture you can see how I flipped the can & bottle upside down first just to remix the paint in a gentle way before pouring.
I know that mixing brands could be risky too but I went for it. The best part about doing this was that it still gave me a “pink” color to paint and use but I felt more comfortable with something more subtle and blended.
Speaking of blending, my next idea was to try a blended look. I wanted it to appear white and pink and sort of flow from one color to the other.
I painted my newly mixed ultra light pink on the top of the dresser and around the outer edges of all the sides and the drawer fronts. While it was still wet I took a wet brush and just wetted some of it away and brushed over the drawer fronts and sides so it appeared to blend into the white.
I took the original pink color and just did the edging on the top of the piece and the very bottom. You can see clearly the difference in this picture below:
To add the “blue” or in this case shabby chic teal. I brushed over the hardware with a mostly dry brush after dipping it in the paint.
I should add that I also painted over all the hardware with the white too as a base. I didn’t want to take them off and spray paint them. For this piece it made more sense to leave them on and paint over them (of course after scrubbing them down nicely).
The teal color was basically dry brushed on, with two coats applied, on the face of the hardware. I just used a small little artists brush that I’ve had for years. I wasn’t meticulous about covering every square inch of the drawer pulls. And you can see a lot of the brush strokes too. Some of the white is showing along the edges and I like how that turned out. It looks more vintage and shabby chic that way to me.
Once everything was painted and dry it was time to seal it.
I decided against distressing or waxing because my daughter doesn’t like the distressed or dark waxed look and it doesn’t fit her age or personality anyway. So I just used a Polycrylic that I painted over all the surfaces. It was really easy and quick to do.
I did two coats of the Poly and then once it was all dry and I let it sit for a whole day, I put it together and brought it in her room to start using.
I am going to use the same stuff and same style to repaint her bed eventually too so it will all match nicely.
Even though these brands are maybe not the best or most popular chalk paint, for this piece they worked absolutely perfectly and I was not disappointed at all! It turned out great and we are happy with it.
Thanks for visiting my DIY dresser post. I hope it inspired you to try your own project.