Adding Unique Texture to Furniture: DIY Chalk Paint Dresser Makeover

Sometimes I wait to participate in a trend until the point it’s no longer a trend. There’s this small rebel inside that doesn’t want to do something just because everyone else is. It’s like reverse peer pressure.

Case in point: chalk paint. I finally jumped on the chalk paint/distressed furniture bandwagon while making over my bedroom.

To save money, I made chalk paint based on other bloggers’ experiments— except the paint came out very thick and lumpy. I decided to go along for the ride to create a unique, textured piece of furniture that’s perfect for my bohemian bedroom.

Bedroom dresser makeover with thick textured DIY chalk paint texture bohemian distressed shabby chic white makeover by The DIY Homegirl

Read along to find out how I achieved this look and to see more of the dresser.

Originally, when I planned my makeover, I planned to leave my black dresser as is. But I  soon realized the dresser just didn’t work. This hunk of black in the room felt very heavy compared to airy vibe I was creating in the room. (It was also the only black piece of furniture in the room.)

After pondering ways I could make it over without a ton of work (I loathe sanding and priming), I found a solution: chalk paint.

Bedroom dresser makeover with thick textured DIY chalk paint texture bohemian distressed shabby chic white makeover by The DIY Homegirl

My DIY chalk paint formula consisted of: 2 tbsp. unsanded grout + 1 tbsp. water + 1 cup latex interior paint. To save money on the paint, I chose Glidden’s America’s Finest in white.

The beauty of using chalk paint is that you don’t have to prime and sand your piece first. Unfortunately, my paint mixture ended up being so thick and lumpy that I did have to sand it afterwards (though not to perfection). I believe this was due to the paint I used.

Bedroom dresser makeover with thick textured DIY chalk paint texture bohemian distressed shabby chic white makeover by The DIY Homegirl

Bedroom dresser makeover with thick textured DIY chalk paint texture bohemian distressed shabby chic white makeover by The DIY Homegirl

After one coat.

To apply the chalk paint, I used chip brushes. These worked wonderfully since my paint was so thick, although I did have to pick out the occasional bristle from the paint. The cheap quality of these brushes added more rich texture to the dresser.

Close up Bedroom dresser makeover with thick textured DIY chalk paint texture bohemian distressed shabby chic white makeover by The DIY HomegirlInstead of using wax as most people do for chalk paint jobs, I went with my usual sealing method— several coats of water-base polyurethane. Again, I used the chip brushes since a smooth finish wasn’t necessary.

I also replaced the drawer pulls on the dresser since the former ones would be too modern for my bohemian bedroom. I scored some black pulls on clearance and gave them a spray paint makeover with Krylon’s Caramel Latte.

Spray painted drawer pulls Krylon Caramel Latte Bedroom dresser makeover with thick textured DIY chalk paint texture bohemian distressed shabby chic white makeover by The DIY Homegirl

Check out the before and after pics– this dresser now matches its shabby chic/boho surroundings.

Before and After Bedroom salmon accent wall Shrimp Toast dresser makeover with thick textured DIY chalk paint texture bohemian distressed shabby chic white makeover by The DIY HomegirlBedroom dresser makeover with thick textured DIY chalk paint texture bohemian distressed shabby chic white makeover by The DIY Homegirl

I’m so glad I was able to save some money by just making over my existing dresser. It’s the only furniture I still own that I first moved away from home with, so I’ve had it for about 19 years. This dresser is all wood (no laminate or MDF!) and it’s very sturdy.

My final grade on the DIY chalk paint? C— although it does have potential to be higher with a better quality paint. I would definitely use this formula again for smaller projects to create a lot of texture.

Have you used a DIY chalk paint or a name-brand chalk paint? Which do you prefer? What’s your favorite distressing method?

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12 thoughts on “Adding Unique Texture to Furniture: DIY Chalk Paint Dresser Makeover

  1. diyteachermomma

    Annie Sloan for me. I love her paint. Even though it seems pricey, it lasts so long and can be watered down to make it go even further. Have you tried the milk paint? I’ve seen it around and would be interested to try it too!

    Reply
    1. The DIY Homegirl Post author

      I’ve read lots of great things about Annie Sloan’s paint. I’m starting to see stuff about milk paint too but just assumed it was liuke chalk paint. I’ll have to look it up. Thanks for taking the time to comment & for the recommendation!

      Reply
  2. Julie V.

    You’re right, the lighter color looks just so much better in your room.
    Is it just me, or is sanding a project to perfection somehow easier than sanding before you paint? Because you know the end is so near, the sanding is less painful.
    Thanks for sharing about the chalkboard paint.

    Reply
  3. elaine

    The first project I did with homemade chalk paint was lumpy like yours. Then I found out that I should have stirred the plaster of paris in with water till there were no lumps before I added the paint. I had to sand after too. I did another project after that and it turned out fine. Unsanded grout is supposed to work better than plaster of paris so give it another try using the method I said and you will be fine.

    Reply
  4. 2crochethooks

    wow what a difference! I do think it looks much better after the paint job for sure, fits in the vibe :) I haven’t tried chalk paint, reading this I now realize I hadn’t paid attention to what it was – I was thinking ‘chalk board’ cuz I am a nut! Thanks for sharing and clarifying!

    Reply

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