chalk paint dresser

Dresser Makeover with Chalk Paint

A couple of months ago my mum and I started planning a makeover for her bedroom. To keep costs low we decided to keep as much of her existing furniture as possible, but give some pieces a bit of a makeover.


Seemed like the perfect opportunity to try out this chalk paint stuff everyone’s been talking about.


Mum and I visited a local market and picked up two cans of CeCe Caldwell chalk paint. Why CeCe’s? Honestly…the closest retailer chalk paint sold this brand. Absolutely no research on the best brand etc. etc. was done before attempting these projects.


chalk paint dresser painting


Overall I would say my first chalk paint adventure was 78% successful.


Let’s start with the success…Meet Mrs. Beyers’ chest:


chalk paint dresser before


Mrs. Beyers lived across the street from my parents when I was born and sold them this chest of drawers when she moved away. It’s a beautiful piece of craftsmanship but as lovely as she is, she has seen better days.


We decided to paint Mrs. Beyers’ chest Vermont Slate and after two coats I was in love with chalk paint.

chalk paint dresser details


I really liked how easy it was to apply the paint and the colour is gorgeous. I had one little hiccup when I tried to apply my finish before the paint was completely dry – NOTE – wait at least 24 hours!


I used a Varathane Soft Touch Polyurethane for the finish which worked really well. I was not 100% sure about the whole waxing thing so I decided to leave that for another day.


Two coats of chalk paint, two coats of the poly and some new knobs and Ms B is ready for a night on the town!


chalk paint dresser grey after


Shall we move to the not so successful part?


Meet the bedside dressers (or well…soon to be bedside dressers):


chalk paint dresser bedside before


These were made by a local shop in midtown Toronto that my parents bought a lot of furniture from. These we decided to paint white and leave the tops untouched. No problem right?


Weeeell after two coats of Dover White Wash the dressers were a splotchy mess. 


chalk paint dresser white streaks


I don’t know if it was the fact I was trying to paint dark wood white, my newbie chalk paint technique, the colour I chose, or my coverage expectations but I figured at this rate it would take me 5 or 6 coats to get the look I was going for. Yeah, at the price of that paint there is no way I was going to keep going.



Guys! You know when you have those ‘Duh’ moments and you want to slap yourself on the forehead? CeCe commented below and let me know that Dover White Wash is a WASH paint and doesn’t give complete coverage. Man I should have figured that one out! So mystery solved – not the paint or the technique just me not paying attention lol! 


At this point I went rogue.


I grabbed a leftover can of CIL Smart3 paint from the garage and used the chalk paint like a primer. A really, really expensive primer.


After two coats I had great coverage and no need to add poly! The tops were reattached and they also got new knobs (so many knobs).




So where did I land on chalk paint? I’m not sure. I’ll definitely use up the paint that I’ve got, but I’m not sure I love it enough to justify the price. I will definitely be trying out some of the DIY recipes I’ve found though so I’ll keep you posted – any that you would recommend??


Also…can you believe I made it through this whole post without a single “chest” or “knob” joke? You’re welcome mum.

Linked up at: Thrifty Decor Chick, The Creative Circle, The DIY Collective 

chalk paint dresser makeover

4 thoughts on “Dresser Makeover with Chalk Paint”

  1. Casey, I am so pleased you loved the Nantucket Spray color. Your dresser looks amazing! Regarding the Dover White Wash, well, unfortunately you picked our ‘wash’ color and not a fully pigmented paint color. Dover White Wash is supposed to be translucent. It works great in certain applications, but is not intended for solid coverage. Please contact me via email so we can make this right!

    1. Thanks so much for your comment CeCe! I should have guessed that was the case now that I think about it lol! I also realize that my other dresser is actually Vermont Slate so I’ve updated that colour in my post as well 🙂

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