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How-to: use chalk paint to refurbish furniture

Updated: Jun 10, 2020

One of my favorite things to do in my free time is peruse Craigslist and antique shops for pieces that I can restore into something new and incorporate it into our home. To me, it's like hunting for treasure. I think it's so fun to find items that are little banged up and give them a new life. Which brings me to my "from trash to treasure" section. In this section of the blog, I'll feature pieces I find, restore and now have in our home. I hope it allows you to think outside the box when decorating your home - especially if you're decorating on a budget. Hope you enjoy!

I recently found an ad on Craigslist for a dry shelf that was available. This is what it looked like:

I still remember Duke's face when I showed it to him online. I can always tell when Duke doesn't like something. I get questions like: "Hmmm what would we do with that?" and "Do you think that color goes with the rest of our house?" But I had a vision for it and Duke told me to go for it. I knew it would be a perfect piece to not only display home decor but also provide storage. And here's the best part...I bought it for FIFTEEN DOLLARS.

When I picked it up I remember the lady telling me she was just going to throw it away because it just sat in her garage. I also think she thought I was weird because of how excited I was. **Side note: Always practice safe Craigslist practices by having someone go with you to pick up items and meet in a public place**

After we got it home, the next step was chalk paint. I used to be so intimidated of painting wood and even more intimidated of using chalk paint. So if you've been dragging your feet about painting an old piece of furniture, I highly recommend giving chalk paint a try. Its actually super easy to use and as it's become more popular, they're a lot of color options to pick from. I always gravitate toward neutral colors (white and gray) so for the shelf, I decided to go with white. Below is our favorite brand of chalk paint and what I used for this particular project. You can get it from Lowe's.

My favorite thing about chalk paint is that there is no sanding required prior to starting. I really can't stand sanding. All I did to "prep" the shelf was wipe it down with a damp paper towel to remove any dust and other debris.

On the paint can it will say priming is not required, but I think it makes life a lot easier. I applied one coat of primer and let it dry before I applied the chalk paint. I only had to apply two coats of paint which is amazing considering how dark the wood was originally. Another great thing about chalk paint, it drys extremely quickly. It took me about three hours in total to complete the entire thing. Crazy right?

And here is the final product...

I love how it turned out! This is in our Willow Ridge Market workroom. The baskets on the bottom are going to be great way to store Willow Ridge Market supplies. And I cannot wait to decorate the top shelf from season to season. I will link all the decor below. Oh and Duke now loves it too :)

I hope this inspires you to look at old pieces of furniture differently. Sometimes all you need is a little paint to turn it into something new. If you have a vision for something, don't be scared to make that vision a reality!

All my love,


Current shelf decor:

-Wood bead garland

-Large white vase

-White canister with wood lid

-Faux succulent

-I couldn't find the exact cement vase to link but it's from Hobby Lobby and here is a similar one

-Gather sign

-Wood lantern

-Wood baskets

-Cream basket

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