This antique thrift store dresser was refinished in stunning teal blue distressed paint and dark wood stained legs. This pop of color is so much fun for any room in your home, and is so much fun on a dresser!
Here’s the Teal Chalk Painted Dresser Makeover.
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Every time I look at this dresser, I can’t help but smile! And I hope you feel the same way!
This one was a custom order for a client who knew exactly what she wanted, and we were over the moon happy to make her imagination a reality.
After she contacted us, we were so lucky to find this beautiful antique dresser listed on craigslist over at a local thrift store! What do you think?
Our client picked this amazing shade of teal and asked for the legs to be stained. I’ve said it before, and I will continue to say it! Clients always pick the best colors!
This one is called Summer Dragonfly by Behr. It’s a beautiful and fun shade teal. In some light it shows more green and in other it shows more blue. I love that about it!
Teal Chalk Painted Dresser Makeover
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- Thrifted Dresser
- Flat Latex Paint – Summer Dragonfly by Behr
- Krud Kutter
- 220 Grit Sandpaper
- Painters Tape
- Brown Paper
- Paint Sprayer or Paint Brush
- Walnut Gel Stain by Minwax
- Cheap Foam Brush
- My favorite Water- Based Polyurethane
How to Paint a Dresser with Chalk Paint
- Prep for Paint
- Make Homemade Chalk Paint
- Paint with Chalk Paint
- Distress the Chalk Paint
- Refinish the Legs
- Seal the Chalk Paint and Stain
- Attach the Hardware
Step One: Prep for Paint
Repairs and prep work are the least fun part of any painted dresser makeover, but it’s also the most important.
If repairs aren’t made before paint, you risk ruining the new paint job. And if the surface isn’t prepped to take paint, you can end up with paint that easily scratches or peels off. Nooooooo!
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So, once all of the repairs were made, I wiped down the dresser with Krud Kutter to get rid of any dirt, grease or grime that was on the surface.
Then I lightly sanded the whole dresser with 220 grit sandpaper.
Lightly sanding (no need to sand off the old finish. Just rub the sandpaper over everything just a couple of times) really really helps the paint adhere to the old stained wood finish.
Yes, chalk paint is made to stick to “any” surface, but I don’t like to leave that to chance.
(It takes a lot longer to remove a crappy paint job than it does to prep correctly the first time. 😉 )
If the surface is too shiny or slick it can easily peel or flake off still.
If a piece is really shiny and slick then I make sure to prime first as well. You want the finish to last years and years.
We also taped off the front legs with painter’s tape and brown paper to protect them from any paint.
Step Two: Make Homemade Chalk Paint
How to Make Latex Paint into Chalk Paint
I love how chalk paint distresses, it has better adhesion, and I love the finish it creates.
Plus I’m just more comfortable with chalk paints, and you don’t HAVE to prime, unlike latex paint.
Since Behr doesn’t color match chalk paint, we made the Behr latex paint into our own homemade chalk paint.
*UPDATE: Behr now as a chalk paint line, called Behr Chalk Paint and you can as them to tint it any color!!
Step Three: Paint the Dresser with Chalk Paint
This method of painting furniture is totally optional!
But if you’re looking for a brush-free finish on your furniture, you’ve got to spray the paint on instead of brushing it.
There are so many tips and tricks on how to get a brush free finish with a brush… but let’s be honest. You’re still going to see brush marks if you use a brush.
So don’t even get into the headache.
I bought this paint sprayer when we moved out of our apartment and into a home because I finally had a place that I could use it – in our backyard.
The sprayer itself was cheaper than I imagined it would be, and it was sooooooo stinking fast compared to brushing!
I absolutely love this paint sprayer for painting furniture.
Simply thin out the paint using the little funnel tool provided with the paint sprayer, plug it in and get to painting.
Check out this tutorial all about how to paint with a paint sprayer for a breakdown on how to use it!
To paint this dresser, we put it outside on a dollar store plastic shower curtain and some wood blocks.
If you’re not ready for a paint sprayer, I really recommend getting a nice paint brush that won’t break the bank.
When all the paint was dry I removed the tape and paper around the legs.
Step Four: Distress the Chalk Paint (Optional)
Then I lightly sanded everything down with 220 grit sandpaper just to lightly distress the edges.
This is totally optional as well, but I think that distressing painted furniture brings out the details that you might otherwise miss.
Plus, we know our kids are going to ding it up anyway. Why not make it intentional?
A quick clean with a vacuum with a hose attachment and a damp rag cleaned the dust right up.
Step Five: Refinish the Wood Legs
Instead of stripping or sanding the legs down to raw wood, and then staining the legs again, I used Gel stain to freshen them up.
The legs were in good condition and just needed a quick little refresh to bring them back to life.
Gel stain is different than the regular wood stain.
Gel stain sits on top of the existing finish instead of penetrating into the wood.
You don’t need to wipe Gel stain back off. Just wipe or brush it on, and then let it dry.
I just brushed the gel stain on with a cheap foam brush.
A really light even coat is the best way to apply Gel Stain.
If you want it darker you can apply more coats of Gel Stain.
But the streaks of a thick uneven finish make it hard to look like a real stained finish.
See gel stain in action with this tutorial on how to stain wood darker.
Step Six: Seal the Chalk Paint and Stain
After the Gel Stain was completely dry, we sealed the paint and the stain with our favorite polyurethane.
I waited 48 hours to seal the stain since the gel stain is oil-based and the polyurethane is water-based.
Learn ALL of my tips and tricks on How to Spray Polyurethane here!
Chalk paint really needs to be sealed with either a wax or poly if it’s going to have any traffic on it.
Water-based polyurethane makes the paint extra durable, makes it easier to wipe things off of the paint and doesn’t make the paint turn yellow like oil-based poly does.
Step Seven: Attach the Hardware
The original hardware was lightly cleaned, leaving the dark antique finish that only years of sitting around can achieve.