Teal Chalk Painted Dresser Makeover

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.

Get more Furniture Makeover Ideas here!

Before Paint - Antique Highboy Dresser

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 of teal. In some light it shows more green and in others it shows more blue. I love that about it!

Teal Chalk Painted Dresser Makeover

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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!

Click here to read more about How to Prepare Furniture For Painting

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ebook on how to repair furniture

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.

Read more about How to Clean Furniture Before Painting here!

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.

Learn more about Sandpaper for Furniture Painting here.

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. 😉 )

Learn more about The Importance of Sanding Before Painting Furniture here!

Closeup of the Dresser Before Paint

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 it first as well. You want the finish to last years and years.

Learn all about The Best Primer for Painting Furniture (and How to Choose the Right One) here!

We also taped off the front legs with painter’s tape and brown paper to protect them from any paint.

Read more here to learn How to Prevent Overspray When Painting Furniture.

dresser prepped and ready for paint

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.

Get the easy recipe for homemade chalk paint here.

*UPDATE: Behr now has a chalk paint line, called Behr Chalk Paint and you can ask them to tint it any color!!

Paint the Dresser with Chalk Paint

Painting a dresser light blue in progress

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.

Learn the tips and tricks of painting furniture with a sprayer here.

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 where 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.

*Update: I have since tried several other paint sprayers and I have a new favorite! Find out which paint sprayers I think are the best right here!

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.

Click here to learn more about The Best Paint Brush for Painting Furniture.

When all the paint was dry I removed the tape and paper around the legs. 

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.

dresser distressed and sealed

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. 

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

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.

Read through this post to learn more about the best topcoat for painting furniture.

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.  

Attach the Hardware

The original hardware was lightly cleaned, leaving the dark antique finish that only years of sitting around can achieve.

Teal Blue Painted Dresser Closeup

Teal Chalk Painted Dresser Makeover

Teal Chalk Painted Dresser Makeover

Make any antique thrift store furniture pop with this stunning teal blue color. Here are the steps for this teal chalk painted dresser makeover.



  1. Prep your furniture for paint.
  2. Make homemade chalk paint with latex paint and calcium carbonate powder.
  3. Spray or brush a few coats of paint.
  4. Once dry, distress chalk paint with sandpaper.
  5. Refinish the legs with gel stain.
  6. Seal everything with waterbased polyurethane.
  7. Attach new hardware and enjoy!!!

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Full View of Teal Dresser
Side view of Teal Dresser


before and after photos of a tall painted dresser makeover

Isn’t it a stunner??

It couldn’t have turned out any better!

Especially when our client came to pick it up and absolutely loved it!

This dresser will be a statement piece that will last years to come.

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  1. Linda Spike says:

    Thank you! Very beautiful piece!

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