I love DIY tutorials, don’t you? I love scrolling through Instagram and Pinterest to find inspiration for my next furniture makeover or home decor project! I’m especially happy if it will help me get the result I want without costing a fortune. When I stumbled across Rust-oleum Chalked Paint, I decided to try it out on my next refinishing project. Follow along, as I share the process with you from start to finish. (This post may contain affiliate links from which I will receive a small commission. But no worries! There’s no additional cost to you)
When I first moved to my townhouse, there were several pieces of furniture that I needed. (And some that I just wanted!) I decided to save money and get as many used items as I could, with plans to refinish and refurbish the pieces to get the look I wanted. First on my list was a dining table and a hutch or buffet.
Some of my favorite places to look for used furniture are online marketplaces. If you haven’t discovered these treasure troves, I’d definitely encourage you to check them out! You can get some really good deals – and don’t be afraid to do a little haggling, too! I always ask if they will take less and, almost every time, the seller has agreed! I also always make sure to check and see if they have anything else for sale because, more often than not, if you offer to purchase more than one item, the seller is happy to come down on the price even more!
And, this is exactly what happened with the piece I now use as my buffet!
a steal of a deal
The item that captured my interest was actually a dining table. It was in pretty good condition and was listed for $100. When I looked to see what else the seller had, I saw this dresser and knew that its size would make a perfect buffet! I asked how much they would charge me for both items. At first, they said $175, then $150, and finally $125 – making the price only $25 more than what they had originally asked for the table! They even loaded it up in their truck, followed me across town, and helped me get it inside!
Since I already owned the tools needed for this project, I only had to purchase the supplies. The supplies cost approximately $85, making the total cost of my new buffet less than $125! Plus, I have plenty of tape, sandpaper, spackling, paint, and top coat left over for a few more DIY home décor projects!
If you have a piece of furniture that you would like to spruce up a bit, but don’t know where to begin, just read on! I’ve included a step-by-step guide below.
Screwdriver or Cordless Screwdriver for removing hardware
Cordless Drill for drilling holes for new hardware. Added bonus: includes screwdriver bits!
2” plastic putty knife
2” paint brush (use a high quality paint brush)
Old paint brush or dust cloth for dusting after sanding
painter’s tape or drop cloth
180 grit sandpaper or 180 grit sanding block
Rust-oleum Chalked Paint (Linen White)
Rust-oleum Protective Top Coat (Matte Clear)
Drawer pulls (if needed) These are the closest I could find to the ones I have, which were given to me.
TIME TO PREP
Growing up, my dad has always stressed the importance of prep work. Your finished product will reveal how much (or how little) time you spent prepping. Although, if you are going for a well-loved, vintage look, you won’t have as much prep work to do. Dents, dings, and scratches can add character if that is the look you are going for. However, if you want your project to look like it just came off the showroom floor, you will want to spend the extra time making sure it is in tip-top shape before applying the first coat of paint.
PROTECTING YOUR WORK AREA
Unless you’re doing your project outside, or in an area where you don’t mind splattering a little paint, you’ll want to protect your work area. As you will see in my pictures, I just used painter’s tape on the areas where I might possibly get paint on the floor. Although I didn’t use one for this project, I would recommend protecting your work area with a drop cloth if you want to avoid having to clean up later. If you do a lot of paint projects, I suggest investing in a canvas drop cloth that can be used over and over again.
DISASSEMBLING AND PREPPING FOR CHALKED PAINT
Before beginning your restoration, you will need to disassemble the piece. In my case, this included removing the drawers from the dresser and the hardware from the drawers. One benefit of using Rust-oleum Chalked Paint is that it is not necessary to sand the wood before painting. However, you will need to clean all the surfaces. If they are just dusty, a dust cloth should be sufficient, but if your piece has years of grime built up, I would suggest using mineral spirits to clean the surface. You don’t want to cover up dirt and grime with your paint!
After you have cleaned the surfaces, it is time to time to fill in any holes or blemishes. If you are replacing the drawer pulls, and the new hardware doesn’t line up with the holes left by your old drawer pulls, you will need to fill these holes. Using a plastic putty knife, apply spackling to the holes left by the old hardware. You might also want to fill in any dents or dings you’d like to hide. Allow to dry. If you are reusing your old drawer pulls or if the new hardware works with the existing holes, and you don’t mind the dents and dings, you can skip this step.
A LESSON LEARNED
Be sure your spackling has dried completely and doesn’t need a second coat, before proceeding to the next step. I applied the paint before the spackling was completely dry, and when it did dry, it sunk a little bit. I had to go back and apply more spackling, repaint the area, and scuff it off.
Once the spackling has dried, you will need to smooth out the rough areas using a fine grit sandpaper. I used 180 grit. If your project has a high gloss finish, lightly scuffing all surfaces with sandpaper or a sanding block can help the paint to adhere better. I wanted to see how well the Rust-oleum Chalked Paint performed, so I chose to leave the glossy finish and I was very satisfied with the results!
It is important to remove all the dust once you have finished sanding. While you can use a dust rag for this step, I prefer to brush off my projects with an old paint brush using a tack cloth to remove the remaining dust. If you’ve never used tack cloths before, you may want to give them a try! These sticky little cloths are wonderful for removing all the tiny dust particles that love to get into your paint, marring the finished product.
chalked paint: painting and finishing
This is my favorite part of the refinishing process! I love to watch the transformation that takes place as I apply a new finish to an old piece of furniture. It seems to give the piece new life and purpose.
I knew I wanted to use some sort of chalk paint for this project so that I wouldn’t have to completely strip the dresser first. During my research, Rust-oleum Chalked Paint kept popping up here and there, and I was curious to give it a try. I was especially interested in using the Rust-oleum Protective Top Coat because, I’ll admit, waxing over chalk paint is not my absolute favorite thing to do.
Using a 2 ½” paint brush, apply 1-3 even coats of Rust-oleum Chalked Paint 30 minutes apart. Although it’s possible that one coat is all you will need, you can apply up to 5 coats to achieve the desired results. I applied 3 coats for my buffet. Rust-oleum Chalked Paint was all I had hoped it would be! It was easy to apply the paint evenly and brush marks were barely noticeable! The few that were visible smoothed out nicely when I sanded it!
After the paint has dried, you may decide that you love the look of your newly painted furniture as is. If so, skip ahead to the next step. However, if you love the distressed look, you will need to scuff off the dresser and drawers – especially the edges and corners – until you are satisfied with the result. Don’t forget to clean off all the dust again before proceeding to the next step!
PROTECTING (APPLYING CHALKED TOPCOAT)
To add protection and durability, while enhancing the color of your newly painted surface, apply 1-3 coats of Rust-oleum Protective Top Coat, waiting 2 hours between each coat. This is an important step and will help to protect your hard work from being marred by water, sticky fingers, and every day wear. While you can protect your finish by applying wax, you can’t beat a protective topcoat for ease and durability. I applied two coats to my buffet and it has held up very well for over a year now! I loved how easily and smoothly the Rust-oleum Protective Top Coat went on! So much better than all of the hard work it takes to wax a piece!
You’re almost finished! Once the topcoat is fully dry, you will need to install the new drawer pulls (drilling new holes, if necessary) and slide the drawers back into place.
chalked paint: the FINISHED PROJECT
Now stand back and admire your work! While you’re at it, why don’t you snap a picture and email it to me, along with a short description of your project? I’d love to see what you’ve done, and who knows, it might just end up in my Guest Gallery!
TAKING IT A STEP FURTHER
Did you notice the mirror in the before and after pictures? I had picked up this mirror at a yard sale for $5 and, while I loved the size and shape, the yellow frame was not my favorite! I had plenty of supplies left, so I decided to give my mirror a fresh new look as well. I love the result!
RUST-OLEUM CHALKED PAINT
AND TOP COAT REVIEW
I was very excited to try Rust-oleum Chalked Paint and Protective Topcoat on my “French Country Buffet” project! Based on my research, I expected great results, and that’s exactly what I got! I loved the fact that I didn’t need to sand before painting. The paint glided on smoothly, covered well, and was easy to distress. The protective topcoat also was easy to apply. I really appreciated the fact that there was no strong odor. Today, one year after application, my buffet still looks as good as new!
No strong smell
Easy to apply
Adhered well to a glossy surface
Easy to sand
Cleaned up easily with soap and water
Holds up well
It created quite a bit of dust when sanding