This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of CORT. All opinions are 100% mine.
Hi Friends! I want to share a fun DIY chalk paint furniture makeover with you today and an awesome tip for making your own chalk paint from regular latex paint!
But before you begin making a batch of DIY chalk paint, you need some items to update! So, before we get to the chalk paint tutorial, I want to introduce you to my new favorite spot for good quality furniture at an affordable price. After all, there’s not much point in making chalk paint if you don’t have something to paint!
Here’s how to find and update bargain furniture with a beautiful coat of DIY chalk paint.
Finding Furniture to Update at CORT Clearance Center
Have you ever heard of CORT Clearance Centers? If you have one near you, you’re in for a real treat! CORT Clearance Centers offer affordable, premium quality furniture that costs up to 70% less than purchasing new. They provide a full range of furniture for the home including the living room, bedroom, dining room, as well as office furniture and decor items. During my recent visit, I found headboards for $30 and a stunning settee for $249. Bargains!
You all know I love a good deal, but there’s no point in spending money on discount furniture that’s going to fall apart in six months. That’s where CORT is different—the furniture is affordable but not cheaply made. We’re talking real wood, robust stitching, and good quality fabrics. When you’re looking for furniture to update, you want items with good “bones.” Look for quality furniture and décor that simply needs a little facelift.
By the way, here’s a pro furniture shopping tip. If you’re just starting out in your first home or apartment, CORT’s “home to go” packages are even further discounted and are an ideal option to affordably furnish your home at a great price. Many of the pieces are perfect as-is, with no chalk painting or updating needed. The furniture will look great in any style of home.
Better still, through CORT Certified, they guarantee that if you find any product to be defective within 90 days of purchase, they will repair or replace it. You can’t beat that, right? Last week I visited my local CORT Clearance Center in Brighton, MA. I frequently go because they get new deliveries twice a week and the good stuff goes quick! I’ve been looking for a nightstand for our guest room but haven’t been able to find anything I like. Luckily, I found one at CORT that was perfect!
OK, I say perfect, but I didn’t particularly care for the veneer. However, it’s a solid piece of furniture with a really nice shape to it, so I knew I could make it look awesome with some DIY chalk paint. Chalk paint works well over dark colored pieces (as you’ll see below). This nightstand couldn’t have been better for this particular furniture makeover project.
Then, as I was shopping around the décor section, I also found these excellent candleholders. They are really solid and heavy. They have a beautiful design, but I wasn’t particularly digging the shiny coral color. Again, I knew that a bit of easy-to-apply DIY chalk paint could completely transform both inexpensive, high-quality items and make them look like a million bucks. So, I bought the set of candleholders and the bargain nightstand, and now I had the perfect pieces for my project.
How to Make DIY Chalk Paint
I knew that I wanted a French countryside, beachy-look for these pieces, and chalk paint is the perfect answer. Now, I’m not talking about the blackboard chalk paint (that’s a whole different look). I mean the milky whitewashed chalk paint that dries to a matte finish.
Chalk paint was invented in the 1990s by a woman named Annie Sloan. An original DIY-er, Annie couldn’t find quick-drying matte-finish paint that would give her that distressed Provincial look she wanted. So, she rolled up her sleeves and got to work mixing up her version of “chalk paint.” Eventually, she branded it and sold a line of high-end paint in stores. The finish of this paint has a soft, chalky appearance and is often available in whites and pastel tones.
Here’s the fun part—I decided to make my own DIY chalk paint to update my furniture pieces. Did you know that you can do that? There are several methods and “add-ins” you can try, but the simplest way is to find a chalk paint product. For this project, I used BB Frosch Chalk Paint Powder, which is basically a powder that you mix with whatever latex paint you want to transform into chalk paint.
Mixing up the DIY chalk paint was so easy. I knew I wanted to paint both the nightstand and the candleholders white, so I just grabbed some white ceiling paint that I already had on hand and mixed everything according to the directions. It’s so simple!
PLUS, you can just make enough for one project. I made two cups of paint, which was plenty! I poured my chalk paint mix into some disposable cups (so I could save the remaining ceiling paint for later). Then I got to work painting my pieces.
Updating Candleholders and the Nightstand with DIY Chalk Paint
Once I mixed up the DIY chalk paint, the rest of the painting process was straightforward. With chalk paint, there’s no need to sand, prime, or worry about a base coat. The “chalk paint effect” comes from a slightly uneven application. First, I started with the candleholders.
These candleholders have such a great shape. They look like beautifully turned wood…except that they’re not! I believe they’re some type of resin. But I was going for the look of artisan, handmade candleholders, so I knew that coral color had to go. As soon as I put on one coat of chalk paint, the matte texture was so much better than the shiny finish they previously had!
While the candleholders dried, I decided to get to work on the nightstand. Each piece got two coats of the chalk paint, but again, I didn’t worry about putting it on thick or getting an extremely even finish. The brush lines add character and give the pieces a casual, country feel.
I painted the top of the nightstand first and then worked my way down the sides and legs. I used a small brush, so I could be sure to get into all the nooks and crannies. It was a pretty simple piece, but I wanted to be sure that I had good paint coverage.
Once the nightstand was painted white with the chalk paint, it was a HUGE difference. I mean, look at this thing! It’s a beauty! It just kind of got lost under all that black, don’t you think?
Giving an Antique Finish to Chalk-Painted Pieces
Now that my pieces were covered, I wanted to add some finishing touches to give them a professional, high-end look. When the paint had dried on both the candleholders and the nightstand, they both got a little more TLC.
I wanted to give the candleholders a farmhouse look to compliment the chalky finish—almost giving them a whitewashed feel. So, I applied a tiny bit of my favorite dark antiquing wax and buffed it all over each of the candle holders. And just like that, they were transformed!
Don’t they look like wood now? The antiquing wax gives them that perfectly weathered look and really highlights the curves and beautiful shapes of each of these candle holders. You can see the contrast of the antiqued holder, versus the two I had yet to finish.
Once all three candleholders were antiqued, they were ready for display. Neither the paint nor the wax requires a lot of drying time. Within a day, you can use these pieces without any fear (probably a lot sooner, if you like).
Finally, with the chalk painted candleholders updated, my newly painted nightstand had a date with some sandpaper to add a little character. I wanted a distressed look so that the piece would fit in with the rest of my guestroom décor.
This method of furniture distressing really easy. I use 120 grit sandpaper and literally just sand away some of the painted finish around the corners and edges to expose the wood (or veneer) underneath. That dark veneer really worked with this project!
With some DIY chalk paint and sandpaper, I was able to transform a not so attractive piece of furniture into a star!
The plan for my newly chalk painted nightstand is to go in the guest room upstairs, not the living room like you see. But y’know, I’m nine months pregnant, and I needed to take photos. It’ll get moved up there this weekend :-)
And let’s not forget the gorgeous chalk painted candleholders! These are my new fave décor pieces! They look so chic.
As you can see, chalk paint is an awesome way to transform inexpensive furniture and update decorative items easily. You could use the paint on picture frames, pots, planters, shelves, and any other room decorations that need a facelift. It goes on smoothly and looks fantastic.
If you’re feeling inspired to take on some DIY chalk paint updates on your own, why don’t you check out your local clearance center? You’ll never know what gems you’ll discover while you’re there!