Revamp Your Dresser with Chalk Paint Guide

Refinishing a dresser with chalk paint is a fantastic way to give new life to an old piece of furniture. Whether you have a hand-me-down dresser or a flea market find, using chalk paint can transform it into a chic and stylish statement piece. In this guide, we will take you through the step-by-step process of how to refinish a dresser with chalk paint, from choosing the perfect color palette to adding the finishing touches. With these tips and tricks, you’ll be able to achieve a stunning makeover that will breathe new life into your dresser.

Key Takeaways:

  • Refinishing your dresser with chalk paint can give it a fresh and stylish update.
  • Choose a color palette that suits your personal style and complements your existing decor.
  • Gather all the necessary materials before starting the refinishing process.
  • Follow the proper steps of painting and waxing to achieve a professional-looking finish.
  • Don’t forget to replace hardware or add any desired extras to complete the transformation.

Choosing Your Color Palette

The first step in refinishing a dresser with chalk paint is to choose your color palette. Whether you want to go bold with a vibrant hue or opt for a more subdued and timeless look, the possibilities are endless with chalk paint.

You can browse through color cards or websites for inspiration and consider adding metallic accents or experimenting with different finishes. Don’t forget to also think about replacing the hardware for a complete transformation.

Exploring Dresser Refinishing Ideas

When it comes to choosing your color palette, the key is to find something that will complement your space and reflect your personal style. Here are some dresser refinishing ideas to consider:

  • Classic Neutrals: If you prefer a timeless and elegant look, consider using soft and neutral shades such as ivory, gray, or beige. These colors can work well in any room and can easily be paired with different decor styles.
  • Bold and Vibrant: Make a statement by using bold and vibrant shades like cobalt blue, emerald green, or coral. These colors can instantly transform a plain dresser into a showstopper and add a pop of personality to your space.
  • Subtle Pastels: Soft pastel shades like blush pink, mint green, or lavender can create a delicate and dreamy look. These colors are perfect for adding a touch of femininity or creating a cozy and inviting atmosphere in a bedroom or nursery.
  • Two-Tone Contrast: Experiment with contrasting colors by refinishing different parts of the dresser in complementary shades. For example, you can paint the drawers in a darker color while keeping the body of the dresser in a lighter hue. This technique adds visual interest and depth to your piece.

Remember, the color palette you choose will ultimately depend on your personal preferences and the overall aesthetic you want to achieve for your dresser makeover.

Adding a Touch of Elegance

If you’re looking to add an extra touch of elegance to your dresser, consider incorporating metallic accents. You can do this by using metallic chalk paint or applying metallic leafing to certain areas of the dresser, such as the edges or hardware. This adds a subtle shimmer and instantly elevates the look of your piece.

Another way to enhance your dresser makeover is by experimenting with different finishes. Whether you prefer a distressed, aged look or a smooth and sleek finish, chalk paint can be easily tailored to achieve your desired effect.

Remember, your color palette should not only enhance the appearance of your dresser but also harmonize with the overall style and color scheme of your room. Take your time to explore different options and find the perfect combination that will make your dresser truly stand out.

Gathering Your Materials and Preparing the Dresser

Before you begin the exciting process of refinishing your dresser with chalk paint, it’s essential to gather all the necessary materials. By having everything ready, you can ensure a smooth and efficient experience from start to finish. Here are the key items you’ll need for this project:

  • Chalk paint in your chosen color
  • A chalk paint brush
  • Clear chalk paint wax
  • A wax brush
  • A lint-free cloth
  • Optional extras such as gilding wax or stencils

Once you have collected all your materials, you are ready to proceed. Start by removing all the drawers and any existing hardware from the dresser. This will make it easier to paint and ensure a thorough finish. If you notice any dings or imperfections on the dresser’s surface, take the time to fill them with wood filler. Once the filler is dry, sand the dresser lightly to create a smooth and even surface. This preparation is crucial for achieving professional-looking results.

With the dresser now prepared, you’re ready to transform it with chalk paint. In the next section, we’ll guide you through the painting and waxing process, bringing your dresser one step closer to its stunning makeover.

Painting and Waxing the Dresser

With your dresser prepped and ready, it’s time to start painting. Dip your paintbrush directly into the chalk paint and use broad strokes to apply the first coat to the dresser and drawers. The beauty of using chalk paint is that it adheres well to various surfaces, so you can achieve a smooth finish even on a previously stained or varnished dresser.

To ensure even coverage, apply the paint in long, uninterrupted strokes, following the natural grain of the wood. This will give your dresser a professional, polished look. If you want to experiment with different techniques, consider adding some texture using a dry brush or a sponge to create a distressed or aged effect.

dresser painting with chalk paint

Once you’ve applied the first coat, allow it to dry completely before moving on to the next one. Depending on the desired color intensity and the condition of your dresser, you may need to apply two or three coats in total. Take your time and let each coat dry thoroughly before adding another layer. This will ensure that the paint adheres properly and creates a durable finish.

After the final coat of paint has dried, it’s time to add the protective wax. Using a wax brush, apply a thin layer of clear chalk paint wax to the entire surface of the dresser, including the drawers. The wax will not only protect the paint from wear and tear but also give it a subtle sheen, enhancing the beauty of the finish.

When applying the wax, work in small sections, making sure to spread it evenly. Use a circular motion to massage the wax into the paint, ensuring that it penetrates any brush strokes or texture. This will create a smooth, polished look.

Once the wax has been applied, use a clean, dry cloth to remove any excess wax from the surface. Gently buff the dresser, giving it a soft sheen. The wax will create a protective barrier and enhance the durability of the paint, making your dresser withstand everyday use.

Allow the dresser to dry completely before reattaching the hardware and putting the drawers back in. This will ensure that the wax has fully cured and hardened, providing maximum protection and longevity to your chalk paint finish.


Refinishing a dresser with chalk paint is a rewarding DIY project that allows you to transform an old piece of furniture into a stunning statement piece. By following the step-by-step guide and utilizing the tips and tricks provided, you can achieve a professional-looking makeover that reflects your personal style.

With chalk paint, the possibilities for your dresser makeover are endless. Whether you prefer a bold and vibrant color or a more subtle, distressed finish, this versatile paint offers the flexibility to create a look that suits your taste and complements your space.

Remember to gather all the necessary materials, properly prepare the dresser, and take your time with each coat of paint and wax application. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different techniques, such as layering colors or adding decorative details using stencils or gilding wax.

So, grab your paintbrush and embark on a DIY dresser makeover with chalk paint. With some patience and creativity, you’ll transform your old dresser into a beautiful and unique piece of furniture that will enhance the style and ambiance of your space.


How long does it take to refinish a dresser with chalk paint?

The time it takes to refinish a dresser with chalk paint will depend on factors such as the size of the dresser and the number of coats of paint you apply. Generally, it can take anywhere from a few hours to a couple of days.

Do I need to sand the dresser before painting with chalk paint?

It’s recommended to sand the dresser lightly to create a smooth surface before applying chalk paint. This will help the paint adhere better and ensure a more even finish.

Can you use chalk paint on a laminate dresser?

Yes, you can use chalk paint on a laminate dresser. However, it’s important to clean the surface thoroughly and lightly sand it before painting to help the paint adhere better.

How many coats of chalk paint should I apply?

The number of coats of chalk paint you should apply will depend on the desired color and coverage. In most cases, two to three coats should be sufficient. Allow each coat to dry before applying the next one.

Do I need to seal the chalk paint on a dresser?

It’s recommended to seal the chalk paint on a dresser with a clear wax or matte sealer to protect the finish and make it more durable. Apply a thin layer of wax using a wax brush and remove any excess with a clean cloth.

Can I use chalk paint on the hardware of a dresser?

Yes, you can use chalk paint on the hardware of a dresser to give it a cohesive look. Remove the hardware, clean it, and apply the chalk paint using a small brush or sponge. You can also consider replacing the hardware for a completely updated appearance.

How long does chalk paint take to dry?

Chalk paint dries relatively quickly, usually within 30 minutes to an hour. However, it’s best to let the paint cure for about 24 hours before applying a wax or sealer.

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