Vintage Nightstand Makeover and Furniture Painting Tips!

The best sister award goes to me! My sis was in desperate need of a matching set of nightstands so when I spotted a vintage pair on Facebook Marketplace, I scooped them up and I think you’re going to LOVE the transformation. I used chalk paint for the very first time (I know I’m a little late to the party!) and for a lazy painter like me, it’s a miracle. No prep, no sanding, no primer, no problem! I’m sharing my painting tips no matter what kind of paint you prefer plus chalk paint 101.

Brace yourself for the ugly nightstands before they got their swan makeover!

Vintage nightstands before makeover! Wait until you see the after

Can you believe I paid only $30 for both nightstands! I love the little brass detail at the bottom and I made sure to not to paint over that.

Love this blue shade of Annie Sloan chalk paint!

As fate would have it, when I was cleaning out my guest room closet the other day, I stumbled across this unused can of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Aubusson Blue. I have no idea where it came from but I think it may have been from a blog conference I attended back in the day.

Great furniture painting tips and tricks

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Furniture Painting Tips

  • Set up in a well-ventilated area (although chalk paint is toxic free with no strong odor so you can use this paint inside)

  • Elevate smaller pieces of furniture (I put nightstands on an outdoor coffee table)

  • Lay down plastic or drop cloths to protect surfaces

  • Clean furniture in a well-ventilated area (I use this TSP cleaner because it removes grime and doesn’t need to be rinsed off)

  • Remove all hardware from furniture and set aside

  • Use a quality paintbrush (I swear by these Purdy angled brushes) or you can use brushes specifically made for chalk paint if you prefer

  • Lay smaller pieces, like doors, on something so you can easily paint around the edges (red solo cups from a game of beer pong came in handy!)

  • Tape off any areas you don’t want to paint (I taped over brass accents using this painters tape)

  • Apply first thin coat of paint then a second and third if needed (letting paint dry between coats)

  • Let dry then reattach the doors, cabinets and hardware

You can apply an optional clear coat or wax to protect the furniture or if you want a sleeker, more modern look, you can top with shinier clear coat.

Great furniture painting tips and tricks

Drumroll please … the finished after in my sister’s bedroom. They give the room a much needed pop of color and really brighten up the space.

Chalk Paint 101 - Love this vintage nightstand makeover with paint

Painting furniture is such a great way to save money, get a whole new look and repurpose something old or outdated. I have never used chalk paint because I confess I’m not a fan of the matte finish but that was before I realized that you can paint or spray a glossy clear coat over the chalk paint. I didn’t do that to these nightstands because I was in a rush but if I do paint with chalk paint again, I’ll be sure to.

The best news is that my sister loved the way the nightstands turned out and now they are adding some much needed storage and color to her room.

What are you waiting for? Run to the thrift store or scour Facebook Marketplace to find an ugly old piece of furniture you can bring back to life with paint.

If you have any furniture painting tips, please chime in in the comments.

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  1. It’s pretty amazing stuff and so popular right now. I have tried and although I like it I don’t like it for ALL projects. But for ease of use-it can’t be beat- xo Diana

  2. Patty – you need a Google Plus account to RSVP. If you have one, the buttons to attend are under the large picture on the right side and says “Are You Going”. If you don’t have a Google Plus account, you can just click the link at 2pm EST tomorrow to watch the hangout. Hope that helps!

  3. It really is the best product ever! I’ve not tried the fabric although I’d like to. I just used it on an old metal box and a metal stand — so fun to work with. My dream is to use it to renew my hideous kitchen by using it on my laminate cabinets and awful counters.

  4. Hello Kelly,

    I am a Stockist for Chalk Paint decorative paint by Annie Sloan and spend my days in my lovely little shop praising the virtues of this magical paint.

  5. Sad to say I have never used chalk paint, but my heart is racing at the possibilities! Can you really paint right on tired, old kitchen cabinets with no sanding or primer?

  6. I can’t wait to try this!!!! I have so many pieces of furniture that I didn’t know what to do with…..problem solved!!!!!!

  7. Hello, I enjoyed your home talk. In 2012 my other passed away, I flew home and after 60 days I all of a sudden got on my laptop and found pinterest. i had no idea it was out there. I have been an Interior Designer for 25 years, and antiques as well. so I found Etsy also. so everyday I read and researched all things vintage, and this thing called chalk paint. I loved that shabby chic look. and all the others. well I live 30 mins from New Orleans,La I know where to get my hands on anything cheep and really good stuff, not junck.. I have tons of secret places I can go to buy architectural pieces, dressers, mirrors, frames, tables, You name it. well I went to a local store in Baton rouge,La to buy my chalk paint. I had watched a lot of tutorials . I said I can do this. well I did. and it came out just like it was supposed to. I had been bitten by the chalk painting bug. I was Happy when I was painting, and finding my treasures. I had sort of retired, now I am working again. and I love it. And by the way about 6 months ago I had all this old paint hanging around and thought maybe I can make my own chalk paint,well let me tell you. Do not try it. it does not come out the same. its a big waste of time and money. And all the other guys that are copying annie sfaridloan chalk paint, don’t try it. its just not the same. I have opened a studio/ shop and back in business. But I must say I am Happy. I do pieces for people, and there stores. I do displays.and everything Annie sloan. I hope to be a Annie sloan dealer soon. I want to thank you Ms Sloan. I was going through a really bad time. and I am happy again. and working at my own pase. I do the pieces I want to do. I would love to come to one of her classes. I would love to meet her. Ladies, if you haven’t tried it, don’t be afraid. You cant mess up. I look forward to watching more. I learn something new everyday. The Ant And The Grasshopper. Virginia

  8. I would love to try it on my kitchen cabinets. Been tying to read as much as I can on it. Can’t wait to try it. Love your home talk learning a lot. Thank you Debbie

  9. Hi! I am Lily from Malaysia. Love yr video. I would like to find out could I paint my floor parquet with chalk paint?

    1. I’m no expert Lily – I would think so but they might need to be waxed or sealed to prevent wear and tear. I would google “chalk paint wood floors” to get tips

  10. I plan to paint my upper cabinets in our kitchen..I refinished them previously with Rust-Oleum but I love this chalk paint. I also have a hutch that holds my fabric stash for quilting…I am new to this paint and am doing a chair project to get me started

  11. Nice job, Kelly! Aubusson is one of my favorite Annie Sloan blues. I have to say that chalk paint, in general, has been a game changer in the furniture rehab world. So much fun and so easy to make an old piece look new again, without all the work! And it never hurts to win the “best sister award” either : )

  12. They are so pretty and love the color they added to her bedroom. What a good sister you are.

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