Chalk Painted Cabinet

Chalk Painted Cabinet

Everything old is new again.

I have one of the world’s smallest bathrooms. I’m serious. My sister, Cyndi, who is my cohort in this blog, is definitely a runner-up. She was with me when I was shopping for a tiny storage cabinet for my bathroom.  Armed with measurements to ensure a proper fit, we hit the antique mall. I had already checked every hobby shop, retailer and home improvement store that I could think of. Every. One. When she came to town last December, we hightailed it to the antique mall. We’ve never done that before *wink*. And by “never” I mean “always”.

Score! After some searching I found a cabinet with the correct measurements.

My decorating style is a little eclectic but I was all “country-ed out” from the 80’s and 90’s. I am done with that. So, naturally, this is what I found:



Country Cabinet


Of course–a country style cabinet. But it’s the right size!





Painted inside and out


They did a thorough job and painted it inside and out. How kind. More work for me, but oh well! Time to roll up the sleeves and get to work.






I am not an experienced furniture refinisher; it’s quite the opposite, I assure you. Ok, this is my first piece. I decided I wanted to give it a try for this small project and went with chalk paint. After doing some research, chalk paint sounded easy to work with and I liked the matte look. I’ll show you what I did to achieve this look. I love the way it turned out and it’s holding up very well. Here we go!

Chalk paint and wax











  • Chalk paint (I used Rust-Oleum Chalked with Matte Paint, in aged gray)
  • Sealing wax (I used Valspar Sealing Wax for Chalky Finish Projects) Sealing wax is optional but I felt it was needed in my bathroom project
  • Paintbrush for paint (mine was 2″ for ease of use on the small project)
  • Polyester-bristled paintbrush for wax
  • Lint-free cloth for wax
  • Fine grit sandpaper or sanding block
  • Paintable wood filler, if needed
  • Usual paint supplies: gloves (if desired), drop cloth or newspaper, face mask if sanding
  • You may choose to replace your knobs



  1. Remove hardware. Fill holes as needed on project. I tried to fill a few nail marks with wood filler I had on hand but, honestly, I didn’t do a very good job. The cabinet is distressed and not exactly fine furniture so it didn’t bother me too much. I went with it.
  2. Although I read some chalk paints do not require sanding your project to prepare for paint, the Rust-Oleum paint I used suggested it. I lightly sanded the entire cabinet.
The sanding block is your friend


This sanding block is a lifesaver and made the yucky prep part of this project a breeze. It looks like a magic eraser, but it’s a magical sander. I highly recommend it!

Wipe down entire project after sanding. Let dry.





3. Ready to paint? Stir paint and dive into your project. This is the fun part! My plan was to slightly distress the edges of my project with a layer of white showing underneath the gray top layer. The distressing of the edges didn’t work quite as planned (I’ll show you later) but that was the thought as I first painted the edges with white.

You may choose to do this, if you do, paint under-color on edges. Let dry. Paint entire project with gray. Let dry, according to paint instructions. Although the paint had terrific coverage, I needed two coats since I was covering navy blue. Paint another coat of gray, if necessary. Let dry.


Trying an under layer of white paint












4. Apply sealing wax with a brush. Let stand for 1-2 minutes and wipe off with a lint-free cloth. Work in small areas at a time.

Sealing wax




I took this picture to show you the difference sealing wax makes in the overall color of your project. The top half is waxed; the bottom half is not. There is a slight, but noticeable difference.







5. If desired, distress your edges by lightly sanding. Add new knobs, if desired. Done!


Distressed edges

As I mentioned, I painted a layer of white paint before adding the gray. When I distressed my edges, I used too heavy a hand and wound up going down to the blue layer and, in some areas, down to the wood. I don’t think it looks bad and, at this point, it was much too late to fix. I also decided to go with it here.





If distressing (which is scarier than it sounds), just remember to use a light hand. You can always sand down more but you cannot go back once you have sanded too much.



New knobs!


New knobs!













I was going to go with a more monochrome look and go with silver knobs, but the color lover in me took over and I went with turquoise. I love these knobs! I purchased them at Hobby Lobby where you will find an amazing selection of beautiful drawer pulls.



Country Cabinet
Chalk Painted Cabinet

That’s it! The whole process was very easy and fun. I have a lot of paint left and I plan to redo another piece of furniture in my house.

Happy painting!

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