Blanket Chest Makeover

6 Materials
$25
2 Days
Medium

A friend of mine has watched me re-imagine, re-style, reupholster, and upcycle furniture for years, always saying "when I find a piece to make over, you HAVE to do it for me"
One day she texted me to let me know she had found the piece, it was her Father in law's blanket chest and she didn't know if it was worth doing, but she was hoping it something could come of it. She thought it was "fake wood" (it was real wood) and that it was too scratched up to salvage. I thought otherwise!
blanket chest makeover, chalk paint, painted furniture, storage ideas
blanket chest makeover, chalk paint, painted furniture, storage ideas
I got to work sanding the top with 220 grit, because those "scratches beyond repair" we're actually just a very thin veneer. 220 was all I needed to bring it back to its original beauty.
blanket chest makeover, chalk paint, painted furniture, storage ideas
The bottom however had a few to many nicks in it that needed repair so I wouldn't be using the wood finish. After doing the top piece with a dark walnut stain, I decided to use a basic white chalk paint (that I made). White shows every imperfection and I love white against the wood grain. However she's a "grey" kinda gal, and white makeovers in my opinion are overdone.
blanket chest makeover, chalk paint, painted furniture, storage ideas
So I started adding grey. Normally when I start a piece of furniture, I have a plan. But sometimes, the piece has a different plan, and takes me in a different direction. And that's what this piece did.
blanket chest makeover, chalk paint, painted furniture, storage ideas
From here, all the rest was details
blanket chest makeover, chalk paint, painted furniture, storage ideas
These became to stark so I dry brush painted them with some white and lived the finished look
blanket chest makeover, chalk paint, painted furniture, storage ideas
After it was all done, I was surprised at how much I liked it. I'm not a "grey gal" but I could manage with this grey. And my friend? She and her hubs got very emotional when they saw the finished piece. The Father in law had just passed and they were grateful to have something of his they could treasure and proudly display in they're house.
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Have a question about this project?

8 questions
  • Tin3876877
    on May 9, 2016

    How do you make chalk paint?

    • Madison McGahan
      on May 9, 2016

      I use the formula of 1.5 cups of paint to 1/2 cup Plaster of Paris and 1/2 cup warm water. I use my magic bullet blender to mix the Plaster of Paris and the water, then add it to the paint.

    • Brenda Neagle
      on May 10, 2016

      Please wear a mask when using plaster chalk paint. It's very toxic when sanded.

    • Madison McGahan
      on May 12, 2016

      Any time you sand, a mask is a must.

  • Lau2847630
    on May 10, 2016

    Do you put a top coat or sealer in the chalk paint? I would think it would not wear well without one

    • Wendy Johnson
      on May 10, 2016

      She lists cream wax, I am going to guess that is for the chalk paint

    • Madison McGahan
      on May 10, 2016

      Yes, I always use a wax afterwards with chalk paint. I use all kinds of wax, but I like cream wax on my Grey's.

    • Lau2847630
      on May 10, 2016

      Thank you so much

  • Grizz
    on May 10, 2016

    I love it! The vintage sofa is beautiful, too. Do you mind sharing where you purchased the stencil?

  • Bob4778901
    on May 10, 2016

    What can you use if you just want to clean up old worn out wood?

    • Madison McGahan
      on May 10, 2016

      You can remove all stain/paint. Sand with a fine grit, and re-stain

    • 9530106
      on May 10, 2016

      I use Formby's Furniture Refinisher, it is not a stipper, so you do not lose the patina of the wood. You will have to apply a new finish after using this. You can also use Howards Restora A Finish. Lots of other things that can be used , just to freshen wood up. Danish oil, hemp oil, orange oil, to name a few.

    • Bob4778901
      on May 10, 2016

      Thank you for your response !!!

    • Trudy
      on May 11, 2016

      You can wash with Murphy's Oil soap, and when dry rejuvenate with Old English or Liquid Gold.In response to your question below about "just cleaning". Yes, this would just clean without stripping, and moisturize the wood to bring out the grain.

    • Lau2847630
      on May 11, 2016

      I have a small shelf that has been stripped and sanded with very fine paper. Then I used coconut oil to run into it. Turned out very pretty brightens the natural wood color

    • Neva Dew
      on May 13, 2016

      OK all you antique people: would these methods be advisable to use on 100 yr old furniture that is dusty/ dirty and basically just needs a good cleaning? I don't want to ruin my family items - but they need to be re-habbed so I can bring them into my house. Thanks for your input on this.

    • Lainey Howell
      on May 13, 2016

      I have a similar problem, what with antiques, vintage, and family treasures -- this is what I suggest, since refinishing some pieces will detract from their value. Have an expert come in and value the pieces, and ask about refinishing each piece. Some will be things that will have only sentimental value, and you can do any of the refinishing techniques you can find here on Hometalk. Refinishing some of the pieces, as recommended by your expert, is most easily done with one of the Refinish products, be sure it isn't a stripper. It will retain the wood grain, and a good coating of tune oil will bring back that new look. If the piece is a true antique and has a value high enough that it shouldn't be refinished, clean it with Murphy's Oil, and either wax it with paste wax and give it a good rub, or use ting oil to put in some shine. I haven't yet found a solution for very old lacquer that has turned black. Almost everything I've tried just makes it sticky. If you, or anyone else out there, has some ideas of how to treat the old lacquer without ruining its value, I'd surely like to hear them! Good luck with your upgrades!

    • Neva Dew
      on May 14, 2016

      Thanks, Lainey for your input. I appreciate it!

    • Mj
      on Apr 22, 2019

      I use Guardian fine furniture products on my antiques. It can be hard to find. Treats and makes wood beautiful.

  • Dee B
    on May 12, 2016

    Really nice job! How did you make chalk paint? Thanks

  • Dee B
    on May 12, 2016

    How did you make chalk paint?

    • Madison McGahan
      on May 12, 2016

      I use a formula of 1 1/2 cups paint, to 1/2 cup Pladter of Paris and 1/2 cup water. I blend the PP and water in a small blender first before adding it to the paint.

    • Dee B
      on May 12, 2016

      Thank you very much!

    • Dee B
      on May 12, 2016

      Did you paint the small suitcase on top of the chest? That whole vignette is so pretty.

  • Cindy
    on Apr 22, 2019

    Do you have any advice on how to fix a water stain from a vase that leaked?

  • Becky
    on Apr 23, 2019

    What was the base grey paint you used ?? Always searching for the perfect grey. Great job by the way. Love it 👍

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