French Country Dressing Table Makeover

9 Materials
2 Days
Using chalk paint and a ragging paint technique I give this dark dressing table a light and airy French Country inspired makeover.

This is the dressing table we are starting with. First I removed all the handles and mirror ready for sanding.
I gave the whole piece a very light sand to remove any surface scratches.

I made my own chalk paint using ⅓ cup of plaster of paris mixed with ⅓ cup of water, then add this mix to 1 cup of paint in the colour of your choice, I used Tranquil Retreat by Accent.
I applied this homemade chalk paint using a foam roller brush. And after the first coast dried I covered it again with a second coat.
Next I used a slightly darker grey colour Stormy Shadow by Accent. I poured a small amount into a container and watered it down to a runny watery consistency.
Using a damp rag I dipped this into the watered down paint and started to buff in the darker grey in circular motions over the whole piece. I let it dry and then applied another coat in the same way over the entire piece.
I then lightly applied some white paint using a dry brush technique over the edges of the dressing table to give it an 'aged' look.
For the mirror frame I applied some rhinestone mesh around the border and glued it into place with some E6000 glue.
I applied some new handles to the piece and we are done.
Here a close up of the paint finish.
And the finished piece.

We want to help you DIY, so some of the materials in this post are linked to sellers. Just so you know, Hometalk may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page.

Resources for this project:

See all materials
Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Hometalk may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page.More info

Frequently asked questions

Have a question about this project?

  14 questions
  • Sta8387950 Sta8387950 on Sep 20, 2017
    Do you think this technique would provide a surface durable enough for cabinetry? I would love this look in my bathroom!
    • Moonalisa Crabass Moonalisa Crabass on Sep 20, 2017
      For high traffic pieces, you would want to use a durable top coat (I use satin polycrylic).
    • I think it would look beautiful Stapju! I'm currently in the process of painting my bathroom cabinets with chalk paint and I plan to use dark wax. (I already have all the supplies for my project but this sounds so tempting!). I do not plan on using a topcoat at this time. If a place looks worn, I will add more wax as needed. I may change my mind if the wax does not hold up and put a top coat on.
      As for this particular method, I agree with Moonalisa, a satin top coat would save you alot of headaches down the road. Wow, just writing that statement myself completely changes my view on my bathroom project. I don't want any headaches down the road so a top coat may be added to my plans!

      Thanks for asking this question Stapju, it has helped me too!!

  • Becki armington Becki armington on Sep 20, 2017
    Could you get the same effect if you used chalk paint that is purchased already made?
  • Saundra Hayes Saundra Hayes on Sep 20, 2017
    The Grey paint was chalk paint also?
    • Tim Orr Tim Orr on Sep 20, 2017
      "Next I used a slightly darker grey colour Stormy Shadow by Accent. I poured a small amount into a container and watered it down to a runny watery consistency." I don't see where she said 'chalk' or 'plaster of paris' or anything to give the impression it was a chalk paint.
    • Jeanette Jeanette on Sep 20, 2017
      This is the sentence immediately preceding the statement you copied... That is why the question of chalk paint was forwarded...

      "I applied this homemade chalk paint using a foam roller brush. And after the first coast dried I covered it again with a second coat."

    • Alice Alice on Sep 20, 2017
      I would suggest that you do it your way, experiment on a scrap board and see what you like. That process is so much fun.
  • Kitty McCarty Kitty McCarty on Sep 20, 2017
    can you show a picture of the entire piece? I think I'd like to paint my electric fireplace with this technique. what is seen looks great.
  • Sandy Wegmann Sandy Wegmann on Sep 20, 2017
    Did you paint over the sequin border?
    • Tim Orr Tim Orr on Sep 20, 2017
      DId you look at all the pictures? The answer is pretty obvious.
    • Sandy Wegmann Sandy Wegmann on Sep 20, 2017
      I looked at all the photos -- the only one with the finished mirror just looked "textured" to me and I wasn't sure if she painted over the border or if the sequins just did not have any light hitting them when she took the pic. Sooo -- was the border painted over, or not??

    • Alice Alice on Sep 20, 2017
      And it's runestones, not sequins. Big difference. Looks nice, too.
    • Alice Alice on Sep 20, 2017
      Stupid auto correct. That's rhinestones!
    • Barb in Texas Barb in Texas on Sep 20, 2017
      Well, to be a bit more polite, do you really think you can paint over rhinestones and they'd still be shiny? No, she applied them after she was done. Which is explained in the steps.
    • Lisa Woelk Lisa Woelk on Sep 21, 2017
      Hi there, i painted the border of the mirror first in the colour then glued on the rhinestone mesh over the top here a video showing you the makeover it may be a bit clearer FURNITURE MAKEOVER | French Country Dressing Table (Chalkpaint & Ragging Paint Technique)
    • Sandy Wegmann Sandy Wegmann on Sep 21, 2017
      Thanks -- I meant rhinestones anyway (senior moment!!) I am familiar with that tape --I love the look you got using it -- I plan to dress up a builder grade mirror in my bathroom with a little glitz! Thanks for the great idea!
  • Jeri Walker Jeri Walker on Sep 20, 2017
    where did you get the rhinestone mesh??????
  • Millie Millie on Sep 20, 2017
    Could you post a complete picture of finished piece? Thank You.
  • Mcgypsy9 Mcgypsy9 on Sep 22, 2017
    I absolutely love the finished product!!! I do have a question...could I use this same technique on a wall? It's just drywall. I would love this effect on a wall I am getting ready to finish. I found a similar technique but hesitate to use it as it's a bit more complicated and with medical issues, I am trying for the easiest technique. Thanks! Lovely, just lovely!
    • Lisa Woelk Lisa Woelk on Sep 23, 2017
      yes you could definitely use it on a wall, after all its only wall paint i am using. I would just skip adding the plaster of paris though, just paint the wall in one colour then using your second colour water it down a bit and rag it on top. i think it will look great

    • Mcgypsy9 Mcgypsy9 on Sep 24, 2017
      I would think that the plaster of Paris would make the top layer of paint stick better since the top layer is watered down. I think I will experiment with both before I actually do the wall. Here they sell drywall cut into 2x 4 sheets and they are very cheap so I can just get a few of those to play on. Thanks so much for your input, I greatly appreciate it and will notify you with the results!

    • Lisa Woelk Lisa Woelk on Sep 29, 2017
      awesome, yes give it a try on a few practise sheets first as i have never tried the chalk paint mix on an actual wall and the walls here in australia are made out of like a chalk type stuff with cardboard sheeting covering it so it may work different on different substances too. great idea though!
  • Tex21773744 Tex21773744 on Sep 29, 2017
    Was the gay paint wall paint watered down or chalk paint?
    • Lisa Woelk Lisa Woelk on Sep 29, 2017
      it was just regular wall paint not watered down and I turned it into home made chalk paint using plaster of paris. I used 1/3 cup of plaster paris mixed with 1/3 cup water, mix until dissolved and smooth then add to this 1 full cup of the wall paint colour of your choice. makes a perfect mix of chalk paint.
    • Tex21773744 Tex21773744 on Oct 03, 2017
  • Charlotte Charlotte on Sep 30, 2017
    Do you have to use wax with this paint. I have two pieces of furniture that I want to redo and I do not want to ruin them as one piece belonged to my maternal grandmother and the other is old, how old I don't know. Thank you
    • Teresa Seeger-Gesser Teresa Seeger-Gesser on Sep 07, 2018

      Do not paint them yet - date them first. When you paint an old antique, you are taking away value. Really think before you paint anything. I recently did an old piece - it was damaged and could not be stained. Research the colors of the time period if you must paint it. Try your best to keep some of it original 🙂

    • Its a common misconception that you HAVE to use wax with chalk paint. Wax has to be reappiled every 6 months or so. In homes with small children, wax does not provide a durable finish. I perfer a matte poly or you can use any type of clear coat over the chalk paint

    • Marlene Seymour Marlene Seymour on Sep 07, 2018

      Great job on the dresser. Thanks for sharing your technique easy and cheap! I wish you showed your blingy mirror lol

  • Phillyb Phillyb on Oct 02, 2017
    Where does one purchase rhinestone mesh. I had never heard of it, but it looks fantastic.
  • Nan22425932 Nan22425932 on Sep 07, 2018

    Beautiful job! Did you make a chalk paint of the darker gray coat before watering it down & applying with the rag? Thank you

  • Annie Annie on Sep 07, 2018

    Hi fellow Australian did you seal this wonderful piece if so what with thanks

  • Sj Sj on Sep 18, 2018

    Why use plaster of paris in the paint I'm about to start this project.

    • Barbara Barbara on Sep 25, 2018

      Plaster of Paris is used to make chalk paint out of almost any paint. You can buy chalk paint already mixed, but it is a lot cheaper, and you have more choice of colors if you make your own. Enjoy using your own homemade chalkpaint! You'll become addicted!

    • Cynthia Carroll Hall Cynthia Carroll Hall on Apr 17, 2021

      I have used Calcium Carbonate to make my DIY chalk paint with whatever color paint I want. I feel that it works better than POP.

    • Lilpixiestixxx Lilpixiestixxx on Apr 23, 2021

      I agree with Cynthia, Calcium carbonate works better and I've used pp, baking soda ect. But you did an amazing job!

    • Rosemary Rosemary on May 06, 2021

      In what way does the chalk paint differ, and preferred over a wall paint? In my observations of furniture painted with chalk paint, it requires a wax finish. I did not like the chalk paint only finish. Thanks!


Join the conversation

2 of 42 comments