How To Use Chalkpaint to Fake an Expensive Shabby Chic Nightstand

by Makeful
Nothing gives a space character faster than a beautiful piece of vintage furniture. But finding the perfect piece, in the perfect color, at the perfect price is pretty tough to pull off. Enter: CHALK PAINT.

Chalk paint is the most versatile paint we have found for DIY decor projects. It can be used indoors or outside, and on pretty much any surface you can dream of. With chalk paint (not to be confused with chalkboard paint), there's no need for sanding or surface prep, no need for primer, and it dries super fast. Plus, it looks AMAZING. What's not to love?

See how we used chalk paint and furniture wax to make a $25 fake of a $495 Shabby Chic nightstand!

We found an old Ikea nightstand for $10 at Goodwill and loved the structure of it (it's so close to the Shabby Chic version we fell in love with). However, the orange color and plain metal hardware left a lot to be desired in the 'chic' category. Luckily, we already had some blue chalk paint and furniture wax on hand, so we got right to work!

Remove any hardware from your nightstand. You can set it aside to put back on after the paint has dried, or you can switch it out for a new drawer pull or hinge to give your table a totally new look.

Once your furniture piece is free of hardware, give it a light sanding to smooth out any imperfections. The beauty of chalk paint is that you don't have to sand, but we chose to sand simply because there were some scratches on the wood we wanted to smooth out a bit. Wipe down with a damp cloth when you're finished to get rid of any surface sawdust.

Paint the whole piece with an even coat of chalk paint. A pint size can of chalkpaint can be a bit expensive at about $25, but that can will last you through SO many projects. Also, chalkpaint is super thick, so you don't have to worry about doing multiple coats. You also don't have to worry about primer which is crazy helpful when you're doing a project like this one turning an orange nightstand to a cool blue. Blue and orange are literally opposites on the color wheel which means it's the hardest possible color switch over, but despite that, you can see how easily the chalk paint covers up the old orange without any bleed through. Not having to use primer literally saves HOURS of prep, paint, and dry time. HOORAY for chalk paint!

 After the chalk paint has thoroughly dried (about an hour or two to be safe), it's time to add a coat of wax. Wax is what makes painted furniture life-proof from spills and water rings, and also gives the piece its final look; kinda like putting a nice frame on an already pretty painting. Wax comes in a bunch of different colors. If you really love the paint color as-is, you can use clear wax only, but to achieve the shabby-chic, vintage, "weathered" look, use dark wax. The more dark wax you use, the older the piece will look. We went for a happy medium and used clear wax on the larger surfaces, then used dark wax on the corners and edges for detail.

Use a wax brush (or an old shirt or rag) to apply the clear wax in a circular motion on larger, flat surfaces. Then use a smaller brush to paint dark wax on the edges of the piece only. Use an old t-shirt or rag to rub and blend the wax into the paint and give the whole piece an even coating. Pro Tip: If you make a mistake and add too much dark wax, you can put clear wax on top and it will blend out.

You should let the wax cure or harden at least overnight before you put anything on the surface. It's totally fine to use after 24 hours, but do be aware that the wax won't fully cure to 100% life-proof status for about 4 weeks.

Finally, replace your old hardware! WeI found these amazing vintage-looking drawer pulls at a discount store for $1. Major score!

When you're done, you'll have a gorgeous, totally customized vintage-looking piece that will bring some upscale character to any room!

To read more about the materials we used, be sure to check out the full post on!
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
  2 questions
  • Carol Carol on Mar 12, 2017
    Does anyone know if chalk paint can be used with a paint sprayer?
  • Ann21955669 Ann21955669 on Mar 18, 2017
    Can you use this paint on oak kitchen cabinets??
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3 of 37 comments
  • Bridget Walling Bridget Walling on Mar 13, 2017

    You are most welcome! I love the color! I'm working on a spare bedroom and have chosen baby blue and brown to use together. I'm pretty jazzed about it. Your ensemble is just gorgeous. Maybe I will incorporate the brown wax on a furniture piece. I've made and used chalk paint ( I adore the stuff ) but, I haven't used wax before. TY for the inspiration! 😆

    • Linda Sikut Linda Sikut on Mar 14, 2017
      I love those colors together! Try adding something in a rusty orange color for a bit of a pop.
  • Bridget Walling Bridget Walling on Mar 14, 2017

    Will do! I see what you mean! TY! God mightily bless you and yours! 😆