DIY Chalk Painted Dresser


A month ago we moved into this adorable little townhouse overlooking a lake. We love this house! It feels like a beach house and all of us have been so happy here. When we were unpacking and setting up our living room, we realized we were unable to mount our TV. There is a fireplace in the house, and the TV is meant to be placed above the mantle. The only problem is there is a cove in the wall preventing us from being able to install a TV mount. For the time being we decided to just put the TV on the coffee table, and make sure not to let the kids touch it.


HAHAHA! That didn’t quite work out. The problem is that everything they are used to is touch screen. Tables, phones, laptops. So Tanner tries to touch the TV to choose what episode he wants to watch, or swipe the TV to view more episodes. We tell him no, but he just doesn’t get what the problem is. After two weeks the TV was covered in fingerprints. Greg told me to start looking for a piece of furniture to put the TV on where the kids couldn’t reach. Once I started looking, I realized everything I liked was way too expensive.

Then I found this on Facebook for $20. I texted Greg immediately to tell him we would be picking it up that evening.


You cant beat a dresser this size for $20. Its actually very nice and solidly built too. Better than most furniture you can find these days. To help keep the cost low, I bought my supplies at Wal-Mart. I bought Waverly Inspirations Chalk Paint in the shade Crystal, and Minwax Polycrylic in semi-gloss for the top, and matte for the rest. I used this brush and this roller to paint the dresser, and this brush to apply the Polycrylic.  Luckily I already had the brushes and semi-gloss polycrylic on hand, so all I had to buy was the paint, and matte polycrylic. Altogether this dresser ended up costing me about $40!

When we brought it home, the first thing I did was clean it out. It was filled with spiders, and cobwebs. So I vacuumed it out, bleached it, removed the hardware and lightly sanded everything.


The next day it was ready for paint. When the baby went down for his morning nap, me and Tanner went outside in the garage to paint. I started out by painting the top. I decided to make the top look like espresso brown wood. This dresser was an orange-y color, and the top wasn’t pretty. So I decided to completely paint over it.

I painted the entire top this taupe brown color, and let dry.  I just used some cheap acrylic craft paint for this that I had on hand.

Next I made my “wood grain”. This graining tool is so cool! I bought it on amazon, and I have been having so much fun doing projects with it. I had low expectations, but it really does look like real wood, doesn’t it?

Using craft paints again, I mixed together two shades of dark brown with a little bit of black until I was happy with the color. Then I painted a strip of paint going horizontal from one edge to the other. You don’t want too much paint, but you want to be a bit generous with it. Then you take the graining tool, and roll it back and forth while running it down the strip of paint you just painted. I like to do it this way to make it look like individual wooden planks. I created this wood grain effect only using two shades of brown paint. Pretty amazing, huh?


While letting that dry, I went on to paint the base of the dresser. I choose the color Crystal, which is a really pretty light greyish blue. The first coat I applied with a brush, then the second two coats I used a roller.


I also had an adorable little “helper”. He was so proud of himself, saying to me “Yeah, I’m such a good helper mommy!”

Once the first coat was on, I painted the drawers.


Because it was such a light color, I ended up putting three coats of paint on this piece. I was very impressed with the quality of the Walmart paint. In the past I have used way more expensive chalk paints, and this one was just as good! So I think I will stick to Waverly from now on.

After all the paint was dry, I distressed the drawers. I didn’t want to distress the entire piece, mostly because it’s the middle of summer and freaking hot outside. I was trying to finish this as quick as possible. So I just lightly sanded the drawers only, and I actually love the way it looks.

The final step is to seal the piece. In the past I have used a soft wax to seal chalk paint. It works pretty good. You take your wax, and rub it on it circular motions, then wipe off the excess with a dry cloth. Its pretty time consuming. Remember me mentioning the 100° humid weather? So I opted not to wax, and decided to seal with a matte polycrylic to get the same look as wax.

Y’all, i’m never using wax again. I will always use polycrylic from now on! The finish is exactly the same as my coffee table that I sealed with wax, but I just painted it on with a brush in less than 10 minutes. It was so fast and easy, fuck sitting there rubbing in wax in small circular motions for hours. POLYCRYLIC FOR LIFE!

Anyways….I used a semi-gloss on the top to make it look like stained wood, and used matte on the rest.


I am so happy with the way this dresser came out. I cant stop staring at it! If I didn’t tell you the top was entirely made with paint, you would assume it was the natural wood. It seriously looks like I bought this. You can’t beat $40!


Our living room now looks so much better. The TV is high up, and easier to see. My coffee table can actually be a coffee table again. I feel like the entire room feels much more put together now. I can’t wait to start on the next project! I think next will be our nightstands.



Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed hearing about it as much as I enjoyed making it!






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