From Transitional to Cottage Style With Chalk Paint

I received this chest of drawers from a client who I was working with to turn a second upstairs master suite into a combination guest room and nursery for her new baby girl.  She was going for a sweet cottage look with soft bedding and cream furniture, but there was one problem; the dark, sleek, cherry-colored chest of drawers that she had in the room (which she wanted to try to keep) just wasn't jiving with the look we were trying to accomplish.  The solution, chalk paint.  Little did I know that what I anticipated to be a very straight forward, minimal prep project would turn into a much bigger job!  Thankfully, I love a challenge.  I had finally ended up with one of those .1% of pieces, that for unknown reasons, chalk paint simply won't adhere to.  Despite being scuffed up and thoroughly cleaned this thing thing repelled not only chalk paint but Zinsser Shellac and binding primer like oil on water.  The only option I could see was to sand it down to the bare wood, and literally start from scratch.  At least it gave me the excuse to use a power tool, and it gave me some great experience! All I can say is thank goodness for electric sanders, helpful husbands, and patient clients!  I'm so excited though because the project is done now, and I can't wait to share a glimpse of the journey with you as well as the end result!



This is what I started with; a dark, cherry wood, transitional styled chest of drawers


That right there, my friends, is bonding primer, not chalk paint.  I had already at this point discovered that the chalk paint wasn't adhering.  It's a little shocking to see bonding primer completely scratching off after having had two days to cure.

The only solution I could come up with was to take it down to the bare wood.  Watch out!  I'm a lean, mean, sanding machine! (Insert sympathy laugh and eye roll)

Here it is completely sanded down.  I actually kind of liked the look of it like this...for a minute. This took quite a bit of elbow grease, but it brought so much satisfaction when it was done, and I had a blank canvas to work with.

And the finished product!  From dark, sleek transitional to light, bright cottage style!  Perfect for a sweet, cottage styled nursery/guest room!  If you are interested in the reclaimed wood technique on the top, please see my Nightstand Chalk Paint Tutorial post.  The only difference is that I used Annie Sloan Old White here instead of Pure White.

A little before and after

I seriously can't say it enough, I love chalk paint!  You can essentially create a whole new piece of furniture with it, which saves so much money for other things, like all of those fun accessories that it takes to finish off a room.  Happy painting, friends!