How to Give Old Furniture a Fabulous Paint Makeover

painting techniques for Goodwill furniture finds

Learn how to give old furniture a fabulous paint makeover. This DIY tutorial is guaranteed to have you looking at the furniture section in your favorite Goodwill of Orange County store in a whole new light.

If you would like to upcycle old furniture and transform your home on a budget, you are going to love this tutorial on using Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan.

Goodwill stores have a great selection of furniture, from old dressers, gently-used nightstands and more. Stop by your local store today to find a great piece to makeover!

Something Borrowed Something Vintage in Yorba Linda

Lisa Lee, owner of Something Borrowed Something Vintage in Yorba Linda, has turned her love of Goodwill finds into a thriving business. She shares her step-by-step for giving old furniture found at Goodwill new life.

Lisa says, “I love decorating on a budget, antiquing, thrifting, and especially searching garage sales! It thrills me to find a great piece of furniture and turn it into something beautiful. My home is half-filled with Goodwill items and half with things I’ve made.”

Lisa showed me how easy it is to give your old, scratched or just no longer your style furniture new life and a new look.

I thought painting with Chalk Paint® was going to be tricky and time consuming and it turns out that I was wrong on both counts!

The color palette is so lovely that the hardest part for me turned out to be choosing the color for my table makeover.

colors of Annie Sloan paint

Some of the most popular paint colors include French Linen, Country Grey, Duck Egg Blue and a beautiful red color called Emperor’s Silk.

Arles Yellow by Annie Sloan

I finally settled on Arles, this gorgeous yellow color.

furniture remake using Chalk Paint by Annie Sloan

I brought my old table in to Lisa’s store and she showed me the supplies needed for the makeover:

  • One quart of Chalk Paint® which retails for $38.94. You will be surprised at how much paint is leftover to use on future projects! The paint also comes in a sample size for $15 which is enough to cover a chair or a small side table.
  • A natural bristle brush for painting.
  • Wax
  • Painters tape
  • A clean, lint-free cloth
  • A screwdriver used to remove and then put back the drawer’s hardware

Lisa walked me through this fun tutorial step-by-step. Surprisingly, there are only four easy steps. Here we go!

preparing for painting old furniture

Step One: Dust off your furniture piece.

The prep time for the furniture was next to nothing! Don’t you love that? It did not need to be primed or sanded. All Lisa did was wipe off some dust and she was ready to begin. For an impatient weekend crafter like me, knowing this project could be completed quickly got me on board.

 using painter's tape to prep
Step Two: Painter’s Tape.
Lisa started by using painter’s tape to tape off the inside drawers. She also removed the handles because those were in good shape and we were going to reuse them when the project was done.
Tip: If your furniture hardware is not in the best shape, or not in a style you like, it is a very inexpensive fix to buy new hardware for your project.
 one coat of Chalk Paint by Annie Sloan
Step Three: Painting — multiple coats.
Then we dove in to the the fun part — painting! Lisa worked quickly applying the first coat and just kept the brush moving.

the difference between one coat and two coats of Chalk Paint by Annie Sloan

Time for the second coat! Here you can see the difference between the first coat and the second coat. The number of coats needed depends on personal preference and the starting color of the furniture. Lisa said it is best to let each coat dry for 24 hours, but if you are in a hurry, you can use a hair dryer to dry each coat and then continue painting.

Annie Sloan wax products

Step Four: Wax.

For the finish, there are several types of wax that can be applied to give it that smooth professional look. I chose a clear wax for my piece.

When your piece is dry, use a clean natural bristle brush or an Annie Sloan wax brush and apply the wax liberally. Once you have covered it, use your clean, lint-free cloth  to wipe off any excess wax. The wax will seal and protect your painted furniture. It will harden when it completely dries.

leftover paint

Another surprising feature was how little paint was used and how much was leftover for future projects.

A few tips I learned:

  • Don’t be intimidated. The entire process from start to finish was so easy and the paint is very forgiving. Unlike latex paint, you can easily go back over a section to thin out a section or apply a little more paint if needed.
  • The first coat may look streaky with your brushstrokes showing. Don’t worry, the second coat will look dramatically better than the first coat.
  • The furniture takes 21 days to fully cure so be careful if you place decorative objects on top. I would advise against moving things around until the piece has completely dried.


Arles Yellow painted table Annie Sloan Chalk Paint


I’m thrilled with how the old table turned out and cannot wait to find more old furniture from Goodwill to makeover.

Want to know more?

You can take a class at at Something Borrowed Something Vintage and see how much fun it is to paint old furniture with Chalk Paint® decorative paint by Annie Sloan. You’ll learn how to mix paints, and create a two-color distressed finish which is Annie’s signature finish. She will show you advanced techniques such as layering waxes and layering colors.  Lisa will demonstrate techniques such as smooth, modern, color-washing, and a rustic finish which is full of texture.

Lisa Lee and her staff can help you with any and all questions regarding Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan and can ship the paint directly to you if you are ready to get started. Or you can find an Annie Sloan Stockist/retailer near you.

She is a certified Stockist/retailer for Chalk Paint® and just returned from a trip to England where she got first hand tips from Annie Sloan herself! If you are not familiar with Annie Sloan, you can read more about her here. She is widely recognized as one of the world’s most respected experts in paint and color. She developed this unique decorative paint in 1990, for furniture, floors, and walls. Her water-based paint is non-toxic, lead-free, odor-free with very low volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Feel good about shopping and supporting Goodwill! Your purchases and donations help support Goodwill of Orange County’s programs and services which provide job and employment training to people with disabilities or barriers in Orange County.

This post was created by Lori Felix of More With Less Today.

Stop by for more budget-inspired ideas and follow along on Pinterest too!

Are you a Goodwill crafter too? We would enjoy connecting with you on social media using the hashtag #FindTheGood

One comment

  1. […] to love this tutorial on using Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan. Follow the very easy steps on the Goodwill blog […]

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: