I’m so excited to share this chalk paint cabinet makeover with you today!
If you saw my last post about the Fish Room, you caught a glimpse of the second-hand furniture that replaced the terrible cabinetry. There’s so much more storage now, which is perfect because my Mom and I streamlined and pooled our sewing supplies. She has downsized to a much cozier home, plus we always work on sewing projects at my place anyway, so it just made sense to keep everything here. But I also store my paints, adhesives, and other garage-y things that can’t freeze in the Fish Room as well, so the more drawers, cabinets, and shelves the better!
This furniture just happened to fit so well but it was definitely a bit of a hodgepodge – nothing a little paint couldn’t fix! Even though the Ikea furniture had some scratches and dents, I really liked the white melamine and faux wood foil because it has a light and airy vibe with a coastal feel. But the pine cabinet I acquired was a little too country for me and I wanted this room to look polished – not like a space where furniture comes to die. I’d never painted furniture with chalk paint before, and this chalk paint cabinet makeover was an excellent first project!
Here’s a look at the cabinet before:
It’s been a long time since I painted wood because I’ve really been loving natural wood tones lately (especially walnut!). When I’ve decided the wood-look is too much, I’ve leaned toward pale grey or cream stains to let the grain shine. But this particular piece needed a paint job and I found the perfect pale blue/grey hue in Rust-Oleum’s new chalk paint line. Their “Serenity Blue” (insanity later, lol) picks up on the blue trim on the glass doors of the Ikea cabinets, which makes my decorating decisions feel intentional (and less “happy accidental,” which is what they are).
I hadn’t used chalk paint before, so this was a fun experiment and I love that Rust-Oleum has their own line. It comes as a spray paint or in a can and I opted for the latter for the cabinet so I could avoid any brush strokes. Although chalk paint doesn’t require priming (sweet!), I did lightly sand the entire unit. I didn’t tape off any areas – I just spray painted it closed, to preserve the cedar interior. I even painted the hinges and knobs at the same time, which made this chalk paint cabinet makeover super fast and easy.
The coverage was splotchy at first but after three coats it was so seamless and smooth – I love the matte finish and how it modernized this somewhat dated piece. The stenciled design on the front was covered perfectly, but the irregularities in the wood (which seem faux, to be honest) were preserved.
I am in love with how QUICKLY this paint dries! I had dragged it outside when I was home alone one day and had sprayed on the first coat before heading back into the Fish Room to work on another project. I had only been working for about 15 minutes when I heard a rumble and realized my beautiful, sunny day with clear skies had morphed into a thunder storm. I ran to the drive way, convinced I’d ruined my paint job but the paint was dry enough for me to heave and shove and drag this massively heavy chest back into the garage. A few days later the skies cleared again and I finished applying the second and third coats. Any other paint would have been ruined by the sudden downpour – and my manhandling – but this paint was unscathed and the chalk paint cabinet makeover was a success.
To help prevent that furniture graveyard look even more, Hubby and I added some DIY plywood shelves that line up with the shelves in the Ikea cabinets, but are painted the same blue/grey chalk paint as the cabinet. For the shelves, however, I decided to try brushing on the paint. For that application, you have to commit! No re-brushing is allowed – you have to work quickly and confidently to avoid streaks or brush marks. But it also goes on really well and a little goes a long way so I have tons left (you might have spotted the color because I used it for my mini potted plant ornaments!)
I found the brackets in the garage and spray painted them white but, in hindsight, we should have sprung for some tougher brackets like the ones in the kitchen. I wanted to work with what I had but these light duty brackets mean we can’t really load down the shelves – which might be a wise idea anyway. I’ll see how they hold up. I’m so proud of how this space came together on a small budget – especially the cool blue marbled floors we made from plywood!
When we renovate this space for real, we’ll spring for new cabinets, but for now it was so nice to re-purpose and find a home for this random grouping – along with some bits and bobs from the garage. I love how my chalk paint cabinet makeover turned out and I’m excited to try chalk paint in future projects.
P.S. Come tour the finished Fish Room turned Craft room by clicking here. And find more project ideas in my DIY & Craft Project Gallery and DIY Renovating Gallery.