Layering Chalk Paint

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Our new master bathroom is beautiful but not big enough for us to have installed a vanity with seating. I like to sit down at a mirror to do my hair and makeup, so this meant I needed to purchase a traditional bedroom vanity. After shopping all over the interwebs, I couldn’t find anything I loved. One afternoon while adding some items to my booth at the Hubbard Antique Mall, I stumbled upon this. It’s an older Thomasville brand bedroom vanity that was in kind of rough condition. The fact that it was a few hundred dollars less than what I’d seen online- I grabbed it up!

Layering Chalk Paint for a Distressed Look

I saw somewhere a way to layer different colors of chalk paint to make a piece of furniture look distressed without sanding. It looked really easy and I thought this would be a perfect piece of furniture on which to try. Here are my supplies:

Rust-Oleum Chalked Paint- Charcoal

Rust-Oleum Chalked Paint- Country Gray

Vignette Chalk Paint- Coral (this link is a different brand)

Valspar Antiquing Wax

Rust-Oleum Varathan Sealer

Chalk Paint Brush

Step One

Be sure your piece of furniture is completely clean and dust free. Take your darkest color of paint and dry brush the entire thing. I used charcoal. Having some areas that are more covered than others is really the way you should do it. Remember when you  dry brush, you should dab your brush in the paint and then dab off the paint on a paper towel. You don’t want the brush to be loaded up with paint. Go over the entire piece of furniture.

You’ll see some areas where the original wood is coming through. It’s supposed to look rough.

Step Two

It’s time to add your second coat. I used a color that was completely out of the gray color family. Don’t be afraid to try something different. I used coral. Add the paint, again using the dry brush technique. Notice, again, how the brush isn’t loaded up with paint. Don’t worry that it looks ugly at this point. You want to see the other color coming through, heavy in some spots, light in others.

Step Three

Paint your last coat with the color you want your finished product to be. Country Gray is my top coat color. This coat will be a bit heavier than a true dry brush, but not so heavy as to have true full coverage. You want the other colors to show through in some spots. Cover the entire piece using these same kinds of strokes.

See  how the other coats can be seen in some places. That’s how you get the distressed look.  It should look random.

Step Four

Apply a light coat of the poly sealer. Cover the entire piece of furniture thoroughly.

Step Five 

Add the antiquing wax. I use a square type bristle brush for this. Start on the edge of any area you choose. Just paint it on in small sections. Wait a couple of seconds and begin to lightly wipe the excess away. Leave the wax heavier in some areas than in others. Think about where actual wear could occur. 

Pardon these pics not being top quality. I took them from the video tutorial.

Continue this process over all of the piece of furniture. On the top and sides, I started on the sides and top and bottom edges and then used the cloth to pull the wax to the middle.

Again, I left the wax a little heavier in some places than in others. Work quickly, if you let the wax set up for too long, you cannot remove it.  Keep wiping until you get it where you want it.


After you’re all done painting, add at least two coats of the poly to your piece. This will help protect it from the daily wear and tear. (I finished by adding a rub on transfer to the project before the last coats of sealer). 

Remember the before?

Here’s a video tutorial that shows exactly how I did it:

And here’s how I added the rub on transfer:


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  1. Kippi
    October 13, 2018 @ 6:39 pm

    Lovely transformation! I watched both videos and learned how to do it. Thank you.


    • Kelly
      October 14, 2018 @ 10:38 am

      Kippi- Thank you so much! I’m happy to hear you got some good information from the tutorials. I just love this technique and am so glad you took a moment to say hi. Blessings! -Kelly


  2. Beverly
    October 12, 2018 @ 9:01 am

    This is stunning! What a lovely transformation and your painting tips are great! Thanks for sharing with us at Snickerdoodle Party. I’ll be featuring this at tomorrow’s party. Hope you’ll join us!


    • Kelly
      October 12, 2018 @ 11:25 am

      Beverly- How lovely! Thank you so much for the feature. Blessings! -Kelly


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