How to upcycle a dresser with Annie Sloan chalk paint

Transform a plain piece of furniture with painted pearlescent detailing

How to upcycle a dresser with Annie Sloan chalk paint

For a speedy upcycle, there’s nothing like a lick of chalk paint! It’s one of the simplest ways to refresh much-loved old furniture or bargain second-hand finds.

If you’ve got a few painted projects under your belt, it’s time to take your skills up a notch and try this dresser design with a pearlescent leaf motif inspired by traditional inlay. Be warned, though – once you’ve finished, you might just be tempted to paint the wardrobe to match as well!

You will need:

  • A dresser or chest of drawers
  • Chalk Paint in Graphite and Old White
  • Large flat detail brush
  • Small flat detail brush
  •  Large round detail brush
  • Pearlescent Glaze
  • Clear Chalk Paint Wax
  • Lint-free cloth
  • Paint stirrer
  • Tape measure
  • White chalk

Step 1

Protect your work space, and clean and dry your piece of furniture with a lint-free cloth. Tape off areas you don’t want to paint, remove hardware and sand any rough patches if needed.

Step 2

Use a mix of Chalk Paint in Graphite and Old White as a base – it’s advisable to add some water to the paint and mix well. Charge the brush well with paint and apply. Work it in all directions to spread the paint evenly, then work it straight up and down to get an even coat.

How to upcycle a dresser with Annie Sloan chalk paint

Step 3

Once the paint is dry, use a tape measure and white chalk to sketch out your design and ensure it’s symmetrical. To make it easier, sketch it onto a piece of paper first to make sure you’re happy with it, or even create your own stencil to paint with if you’d prefer.

Step 4

Using Chalk Paint in Old White and a large flat detail brush, fill in the chalk outlines or stencil. Use a small flat detail brush to paint the straight lines along the edges and a large round detail brush for the border leaves.

Step 5

Once this is dry, apply the Pearlescent Glaze directly over the Old White, being sure to mix the glaze well before use.

How to upcycle a dresser with Annie Sloan chalk paint

Step 6

Finally, apply two coats of Clear Chalk Paint Wax to protect the paint, removing any excess with a lint-free cloth.


For more chalk paint inspo, check out out ultimate guide to using Frenchic paints in your home.