Cubby Storage Makeover {DIY Chalk Paint}

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I’ve jumped on the chalk paint bandwagon and I have to say that I am impressed.  I love the look of old, distressed furniture so I decided to give it a shot.

I purchased this cubby about 10 years ago.  It was originally brown laminate and has served its purpose well.  

It was first used in our living room in our old house.  Then it was moved to my daughter’s bedroom for toy storage.  It made the trip with us to our new house but looked very out of place in our living room.  Probably because my taste in furniture finishes has changed in the past 10 years.

I’m slowly transforming all my wood furniture in the living/dining room to white.  I’ve already done a pallet art table for my daughter in addition to my entryway table.

Sorry light brown laminate…you have to go.

I chose chalk paint because of the fact that you don’t have to prime.  I did not want to sand the finish off of the cubby and then prime it, and then paint it.  I needed a more streamlined process.  Chalk paint it is! I used the chalk paint recipe and technique found here.  I found it easiest to mix the paint mixture in a mason jar.  

On to the transformation…

First, I painted black acrylic paint onto the areas of the cubby that I wanted to distress.  I then rubbed a layer of vaseline over the areas that I had just painted.

Using a sponge brush, I gave the cubby three coats of chalk paint.  This is after the first coat.  

Do you know how time consuming it is to paint all those cubbies?  Next time I will be sure to choose a piece of furniture with less surface area!

After the chalk paint was dry, I sanded the areas that I wanted to distress. You are supposed to be able to just wipe the paint right off to reveal the dark paint underneath. However, Mother Nature decided to be a pain.  I was painting this piece outside and then it rained for about 3 weeks straight.  When I finally could get back out to finish the project, the paint did not wipe off very easily because the vaseline had dried and was stuck on.  So I had to sand it off.  

There is a little brown showing where I sanded too much.  No problem, you can just touch it up with black paint.

The next step was to protect the piece by rubbing some paste finishing wax on with a clean cloth.  Wait 30 minutes and then wipe off.

The back of the cubby was open so I bought some beadboard and attached it to the back with small finishing nails. I bought the kind that was already painted and had Lowe’s cut it to size for me.    I absolutely love the classic look of beadboard!  

So let’s take a look at the before and after:
Much better.

And now my favorite part…accessorizing. 

Have you refinished any furniture lately?


  1. I’d never heard of that Vaseline trick. I’ll have to remember that if I ever want to distress some furniture. Your piece turned out great!

  2. Yes I have! But none as cute as this! Great job! I will try that paint recipe too!!
    Barbara at Chase the Star

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