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Grey-washed Chalk Paint Dresser Makeover

Dresser Makeover- How to grey wash a dresser with chalk paint!

So remember wayyyy back two months ago when I shared this picture on Instagram and you were wondering what the heck I was working on??

A photo posted by Nicole Brzuchalski (@nicolebrzu) on

Well, I'm finally going to tell you! :) 

My mom has been wanting to update a few things in my parents' bedroom for a long time. In November, I got a chance to go stay with her for a few days so we could work on a couple of projects. The main one was their dressers.

They've had two mismatched dressers in their room for a long time. These dressers have been part of the household for as long as I can remember! They are great, sturdy wooden pieces, but they both desperately needed an update. My mom also wanted them to be painted similarly so that they would like they were meant to be together!

After discussing her tastes and decorating style, we decided to go with a distressed look. My mom wanted to use grey paint. I decided to surprise her by adding a little pop of color. My mom loves color, and it shows throughout her home. Her bedroom has lots of different shades of purple, so I decided purple would be the best option. 

Here are the dressers, in all of their glory.

Dresser Makeover- How to grey wash a dresser with chalk paint!

 Fancy, huh? These dressers used to be in the bedrooms of my sister and I back in the 90s! So it was definitely time to get to work!

View blog post for supplies

The first thing I did was paint both dressers and all of the drawers with two coats of paint. I used Americana Decor's Chalky Finish paint provided by DecoArt in the color "relic." Chalk paint is perfect for furniture makeovers because it requires no sanding ahead of time and goes on so smoothly!

Dresser Makeover- How to grey wash a dresser with chalk paint!

Next, I used a white washing (in this case, grey washing!) technique on the drawers with Americana Decor's Chalky Finish paint in "yesteryear." To white wash, mix your paint with water. I don't usually measure a specific ratio, but I do make it more on the watery side. Brush a layer of the paint mixture onto the furniture, and then use a soft cloth to wipe away some of the paint to give it a streaky appearance. I prefer Handi Wipes for this because they are lint free cloths and reusable (just rinse thoroughly and let air dry!). I recommend wiping in the direction of the wood grain for a more natural look. Work quickly because chalk paint dries fast!

Dresser Makeover- How to grey wash a dresser with chalk paint!


Once dry, I gave the entire thing a coat of Americana Decor's Soft Touch Varnish. This is especially important on the top surface and the drawers since these areas get used frequently. 

Now, its time for that pop of color. Remember that Instagram photo? Did you know DecoArt provides color mixing instructions on their website? While DecoArt offers many colors in their Chalky Finish paint, they didn't have the purple I was looking for. However, in their mixing guide they did have a deep purple that was perfect! Following their instructions, I mixed three parts "treasure" to one part "romance." I gave the dressers' original wooden knobs a coat of my newly mixed purple paint!

Dresser Makeover- How to grey wash a dresser with chalk paint!

The updated dressers look perfect in my parents' room! I really love how they turned out!


Dresser Makeover- How to grey wash a dresser with chalk paint!

Dresser Makeover- How to grey wash a dresser with chalk paint!


Dresser Makeover- How to grey wash a dresser with chalk paint!

Dresser Makeover- How to grey wash a dresser with chalk paint!



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16 comments

  1. Nicole! I LOVE everything about them!!! The colours are perfect and the whitewashing looks fantastic!!! Your Mom must LOOOOOOVE them! Great job my friend!

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    1. Thank you Kristi! I really love how the colors turned out!

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  2. This turned out awesome! I am about to refinish quite a few pieces of furniture and these tips are really helpful :)

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    1. Thank you! I would love to see what you're working on!

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  3. You did a fabulous job Nicole! Love the colour!
    Kendra @ www.joyinourhome.com

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  4. Love the purple knobs! So much fun... your mom is one lucky lady!

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    1. Thanks!!! I love the little pop of color they add!

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  5. Wow! These are so beautiful! You did a great job. I just love this paint line. That purple is amazing, too.

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    1. Thank you!! I love this paint too!!! So easy to work with!

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  6. SO beautiful! The transformation is stunning :)

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  7. I've never used chalk paint before but after seeing this, I found a rummage dresser to try this on. My question: the can of grey says not to use a roller. How do recommend applying the grey? I bought "chip" brushes for the white and intend to add water. But the grey...not sure how to apply

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    1. Hi Sherri! Thanks for stopping by :) They make special brushes for chalk paint that you can get at most craft stores or online (try Amazon!), but I've always had fine luck with a regular good quality paint brush with fine bristles. The chip brush will definitely work well for the white!

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