How To – Furniture Flip Using Chalk Paint – Small Cabinet Makeover

by | Jan 11, 2023 | Decor, DIY | 0 comments

This post is about a furniture flip project where I transformed an old and tired cabinet to look modern and new using chalk-based paint.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links and I may earn a small commission if you decide to make a purchase by clicking the link at no additional cost. As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases. You can read my full disclaimer here

Have you always loved a specific piece of furniture but … don’t really relate to its style anymore? Been there, done that!

But hey, don’t throw it away. All you need is a furniture flip — brownie points if you do a good DIY. In this blog post, I’m going to share a fun DIY makeover I gave to an old chest of drawers, transforming it into a sleek and contemporary dresser.

Furniture flip - Small dark brown cabinet

Follow me as I walk you through every step of the process to simply enjoy a fun before-and-after — or even get some inspiration for your next design project! 😉

Here’s a peek into all the materials needed for this project.

Furniture flip - Materials needed - Dixie belle Slick Stick Primer, Dixie Belle Driftwood Paint, Paint brushes, Screwdriver, Rub'nBuff, Dixie Belle White Lightning, Spray bottle, sanding block

Oh, and before we get to it, I’d like to give credit to Areeba and Shayna’s projects for inspiring me to do this makeover. Thank you, ladies!

Step#1: Removing The Hardware

To start off, I unscrewed all the hardware using a Philips head Screwdriver, including the drawer pulls.

Furniture flip - Hardware being removed from brown cabinet

And to make sure nothing got mixed up — and well, to satisfy my OCD — I placed all the hardware pieces for each part of the drawer into separate bowls.

Furniture flip - small brown cabinet with hardware removed

Super organized and easy to put back together without getting lost in a plethora of screws and pulls!

Step#2: Cleaning, Cleaning, Cleaning – Most important for a good furniture flip project!

One step that’s absolutely necessary for old furniture pieces is cleaning. A thorough, deep clean helps get rid of dust and residue that may have accumulated over the years, ensuring the final product looks anything but old.

For my project, I used Dixie Belle Paint’s White Lightning Cleaner — totally recommended! I mixed two tablespoons of the product into a gallon of hot water and soaked a piece of microfiber cloth into it.

small brown cabinet being cleaned

I then proceeded to clean the entire piece of furniture (inside out) with the damp cloth. If you decide to do this too, be sure to use gloves (and wear painting pants — which, this time, I, fortunately, remembered to change into 😊).

Step#3: Applying Primer

The chest of drawers was a highly textured piece, so I expected the paint to adhere to the rough texture. And so, I omitted the sanding part and skipped straight to priming — and it was a success!

I chose to use a primer because the final product I envisioned was a light color while my original piece was dark. Priming would help make a smooth transition from dark to light hues. For this purpose, I chose the Dixie Belle Paint Slick Stick and a chip brush.

Furniture flip - First coat of primer painted on a small brown cabinet

I first applied one coat and let it dry for two to three hours. I then applied the second coat and let it dry overnight, just as the instructions recommended.

Here is the cabinet after the first and second coats of primer.

Furniture flip - Small cabinet with one coat of primer
Furniture flip - Small cabinet with two coats of primer

The following day, I proceeded to the main part: painting!

Step#4: The Game-Changer for furniture flip: Painting

The painting was the step where I finally saw things coming together. I started off by misting the synthetic brush with water in a spray bottle. This makes the color go on easily and gives a smooth finish. You may also mist the furniture piece for fantastic results.

Misting a paintbrush with a spray bottle

For the paint, I chose Dixie Belle Paint’s Driftwood Chalk Paint — it was a light, serene, and natural tone of gray. The soft hue of this color perfectly contributed to the contemporary version of the product I aimed to attain.

Dixie Belle Driftwood Paint

While painting, I took a small amount of paint each time to avoid brush strokes and get a neat finish. if by chance there were brush strokes, I would lightly sand the area with a sanding block before applying the next coat.

Small cabinet being painted gray
Furniture flip - Small cabinet being painted gray
Small cabinet being painted gray

After thoroughly applying the first coat, I let it dry. However, the paint looked patchy and you could see bits of white primer peeking through since there was only a thin layer of paint. 

small cabinet with one coat of gray paint

So, I proceeded to apply the next coat. The second layer improved things, while the third provided just the coverage I needed.

small cabinet with 2 coats of gray paint

When all three layers dried, the chest of drawers began to look much more like the contemporary dresser I envisioned — very neat, sleek, and streak-free.

Step#5: Updating The Hardware

Next, I wanted to upgrade the hardware from matte black to metallic, antique gold. So, I used Gold Leaf Rub ‘N Buff and rubbed it onto the drawer pulls.

Rubbing rub'nbuff on door handles

This is what they looked like after one coat.

Gold hardware in a paper bowl

It took about two coats to get the coverage I needed. Once applied, I placed the hardware pieces back into their respective bowls and allowed them to dry.

Step#7: The Final Step — Gator Hide

With the painting done, and the hardware ready … we’re finally nearing the end of the design project! 

As a part of the final step, I used Dixie Belle Paint’s Gator Hide using an applicator sponge to seal the product. I applied thin coats in a single direction (without stroking back and forth) while applying light pressure on the sponge. 

Furniture flip - Dixie Belle Gator Hide topcoat and blue sponge
Furniture flip - Adding topcoat to small cabinet using a blue sponge

After the first layer, I waited for 2 to 3 hours before applying the second for optimal results.

The Final Product

Finally, I screwed the hardware back on, and voila — my brand-new dresser was ready!

Furniture flip - Small gray cabinet with gold hardware

It looked modern with an antique finish, complementing my ambiance in more ways than one. For the extra decorative touch, I topped it with a gold frame, some coffee table books, and a bunch of green and white flowers; the green was perfect for adding a pop of color!

Furniture flip - small gray cabinet with gold hardware styled with books, faux plant, candle stick and textured art painting

Enjoyed what you saw? I hope you are inspired to flip some furniture of your own. If you do recreate this, don’t forget to share it with me.

Furniture flip - small gray cabinet with gold hardware styled with books, faux plant, candle stick and textured art painting

Don’t forget to pin this project so you can refer to it later!

Pin it to Remember it!

small gray cabinet with gold hardware styled with books, faux plant, candle stick and textured art painting

Let me know your questions and comments below. If you like this DIY furniture flip post, check out the following DIY posts.


How to Make a Beautiful DIY Diwali Decor – Floral Diya Hoops

Be sure to follow me on Instagram where I share more details of my projects and more about me as well. If you want to get started on your own DIY journey, but don’t know where to start, download my beginner guide to get you started.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Thank you for being here! I’m Divya. I love everything organizing, DIY, and Decor.

Divya is the coffee-loving, multi-passionate, perpetual learner, and writer behind the scenes of Smile and a Coffee. She is a mom of 2 and a project manager at her day job. As a lover of all things organization, decor, and DIY, she documents her journey of organizing and decorating her home on Smile and a Coffee while inspiring her readers with great tips and tricks to create a beautiful home and wonderful life.

Pin It on Pinterest