Hello again, friend! It’s Furniture Fixer Uppers day, and you can see my friends’ creative makeovers further down in this post. First though, I have to tell you about this sweet little nightstand I picked up from the thrift store for $28.
It was pushing the limit for what I like to pay for small pieces, but it was made really well and had these gorgeous carvings on the drawers – plus it has little wheels on the bottom! I feel like furniture with wheels is like wearing a dress with pockets – rare but so wonderful, and you just want to tell everyone how exciting it is! haha 🙂
First I gave it a light cleaning, which included pulling the drawers out. There were a few old treasures underneath one of the drawers…
- A child’s handwritten poem (the rest is on the back and reads: “This Mother’s Day. Love, Trent”
- Deluxe Mirro-Matic Pressure Pan manual
- Check register with 1976-1978 calendar on the back
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The top of the nightstand was a little worn so I lightly sanded it with 320 grit sandpaper.
How to Chalk Paint a Nightstand Bright Blue
I paint a lot of neutral pieces but this time I wanted to create a fun statement piece with a pop of color, so I chose Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Napoleonic Blue. It’s similar to royal blue. I’ve used this color a few times, including on a vintage buffet in my book Amazing Furniture Makeovers (it’s the very first project!) and on this painted basket.
New to Chalk Paint? Read my Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Chalk Painting here.
I also used one of my favorite Purdy paint brushes. Learn more about how to choose the right type of brush for your painting project here.
No primer was needed since this nightstand is going from brown to blue (not a very light color, and no worries about bleed-through). Learn more about how to prep furniture for painting here.
This was the first sunny, warm day we had in a long time – so you bet I brought all my supplies into the fresh air outside! The Napoleonic Blue is almost glowing in the sunshine. (If it looks really bright, don’t worry, I’ll tone it down later.)
See all those carvings in the drawers? By choosing not to fill all the little grooves with paint, it gives the curves more definition. The choice is up to you, but you can see what I decided below.
I brushed on 2.5 coats of Napoleonic Blue Chalk Paint. After it dried, I sanded with 320 grit sandpaper again to smooth the finish. You can also sand more heavily along the edges to distress the finish, like I did.
How to Black Wash Furniture
To tone down the bright blue paint, I used Athenian Black Chalk Paint to do a “black wash” over the blue. Basically, you’re applying a thin, watered-down layer of black paint to make it look more interesting.
I didn’t get a lot of photos of the process this time, but wipe an area with a wet cloth and then brush on some black paint. Then wipe the paint away again with the wet cloth, and it leaves kind of a cloudy layer of black on the surface. Wipe away as much or as little as you’d like.
Learn more about the wash technique in these posts:
It’s a messy technique, but if you’re using Chalk Paint, it always washes off easily! My hands were pretty much black when I finished, but it only took a few minutes to wash them clean again.
When you’re all done, apply a few layers of topcoat for protection. I chose Annie Sloan’s clear wax applied with a lint-free cloth. And don’t forget snazzy new hardware!
And here is the blue Chalk Painted nightstand all finished…
Even though I paint a lot of neutral pieces, this bold blue nightstand is looking pretty gorgeous to me!
Almost forgot to mention – the stamp says “American – in Greensboro NC” (it’s hard to read since it’s a double stamp).
This was a great piece to experiment and have some fun with. It has a sweet bohemian vibe now.
And all that distressing just looks so good to me. It really depends on the piece, but this time it was the perfect choice.
Feel free to share or Pin any of the photos in this tutorial to easily find it again later. Remember here’s how this furniture makeover started…
I’d love to know your thoughts! Have you tried a “black wash” before? Are you a fan of bold statement pieces of furniture? – Jen
Now it’s time for Furniture Fixer Uppers with my friends – I can’t wait to see what they created this month!
Below are the Before photos – visit the links underneath to see the amazing Afters and to learn how they did it: