Shizzle Design | My Very First Chalk Painted Dresser
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My Very First Chalk Painted Dresser

My Very First Chalk Painted Dresser

When I decided to start my furniture refurbishing business this summer, this is the first piece of real furniture I  transformed. I purchased this dresser at a garage sale in my home town several years ago.   I loved the lines of this piece, but at the time, I was only doing garden chairs and mosaics. It was too long for the tiny rooms in our house so…   It ended up in my workshop and served as a stylish alternative for a tool cabinet.

I know!      Can you believe it?
I used this gem to store all my tools!
The large deep drawers worked perfectly for my bulky power tools.  I lined them with heavy towels and laid several tools in each drawer.

The two shallow drawers across the top were the perfect depth for my acrylic paints and brushes.  I loved this dresser! I used this dresser for this purpose every day for six years.  I came to admire this piece more and more not only because of its design, but because of the strength and durability it offered.

This spring, I decided to take my business to the next level.  I had read about Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and just received my first shipment of paint, wax and the cool brush.  I emptied out my tools to start my first furniture transformation.You think I would try a picture frame or something small first but no, not me, I dove in and went to town on a six drawer chest of drawers.

(I learned this pose by watching my very dear friend, Colleen, compete in a body building competition on the Big Island.  We like to call this pose Ikaika, which means strong, or in my case – what was I thinking?)

Not only was this the first time I usingASCP, it also was the first time stripping and re-staining.  Stripping the paint off the solid mahogany top was slick as beans but the finishing was serious chore.  I tried to fix up several tiny dings inan attempt toreveal perfect mahogany, but my attempt to blend in the red, didn’t work so well.

I filled in a couple spots with something that claimed to be stainable – they lied!  No matter what I tried, it just looked white.  I stripped it down, tried a little artistic painting, dug out some of the filler and stained it again.   Okay, I actually did this step eight times.  Really!  Let’s just call it a learning curve. When I finally got it the way I wanted, I masked it off and busted into my Annie Sloan shipment.

I predominately painted this piece in Provence but blended in Old White and Arles to accent some of the amazing details.  The transformation took weeks to complete as I worked my way through stripping, painting, re-staining, waxing… all of which were new products and processes for me.The paint went on fine but I really struggled with Annie Sloan’s wax.  It has the most horrific smell, good thing it was summer, I can’t handle the fumes of that stuff.  There’s got to be better alternatives out there.  I went through almost a an entire can of wax – wax on, wax off, wax on, wax off.Grant it, I’m just getting started in all this but it seems so much harder than they say.  I’ve tried advice from numerous Annie Sloan reps and users but the dark wax still throws me for a loop.  Whoever buys this will definitely get their money’s worth because I’ve got my blood, sweat and tears into this one.  Five bags of steel wool and six weeks later, I ended up with a stunning double bow front dresser.
I am happy with the end result and love the details of this piece but man was it a lot of work to get to this.  I’m sure it will get easier as time goes on and as I learn more about Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.


All the hard work paid off in the end as itsoldthe the day we moved our furniture into the store.

Since this post, I’ve learned so much.  I worked around the clock for a year using these products but continued to have difficulties achieving a quality finish with their wax.  I tried other several other waxes by different companies, some were hard, other’s were a little easier to blend in and work with but also had those terrible fumes.
I experienced months of recurring respiratory problems and even with my exhaust system, I was advised to remove as many chemical hazards from my environment as possible or find another line of working order to get well.I replaced toxic, hand burning, chemical strippers with citrus based strippers (which work better anyway), pulled chemically laden paints, waxes, glues… and started searching for better products.
That search eventually led me to the products I choose today ~ American Paint Company’s all natural, eco-friendly chalk and clay based mineral paints.  From the first time I tried  them, I was sold.   I know that sounds so dramatic, but after everything I went through, It was a God send.  This type of paint is so much easier to work with.  It spreads easier, covers better, adheres well and the wax and finishes have been life changing for how much work I can accomplish on any given day.
For my style of painting, I can achieve a much more superior finish and can create it much faster eliminating the stress of working so hard to achieve something that’s easy with a chalk and clay mixture.
I love these paints so well that I decided to share what I do with our followers.  We proudly offer American Paint Company Paints locally in the Greater Grand Rapids area and sell worldwide on our Online Shizzle Shop.   shizzle design paint studio 2018 Chicago Drive Jenison MI  American Paint Company CeCe Caldwell's Paints retailer buy chalk clay instructor workshops paint retailer 1
  • Did you know…

    • Shizzle Design is a small family owned business in Jenison, Michigan.  My sister Cathy and I work, paint, ship and teach our chalk and clay paint workshops out of the same space where we paint all our furniture.  We are truly humbled to be known as a leader in the world of chalk and clay paints.
    • Instead of hoarding our knowledge, we empower DIY’ers by sharing our years of experience.  Stop in for paint and we’ll offer you honest and knowledgeable answers for all your chalk and clay paint needs.
    • We are so blessed to have taught people from all over the United States and Canada.  Join us for one of our super fun hands-on chalk and clay paint workshops.  Learn in our casual & relaxed environment.  Click Paint Workshops to see a list of current classes offered.
    • Subscribe to Shizzle Design for tips, tutorials, ideas, pictures, videos for our furniture painted in all natural chalk and clay based mineral paints.
    • Did you know that you can get these sent directly to your inbox and that it’s FREE?  It is ~ what are you waiting for?  Enter your email in the right hand column of our blog to stay in the loop.
    • We have a Shizzle Design Facebook Page.  We share all sorts tips, ideas, photos EVERY DAY and offer special deals (which you’ll only know about if you’ve Liked our Facebook Page).
    • Pin our posts on Pinterest ~ Find all sorts of inspiration here.
    • We sell our painted furniture in our Shizzle Design Paint Studio at 2018 Chicago Drive, Jenison, MI 49428 and at Not So Shabby Antiques and Fine Furniture at 2975 West Shore Drive in Holland, Michigan
    • Shizzle Design is an Authorized Retailer for American Paint Company Paints.  We offer a large inventory of chalk and clay paint and supplies at our Shizzle Design Paint Shop /Studio,  2018 Chicago Drive, Jenison, MI  49428.  We also stock several other shops in the greater Grand Rapid’s area, to find out where, click LOCATIONS.  Not from Michigan?  No worries, we ship paint and paint supplies worldwide through our Online Shizzle Shop.

    Click here to see Shizzle Design Painted Furniture Makeovers


    Click here to see our Shizzle Tips, How To Tutorials & Video’s


    Click here to see Funky Finishes


    Linking up to these GREAT Parties!

    Domestically Speaking – The Power of Paint Party
    The Shabby Creek Cottage – Transformation Thursday
    Miss Mustardseed – Furniture Feature Friday
    Redoux – Friday Link Up Party
    Homespun Happenings – Rustic Restorations Weekend
    Funky Junk Interiors – Saturday Night Special
    Silver Pennies – Silver Pennies Sundays
    Knick of Time Interiors – Knick of Time Tuesday

    a hui hou ~ Shelly

A hui hou!


  • Katie
    Posted at 01:17h, 05 October Reply

    Beautiful color and distressing! Great job on your first furniture rehab!

  • Lisa Lewis Koster
    Posted at 02:23h, 05 October Reply

    Love the photo of you 🙂
    (and the dresser too!)

  • Cassie @ Primitive & Proper
    Posted at 02:30h, 05 October Reply

    shelly, that is GORGEOUS!! way to knock it out of the park on your first try!

  • Grace @ Sense and Simplicity
    Posted at 02:55h, 05 October Reply

    Gorgeous – I love the details down the sides.

  • Anneke {RustiChic}
    Posted at 04:35h, 05 October Reply

    This turned out beautifully. I can see why it sold so fast!!!

  • Linda@Coastal Charm
    Posted at 04:37h, 05 October Reply

    This makeover came out looking so PRETTY!!! Come over and show it off at my party…hope to see ya there:)


  • Angie
    Posted at 06:38h, 05 October Reply

    g o r g e o u s !

    Throw your hand over your shoulder and give yourself a humdinger pat on the back, because not only is it beautiful, you are a superhero in my book for having enough patience to spend that much time renovating it!

    Thanks so much for bringing this beauty to the Knick of Time Tuesday party!

    Knick of Time Interiors

  • Courtney
    Posted at 09:55h, 05 October Reply

    Awesome job, Shelly!! it’s hard to believe it’s your first one! Be very proud!!

  • michele
    Posted at 12:34h, 05 October Reply

    so daring!

    love it.

    found you via SSS. hope you can stop over where i am having a giveaway:


  • Kim @ Savvy Southern Style
    Posted at 14:31h, 05 October Reply

    That’s beautiful. Thanks for sharing at Wow.

  • Between Blue and Yellow
    Posted at 16:22h, 05 October Reply

    So pretty! I still have yet to jump on the ASCP bandwagon, but maybe soon!

  • Amy of The Salvage Collection
    Posted at 16:34h, 05 October Reply

    love it! my first visit and i’m now your newest follower!


  • Bonnie Inc.
    Posted at 19:41h, 05 October Reply

    You did such an amazing job on this dresser! I love it! You’re pictures are excellent as well. I’m a new follower but I wanted to share that I posted my first linky party today and your dresser would be excellent if you wanted to link up!

  • Deborah March
    Posted at 23:57h, 05 October Reply

    Oh my GOODNESS…if this is your FIRST piece, girl, you’re a natural!! Absolutely GORGEOUS!! Ummm…but where do your power tools call “home” these days? 😉

    Deborah ♥♥ (visiting happily from…hope you might stop by and say hi!)

  • Decor & Harmony @ 4290
    Posted at 16:57h, 06 October Reply

    Sweet sugar…..your first restyle you have set the bar high. I love your post and pics. Great first try!!

  • Niamh
    Posted at 18:08h, 06 October Reply

    This is gorgeous. I absolutely adore the color. I haven’t used the ASCP but my local store here is now carrying it. I’ve always used oil paint. Can you explain the difference in working with the ASCP? and also — I’ve never used wax, what do you mean by that? Can you explain what it does or why its used? Is it in place of poly?

    Cheers and Congratulations of a wonderful job!! You should be really proud of yourself.


  • Pamela
    Posted at 03:26h, 07 October Reply

    That turned out amazing! Love the color you chose!

  • scf1270
    Posted at 14:38h, 07 October Reply

    Here’s to persistence!!! What a fabulous outcome!
    Will look forward to seeing your 2nd piece 😀


  • Deana
    Posted at 18:26h, 07 October Reply

    just lovely! this would be so great at my blog party From Trash to Treasure. I hope you’ll join!!

    Posted at 04:17h, 08 October Reply

    You did a fabulous job!!! Love your blog name. Made me LOL!

  • driftwoodesign
    Posted at 20:43h, 08 October Reply

    Hey Shelly, Thought you would like to know I sold my blue dresser inspired by yours for a double bathroom vanity install.
    Kristy @ 4 the love of WOOD

  • Kelli@restoreinteriors
    Posted at 23:25h, 10 October Reply

    Girl! You are right! That looks amazing! I especially LOVE the red little chest piece you did. You go girl.

  • Kahli
    Posted at 17:38h, 12 October Reply

    Gorgeous renovation! Congrats on your first rehab!

  • *Shabby LOCO!*
    Posted at 17:39h, 14 October Reply

    That came out so CUTE! Great job, don’t cha’ just lurv that damn paint!! Also, for a wax tip check out my post from Gaudie to hottie, It’s a old gold mirror I re-doid in Old White (I show how I mix the dark and clear together and it is soooo much easier to control!) Hope that helps??

  • la petite-fleur-de-lys
    Posted at 17:31h, 24 October Reply

    This dresser is so beautiful!
    Love the colour too.
    Is this your very first piece?
    Wow, you are good!

    I’m a new follower!

  • Cathy @My 1929 Charmer
    Posted at 00:37h, 01 November Reply

    Beautiful color and job. Well done! It’s really your first time? The details really stand out. thanks so much for stopping by me. Keep those pieces coming!

  • Floppin Flower
    Posted at 11:34h, 03 November Reply

    I saw you on Perfectly Imperfect’s blog. OH girl! I fell in love the moment I saw it!! And was even more impressed when I saw it was your first piece! I am a follower now. I look forward to seeing more of your stuff!

  • Chrissie
    Posted at 03:40h, 13 February Reply

    This is a gorgeous piece! i love the detail!

  • Nine Red
    Posted at 18:32h, 17 February Reply

    I’m a new follower, and I’m in love! Great job on the dresser here. I featured your dresser on my blog regarding chalk paint, and directed my readers here too.

  • Anonymous
    Posted at 21:10h, 03 September Reply

    My niece painted two dressers, one tall and one long, with Annie Sloane’s Province and Florence paint. They did not look that great at first glance; however, I hand sanded slightly and more around the edges. And they look pretty good. I waxed one with the clear wax. I can tell I won’t be a fan of the dark wax and I have more sanding and refining to do. I then plan to mix Annie Sloane olive paint into the plain wax and just go around the edges of the drawers lightly. The dressers look good without this step. There was a white finish underneath. Only other problem I have is she painted all the fixtures, LOL…. So I will have to figure out what to do with those. Maybe rub with her gold paint. But I consider her paints foolproof. We had a very laquered white finish underneath and there is absolutely no sanding or priming necessary. Paint has adhered well and it’s been two months. My niece is 15 years old and we did not want her to paint it…. she just did it while I was at work. I would definitely use Cee Cee’s satin finish paint if working in the kitchen, because I believe I would want a finish I could clean easily. Your dressers have a more professional finish than ours, but if I got really nit-picky, I would just go over my niece’s work with another coat. I love the Annie Sloane paint.

  • Reproduction Furniture
    Posted at 05:21h, 10 October Reply

    Hey Shelly, Thought you would like to know I sold my blue dresser inspired by yours for a double bathroom vanity install.

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