trunk makeover with chalk paint

Remember that post last week when I pulled out my high school/college memories and blubbered like an eighteen year old girl? Good times. trunkI decided that this old trunk must still be good for something. It was in excellent condition, and it seemed like such a shame to let a perfectly good trunk go to waste. So I decided to revamp it for Emerson’s room redo. It went from Plain Jane Bed Bath and Beyond circa 1998 to…


Her room redo is definitely coming along at a snail’s pace… but here’s a sneak peek of sorts. We were sidetracked by the whole spring deadline for gardening and a lot of yard work we tackled last week (Dudes. Who needs bootcamp when you can do yard work?! More on that coming soon) … not to mention all the on and off sickness that’s been going on in the fam. Make. It. Stop. It’s been survival mode around here. Wah. I just want to feel normal again. So accomplishing a baby step little project like this, actually made me feel really good.

Here’s how I did it:

I was in this store with some friends the other day, and they had Chalk Paint.

Confession : I’ve never used chalk paint before.

So I’d decided to give it a whirl. This trunk is a little complicated, and I didn’t want to tape everything off. I was also too lazy to do a primer. So I thought it was the perfect opportunity to try out Pure White and Paris Grey.


I started with the first coat of white, and with a smaller paint brush, just took care of all the edges. Then filled in the rest with a larger paint brush. I alternated sides, and let them dry. When it was time for the second coat : I dabbed my brush in the paint, then dabbed the brush in the water, and spread the second coat on thinly. I must say, that was the fun part, to watch it spread evenly on top of that first initial coat. I was impressed with the coverage.

Second confession and a bit of a side note…. (please do not string me up by my toes and let the crows poke out my eyeballs for the slightly traitorous words I am about to utter into all of the world wide webs) : You know when everyone has seen a really great movie and all they do is talk about the movie? And then you go to see the movie and it was good, but because there was a bit of super over the top hype about said movie, you feel like you heard too much about it? I’m afraid I resisted the bandwagon to the point where I was super overdue to give it a whirl. I enjoy different mediums. To my detriment, I was expecting the holy grail of paint to transform my life and make me supermodel skinny and tuck my kids in at night and cook my meals for me. I definitely appreciate the super fun treatment it gave for another option when it comes to refinishing pieces. I guess I’m an oils and latex gal at heart, but I’ll be keeping this one in my back pocket for reference later. That is all. No angry mob torches please ;}

painting_a_trunkFor the stripes : I simply taped off from each side, measuring as I went, and used a bit of a dry brush technique to apply them. You can read more about how we do our stripes, here for a more detailed idea. When I was finished, I realized some of the white paint was peeling off when I put down the tape. (User error) So I embraced it, and distressed it in a few more places by scratching it with my fingernail since Emmy will have touches of navy in her room anyway.


The key to chalk paint is sealing it in so it doesn’t peel right up. It also gives it a smoother finish, and lots of other things that I have no idea what I’m talking about. I’m cheap and a rebel, and I heard from a little birdie that I could use Minwax or a wipe on wipe off technique. I simply worked it in, waited for it to dry, and then buffed it off by rubbing hard with a paper towel. It gave it a smooth finish and completed the look.

old_footlocker_paintedThis little trunk took a little longer than I expected, because I even did the bottom. But it’s the perfect little compartment for her treasures. I’m thinking Barbies. ;}

trunk_and_SideA lot of little detail for this sweet piece.



So here we are… A little sneaky peeky of Emmy’s room. So do you guys love chalk paint? Are you addicted to it, or is it something you use with everything else? It’s definitely fun for something a little different!

Have an inspired day, lovelies!

Updated: To see all of Emerson’s room reveal, and the series of tutorials behind it, be sure to click here and check them out!

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Responses to trunk makeover with chalk paint

  1. Ashley…. This is going to make my dear friend, Mindy at “Material Things” in downtown Cecil, Al, (hahah) a bit upset if she had the time to read this. (NOT!!!!! Because she is the very best at drapery and slip covers and stays busy…swear) she is an earthy person like you. Anyway, I recently saw a piece of upholstered furniture PAINTED. They painted the fabric with chalk paint a creamy white then put fun stripes down the middle. Beautiful. You go first then I’ll do my chair!
    I’ve got to pry myself away from this blog…very ill baby aka dog. Love everything about Emerson’s room….you continue to AMAZE ME! You definitely have a left sided brain!!!! Jamin is difficult to analyze…I think he’s got more of a right sided brain…he definitely knows how to read a tape measure! Happy Mother’s Day sweet girl!