THE MAGIC OF PAINT-Budget friendly, easy to paint ideas-stonegableblog.comI think a paintbrush is like a magic wand. Once I started using one… I just haven’t put it down! Don’t you love that painted furniture is so on trend right now. With a little paint we can drastically change the look of old tired pieces and breathe fresh new life into them… and into our decor for very little money! Today is all about inspire you to save money by painting something in your home… especially if you have never taken the paintbrush plunge!!!!!

I’m thrilled to be a part of this month’s BUDGET DECORATING. Make sure to visit the blogs at the end of this post and get all their budget friendly decorating tips!


Over the last 4 1/2 years I’ve painted everything from walls to candlesticks… but mostly furniture! There is such a thrill turning an ugly cast off into a real show piece!!! LOVE it! I’ve learned a lot too and would like to share these budget friendly painting tips with you!


Here’s the very first piece I ever painted. I primed this piece and used 3 coats of latex paint, a gold craft paint in the crevices and then a polyurethane final coat. Lots of work for such a little table! 

THE MAGIC OF PAINT- first painted

But here’s how it looked before…. so worth the effort! The bones of the table are so pretty but it had a hard, hard life!

Copy of IMG_7975 

Since then I have painted many pieces of furniture and more and my paint of choice is a chalk-type paint. The benefits of that kind of paint are many! No priming… great coverage… works on most surfaces and the finish is so desirable!!!!!

I know some of you are thinking that chalk-type paint is expensive. Well, it does cost more than regular latex paint, but believe me you get more out of a can of chalk-type paint than a can of latex… and it’s a whole lot less work. It really is more economical to paint with chalk paint.

I have never made my own chalk paint but hope to this spring. I’ll let you know how the homemade version stacks up to ready made!



Here are some easy tips for creating painted furniture pieces that will be a beautiful part of your decor!

  • Choose an old piece that has lost its will to live… in your home! They are the best and most economical makeovers! 
  • Scrub every inch of it with a mild cleaner. It should be free from dirt and grime!
  • Remove all hardware. I keep a round tupperware handy to put all hardware and screws in. Remember to put the lid on and label it!
  • Now is the time to make any repairs. You want a pretty piece and one that is functional as well!

THE MAGIC OF PAINT-dining room

  • Paint a SAMPLE BOARD before you touch paint to a piece of furniture. This is the very best painting tip you will ever get!
  • Don’t be overly careful or tidy with chalk paint. Slap a coat on and be done with it! Really!!!!!!
  • Make sure you lightly sand between coats of paint When I say “lightly sand” I mean gently rub a piece of fine grade sandpaper over your furniture… GENTLY like you are giving it the lightest massage!
  • Pick up the paint dust with a slightly damp white cotton cloth. I cut apart old white t-shirts and save them for painting jobs.
  • Let the piece dry a day after painting is complete and before waxing a piece. I know that “they” say this is not necessary. I think it is. I get better results letting a piece dry a day or two.
  • Use a dab of wax. Too much is not a good thing! Too much wax gets a little tacky.

Hutch-Living Room-Styled-

  • If the hardware on an old piece is not that bad, it can be painted too and that’s a big savings!
  • If you don’t like the results… paint it again!!!
  • Start a Pinterest board of painted pieces you like!
  • You can paint more than furniture. I painted curtains (and the table in the image below)!



These are just a few of the things I have painted with chalk paint. I can’t tell you how much money I’ve saved and now I have great custom furniture for my home! This spring and summer I have lots of other pieces to paint like my mahogany rice carved bed!!! Can’t wait!

Here’s the latest transformation. This old, old chest of drawers was DISGUSTING! Every time I see it in the guest room I want to sigh!!!! I used the paint I had on hand and only bought the drawer pulls. What a savings!


Why buy new when you can JUST PAINT IT!!!!




I love us sign





300x300 recipe card holder turned dryer sheet holder


Remember to pin this to your Pinterest PAINT or DIY boards. You can follow me on Pinterest and see all the great painting projects I’m pinning HERE.

THE POWER OF PAINT-Transforming furniture and decor!



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  1. Beautiful! Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. Love you tips on painting. I am going to check my list of steps for painting and see if I am missing anything. I agree with you on the chalk paint….I am a big fan and love to use it on everything. Can you tell me if you use anything to clean your pieces with, such as Murphy’s Oil Soap?

    1. I just love your pieces. You are such an inspiration. We have moved and I cannot wait to get the makeover started.
      What color did you use for the glass shelving break front? This is exactly what I would like to do with a tired Oak built in. I’ll run right out for the supplies.

  3. Thank you for this informative post. I have never used chalk paint but you have inspired me to give it a try. Please tell me which wax you prefer for the finish. Your porch rockers are gorgeous with such a great sheen. Blessings to you.

    1. I use Annie Sloan waxes. I’ve not tried any others though. The porch rockers were not waxed. Wax sorta melts in the sun. I used a satin finish poly.
      Hope this helps!
      Hugs from StoneGable!

  4. Hattie Morris says:

    Just Beautiful, you inspires me daily.

  5. Karen VanLoo says:

    I love love love painted furniture and have painted many pieces in my home. A lot of my furniture I’ve owned for 20+ years. Back in the 1980’s and 1990’s I bought a lot of pine or light oak furniture, that’s what we did back then. I still own the same Broyhill Fontana bedroom set I bought in 1991, which was originally pine but is now black! It is still stylish, functional, good quality, and has served me well. My kitchen table and chairs are about 30 years old, and came from Storehouse. It’s also solid oak, but I was tired of the oak color and last year I painted the chairs a creamy white and distressed them, along with the antique reproduction pie safe that belonged to my Grandmother. I get a lot of compliments on this furniture, and it completely brightened up my kitchen! My dining room furniture was purchased when my husband and I bought our first home in 1987, and is all solid oak. It’s actually the first set of furniture I painted, and it’s black. Later I finally found a beautiful black hutch to go with it. I remember the look on my husband’s face when I told him I wanted to paint it black! It was hilarious, but I don’t have any regrets from painting all of the furniture that I have. It brings it new life, and lets you enjoy it for many years. It’s also hard to find good, solid oak furniture anymore unless you spend a ton of money. Thanks for the painting tips! I think painting is a lot of fun actually, a lot of work, but also a lot of fun if you make it that way.

    1. Thanks for sharing Karen. Sounds like you are a pro!!! You are right to keep those great solid wood pieces that are well constructed. I love black painted furniture too! LOVED hearing from you!

  6. The difference in these pieces is amazing, Yvonne. Just love the first piece you ever painted with the gold in the crevices…gorgeous! Happy Thursday!

  7. I just bought a sideboard that needs painting. Thank you for these great tips! All of your painted pieces are beautiful!

  8. I absolutely LOVE all of your painted pieces Yvonne!! You gave them new life and they are gorgeous!

  9. Really good post. I love painted furniture! I haven’t cared for the chalk-painted pieces I’ve seen… they’re homemade jobbies and they look, well — chalky. I can see they skipped the waxing step. I’m going to give this a try, I think. Can you do this to tabletops you’ll be using regularly or is this better for surfaces that won’t see a lot of action? Thanks!

  10. I am a huge fan of painted furniture! And I always use Annie Sloan. It also helps that I have a friend who is both an artist and a decorative furniture painter that can help me if things get a little messed up!

    Thanks for sharing your tips.

  11. Rita Spittler says:

    I, too, have a rice poster bed from the early 90’s. It’s in distressed off white. I would love to paint it but it scares me because it’s such a big job. I also own the matching dresser and side table. Matchy, matchy,….
    When will you paint your bed? I can’t wait to see it….I love everything you do!

  12. Wenda Scott says:

    I really enjoy your blog and your home is lovely. I’ve never commented before, but I have purchased some chalk paint and am going to try painting my kitchen table and chairs. I am worried about doing it however, because I’ve never tried this before. I was told you did not have to sand. Do you sand when using chalk paint? Do you said before you start and then after the first coat as well? Thank you.

    1. Do not sand the table. When you paint your first coat of chalk paint. rub, not really sand, a very fine 180 grit sandpaper lightly over the piece. Just give it a little light swipe. Don’t press hard at all…. barely. It will give you a very pretty surface to add the next coat of paint. If the paint does not cover with the first coat don’t worry. It will probably cover on the second coat. I hope this helps!

      1. Wenda Scott says:

        thank you very much. I hope I don’t ruin my table and chairs 🙂

  13. Not a fan of the painted furniture, chippy look. I don’t mind it outside or in a summer house. I have painted plenty of pieces for our first summer cottage. It was very common here to sell the house with the furnishings, and believe me they needed help. One bedroom had old metal dressers. The reasoning was they didn’t warp in those unairconditioned beach cottages. I am actually thinking of buying a paint sprayer to do all my white wicker this year. I have been doing my research, getting ready for all those Spring projects outside!

    1. I’m not a big fan of uber chippy eithr Kathleen. Most of my pieces end up pretty classic. Oh, I’d love to live where you are!!!

  14. Joni tigges says:

    I really enjoy your blog. Love all your painted pieces. Can you use chalk paint on kitchen cabinets?

  15. Your painted pieces are beautiful. I keep trying with chalk paint ( the expensive ones) and am not really happy with it. For me it’s not easy. I find it very hard to apply; and the waxing…esp. on pieces with lots of detail….is agony. I think there is a certain level of skill involved in making chalk paint furniture look good, even more so when you mix and/ or combine colors and finishes. When I shop second hand stores and see all the painted pieces, it is very obvious which ones were done by skilled painters and those who were told “You can’t mess this up!” and like me, have managed to….lol. Since I still have some chalk paint, I will keep trying…but only on small decorative pieces .

  16. Love the ease of using chalk paint but sometimes the finish is smooth & sometimes too many brush marks? Any thoughts? Also any tips on the wax… I started waxing a piece but it just seems a lil yellow looking???

    1. Hi Molly, I think it’s all about sanding between each step. Then it will feel like glass!

  17. In the past year, I have become a huge convert to chalk paint. It is SO easy and it looks fantastic. Chalk paint is a huge budget-friendly help.
    Your pieces look great.
    Michelle from

  18. Great looking painted pieces. I have yet to use the chalk paint, but after reading your post sounds,
    pretty easy to use.
    Have a blessed tomorrow.

  19. Yvonne, I saw your post about the garden bench, it was just too cute. Tried to find it again to write this question ,but was not able to find again. Looking for suggestions for flowering plants to put on my patio ,which is north facin,and I live in Texas. Any thoughts would help thank you. 🙂

    Have a blessed tomorrow

  20. Hi,, great tips 🙂

    Anyway, i am currently build my home. Do have any idea for combining calm color for modern home? its not too modern but a little bit contemporary. i have all furniture with pine wood. it make the unity for my home.


    1. Hi Lusiana, sounds like you need a little decorating consultation. I’d like to see pictures of what you have and the room you are talking about. I’ll be doing decor consultations in May. Look for a post coming soon.

  21. Could u tell me about painting upholstery or give me a link please. Have a great couch i would love to try it on

  22. Bernadette says:

    What color chalk paint is the small green table? Thanks.

    1. Hi Bernadette, the small green table was painted with latex paint. I’m not sure what color it is. so sorry!

  23. I really like the painted buffet in your dining room. It seems almost like whitewash over oak. I want to paint my oak kitchen cabinets but I have read so many articles that I feel overwhelmed by the task & by trying to decide what method to use & products to use. I would like to use chalk paint but some articles state it is not durable enough for kitchen cabinets. Do you have some advice for me?

  24. Mary Zuchowski says:

    I love everything that you do and I have a problem and could use your help. I have a buffet with a hutch. I has painted it black but my cat scratched it up some and I need to repaint it and sell it . What would be a good color to paint it?