Chalk Paint

Custom Painting a Very Old Retro Kitchen Dresser with Chalk Emulsion Paint

Tonight I thought I would share with you some pictures of a custom job I finished a few months back …

retro kitchen dresser

I have to say that when I first saw this piece I had major doubts about taking it on … the retro lines of the piece the layers upon layers of thick latex paint, the awful handles and frosted pattern on the glass were really not my usual cup of tea. I did decide to take the project on mostly because this particular piece was from a long standing client who is a pleasure to work for so I knew that they would be easy to work with on this large project. Also the piece held special sentimental value as it had been in the clients family a very long time.

I will admit that I put off working on this piece for quite a while as I knew it was going to be a lot of hard work. Fortunately the client wasn’t in any rush. Finally I mustered the courage and took the piece out to start its makeover. The first thing that it needed was stripping back. I used a heat gun and paint scraper to peel back the layers of paint. I was absolutely gob smacked at how many layers of paint were on this piece. Under the initial coat I found white, blue, green, yellow, brown and black!!

I literally filled bags full of the peeled paint scraps!!



Make sure if you attempt anything like this that you wear a proper respiration mask as the fumes can be toxic

Once the piece was stripped of most layers I gave it a sanding to smooth the surface and prep it for painting.



It felt like it was an eternity of prep on this piece but I had finally reached the painting stage. For this piece we had settled on Porters Chalk Emulsion which went on smoothly and dried in no time.

And this is what the piece looked like after some fresh paint..


After painting I sealed the entire piece with Porters Clear Top Coat for added protection as the piece was to become a book and toy storage space for the clients children.


Once the new handles were added and the doors re hung I was amazed at the transformation. In fact the frosted glass that I had hated actually suited the piece now.

The client was thrilled with the outcome. Her and her husband liked the piece so much that they had thought it may be too nice to use for kids toys but said its what their children’s grandmother (who was the previous owner) would have wanted. They sent me some photos of the piece in its new function as storage for the kids toys and books and I think it suits its new role perfectly!!

vintage kitchen dresser

vintage kitchen dresser

Don’t the colourful toys and cute books add so much life and happiness to the piece.

What do you think?

Adriana 🙂 x

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