Restoration Hardware Inspired Nightstand DIY with Chalk Paint

2:10 PM


Getting married changes you. In REALLY fun and interesting ways. Example #1-- I currently have herbs growing in our patio (I always told myself I would NEVER grow plants because I am the worst at it, but here we go). Example #2-- I have become *slightly* obsessed with home decor (i.e, I can spend countless hours looking at furniture on retail sites and read home decor related books and magazines). Okay, I’m not slightly obsessed, I am OBSESSED. I mean, can you blame me? Our home is the place where I feel safe and comfortable. Of course I want it to reflect that and become a safe and cozy haven for my husband and I.

However, being a newlywed comes with a newlywed budget! Being that I’m a girl that has Restoration Hardware taste with a hand-me-down furniture budget I had to get a little creative with starting the process of creating a space I would love. And so, I decided to venture into the world of Restore and chalk painting.

Let me tell you, it was the easiest, stress-free painting process of my life. If I can do it, YOU can do it, seriously I have 0% artistic capabilities so you can trust me on this one.

My focus is firstly on making our bedroom a space that I will love. And so, we ventured to the Restore in search of a nightstand that would fit our space. I would highly suggest checking out your local Habitat for Humanity Restore, if you keep an open eye you can find some gems for even greater prices. In comes this darling nightstand.

  1. Find a piece of furniture you want to change up!
Make sure to take out the knobs on any drawers so that you don't paint them. Unless, you want them painted!


2. Get your painting resources.

So, the most popular paint for this kind of project is Annie Sloan chalk paint. That is the top quality brand you can get. However, I am not a professional nor was I looking for professional grade furniture, I just needed it to have the “look” I wanted so I went with Valspar Chalk Paint. I got a quart of grey and white chalk paint (although, looking back I definitely didn’t need the whole quart. I painted an entire dresser, a large mirror, and my nightstand all with less than ¼ of the chalk paint that I got. This paint is THICK and goes a long way).


I also got the antiquing wax and sealing wax. Since I’m centering my home decor around hues of rustic brown the antiquing wax was already a part of the deal when I started. But, you don’t need to get the antiquing wax, the chalk paint in itself is beautiful! I would recommend the sealing wax just to make sure your beautiful creation is preserved.

Finally, I got a large brush to cover large areas of my furniture with the grey paint. Then two smaller brushes to add details with the white paint and antiquing wax. I did NOT spend a lot of money on these brushes. The large one was around $4 and the two smaller ones were 99 cents each. The smaller brushes did give a bit of an issue with the bristles falling out into my paint but since I was going for the rustic look, I could easily smooth them out by pulling the bristle out and just wiping over the spot with a piece of lint-free cloth.

This was the method I decided to take with my painting. There are definitely higher grade brushes and even specific waxing brushes out in the market but I was invested in this because it would be a budget project. I could have taken it a step further and ventured into making my own chalk paint but I didn’t want to buy all the resources for that to have it back-fire on me so this was the best route I came up with. However, making your own chalk paint would definitely save you some money!

3. Start Painting your base layer.

The reason chalk paint appealed to me was because there was no priming or sanding required to applying the paint. I don’t have a large space where I can just lay out furniture and have wood grounds all over the place so I needed to take a mess-free method.

I dipped the large brush slightly into the paint and just started painting on the drawer with long strokes and got the below result. I was more than delighted to see that the paint didn’t get into the crevices and that as the paint started to run out it didn’t provide as much coverage. This gave me the rustic look I was going for. I followed the process of using long strokes and tried to avoid going over crevices when I had just dipped the brush into the paint. I wanted the brown of the crevices to show through.


This chalk paint can dry in one hour but I decided to let it sit overnight.

2. Add “distressed details” with white chalk paint

After letting it dry overnight, I started the process of adding the “distressed” details. For the nightstand, I took a “dry brush” technique which is basically:
  • Very lightly dip the brush into the paint
  • Wipe excess paint onto a paper plate
  • Use the remains of the paint on the brush to brush over your furniture lightly

With this technique I was able to get the distressed details I was looking for. I brushed in the direction of the wood for certain areas, brushed diagonally for others and even had some fun with it and put in swirly brush strokes. Anything works with this because you’re putting such a light amount of paint on the furniture. If you don’t like how a certain brush stroke has gone on, you can always wipe it with a cloth.

After doing this all over the nightstand in areas I wanted “distressed”, I let it sit overnight to dry.

3. Add “antiquing” details

Now, the next step should be to wax your furniture with clear wax. But, I decided to take the taboo route and use the antiquing wax all over it first. The reason why you aren’t supposed to use the dark wax first is because it will stain your paint. But, I wanted my paint to be stained a brown hue so that it wouldn’t be just grey and white but have that rustic brown shaded into it. This was highly discouraged from the resources I researched because if you stain it, you can’t take it back. But, I was okay with that and decided to take it cautiously.

Since I wanted the paint to be stained very subtly, I took the same dry brushing technique with the wax. After putting the wax on and really working it into the crevices I wiped it off with a cloth right away. If you want a darker stain you can leave it on longer and then wipe it off.


I opted to put the antiquing wax everywhere so that my paint would be stained uniformly. But, you can choose to just stain it in certain areas, it’s all up to you! I let this dry overnight.

4. Seal furniture with sealing wax.

Finally, I sealed the entire piece with the sealing wax. With this process, I dipped one end of the little brush into the wax and slathered the wax all over to evenly cover the nightstand. After waiting 1-2 minutes, I wiped off the wax with a lint-free cloth. I worked in small sections on each side. After waxing and wiping off the wax on the entire nightstand I let it sit for a few hours and finally got to place in my bedroom!

I have never been happier with an “arts and craft” project in my life and it was degrees cheaper than a nightstand I would have gotten at Restoration Hardware so I am a happy monkey. I’d love to see pictures if you try this out, good luck!

Here’s the final product.


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