A Stripping & Painting Weekend

Over the weekend, Mr. Rissler and I decided to take a stab at chalk painting a dresser we keep in our walk-in closet. This was our first time using chalk paint, so we wanted to test it out before taking on anything too big and noticeable. This dresser was a hand-me-down from my parents and in need of a little TLC!


Chalk paint is known for requiring little-to-no prep work (e.g. sanding and priming), but we still needed to lightly sand it to remove the loose paint around the drawers. If you don’t remove loose paint, it can peel off soon after the new coat has dried and undo your hard work!  😥


Once we started sanding the drawers, we noticed that there was actually a really nice wood finish underneath. After a couple seconds of serious thought, we decided to strip some of the paint to see what we would find. If it had a clean wood finish, we would consider staining the dresser instead of chalk painting it.

My First Time Stripping

Have you ever stripped? Stripped FURNITURE. Was I being unclear?  😎

Stripping paint off of furniture is a lot of fun! You just brush the stripping solution on to the finish, let it sit for 15-30 minutes, then scrape it off!

You’ll see below that paint stripper breaks down anything in its path – make sure to wear gloves and protective gear while using it! It completely destroyed this foam brush – good thing they’re cheap.  😀


Once the stripper has set, you’ll see it start lifting the finish from the furniture! RESIST THE URGE TO SCRAPE IT OFF TOO SOON!!


Once your time is up… STRIP!!!

DSC02265This is all the paint we were able to remove with the first round of stripping. Since it actually had several layers of finish and not all of the black paint lifted, we decided to continue with our original chalk painting plan – we didn’t want to spend too long on this project.


After you use paint stripper, don’t forget to wipe down any surface it touched with mineral spirits, which neutralizes the chemicals in the paint stripper and keeps your surfaces safe.

Finally, Chalk Paint!

Chalk paint can be kind of pricey (even up to $40 for a quart!), but thankfully my handy dandy mama had a mama-approved, budget-friendly chalk paint recipe!



Plaster of Paris can be purchased online or at many major craft and department stores (or from your mom’s leftover stash 😉 ). On Amazon, it’s just $10 for 4.4 lbs – you’ll have Plaster of Paris for years!

The chalk paint went on very smoothly and it was much easier to blend the brush strokes using this paint over regular paint.


Also, note that a little chalk paint goes a long way! With one batch as mixed above, we got almost two full coats of chalk paint on the entire dresser! As you can see, two coats are necessary:


Also, note that chalk paint dries REALLY fast. I was able to immediately start the second coat as soon as I was done with the first!

Andrew finished painting and applied a layer of finishing wax to seal in the paint. Finishing wax is necessary, as chalk paint is kind of sandy/chalky (hence, chalk paint), so the wax keeps it from wearing off.

Meanwhile, I mixed up a half batch of navy chalk paint to use on the drawer handles.


Once everything was completely dry and waxed, it was finally time to re-assemble the dresser!

Drum Roll, Please…


Ahh, what a fresh coat of paint can do! It’s like a cold glass of lemonade on a hot summer day. Hehe  😆

From start to finish, this project took us about 5 hours. Without the stripping, about 4 hours. After our recent month-long floor project (taking out carpet and laying wood), a 5 hour project is a breath of fresh air!

Now that we have a handle on the whole chalk painting thing, we’ll be painting MORE!! What’s next, you ask? This shoe chest we found on OfferUp for $40 (don’t mind the tools!)!


We’re planning to paint this white with accents of our wall color. We’re also hoping to take advantage of the rustic capabilities of chalk paint by sanding along the edges for a vintage vibe.  😎

Chalk painting seems to be a total craze right now. What have you been chalk painting lately? Share your projects on the Rise and Renovate Facebook page!

4 thoughts on “A Stripping & Painting Weekend”

  1. Pingback: How To Use Mineral Spirits on Wood: The Ultimate Guide

  2. Pingback: Refinishing Wood Furniture with Stain and Chalk Paint

  3. BEAUTIFUL! And thank you for the handy recipe! I chalk painted a couple of glass lamps I had found at Goodwill for like, I think…$1.75 each? 😀 That project was also with my mother…imagine that. 😉

    1. hmrissler@gmail.com

      That is AWESOME!! Total bargain! Chalk paint is magic. And I totally blame our moms for getting us hooked. ??

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