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How to Flip a Thrift Store Chest with Chalk Paint

Updated on May 19, 2016
Chest - Before
Chest - Before
I used a small palm sander. I got this one from Harbor Freight.
I used a small palm sander. I got this one from Harbor Freight.

I found this wooden chest at an outdoor thrift shop near my house. I was able to score it for $20 bucks, bargain! Overall, this took me about 2-3 hours to complete.


First thing I did was sand it down as much as possible to remove the red paint. (This isn't necessary when using chalk paint but it's a step that I like to take). I used a small electric palm sander to sand the top and sides.

Americana Chalk Paint in the color Yesteryear - $9
Americana Chalk Paint in the color Yesteryear - $9

Once the sides are sanded to my liking, i made sure any dust created by the sanding was removed before painting. You can either use a blower, dry brush, or a damp rag to remove the dust.

Next, we paint! I painted each side with two coats of chalk paint with a standard paint brush. I used a foam brush to get into the imperfections on the surface by dabbing in those areas. The best part is chalk paint dries very quick making it easy to apply the two coats within an hour. For this project, I used Americana Decor Chalk Paint from Home Depot in the color Yesteryear. It comes off as a nice powder blue color. I only needed about half the jar of paint for two coats.

Chest after two coats of Yesteryear
Chest after two coats of Yesteryear

While I let the chest dry. I used my Silhouette Cameo to cut out a design for the top. For this project, I made an anchor stencil for the top.

For the hinges, latch, and design, I wanted to use a navy blue chalk paint. Since this wasn't available at my local hardware store I made my own chalkpaint. (See my tutorial)

Once the design, hinges, and latch were painted and dry, I covered the whole chest with a clear wax to seal. I used Americana Decor Creme Wax from Home Depot. This goes on a little milky at first but dries clear.

Once the wax was applied, I let the chest sit overnight to completely dry. End result, a custom chest. Hope you enjoyed this tutorial!

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