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'Better After': DIY Furniture Transformations Using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

Updated on April 8, 2014

A 'Better After' Starts with 'Great Bones'

I love a good deal and beautiful furniture, so when I find a good deal on furniture with great bones that can become beautiful by a DIY furniture transformation using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, I jump on it!

I scour craigslist for inexpensive, well-made furniture with nice lines, ignoring the piece's current finish, because a coat of paint can change everything.

Using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, with a protective coat of clear wax and maybe some distressing and/or aging using a dark wax 'stain', ugly-duckling pieces are transformed into something much 'Better After': lovely furniture with durable, water-resistant finishes that will provide years of beautiful use.

Browse through the transformations below and catch the vision to create your own 'Better After'!

Image: KateHon

Learn How to Make Your Own 'Better After': DIY Furniture Transformations with Tips and Tricks from Annie Sloan

Color Recipes for Painted Furniture and More: 40 step-by-step projects to transform your home
Color Recipes for Painted Furniture and More: 40 step-by-step projects to transform your home

Annie Sloan's most recent book with must-have how-to info on transforming ugly furniture into LOVELY furniture!

 

Annie Sloan Demonstrates ASCP! - Based on her book, 'Colour Recipes for Painted Furniture and More'!

Learn all about ASCP and how to use it from Annie herself!

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Colors - Use sample pots for small, craft projects and 1 liter cans for large, furniture projects

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Cream - Soft, warm creamy yellowOld Ochre - Soft, warm neutralPure White - Exactly what it is: a clean, pure whiteOriginal White - Slightly creamy, warm whiteOld White - Cool, soft white without pink or yellowCountry Grey - Putty color made with greenish raw umberFrench Linen - Cool, neutral khaki greyCoco - Warm, dark khakiParis Grey - Soft, slightly blueish-greyPaloma - Warm, grey-taupeArles - Rich yellow ochre with a hint of orangeEnglish Yellow - A clean yellow (can be mixed with Antibes Green to make Lime Green)Barcelona Orange - Ripe orange color.  (Add dark wax to create Burnt Orange)Versailles - Soft, lightly yellowed, dusky greenChateau Grey - Greyed green
Cream - Soft, warm creamy yellow
Cream - Soft, warm creamy yellow
Old Ochre - Soft, warm neutral
Old Ochre - Soft, warm neutral
Pure White - Exactly what it is: a clean, pure white
Pure White - Exactly what it is: a clean, pure white
Original White - Slightly creamy, warm white
Original White - Slightly creamy, warm white
Old White - Cool, soft white without pink or yellow
Old White - Cool, soft white without pink or yellow
Country Grey - Putty color made with greenish raw umber
Country Grey - Putty color made with greenish raw umber
French Linen - Cool, neutral khaki grey
French Linen - Cool, neutral khaki grey
Coco - Warm, dark khaki
Coco - Warm, dark khaki
Paris Grey - Soft, slightly blueish-grey
Paris Grey - Soft, slightly blueish-grey
Paloma - Warm, grey-taupe
Paloma - Warm, grey-taupe
Arles - Rich yellow ochre with a hint of orange
Arles - Rich yellow ochre with a hint of orange
English Yellow - A clean yellow (can be mixed with Antibes Green to make Lime Green)
English Yellow - A clean yellow (can be mixed with Antibes Green to make Lime Green)
Barcelona Orange - Ripe orange color.  (Add dark wax to create Burnt Orange)
Barcelona Orange - Ripe orange color. (Add dark wax to create Burnt Orange)
Versailles - Soft, lightly yellowed, dusky green
Versailles - Soft, lightly yellowed, dusky green
Chateau Grey - Greyed green
Chateau Grey - Greyed green

More Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Colors - Combine ASCP colors to create your own custom color perfect for your project

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Olive - Deep green with a hint of yellowLouis Blue - Pastel blue (works well when used with dark wax)Old Violet - A blue-lavenderAubusson Blue - Deep blue-greyGreek Blue - Warm blue with no green toneProvence - Bright blue-greenDuck Egg Blue - Soft greenish blueFlorence - Inspired by the patina of copper and the color of such semi-precious stones as malachite, azurite and turquoiseAntibes Green - Inspired by the painted shutters and doors of ProvenceAntoinette - Soft pale pink with a hint of brownHenrietta - Rich pink with a touch of lilacEmile - Warm, soft purple with pink and red undertonesEmperor's Silk - Chinese redScandinavian Pink - Traditional Swedish colorPrimer Red - Deep red ochreBurgundy - Deep, rich warm dark-cherry redGraphite - Soft black, with purplish blue and brown undertones.  (Use dark wax to make a deep slate color)
Olive - Deep green with a hint of yellow
Olive - Deep green with a hint of yellow
Louis Blue - Pastel blue (works well when used with dark wax)
Louis Blue - Pastel blue (works well when used with dark wax)
Old Violet - A blue-lavender
Old Violet - A blue-lavender
Aubusson Blue - Deep blue-grey
Aubusson Blue - Deep blue-grey
Greek Blue - Warm blue with no green tone
Greek Blue - Warm blue with no green tone
Provence - Bright blue-green
Provence - Bright blue-green
Duck Egg Blue - Soft greenish blue
Duck Egg Blue - Soft greenish blue
Florence - Inspired by the patina of copper and the color of such semi-precious stones as malachite, azurite and turquoise
Florence - Inspired by the patina of copper and the color of such semi-precious stones as malachite, azurite and turquoise
Antibes Green - Inspired by the painted shutters and doors of Provence
Antibes Green - Inspired by the painted shutters and doors of Provence
Antoinette - Soft pale pink with a hint of brown
Antoinette - Soft pale pink with a hint of brown
Henrietta - Rich pink with a touch of lilac
Henrietta - Rich pink with a touch of lilac
Emile - Warm, soft purple with pink and red undertones
Emile - Warm, soft purple with pink and red undertones
Emperor's Silk - Chinese red
Emperor's Silk - Chinese red
Scandinavian Pink - Traditional Swedish color
Scandinavian Pink - Traditional Swedish color
Primer Red - Deep red ochre
Primer Red - Deep red ochre
Burgundy - Deep, rich warm dark-cherry red
Burgundy - Deep, rich warm dark-cherry red
Graphite - Soft black, with purplish blue and brown undertones.  (Use dark wax to make a deep slate color)
Graphite - Soft black, with purplish blue and brown undertones. (Use dark wax to make a deep slate color)

Have You Ever Created Your Own 'Better After' with a DIY Furniture Transformation Using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint?

Have you ever created your own 'Better After' with a DIY furniture transformation using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint?

Yes! Can't wait to try another project!

Yes! Can't wait to try another project!

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      'Before' Picture of Bow-Front Console

      I spied this fabulous bow-front console on craigslist for $80 and knew I had to have it. I looked past the banana yellow color and the various water spots and saw only the marvelous lines and elegant hardware!

      Image: KateHon

      Inspiration Pieces and Custom Color Ingredients - There was no science used to create my custom color; I just poured and stirred until I liked what I saw, using

      Click thumbnail to view full-size
      Color inspiration:  Home Decorators Collection's 'Euphoria' rugColor inspiration: Robert Allen living room sofa pillow fabricColor inspiration: Kravet living room chair pillow fabricASCP 'Provence' mixed with 'Florence' and 'Graphite' to create the bow-front console's colorASCP 'Florence' mixed with 'Provence' and 'Graphite' to create the bow-front console's colorASCP 'Graphite' mixed with 'Provence' and 'Florence' to create the bow-front console's color
      Color inspiration:  Home Decorators Collection's 'Euphoria' rug
      Color inspiration: Home Decorators Collection's 'Euphoria' rug
      Color inspiration: Robert Allen living room sofa pillow fabric
      Color inspiration: Robert Allen living room sofa pillow fabric
      Color inspiration: Kravet living room chair pillow fabric
      Color inspiration: Kravet living room chair pillow fabric
      ASCP 'Provence' mixed with 'Florence' and 'Graphite' to create the bow-front console's color
      ASCP 'Provence' mixed with 'Florence' and 'Graphite' to create the bow-front console's color
      ASCP 'Florence' mixed with 'Provence' and 'Graphite' to create the bow-front console's color
      ASCP 'Florence' mixed with 'Provence' and 'Graphite' to create the bow-front console's color
      ASCP 'Graphite' mixed with 'Provence' and 'Florence' to create the bow-front console's color
      ASCP 'Graphite' mixed with 'Provence' and 'Florence' to create the bow-front console's color

      'Better After' Bow-Front Console DIY Furniture Transformation

      Finished with two coats of clear wax, the custom color of the console isn't a perfect match to any of my inspiration pieces, but it's a close relative, maybe a first cousin. Close enough, at any rate, for everything to live harmoniously in the same room.

      Don't try to match everything exactly; part of the fun in a room's design is to have variations of a color to provide visual interest.

      Cost?

      Console: $80 (craigslist)

      Paint and Clear Wax: $160

      Materials: $0 (I already had a brush and rags)

      Total: $240

      Time: A week of dilly-dallying, too scared to mix my custom color paint

      When I finally just did it, it took me about 2 minutes to mix the color and 4 hours to paint two coats and apply and buff out two coats of Clear Wax.

      Image: KateHon

      How To Create Your Own 'Better After: DIY Furniture Transformation Using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint' - Very little prep is required, as ASCP will stick to virtuall

      Click thumbnail to view full-size
      Since I had some rough areas and adhesive residue, I used a fine sanding block, then wiped the pieces with a damp rag and allowed to dry.I carefully removed decorative hardware and handlesI labeled and stored hardware and handles in an organized manner for easy re-installationI opened and stirred the paint thoroughly before using. ASCP is thick and requires a good stir.I used a 2-1/2" straight brush designed for all paints. Dip into the paint just an inch. Unload the brush onto the surface, painting with the grain.This piece was getting painted inside & out, so I started at the inside top and worked down. Allow to dry, then check for bleed-through, as seen here.I applied a thin coat of odorless oil-based stain blocker over problem areas.Suggest a cheap, throwaway brush for application.  Lacking that, I used a folded-up paper towel, smoothing any ridges of excess primer. Allow to dry.I painted all areas using the inside color, including drawers, allowing to dry the recommended time. Repeat with a second coat and allow to dry.I stirred the second color thoroughly, then began to paint as directed above, starting with the top of the piece and worked my way down.I allowed the first coat to dry, then applied the second coat.I painted all the pieces with two coats of the second color, including the drawers.I used a clean rag to apply a LITTLE bit of clear wax, working it into the painted finish. (You'll feel when a little more wax is needed.)The wax will slightly darken the surface, making it easy to see where you've already waxed.I continued with clear wax until done. Allow to dry according to directions. Buff with a clean rag, turning rag often. Rebuff any 'sticky' areas.I started with dark wax to make a 'stain'I added an equal part of odorless or low-odor mineral spiritsI stirred them together until they were the consistency of chocolate syrup.Add age to your piece by applying a narrow band of clear wax to your furniture. IMMEDIATELY paint on a THIN coat of dark wax 'stain'.Wipe with a clean rag IMMEDIATELY.  Add more 'stain' if the look is too light or wipe more off if the look is too dark.Work from one side of the piece to the other, wiping as you go. Start another narrow band.Continue working from side to side, wiping as you go.Touch up any areas that need it.  The clear wax/dark wax 'stain' is fairly forgiving, as you'll learn. Allow the 'stain' coat to dry, then buff out.
      Since I had some rough areas and adhesive residue, I used a fine sanding block, then wiped the pieces with a damp rag and allowed to dry.
      Since I had some rough areas and adhesive residue, I used a fine sanding block, then wiped the pieces with a damp rag and allowed to dry.
      I carefully removed decorative hardware and handles
      I carefully removed decorative hardware and handles
      I labeled and stored hardware and handles in an organized manner for easy re-installation
      I labeled and stored hardware and handles in an organized manner for easy re-installation
      I opened and stirred the paint thoroughly before using. ASCP is thick and requires a good stir.
      I opened and stirred the paint thoroughly before using. ASCP is thick and requires a good stir.
      I used a 2-1/2" straight brush designed for all paints. Dip into the paint just an inch. Unload the brush onto the surface, painting with the grain.
      I used a 2-1/2" straight brush designed for all paints. Dip into the paint just an inch. Unload the brush onto the surface, painting with the grain.
      This piece was getting painted inside & out, so I started at the inside top and worked down. Allow to dry, then check for bleed-through, as seen here.
      This piece was getting painted inside & out, so I started at the inside top and worked down. Allow to dry, then check for bleed-through, as seen here.
      I applied a thin coat of odorless oil-based stain blocker over problem areas.
      I applied a thin coat of odorless oil-based stain blocker over problem areas.
      Suggest a cheap, throwaway brush for application.  Lacking that, I used a folded-up paper towel, smoothing any ridges of excess primer. Allow to dry.
      Suggest a cheap, throwaway brush for application. Lacking that, I used a folded-up paper towel, smoothing any ridges of excess primer. Allow to dry.
      I painted all areas using the inside color, including drawers, allowing to dry the recommended time. Repeat with a second coat and allow to dry.
      I painted all areas using the inside color, including drawers, allowing to dry the recommended time. Repeat with a second coat and allow to dry.
      I stirred the second color thoroughly, then began to paint as directed above, starting with the top of the piece and worked my way down.
      I stirred the second color thoroughly, then began to paint as directed above, starting with the top of the piece and worked my way down.
      I allowed the first coat to dry, then applied the second coat.
      I allowed the first coat to dry, then applied the second coat.
      I painted all the pieces with two coats of the second color, including the drawers.
      I painted all the pieces with two coats of the second color, including the drawers.
      I used a clean rag to apply a LITTLE bit of clear wax, working it into the painted finish. (You'll feel when a little more wax is needed.)
      I used a clean rag to apply a LITTLE bit of clear wax, working it into the painted finish. (You'll feel when a little more wax is needed.)
      The wax will slightly darken the surface, making it easy to see where you've already waxed.
      The wax will slightly darken the surface, making it easy to see where you've already waxed.
      I continued with clear wax until done. Allow to dry according to directions. Buff with a clean rag, turning rag often. Rebuff any 'sticky' areas.
      I continued with clear wax until done. Allow to dry according to directions. Buff with a clean rag, turning rag often. Rebuff any 'sticky' areas.
      I started with dark wax to make a 'stain'
      I started with dark wax to make a 'stain'
      I added an equal part of odorless or low-odor mineral spirits
      I added an equal part of odorless or low-odor mineral spirits
      I stirred them together until they were the consistency of chocolate syrup.
      I stirred them together until they were the consistency of chocolate syrup.
      Add age to your piece by applying a narrow band of clear wax to your furniture. IMMEDIATELY paint on a THIN coat of dark wax 'stain'.
      Add age to your piece by applying a narrow band of clear wax to your furniture. IMMEDIATELY paint on a THIN coat of dark wax 'stain'.
      Wipe with a clean rag IMMEDIATELY.  Add more 'stain' if the look is too light or wipe more off if the look is too dark.
      Wipe with a clean rag IMMEDIATELY. Add more 'stain' if the look is too light or wipe more off if the look is too dark.
      Work from one side of the piece to the other, wiping as you go. Start another narrow band.
      Work from one side of the piece to the other, wiping as you go. Start another narrow band.
      Continue working from side to side, wiping as you go.
      Continue working from side to side, wiping as you go.
      Touch up any areas that need it.  The clear wax/dark wax 'stain' is fairly forgiving, as you'll learn. Allow the 'stain' coat to dry, then buff out.
      Touch up any areas that need it. The clear wax/dark wax 'stain' is fairly forgiving, as you'll learn. Allow the 'stain' coat to dry, then buff out.

      'Before' Campaign Furniture DIY Transformation

      These pieces were described by the craigslist seller as a '2-piece dresser'. It looks to me like there was another piece that went missing somewhere along the line, but I liked the lines of the classic campaign furniture and the price was right, $60, so I bought them.

      Image: KateHon

      Annie Sloan Chalk Paints and Waxes Used on Campaign Furniture DIY Transformation

      Click thumbnail to view full-size
      ASCP's 'Old White' for the outside of the campaign furnitureASCP's 'Duck Egg' for the inside of the campaign furnitureASCP's Clear Wax used to seal the paint finish and in conjunction with the Dark Wax as a 'stain'ASCP's Dark Wax thinned with mineral spirits as an aging 'stain'. Applied over a wet coat of Clear Wax and wiped immediately.
      ASCP's 'Old White' for the outside of the campaign furniture
      ASCP's 'Old White' for the outside of the campaign furniture
      ASCP's 'Duck Egg' for the inside of the campaign furniture
      ASCP's 'Duck Egg' for the inside of the campaign furniture
      ASCP's Clear Wax used to seal the paint finish and in conjunction with the Dark Wax as a 'stain'
      ASCP's Clear Wax used to seal the paint finish and in conjunction with the Dark Wax as a 'stain'
      ASCP's Dark Wax thinned with mineral spirits as an aging 'stain'. Applied over a wet coat of Clear Wax and wiped immediately.
      ASCP's Dark Wax thinned with mineral spirits as an aging 'stain'. Applied over a wet coat of Clear Wax and wiped immediately.

      'Better After' Campaign Furniture DIY Transformation - Cost? Campaign Furniture: $60; Paint, Clear Wax, Gilders Paste: $120; Materials: $0 (already had brushes,

      Click thumbnail to view full-size
      A complete transformation! These pieces are in my Master Bedroom and provide lots of welcome extra storage.The upper cabinet can hold plenty -- in style!The six drawers are so pretty inside that they beg to be kept neat!
      A complete transformation! These pieces are in my Master Bedroom and provide lots of welcome extra storage.
      A complete transformation! These pieces are in my Master Bedroom and provide lots of welcome extra storage.
      The upper cabinet can hold plenty -- in style!
      The upper cabinet can hold plenty -- in style!
      The six drawers are so pretty inside that they beg to be kept neat!
      The six drawers are so pretty inside that they beg to be kept neat!

      Use Drawer Organizers to Maximize Storage Space

      South Shore Drawer Organizer
      South Shore Drawer Organizer

      Mix and match sizes to customize your storage needs

       
      OXO Expandable Dresser Drawer Dividers 4-Inch, Pack of 2
      OXO Expandable Dresser Drawer Dividers 4-Inch, Pack of 2

      Divide and conquer with these drawer dividers

       
      Axis 4128 Expandable Dresser Drawer Dividers, Walnut Finish
      Axis 4128 Expandable Dresser Drawer Dividers, Walnut Finish

      Add a polished finish to your organized drawers

       

      'Before' China Cabinet DIY Furniture Transformation - Well-made furniture with a well-worn finish

      Click thumbnail to view full-size
      'Before' china cabinet hutch. Love the delicate fretwork doors & handmade beadboard back. The seller had the missing fretwork, which I re-installed.'Before' china cabinet buffet. The door detail is wonderful!'Before' china cabinet buffet interior.  The handmade beadboard back is even found on the inside back!'Before' china cabinet drawers and shelves.  Two shelves for the hutch and one for the buffet.ASCP's 'Graphite' used on the exterior of the china cabinet hutch and buffetASCP's 'Old White' used on the interior of the china cabinet hutch and buffetASCP's Clear Wax was applied to inside and outside of china cabinet hutch and buffet after painting.ASCP's Dark Wax applied FULL STRENGTH in the china cabinet hutch over an 'Old White'/Clear Wax base.
      'Before' china cabinet hutch. Love the delicate fretwork doors & handmade beadboard back. The seller had the missing fretwork, which I re-installed.
      'Before' china cabinet hutch. Love the delicate fretwork doors & handmade beadboard back. The seller had the missing fretwork, which I re-installed.
      'Before' china cabinet buffet. The door detail is wonderful!
      'Before' china cabinet buffet. The door detail is wonderful!
      'Before' china cabinet buffet interior.  The handmade beadboard back is even found on the inside back!
      'Before' china cabinet buffet interior. The handmade beadboard back is even found on the inside back!
      'Before' china cabinet drawers and shelves.  Two shelves for the hutch and one for the buffet.
      'Before' china cabinet drawers and shelves. Two shelves for the hutch and one for the buffet.
      ASCP's 'Graphite' used on the exterior of the china cabinet hutch and buffet
      ASCP's 'Graphite' used on the exterior of the china cabinet hutch and buffet
      ASCP's 'Old White' used on the interior of the china cabinet hutch and buffet
      ASCP's 'Old White' used on the interior of the china cabinet hutch and buffet
      ASCP's Clear Wax was applied to inside and outside of china cabinet hutch and buffet after painting.
      ASCP's Clear Wax was applied to inside and outside of china cabinet hutch and buffet after painting.
      ASCP's Dark Wax applied FULL STRENGTH in the china cabinet hutch over an 'Old White'/Clear Wax base.
      ASCP's Dark Wax applied FULL STRENGTH in the china cabinet hutch over an 'Old White'/Clear Wax base.

      'Better After' China Cabinet DIY Furniture Transformation

      This refurbished china cabinet now has pride of place in my dining area and I get so much pleasure using it!

      Image: KateHon

      'Better After' China Cabinet DIY Furniture Transformation

      I applied ASCP's Dark Wax full strength over a china cabinet hutch interior painted with 'Old White'. Using Dark Wax without thinning results in a more stried, or 'striped', appearance, which I felt repeated and reinforced the hutch's beadboard back.

      By using a limited color scheme to accessorize the hutch, each item can be appreciated individually, and the overall look is cohesive.

      The cost for this china cabinet DIY furniture transformation?

      China Cabinet: $100 (craigslist)

      Materials (1 liter each of 'Old White' & 'Graphite', 1 tin each of Clear Wax and Dark Wax): $160

      Supplies: $0 (I already owned rags and brushes)

      Total: $260

      Time: 6 hours over 3 days

      I now have an updated china cabinet, totally customized to my taste. If and when I get tired of the color, I'll just paint over it!

      Image: KateHon

      'Better After' TV Console and Side Table DIY Furniture Transformations

      Click thumbnail to view full-size
      Before: I loved the lines and the size of this TV console.  The finish?  Not so much.I used ASCP's 'Graphite' with a clear and dark wax finish for both pieces. The full-strength dark wax brought the 'Graphite' to a 'Dark Slate' color.'Better After' TV console DIY transformation.  It looked so good, we upgraded from a 39" to a 55" TV!'Better After' close-up. Hardware left as is. Why gild the lily? Cost? Console: $50 Paint: $40 Materials: $0 (used what I had) Total: $90 Time: 2 hrsBefore: This side table was already black, but the paint used was STICKY! Yuck.  I filled the holes in the center drawer & will use matching knobs.'Better After' side table DIY transformation. I chose faceted crystal knobs for the drawer and door to add some sparkle to the table!'Better After' close-up of side table DIY transformation. Cost? Table: $40; Knobs: $8 for 2; Materials: $0 (used what I had) Total: $48 Time: 2 hours
      Before: I loved the lines and the size of this TV console.  The finish?  Not so much.
      Before: I loved the lines and the size of this TV console. The finish? Not so much.
      I used ASCP's 'Graphite' with a clear and dark wax finish for both pieces. The full-strength dark wax brought the 'Graphite' to a 'Dark Slate' color.
      I used ASCP's 'Graphite' with a clear and dark wax finish for both pieces. The full-strength dark wax brought the 'Graphite' to a 'Dark Slate' color.
      'Better After' TV console DIY transformation.  It looked so good, we upgraded from a 39" to a 55" TV!
      'Better After' TV console DIY transformation. It looked so good, we upgraded from a 39" to a 55" TV!
      'Better After' close-up. Hardware left as is. Why gild the lily? Cost? Console: $50 Paint: $40 Materials: $0 (used what I had) Total: $90 Time: 2 hrs
      'Better After' close-up. Hardware left as is. Why gild the lily? Cost? Console: $50 Paint: $40 Materials: $0 (used what I had) Total: $90 Time: 2 hrs
      Before: This side table was already black, but the paint used was STICKY! Yuck.  I filled the holes in the center drawer & will use matching knobs.
      Before: This side table was already black, but the paint used was STICKY! Yuck. I filled the holes in the center drawer & will use matching knobs.
      'Better After' side table DIY transformation. I chose faceted crystal knobs for the drawer and door to add some sparkle to the table!
      'Better After' side table DIY transformation. I chose faceted crystal knobs for the drawer and door to add some sparkle to the table!
      'Better After' close-up of side table DIY transformation. Cost? Table: $40; Knobs: $8 for 2; Materials: $0 (used what I had) Total: $48 Time: 2 hours
      'Better After' close-up of side table DIY transformation. Cost? Table: $40; Knobs: $8 for 2; Materials: $0 (used what I had) Total: $48 Time: 2 hours

      'Before' 4-Poster Bed

      I looked for weeks on craigslist to find some kind of headboard/footboard for my Master Bedroom to no avail. Finally, I found this 4-poster bed for $200. I liked the general style of the bed, particularly the reeded posts.

      My husband thought it was an outrageous price to pay and ugly to boot, but I knew I would be painting it, so the current condition didn't bother me. So, I bought it, despite his objections.

      Since our bedroom ceiling is only eight feet off the ground, I decided not to use the 'tester' portion of the bed (the canopy), saving that for another bedroom in another home with higher ceilings.

      Image

      'Before' Bed Steps

      When I read the seller's listing for the 4-poster bed, she mentioned that the top of the mattress was about 36" off the floor, much higher than most mattresses.

      Being less than tall, I knew I needed a set of bed steps to make my bedside ascents and descents manageable. It took several weeks of combing craigslist before I found anything at all, and then only after adjusting my keyword search to include "stepladder".

      Go figure.

      Originally used in a child's bedroom, the bed steps' exuberant painted-on pattern was totally inappropriate for my needs, but I knew it could totally be masked with ASCP, since it covers almost anything without priming first.

      An added bonus? Storage inside the bed steps!

      Color Inspiration for my 4-Poster Bed and Bed Steps

      Click thumbnail to view full-size
      My paisley-patterned bedding pretty much dictated that the bed be painted a warm neutral.So, I chose ASCP's 'Old White'.ASCP's Clear Wax as a protective coat and as a wet coat with a Dark Wax 'stain'ASCP's Dark Wax, thinned with mineral spirits into a 'stain' and brushed on over a wet coat of Clear Wax
      My paisley-patterned bedding pretty much dictated that the bed be painted a warm neutral.
      My paisley-patterned bedding pretty much dictated that the bed be painted a warm neutral.
      So, I chose ASCP's 'Old White'.
      So, I chose ASCP's 'Old White'.
      ASCP's Clear Wax as a protective coat and as a wet coat with a Dark Wax 'stain'
      ASCP's Clear Wax as a protective coat and as a wet coat with a Dark Wax 'stain'
      ASCP's Dark Wax, thinned with mineral spirits into a 'stain' and brushed on over a wet coat of Clear Wax
      ASCP's Dark Wax, thinned with mineral spirits into a 'stain' and brushed on over a wet coat of Clear Wax

      'Better After' 4-Poster Bed DIY Furniture Transformation

      The bed turned out perfectly! It was the first time I had used the thinned Dark Wax as a stain and, to be honest, I was so nervous applying the first brushstroke of that dark syrupy stuff.

      After the first wipe, however, I realized it was going to be an easy process, albeit a lengthy one, due to the size and intricacy of the bed frame.

      All in all, it was an adventure I'm glad I embarked on, since it's led me to so many other transformational projects.

      Cost?

      Bedframe: $200

      ASCP's 'Old White': $40

      Materials: $0 (I already had Clear and Dark Waxes, brushes and rags)

      Total: $240

      Time: About 8 hours over 4 days.

      The hardest part of the project was doing the Clear Wax/Dark Wax 'stain' and making sure everything was wiped quickly and completely and making sure the finish stayed consistent from start to finish.

      By the way, now that the bed is done, my husband LOVES it!

      Just goes to show you...

      Image: KateHon

      'Better After' Bed Steps DIY Furniture Transformation

      See? I knew these steps would turn out perfectly!

      One of the best things about Annie Sloan Chalk Paint is that it sticks to virtually anything, including varnished, stained wood, like the bed steps stair treads. I've used these steps morning and night (and sometimes for afternoon naps) for several months now, and the finish on the treads is still perfect.

      Cost?

      Bed Steps: $20 (craigslist)

      Materials: $0 (I used my leftover 'Old White' ASCP, as well as leftover Clear and Dark Waxes)

      Total: $20

      Time: About 2 hours to paint twice, apply clear wax, buff, apply 'stain' coat, buff (not including drying time for paint and wax)

      New bed steps run from $40 (ugly ones) and up (less ugly, but not great, just more expensive), so I was extremely pleased with my custom $20 bed steps!

      (If you look, you'll notice a pair of painted bedside tables, one here and one in the picture above. I painted and waxed those before I knew the secret of thinning the Dark Wax with mineral spirits to use as a 'stain', hence their streaky, stripey appearance. I'm trying to decide if I should start over, repainting them and using the Dark Wax 'stain'. For now, I'm going to live with them as they are. I think...)

      Image: KateHon

      What's Your Favorite 'Better After': DIY Furniture Transformation Using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint?

      Do you have a favorite 'Better After': DIY Furniture Transformation Using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint?

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      Today's the day to create your own 'Better After'.

      — KateHon

      Have you used another kind of paint on a furniture project? Tell us!

      Have you tried and failed? Swore you'd never paint furniture again? Get it off your chest here.

      Got a question about Annie Sloan Chalk Paint? Fire away!

      Now What? Do You Have a Vision to Try Your Own 'Better After': DIY Furniture Transformation Using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint? - Have I made my case or not?

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          KateHonebrink 3 years ago

          @christinemcveigh: Thanks so very much for your kind words! I, too, love chalk paint and would be honored to write a blog post - just tell me when!

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          christinemcveigh 3 years ago

          I love your lens because I love chalk paint and milk paint furniture so much.

          What I really love is your choice of colors! You've got a great eye.. would you be interested in doing a blog post?