One of my favorite things to do is chalk paint! This post will show you how to chalk paint an entertainment center. It instantly transforms a piece of furniture by giving it a rustic farmhouse look.
This entertainment center belonged to my in-laws. It is the final piece of the puzzle in our basement renovation project
Step 1: Disassembling and Cleaning
I removed all the knobs and hinges.
This entertainment center is in several pieces so we had to take it apart and wipe it down to remove dust, cobwebs, etc.
Step 2: Spraypainted the Inside of the Cabinets
I cheated on this piece of furniture. On the bottom section, there are cabinets (with doors). The interior cabinets needed to be painted (lighter color) but I did not want to take the time to chalk-paint these areas. My solution was to purchase an off-white spray paint to use on the inside of the cabinets.
In preparation for painting, I put tape on the front edges of the cabinet so the spray paint would not get on any exterior parts of the cabinet. (These exterior parts of the cabinet will be chalk painted.) Then, I spray-painted the inside of the cabinets. Spray painting needs to be done outside and make sure you are not close to anything the paint could ruin. You would be surprised how much the paint floats through the air. You only see the interior of the cabinets when you open the cabinet doors and it blends beautifully.
Step 2: Chalk Painting
Primitive is my favorite color of chalk paint. I purchased it at Home Depot.
I have used it to transform several pieces of furniture. It is sort of an oatmeal color and goes with everything. It also looks good over black or brown.
A few painting tips when chalk painting . . .
When you paint, be sure to paint in the direction of the grain of the wood. Try to paint with long, even strokes. When you paint the edges, make sure your last paint stroke ends at the edge of the surface- – sort of letting your paintbrush finish this stroke by going off (or away) from the tabletop/cabinet top/shelf/side of the cabinet.
Also, check for drips. If you have a drip, go over this again with your paintbrush.
The picture below is after the first coat of chalk paint.
I painted two coats of chalk paint, being sure to get all the crevices. It took quite a while because there were so many pieces.
The picture below shows two coats of chalk paint. Up close, you can see the grainy texture, which is characteristic of chalk paint. The purpose of using chalk paint is the ease of sanding the paint off to expose the undercolor.
Step 4: Sanding
The purpose of sanding is to sand off some (but not all) of the chalk paint in strategic spots to reveal the paint color underneath and give it an aged/worn look.
You want to sand off some (but not all) of the chalk paint in strategic spots. I use finer sandpaper (320) initially and sometimes use more coarse sandpaper (120) if the chalk paint is not sanding off easily enough or not revealing enough. I suggest starting with fine sandpaper (320) and then transitioning to more coarse sandpaper if needed. It is a matter of taste.
I do all the like areas first — end pieces, front pieces, shelves, edges, etc. This helps me to double-check myself for consistency (so all the sections blend/match), but at the same time, I want it to look random as if naturally worn spots. Even though I try to be consistent, I am also inconsistent to give it a naturally worn appearance.
Rounded areas are fun to do because you can give them a really worn look.
I constantly look over the piece until I am happy with its appearance. You can sand more or less depending on your preference.
The edges are easiest, but I don’t overdo it.
Step 5: Now we are ready for poly.
Instead of using wax, I use Minwax wipe-on poly (clear satin). My advice is to wear rubber gloves so you don’t have to clean your hands with paint thinner. To apply the polyurethane, use a cotton rag; a piece of an old T-shirt works great.
Polyurethane does not create a shiny look, so I like this better. However, it provides great protection. My typical practice is to apply two coats on the entire piece of furniture. (If I am doing a table, I do three coats on the tabletop.)
Tip: Be sure to apply the poly in the same direction as the grain of the wood. Use long even strokes in a very uniform way to give it a smooth and consistent finish. If you are not consistent, you might see smudges after it dries. If that happens, don’t sweat it, just learn from it. Over time, you will not even notice this.
Make sure that you read the directions and give plenty of time to dry between coats — overnight is best. I made the mistake of not letting it dry sufficiently between coats and it took a LONG time to dry, but it finally did!
The poly tints the color a little – – sort of an antique/aged look, but I like the look of this. Because I use this poly so much, I know what to expect each time.
Step 6: Reassemble
We carefully reassembled the entertainment center one section at a time and then installed the freshly spray-painted hinges and new knobs. The hinges and knobs are black. I like the contrast of the light chalk paint and the dark hinges and knobs.
Drumroll . . . the final result!
Check out some of my other chalk painting blog posts:
- How to Chalk Paint a Lamp
- Vintage Bench Makeover
- From Butcher Block to Farm House Table
- Dresser Makeover
- How to Chalk Paint a Bench
- How to Chalk Paint a Table
- Green Chalk Paint Nightstand
- Farmhouse Table (chalk-painted legs)
- How to Chalk Paint Picture Frames
To see how we transformed our basement, click HERE.
Get some chalk paint and a brush and transform a piece of furniture to be a special treasure in your home!