Coral hot pink chest of drawers by Annie Sloan Painters in Residence Abigail Ryan Bell painted with a mix of Chalk Paint®

How to: Paint a Dresser with Chalk Paint™

Your essential guide to painting a dresser with Chalk Paint™

If you want to learn how to paint a dresser with Chalk Paint™, this is the guide for you. Diving right in, we’ll share our top tips for giving your chest of drawers a makeover. We’ll take you through painting, waxing and all those extra touches that will make even the drabbest piece of furniture shine.

Whether it’s already painted or varnished wood, a little Chalk Paint™ goes a long way to putting your own stamp on furniture. With Annie Sloan’s brand of furniture paint, there’s no need to sand or prime – even on laminate – so it’s really just about jumping right into the fun bit and getting on with painting.

Getting started with painting a dresser

It’s happened to all of us. It starts with a chest of drawers that doesn’t feel very ‘you’. Perhaps you’ve inherited it from a grandparent. Or you’ve found it for a bargain price at a flea market or car boot sale. It might even be the same dresser that everyone else already has from IKEA. Then it sits in the corner of your room, sticking out like a sore thumb. Simply put: it just isn’t your style.

So what do you do to make an old dresser your own? Your first step is to choose your colour palette. Either get a Chalk Paint™ colour card from your local Annie Sloan Stockist or browse our website for inspiration. Will you use one colour or two? Perhaps you want to add some metallics to create a pattern or border around the drawers. Think about the hardware, too. Some on-trend handles or knobs can instantly elevate an old chest of drawers and are easily replaced as soon as the next trend comes along.

What materials do you need for a dresser makeover?

When it comes to giving your dresser a makeover, make sure you have the tools you need to hand before you start your project. Depending on the size of your piece, you will likely only need one tin, but check out our handy coverage guide to make sure first.

Optional extras

A chest of drawers painted in Annie Sloan's Amsterdam Chalk Paint®
Close up of a chest of drawers pained in Amsterdam green Chalk Paint®

Step by Step: how to paint a dresser with Chalk Paint™

  1. Remove all drawers. If your dresser has lots of drawers, use a piece of chalk or pencil to number them on the back. That way you’ll know how to replace them correctly when you’ve finished.
  2. If your dresser has any metal hardware like handles, now is the time to remove them too. You can also paint directly over them – it’s up to you.
  3. Load your paintbrush by dipping it directly in your pot of Chalk Paint™ and apply your first coat of paint on the dresser and drawers. Move the brush in every direction to maximise coverage. Just give the side of your drawers one thin coat to ensure they glide back into the frame of the chest of drawers easily
  4. Let the paint dry.
  5. Apply a second coat of paint if needed to make sure the whole piece is covered.
  6. *Pro tip!* For a fun pop of colour, you might want to paint the inside and sides of your drawers in a different or contrasting colour.
  7. After the paint has dried, brush on a layer of Chalk Paint™ Wax using a wax brush. Work in small sections at a time, recharging your brush as you go and making sure the whole dresser and all drawers – including the sides! – are covered.
  8. Remove any excess wax with a clean, dry cloth. Finally allow to dry before putting the drawers back in. The wax should feel touch dry quite quickly, but will still be a little soft until it has fully cured. The curing process can take up to 2 weeks. You can use your dresser in the meantime: just be gentle.

Taking your dresser makeover to the next level

If you want to up the ante, have a think about any patterns or borders you can incorporate in your final design. You might want to add a border around the edges of the drawer fronts and the top of your dresser, for example. You can also try stencilling a pattern or maybe add some decoupage for an even more intricate design. We have so many inspirational projects to spark ideas both on social media and here on Take a look at our Inspiration section as a starting point.

So now you know how to paint a dresser with Chalk Paint™, you’re ready to get started! Whatever piece of furniture you choose for your first paint makeover, be sure to buy the materials you need from your local Annie Sloan Stockist. Supporting them means supporting an independent business in your community. Once you’re done, share your project online using #AnnieSloan. 

Related Videos



Chalk Paint