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Painting drawers with Chalk Paint

Written on 26th March 2019

Giving a chest of drawers a new lease of life by Refovi Studio

The girls at Refovi Studio in Glasgow have been twirling their brushes to bring you a guide on painting a chest of drawers with chalk paint. Images of the completed project can be found HERE 



  • To prepare our chest of drawers for painting we removed all the handles, we then lightly sanded all over with fine sandpaper, use something between 80- to 120-grit, this is to smooth out any imperfections and adds grip for painting at the next stage.
  • Once you have sanded over all areas, you want to make sure the surface of your drawers is cleaned, so any build-up of polish or dirt is removed. To do this we use Sugar Soap, diluting with hot water in a basin. Then leave till thoroughly dry.
  • Our drawers had a few areas around the handles that needed to be filled. To fill in these imperfections we used ‘Ronseal’ multi-purpose wood filler. Use on desired area and leave to dry, any excess can be sanded back to give a smooth and even surface to paint onto.
  • Finally, the last bit of prep is just to use masking tape to mask out any areas you don’t want to be painted. For us we didn’t want the insides of the drawers to be painted so we used Frog Tape multi surface tape to draw lines where the paint would stop and the original wood would begin.


  • Now the painting can begin. We stirred our ‘Rainforest’ Chalk Paint and decanted some in a separate container to work from. We used a very small amount of cold water to thin the paint, only slightly, for the first coat. Try to only mix as much paint as you will need with water for each stage of your project, we don’t recommend pouring the water mix back into the original tin as this can create a breeding ground for bacteria and damage your beautiful paint.
  • We applied the paint with a 50mm pure bristled brush on the drawers and body of the drawers. Our drawers came with gorgeous dovetails so we used a small detailing brush to make a feature of these areas. For the first coat we always recommend applying a thin coat, don’t worry if it looks patchy as this is only a base coat to build on.
  • For our set of drawers we did 3 coats in total, leave a good amount of time in between coats to allow the paint to properly dry, we recommend 1-1.5 hours.
  • Once you have completed all your coats, you can remove the masking tape. If you aren’t happy with any areas, perhaps too much texture or sometimes drips can appear on edges, don’t worry lightly sand with fine sandpaper. Making sure to remove any excess dust from the surface of the drawers once finished.


  • Because we used this gorgeous ‘Rainforest’ green we decided to use a combination of clear and dark wax. To do this we first applied clear wax all over the surface of the drawers. Then worked in a combination of clear and dark wax, using more dark wax on areas of detail. Don’t worry if you put too much dark wax on an area, simply apply some clear wax to a cloth and work it over the area to remove the dark wax. Once you have your desired finish, buff the wax with a clean cloth.
  • Now you can re attach your handles. We just loved the gorgeous handles which came with the drawers, but to jazz them up we applied some gold gilding wax, this brightened them up against the vivid statement green creating a high end luxury finish. We hope you love them as much as we do.
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