Chalk Paint Bureau

Chalk Paint Bureau

If you follow us on Instagram or Twitter you may have noticed some very excitable posts over the weekend relating to a brand new power tool, Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and a thrifted piece of furniture. I’m so excited to share our latest furniture project today – so be warned, there are a LOT of photos!

We’ve had this bureau in our hallway since we moved to the flat back in August, it’s always been great for storage and acting as our dumping ground for keys. It was practical, and certainly not ugly… but we knew it could be so much more. Here’s what it looked like before the makeover:


Some of the varnish was chipped, although there was some really pretty detailing on the legs, and the beat up handles definitely had potential too:

Handle before
Before we sanded the bureau we did try a coat of Chalk Paint, but the varnish was too thick and the paint wasn’t absorbed by the wood at all. First Chalk paint fail for us ever! So we knew that sanding was required, and because of the size of the bureau we didn’t much fancy sanding by hand – what a great excuse for a new power tool! Finding the right sander was important, and in the end we settled on a Bosch one as it was quite light weight which meant we could both use it (I have notoriously poor upper body strength).

To check we were happy with the quality of the wood we sanded one section first, and were pleasantly surprised:

Sanded example
After that we decided to go for it, removed the handles, and the real dusty work began! I must point out that the amount of dust from this project was insane – we had to wipe down the entire kitchen and everything in it (we are really missing outside space).

Sand progress

Sanded all
Once the sanding was complete we moved onto the painting. We used 2 different types of Chalk Paint, Antique White by Annie Sloan and a UK brand that we’d not used before Chalky Paint – in Cocoa. The bureau had one coat of slightly watered down paint and the drawers had one solid coat of Cocoa. We used an enamel paint in pewter to revive the handles.

We also used a solid coat of Cocoa inside the Bureau to revive the shelves and drawers.

Finished open
And here’s how it turned out! I am so in love, and pleased with the final result. It probably took us around 4 hours in total, but having a lighter chalk paint bureau has made the space feel totally different now and so much brighter.


Finished closed
What do you think? We’d love to hear your thoughts and any furniture fun you’ve had!


  1. February 27, 2015 / 8:23 pm

    Love the updated look. Im glad you kept the pulls, they add to the over all look. Thanks for sharing!

    • Sammi
      February 28, 2015 / 9:56 am

      Thanks Heather – I thought the pulls were too nice not to keep!

  2. February 28, 2015 / 3:01 am

    This turned out very sweet. i have not had experience with chalk paint yet. i have done most of my updates with milk paint. i think I will give it a try. Nice Job!

    • Sammi
      February 28, 2015 / 9:57 am

      Thanks Mary! I’ve not used milk paint before – does it give a similar finish?

  3. March 2, 2015 / 8:50 pm

    I love secretary desks! This is so cute, and I love the makeover. Very fun. Thanks for sharing at the #HomeMattersParty – we hope to see you again next week. 🙂

    Life With Lorelai

    • Sammi
      April 26, 2015 / 2:12 pm

      Thanks for hosting lorelai 🙂

    • Sammi
      April 26, 2015 / 2:11 pm

      Thanks Teri!

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