Toy Chest Makeover Featuring Chalk Paint

Remember my parents cabin that I talked about in this post?

Well I am back at it DIY’ing all over that little place. I have actually tackled 2 bedrooms while I’ve been visiting, and I love how they both turned out. I’ll be recapping and sharing the transformation soon! Since I wrapped up the two bedrooms, I decided to turn my attention to the little kids play area in the upstairs loft.

I actually gave this entire space a makeover so I’ll be sharing that soon, but first I want to share the highlight of the play area.

You know those weird random objects or toys you will always remember (for what ever reason) from your childhood? This toy chest is one of those for me! My siblings and I have had this toy chest literally our entire lives. It’s been moved from house to house and room to room, and now it’s got a home here at the kids play area of the cabin.

I have been hearing all about the wonders of chalk paint and I knew this little toy chest would be the perfect project to start with.

Lets get to the before pictures:It’s such a cute little thing! I was so excited to get started. You can see on the right side where the chest opens there’s a crack in the wood where a piece chipped off. I thought long and hard about using a wood filler to fix it. Then I was like,”HECK NO! That’s a memory! I’m not fixing that!”

So I left it. I love that little imperfection!

Step 1: The first thing I did was remove the hinges and the knob on the front.

Step 2: Next, I lightly sanded the entire chest. It really didn’t have much for a finish on it so it really only needed a light sanding.

Step 3: After I cleaned all of the debris off the chest I started painting! Always read the directions on the paint can. Each brand is different. This paint said anywhere from 1-3 coats was necessary depending on your preference. I did one coat, let it dry completely (which really didn’t take long, 30 mins maybe) and then came back and did a second coat.

Step 4: I let it sit over night and then the next day took some sandpaper to it to give it a slightly distressed look. If you’re not going for that look just skip this step.

Step 5: Finally, I cleaned the dust off and put my protective top coat on. Again read the can for full instructions. I did one coat, let it dry completely and then did a second coat just to be safe.

Step 6: After it dried completely all that was left to do was reattach the hinges and the knob on the front.

I liked the original black hinges so I kept them, but I was not a fan of the original wooden knob, so I picked up a new one at Menards.

The after:

I LOVE how it turned out! This little toy chest from my childhood has a fresh new look and you’d never know it was 25+ years old.

I’d say my first experience with chalk paint was a success! I’m looking forward to using it on other projects in the future.

Have you ever used chalk paint to give new life to old furniture?


This is such a cute idea, and totally an easy way to transform a piece that’s been around for a while into something completely different! Plus a pop of color is always a good idea!

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