Our latest design project was to chalk paint an old Ethan Allen dresser (ombré) for my thirteen year-old’s room. He wanted a more modern room, in contrast to the more colonial decor in the rest of our home, so a dresser upgrade was essential for giving his bedroom a fresh, updated look.
This is a sponsored post on behalf of Amy Howard at Home and contains affiliate links. If you purchase a product through the link (at no extra cost to you), I get a small commission that allows me to keep this blog running!
If you’ve viewed my other posts about chalk painting furniture, you know I love Amy Howard Home products, chalk paints and I was so excited to team up with them on this project! The dresser turned out AMAZING and even exceeded my son’s expectations. 😉
Preparing the Furniture Piece for Chalk Painting
The first thing you need to do with any chalk painting project is make sure that the piece you are working on it’s clean. If it’s not too dirty, a damp cloth with a mild cleaning solution works just fine. If the piece has been in a kitchen or dining room (or anywhere else that might have resulted in a greasy residue), a degreasing agent will help make sure the surface is completely clean. After cleaning, wipe with a clean damp cloth and let the furniture dry completely.
Chalk Painting the Dresser
When you are ready to start painting, choose the base color for the dresser. We went with Amy Howard at Home Ballet White for every part of the dresser other than the drawers. The white looks really nice against the light blue wall and sets off the darker blue tones of the drawers.
After you have chosen your base color (what you will use on everything except for the drawers), go ahead and get painting! If you are covering a darker dresser like the one I worked on, you will likely need 2-3 coats. Chalk paint can drip a bit after it settles on the surface, so it’s a good idea to check your piece before washing out your brush to fix drip marks. If you don’t catch them until after the paint has dried, a light sand with sand paper can help get rid of them!
After you’ve applied the base color, it’s time to start mixing your ombré colors. You will need a small bowl for each drawer you want to paint. Start with your darkest tint and then add white to each bowl until you get the gradient you like. With this dresser, I started with the base blue color and then added 1 tbsp, 2 tbsp, 3 tbsp, etc. to the other colors and then adjusted accordingly. Initially I didn’t see enough change between the colors, so I added more white as needed.
I would like to say it’s an exact science, but the reality is that as long as you have enough paint for the drawer (about 1/2 cup is usually plenty), mix until you like the color scale and then start painting! I put two coats of paint on each drawer and touched up as needed.
After the dresser base and drawers were painted, I applied two coats of the Amy Howard Matte Sealer to protect them. I’m SO excited about the matte sealer because I had been using a polycrylic finish that made the colors appear darker, but with the matte sealer the colors stay exactly as they appear when you’re done painting!
Swapping out Dresser Hardware
If the hardware on your dresser is outdated, you may want to swap it out after you finish chalk painting. Since my son wanted a modern look, I choose these sleek t-bar stainless steel pulls and he loved them! Just make sure you measure the distance between the existing hardware screws, so you get the right size. 😉
I absolutely LOVE how this ombré dresser turned out and I’m thrilled that it exceeded my son’s expectations too. In the coming month, I’ll be sharing some of the other furniture upgrades I’ve completed with chalk paint and fresh hardware– stay tuned!
Supplies Needed for this Ombré Dresser:
- Amy Howard Chalk Paint in Ballet White
- Amy Howard Chalk Paint in American Dream
- Amy Howard Matte Sealer
- 1.5 inch nylon tapered brush
- 1.5 inch round tapered brush (to get into any tight spots or if you furniture has dings or other imperfections not reachable with a tapered brush).