Mama’s Painting Method // No Chalk Paint Required!

Mama’s Painting Method // No Chalk Paint Required!


My mama’s a junker. I never knew the value in that until I got married, bought a house, and needed furniture. Leave it to Ouida and craigslist to fill our new home with furniture in 2013. I never had any doubts about my mom’s ability to fill a home on a dime–I grew up with it. When she left her desk job back in the day, she started to flip furniture and had several booths in local antique shops across Middle Tennessee for years. Her hottest items included anything painted shabby white.


One of the pieces my mom did for us when we got married. This bed is from the 1800’s. Just call my mom the furniture wizard. 

In May of this year, we moved to a really beautiful newly rehabbed home. Naturally, my decor self wanted to change EVERYTHING! However, my wallet argued with me. I started with our bedroom and took all of our black bedroom furniture (what was 2013 Holly thinking?!) and painted every piece with my mama’s shabby white method. Our bedroom looks like a whole new set for less than $40 and a little elbow grease!

Since I did our bedroom set, I got a little paint wild and painted our kitchen table and chairs, two side tables, a coffee table, and a bookcase! I haven’t had to buy any new furniture for our new house, everything has been painted or free and updated!



Which leads me to my two latest beauties. I snagged two dressers off of a local free group for our community. We have over 4k members. This group is the epitome of “community” in my opinion. People will post curb alerts or items they want to give away for free. If there’s a need, people will post requesting items for their need and everyone springs into action. It’s really beautiful! I highly recommend if you don’t have a page like this for your community–make one!


Anyways, I saw these two dressers posted and I just couldn’t stand it. They were so beautiful and needed to be in my home! I had NO idea what I would do with them (I had just gotten another Thomasville dresser for our Fig babe’s nursery so my garage was filling up). But I HAD to have them! I knew it in my bones! I picked them up Monday evening + had them fixed up and in their new respective homes by Saturday!


I think these are BEAUTIFUL + many of you asked for my mama’s method! I know chalk paint is so in and easy, but yall, that paint is NOT cheap! It’s about 4 times the price of my mom’s method! For less than $50 to get all of your supplies (if you don’t have any of the brushes and such on hand) you can do a ton of furniture.

Mama’s Painting Method


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  1. Remove any hardware if your piece has any.
  2. Make sure your furniture is clean and dry.
  3. Using your Wooster Pro or Purdy 2 inch paintbrush, paint the furniture with the Glidden paint.
    • I do three coats + let dry at least 12 hours between coats.
    • Typically, I will paint one coat a day.
  4. When your paint is completely dry, sand the edges with your sander.
    • Don’t let this part scare you! If you sand more than you want, just paint over that spot and try again! That’s the beauty of paint (and this method): you can’t really mess it up! If you do, you can always fix it!
  5. Wipe the dust off
  6. Take another paintbrush (doesn’t really matter what kind of brush for this part) and put a light coat of stain on your furniture. IMMEDIATELY wipe it off with a rag!
    • The harder you wipe it off, the brighter the white you’ll have.
  7. Take an old sock (or rag) and put a quarter size of the furniture polish into the rag/sock and wipe down your furniture.
  8. Let sit overnight and dry
  9. Put any hardware back on + move it into your house!




  • How long does this take?
    • My pieces typically take 4 days from start to finish and I like to do multiple pieces at a time. If you want to speed it up and have the time, you can do one coat of paint in the morning, one at night, another the next morning, sand and stain that night for a 2-3 day method.
  • Can I use different colors?
    • Absolutely! Any paint color you want and any stain color you want. I like the white paired with a light stain like my mom uses because it’s classic and neutral.
  • Do I need to wash my brushes every night?
    • NO! Wrap your brush in a plastic bag + it will be ready to use the next day! I don’t wash until I’m done with a project completely.
  • How far can your gallon of paint go?
    • Okay, here’s what I have painted in my house using a gallon and a half of white paint, not even a full quart of stain, and about 1/5 of the beeswax:
      • Kitchen table + 4 chairs
      • 2 bookcases
      • a hat rack
      • an armoire
      • a coffee table
      • 4 side tables
      • 3 dressers
      • 2 big mirrors
    • Basically, it goes on forever!



That’s it! A very simple method that has served my mama and me well!
Let me know if you try it out and send me pictures!

Happy Painting!

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