French Linen Painted Nightstand

If I haven’t told you guys lately, I just want to let you know – I seriously appreciate you! Your comments, emails, likes, shares and repins make my day. I know you have a limited amount of time to devote to reading blogs and being on social media. Just knowing you spend that time with me melts my heart.

I’ve been painting furniture for a while now privately for clients way before I started blogging and over the past few years for my space at The Pickers Market. As of late, I haven’t been really digging deep into the details of each painted piece. A lot of you have been with me since the beginning (thank you!) and I know you’ve seen so many painted pieces. But last week, I got an interesting comment on the Pure White Painted Dresser post.

It was from Brian and the comment read…“I hate using the Annie Sloan paint because I never seem to get the wax right. What’s the secret?”

This was such a great and honest comment. You’re awesome, Brian! To be fair, this is not the first time I’ve heard this question or comment. I’m thankful it came up though so we can talk about it.

I’ve used a lot of different paint mediums over the years (milk paint, chalk paint, mineral paint, latex, oil based) to paint furniture. It took me a long time to decide which paint I like best because there are parts of each medium I like but not one paint brand has them all.

I use the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint because it’s the medium that I prefer and is most requested by my customers right now. But here’s the thing…I want you guys to learn to paint, DIY, try new things and enjoy the experience. So keep searching until you find a brand and a medium that you love. If chalk paint isn’t your thing, that’s ok. Find something you’re excited to use and when you do I want to hear all about it.

Today, I want to share with you a piece of furniture that has been in my garage for months. One of my cousins found it back in our hometown. She got this piece for a really good price but it needed a lot of work. A lot. Of. Work. Apparently, it had been sitting neglected in a barn for years.


The top needed repairing.


The bottom of the cabinet needed to be completely replaced.


It had a bit of water damage on the side.


But the lines were so pretty and I loved the details on the legs too.


I’ve been on the hunt for a nightstand with storage so this piece seemed like a great option. The bedroom I’m using it in is decorated with mostly neutrals. Deciding to paint it with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in French Linen seemed like a great fit.


There are a few chalk painting tips that seem to be universal so if there is a “secret” to painting, wax and getting a good finish these would be my top tips. They can be used for those of you that are new to chalk paint or have used chalk paint in the past and didn’t get the results you wanted:

Step 1: Make sure the piece you are painting is clean and free of dirt or debris. I usually vacuum each piece of furniture with a shop vac first and then wipe with a damp cloth and mild detergent.


Step 2: Make sure you’re using a good quality brush. I almost always use Purdy brushes. They’re a little more expensive than other brushes but the quality and durability are worth it to me. I usually keep a jar or cup of water close each time I’m painting. I dip my paintbrush in water so that it’s slightly damp (not soaking wet) and then dip my brush into the chalk paint. I thin the chalk paint with water, just a little (think pancake batter not crepe batter.)


Step 3: When applying chalk paint to a piece of furniture, I prefer to use multiple thin coats as opposed to one or two thick coat because the finish is better. This is after one thin layer (plus adequate drying time)…


after two thin layers (plus adequate drying time)…


after three thin layers of chalk paint (plus adequate drying time). Next, lightly sand with 220 grit sandpaper. Unless I’m looking for a seriously distressed look, I usually use 120-220 grit sandpaper.


Step 4: After the chalk paint has dried, you’re ready to seal the piece of furniture. Just a little tip about using furniture paste wax, if you leave it in the sun to soften just a little bit the wax becomes more pliable making it a bit easier to apply. Apply the wax with a white lint free cloth.


Step 5: Once the wax “shine” becomes a “haze” buff with a white lint free cloth or with a soft bristled brush. Make sure you’re applying the wax in even coats, small sections at a time, taking care to work the wax into the paint/wood.


If you prefer not to use furniture paste wax, you may want to consider sealing with piece with hemp oil, a matte polyurethane (my favorite is by Varathane), or polyacrylic. I know there are other sealer you can use like tung oil or varnish so make sure you’re using the right sealer for whatever medium you chose to use.

For this piece in particular, I decided to change out the hardware and my bestie S is going to help me rebuild the inside of the cabinet.


I used Howard’s Feed and Wax to help me revive the top. We’ll still need to secure the loose plank on top.


But for now, it looks like it’s going to be a perfect fit as a nightstand.

022416-16 Annie Sloan Chalk Paint French Linen

022416-17 Tips for using Chalk Paint

022416-19 French Linen Painted Nightstand

Thank you so much for your comment and question, Brian! I hope these tips have helped. Sometimes it takes months of practice to fall in love with a specific medium but the important thing is that we keep trying. I can’t wait to hear about your next project.

For other piece painted in French Linen, check out:

French Linen Painted Buffet

French Linen Painted Dresser

French Linen Painted Dresser

See you guys back here tomorrow. Spring will be here in a few short weeks so I’m celebrating the last days of winter nesting.

Many blessings,


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  1. Hey CoCo – these are all fabulous tips. We think your best advice is to keep trying different mediums. We still haven’t tried milk paint but it is on our list of “must trys”. Your nightstand is a beautiful piece – so glad y’all are restoring it!

    1. Thank you ladies! I’ve dabbled in milk paint a bit and it always challenges me. I’m definitely ready to try out a few new brands until I find just the right fit for my style of painting. It’s so exciting to have so many different options. I can’t wait to see your next piece. Hugs, Coco

    1. Thank you bunches, Amy! I found the hardware in my stash. They came from a drawer that couldn’t be saved so I’m glad I was able to find a way to repurpose them. French Linen gets me every time. It just calls my name ha ha 🙂 Hugs, CoCo

  2. M.Boatright says:

    Thank you for the tips! We’ll let you know how the painting turns out (but it’ll probably be a couple of years ha ha!).

    1. Ha ha a couple of years! You guys are killing me! Let me know how it goes and you guys can be the first feature in the readers showcase 🙂 Hugs, CoCo

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