How to Give Furniture a Weathered Look with Paint

You guys, it’s been way too long since I’ve shared a furniture makeover post so I’m excited to show you how to give furniture a weathered look with paint today. If you had a chance to read last Thursday’s post you already know we’re currently participating in the One Room Challenge. I know it seems like 6 weeks is a long time to get a room completed from start to finish but we’re entering into week 2 and I’m starting to get a little nervous about finishing everything. I swear it feels like our list is a mile long!

Anyway, because we’re installing board and batten, framing out the windows, adding crown molding and stenciling the floor (fingers crossed) among a ton of other things, we’ve decided to keep the existing bedroom furniture so we can put our money into other projects for the makeover. The furniture is around 9 years old and save for a few nicks here and there it’s actually in pretty good condition.

Here’s the thing, I know this happens all the time so you may be able to relate to this scenario. You need a bedroom full of furniture: the bed, the dressers, the nightstands, the armoire…the whole 9. You would love to order everything off of page 20 in the Pottery Barn catalog but you just need to see it in person first. That Pottery Barn trip leads to another store which leads to about 7 other stores because you want to make sure you’re getting the best deal possible, after all, bedroom furniture is not cheap. Exhausted, you finally take every item from Show Room #6 and head to Starbucks for a latte because you are so. sick. of. looking. for. bedroom. furniture. What you really wanted was a bedroom that felt eclectic and collected over time…what you had delivered to your home was a suite of matchy-matchy furniture.

Now, let me just say up front there is nothing wrong with matchy-mathy furniture…not one thing. I myself have experience with matching pieces of furniture so I can totally relate. Here’s the thing though if you want pieces that look like they have been collected over time you have three options: get rid of the existing pieces of your bedroom furniture that feel the most matchy-matchy and buy new pieces, break up the suite of pieces and use them in other rooms of your house or you could consider painting them.   We chose to paint. Here’s a peek at how you can give furniture a weathered look by layering paint too…

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There are 2 nightstands, an armoire and a huge dresser with the matching mirror in this suite of bedroom furniture. We were looking to bring warmer elements into the room and the espresso stain on all of these pieces made the entire space feel really modern which is not really the style of the rest of the house.

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When we were looking for inspiration, we came across this nightstand which has a warmer feel to it so we set about trying to make the nightstands we currently have look like the inspiration piece.

The first step was to clean the nightstand. I use TSP to clean almost all of my pieces before painting them especially the ones that come out of old barns or warehouses. Next, I created a custom color with Valspar’s Cathedral Stone and Valspar’s Furniture Paint called Bay Waves. This is after one coat of the custom color…

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This is after 2 coats of the custom paint color. This is the first time I’ve tried any of Valspar Furniture Paint but I’ve gotta say the coverage is really nice. It’s similar to other furniture paints in that there is no sanding or priming.

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After the coats of paint were completely dry, I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Pure White and a chip brush to dry brush a bit of white onto the nightstand.

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I usually dab the excess paint in a lint free paper napkin or on a paper plate.

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These strokes will act like wood grain once you’re finished the with entire weathered look process so make sure you go with the original grain of the wood and use a light touch.

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Next, use a dark furniture paste wax (I’m using Annie Sloan) and a wax brush to blend the wax into the paint. This was the first time I’ve used a wax brush and it definitely took some getting used to. My arms were definitely sore after working on this piece ha ha.

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I found it helps to work in small sections using a circular motion. Normally, you would layer dark wax over clear wax but putting the dark wax directly on the paint allows for a darker finish.

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This was after 2 layers of dark wax.

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Once you have the color you want, buff with a clean, lint-free cloth just before the wax turns to a haze and allow the dark wax to set/harden at least 24 hours.

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In an effort to change the look of the hardware, I used Oiled Rubbed Bronze spray paint from Krylon to spray paint the existing knobs. This is how the knobs looked before…

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and after…

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While we’re mainly using neutrals, the paint color which I’ll share with you on Thursday, is a pretty moody gray and since the floors will be stenciled I used the rug from the kitchen just to see how the dresser will look against the floors. Pretty, right?

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We haven’t finalized the artwork just yet but the muted colors in this painting are a similar style to what we’re looking for…

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We still have a way to go but I think we’re at least headed in the right direction.

Until next time, I’ll see you on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.


Many blessings,


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    1. I really appreciate you, Nancy, thanks so much! Hugs, CoCo

  1. OMG CoCo – this is beautiful and quite the transformation. So smart to paint the existing pieces to get the look that you prefer. Can’t wait to keep following along and see the rest of the space.

    1. You guys are so sweet, thank you! I was giggling this morning because I have to paint an armoire and I was thinking about when you guys painted “The big orange beast” I hope it turns out as well as yours did. Sending you both hugs, CoCo

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