From drab to shabby-chic-fab!

room makeover

If you follow my Facebook page, you may know that I have a new love. Oh, not to worry — it’s nothing too terribly scandalous. I have fallen madly in love with…Annie Sloan chalk paint. Rather than give you an infomercial on this wonder product (no sanding or priming required…enough said), feel free to Google it and fall in love. The paint is water-based, doesn’t have much of an odor (if any) and dries almost instantly. It covers wood, metal, and just about any surface you can imagine. Upon my discovery, I watched a couple of how-to videos on YouTube and boom, I was ready to take the things in my home that were beginning to look kind of blah and turns them into ta-da!

As far as furniture goes, I’m not much of an Ikea girl (actually, I’ve never even been in the store). I love good, solid real wood pieces that will hold up over the years and can be changed up with a simple coat of paint. And I love a good bargain, so one of my favorite things to do is shop thrift stores (like Goodwill and Salvation Army) and local antique shops for hidden treasures. That said, I have accumulated some pieces over the years that have been sitting in my garage waiting for that magical day when I would finally have enough time to give them a little TLC (translation: strip, sand, prime, paint, varnish, etc…) And yeah, that day never came. Until that is, I discovered Annie Sloan chalk paint. Take for example, this cute little nightstand I bought at an antique store several years ago for $20:


Before…and after! Once I got bit by the Annie Sloan chalk paint bug, I began to dig through my garage for any and everything to paint. I stumbled upon the headboard and footboard (in picture below) that I had snagged at a garage sale over five years ago for $15. My original goal was to paint or refinish it and put it in one of the bedrooms in my lake house, but alas, I never got around to it due to the required time.


As a brief background on the lake house: It was built in 1968 and when we purchased it about seven years ago, the price had been drastically reduced several times. The original owner had never updated the house. And by never, I mean brown panel walls, old light fixtures, formica countertops, and get ready for it…wall-to-wall shag carpet. You youngsters may have to Google “shag carpet” to fully appreciate what I’m talking about. And then try to picture decades old shag carpet in baby blue (upstairs) and harvest gold (downstairs). Add to this equation that the house had no central air/heat (a slight problem in Texas where summers can top 100 degrees) and thus, the price reductions. The house showed terribly because potential buyers couldn’t see past the brown panel walls and shag carpet. Or the AC window units that were as old as the house and could go out at any minute. But where others saw a money pit, I saw hope. (For the record, my husband saw a long to-do list and a lot of work!).

Little by little, we have updated the house, but as you can imagine, bedroom decor was last on our list. The downstairs bedroom had a full bed (that conveyed with the purchase of the house — it was new and perhaps the only upgrade the owner ever made). It was covered with an old comforter that used to be in one of my boys’ rooms. (That fact alone, should qualify the room for a make-over.) I wish I had taken a picture of the room before the transformation so you could fully appreciate it, but drats, I forgot to do it!

Fast forward to the headboard and footboard in my garage that served as the inspiration for the room make-over. They were in pretty rough shape, but I knew a few coats of chalk paint would give it a new life. I painted over the floral decal (no sanding or prep work at all!) and decided to add a wood embellishment (Lowes for $6) in it’s place. For the nightstand and bed, I used Annie Sloan’s Old White as a color choice. Here is the before and after:


Since the bed had a cottage look to it, I decided to aim for a shabby chic look in the guest room. I began to look for inexpensive items to bring it all together on a tight budget. For bedding, I already had a white quilt from TJ Maxx (super cheap), but wanted to find something with a little color. Like this beauty from Home Goods, which was $39:


I found this lamp at Tuesday Morning ($19) and brushed on a single coat of Annie Sloan Duck Egg Blue (I’m obsessed with this color) to play off the aqua/blue color in the quilt: (It literally took me about five minutes, since I wanted some of the dark metal to show through to give it a distressed look.)


I decided to use my daughter’s dresser in the room, which I found years ago (already painted) at an antique store. Now that she is married, it stands empty in her old bedroom and it’s just too pretty not to have a more prominent spot:



The silver tray and silver cup (holding the hydrangeas) were on clearance at Tuesday Morning for $8 and $4 respectfully. The old books were from an antique store in Llano, Texas and purchased for around $2-$4. I nabbed the shabby chic print at an antique store in Burnet, Texas for $22.


One of my favorite pieces is this sturdy child’s rocker I found at a consignment store in Marble Falls, Texas for a steal. It was a dark wood and pretty scratched up with a nappy vinyl seat cover stapled on. I removed the cover to expose the original wood slats, gave it a couple of coats of the Annie Sloan Old White, and distressed it a bit with a sandpaper block:


To add a warmer color into the room, I incorporated a brown leather chair I already owned ($139 on clearance at Marshalls) and a throw pillow from Pier One.


The chair ties in nicely with this old mantle I found at an antique store in Burnet, Texas (a bit of a splurge for $59, but it came from a century old home and was hand-made). The small vintage plates are from Goodwill for 99ยข. I splurged on the one in the middle and paid around $10 for it (antique store), since it tied in so nice to the bedding. The books are from my childhood, which makes it extra special.


Here is a reveal of the $15 bed that inspired it all:


The white ruffled shams are from Target and the chandelier is from Lowes (it came with a painted and distressed look). I love the headboard and wish the pillows didn’t cover it up! Seeing the picture above has me considering covering the walls with a muted tone of the duck egg blue…or a super light linen tan (like the color of the throw pillow) — thoughts?


But as much as I love Annie Sloan chalk paint and my shabby chic room makeover, it doesn’t hold a candle to this little guy who slept in the updated guest room and sat on that new (old) rocker:


Sorry, I just had to sneak in a picture of my grandson. Fortunately for him, he’s always moving or he might have gotten a coat of chalk paint this past week!

Anyway, that’s what I’ve been up to lately. Now, it’s time to return to the real world of writing deadlines and weekend travel, but it was sure fun while it lasted. I have a few more “garage” projects lined up, but they will have to be my reward for meeting my deadlines….which are fast approaching!

If you’ve used the chalk paint, I would love to know your tips and tricks. Better yet, link us to your finished projects!


  1. says

    Totally adorable! And so is the room! LOL (Of course I’m going to comment on Walker first!)

    I don’t know where I was when God was handing out the crafty/decorating gene, but you must have gotten my portion.

  2. says

    Well isn’t that adorable!
    I feel like my lack of artistic and creative abilities might actually have a change for hope with this new paint item.

    And of course you should sneak in that last picture :) Hope you are well sister!

  3. says

    What a WOW!!!… Love! Love! LOVE IT! … (and if you could see my Pinterest Boards you would see ME all over this room!) FANTABULOUS Job!! (and thanks for introducing me to Annie Sloan. I cannot wait to get my hands in it! Like you I have “finds” in my garage just waiting as well. I can’t tell you how many times my husband has threatened to toss them all. He will smile when I have my “Ta Da”! Moments with them.) KUDOS to you on a job well done! and Thanks for sharing! It truly is just beautiful…
    Tina :)

  4. says

    I LOVE chalk paint too! I just did my first piece recently and it was the best thing I’ve ever done, switching from spray paint to chalk paint! The room looks beautiful! Love all of your vintage-y pieces!

  5. Sara L. says

    Love all of your special touches and the chalk paint. You have definitely stirrerd my
    interest in this paint especially since it sounds easy! Beautiful room and precious grandson!!

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