6 Tips for Finding & Choosing Furniture Pieces to Chalk Paint

This month, Bran and I are long distance, with him completing an away rotation at another hospital. Though it’s not ideal, we’re lucky enough that we are able to take turns traveling to see each other on the weekends. I visited him this weekend, and somehow persuaded him into going antiquing with me for furniture. We stopped by our favorite breakfast spot first… which may have played a factor into him agreeing.

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I started my day off with a Stay Golden Coffee (homemade almond milk + turmeric paste + agave + cinnamon + coconut oil + coffee). I’ve tried to recreate this coffee drink at home, it’s never as good as theirs. Followed my coffee with homemade multigrain toast + avocado + goat cheese + local bacon. Was this F-Factor approved? Nope. But it’s my FAVORITE breakfast in the entire world and I think it’s important to live a balanced life. I typically eat Step 1 F-Factor meals most of the time so when I wan to splurge, I can and I don’t feel bad about it. Click HERE to see the meals I typically eat!


We then hit the antique stores to find some good furniture pieces to paint! Here are some of my tips if you’re going searching for furniture to chalk paint:

1. Choose pieces made of decent quality wood

Chalk paint is awesome since it can be used on pretty much any material (wood, metal, terra cotta, fabrics) BUT when choosing wood furniture, I prefer that the piece is made of real wood. Specifically, I avoid furniture that is made of particle board (think IKEA furniture). There’s a few reasons for this. One of which is that when distressing chalk paint, the finish on particle board usually wares off and the particle board shows through. It does not look vintage or antiqued… it just looks cheap. I also feel like the pieces I chalk paint are not only a financial investment (buying the piece, paint, and wax) but an emotional investment as well. These are pieces that I’ve spent a lot of time putting energy and thought into to transform them, and I want to make sure I’m choosing a piece that will last a while (particle board won’t last).



2. Pay attention to the decade of the piece and look for good lines

When I first started chalk painting, I got chalk paint happy and wanted to slap it on everything. I started choosing pieces of furniture that didn’t match the pieces in my house, thinking a fresh coat of paint could make it mesh. Though paint helped match the furniture to my color palette, it still didn’t have the same age or style as the rest of my pieces. I now look for things that have a farmhouse and antique style. I also really love pieces with good lines. For me, that means long, sleek lines or pieces that have some character with a vintage detail.



3. Be creative in where you look for furniture

Don’t limit yourself to strictly antique stores to find furniture to chalk paint. In fact, antique stores can sometimes be the most expensive places to buy furniture. I have found most of my pieces at thrift shops, goodwill, and the side of the road! We live in a college town, so in the summer when students are moving, they will often leave furniture on the side of the road for anyone to pick up. Some of my favorite pieces were found just as we were casually driving through town. One time on the way home form brunch I managed to talk Brandon into carrying a nightstand home for me… he carried it about a mile lol. I’ve also had friends who have had luck my searching through Facebook Marketplace.



4. Small pieces are a great way to start with chalk paint

Keep an eye out for smaller pieces to chalk paint. Items like trays and buckets are great for chalk painting and something that can be easily overlooked. Don’t forget to be on the lookout for these small hidden gems!



5. Don’t be afraid to choose a piece if it needs a little work

Often if you find a good piece of furniture at a lower end store (goodwill, thrift store, etc), you may need to do a little work to get the piece ready to be painted. Don’t let this scare you off! Whether the hardware needs to be changed, an uneven leg needs to be adjusted, or the piece needs to be patched a bit- these fixes are usually small but make a huge difference in the end and are totally worth the care in the beginning.


6. Have fun, be patient, and don’t settle

If you’re on the hunt for a while, it can sometimes be easy to get stressed out about the process. I can’t tell you how many times I was looking for a specific piece and started to stress myself out because I couldn’t find it immediately and then started to wonder if I should just settle for something that wasn’t exactly what I was looking for. Part of the fun of chalk painting is the hunt to find the perfect piece. Take your time, and be patient. Have fun looking and not always finding something (I actually didn’t buy any furniture last weekend, I couldn’t find anything that would work in our space) and don’t feel pressured into choosing a piece of furniture that isn’t right. When you find the right piece, you’ll be glad you were patient!

Hope this gives you a little inspiration to go out on a furniture hunt this weekend! What other types of blog posts do you want to see? Let me know in the comments!


5 thoughts on “6 Tips for Finding & Choosing Furniture Pieces to Chalk Paint

  1. Number one is so important!! I made the mistake of buying a laminate piece of furniture for my first upcycling project and it was so difficult to actually paint it. Next time I am only going to buy real wood which will be a lot more easier to paint. Thanks for the article 🙂


    1. I’ve made the same mistake, as when I first started chalk paint I heard you can paint everything. You can paint everything, but it’s not always the best idea!!

      Liked by 1 person

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