What do you do with a piece of furniture that is still fully functional, but you don’t LOVE looking at anymore? Typically, I would either sell it or donate it and hope to find a cute replacement at Homegoods or IKEA.

The long-lasting supply shortages, though, have made that option pretty risky! Luckily, I have been learning the magic of DIY from my sis-in-law, Erin, @thethirdwhitehouse. Her Instagram is a collage of beautiful restoration projects. And, the best part? They are VERY budget friendly. So, instead of getting rid of this large IKEA sideboard. I took a cue from The Third White House to breathe some new life into it.

Watch how a few pints of Jolie Chalk paint and a tiny pot of Gilding Wax transform this piece from wrecked to ✨ REVIVED ✨.

DIY Lessons Learned

Unlike Erin, home DIY and furniture transformations are NOT my area of expertise. So, let me just share a few of my first-timer lessons (i.e….total blunders) to help YOUR project go more smoothly! 😀 Sharing is caring, after all.

Tip #1–Start SMALL

I dove into chalk painting with, arguably, one of the biggest pieces of furniture in our house. 10 out of 10 do NOT recommend this approach, as it is easy to become completely overwhelmed (which can lead to a half-finished piece taking up space in the house and being even more of an eyesore than it was before.

Tip #2–Consult the experts

As the idea to paint the sideboard began to take shape, I messaged Erin several times for input and pointers. I also frequented a local shop’s website, The Stylish Patina, which specializes in furniture painting and restoration. I emailed them loads of questions, too, in order to finalize my list of supplies.

Basically, ask a LOT of questions and don’t be afraid to admit what you don’t know. Hmmm….I feel like there’s a life lesson in there. 🤔

Tip #3–Avoid Wax Top Coats

The type of chalk paint I used required a wax top coat. The application of the wax…was…tedious. Only later did I find out not all chalk paint requires this labor-intensive final step. Paintable top coats DO exist. 🙌🏼 100% recommend going that route. Of course….this goes back to my first tip to start SMALL. Applying wax to a smaller item would have been much more manageable.

Tip #4–Admire Your Work 👩🏼‍🎨

Before you even sand that first edge or swipe that first coat of paint, take the BEFORE pics. Take the messy, in-progress pics. And, for sure, take those AFTER pics. You may think you won’t soon forget all the blood, sweat, and tears you poured into your project….but I promise you WILL be shocked when you compare the Before to the After and see just how much progress you made 🙌🏼 🙌🏼

Happy DIY-ing, friends!