The paint used for this project was generously provided by General Finishes but the opinions expressed are completely my own.

I am so excited to finally be able to share with you one of things I have been working on this month!

I am part of an incredible group of bloggers who are fortunate enough to get to test out new DIY products and paint and I have been working on a new piece for that.  The Fab Furniture Flippin’ contest happens each month and as we try out new things, we also get to participate in a challenge!  How cool is that?!  FFFC main graphic updated (10.2015)For our first challenge of the year, we were asked to give an old piece of furniture “A Fresh Start” using General Finishes Chalk Style paint.  I recently had the opportunity to test out General Finishes Milk Paint (read about that here) so was pretty excited to get to try their new Chalk Style Paint as well.general-finishes-chalk-style-paint-milk-paintFor the January challenge, I chose this antique bookcase that I had found on a road trip not long ago.  It was in sad, sad shape (probably why it had been left at a thrift store for so long!).  Part of the glass was missing, the doors were broken off and the wood was scratched to pieces.  It certainly fit the bill of needing A Fresh Start to the tee!  antique-bookcase-beforeI began by giving the bookcase two coats of the General Finishes Chalk Style Paint in Key West Blue.   This paint, like the Milk Paint I had recently tried, acted very much like a latex paint. It covered beautifully and was a nice thick paint with beautiful pigmentation.  general-finishes-chalk-style-paint-key-west-blueOnce the wood was painted, I wanted to add a little character to the bead board wallpaper that had been added to the back. Thankfully, it was still in pretty good shape and just needed some minor repairs and a little pick-me-up with some General Finishes Milk Paint in Snow White.  bead-board-wallpaperTo get the right consistency of paint that would be used to highlight the lines, I mixed the General Finishes Chalk Style Paint in Key West Blue with some water to create a wash.  general-finishes-key-west-blue-chalk-style-paintA wash is simply watered down paint that has more of a translucent quality to it.  mix-general-finishes-key-west-blue-waterI used the wash to outline the groves of the bead board wallpaper.  I wanted the lines to have a hand painted, anything-but-perfect look about them; like they had been there for years.  The wash and a fine round paint brush created the look perfectly.  handpainted-lines-general-finishes-chalk-style-paintWhen the lines were done, they reminded me of the pin stripes on a vintage men’s dress shirt 🙂 gorgeous-legs-antique-bookcaseTo finish off the bookcase and give it a look worthy of it’s age, I went to town distressing the paint.  I used a medium grit sandpaper and sanded off the paint in the areas that would have naturally been worn had the piece been painted a hundred years ago.  distressed-general-finishes-chalk-style-paint The paint had adhered really well so when I was sanding it, I didn’t have to worry about it coming off excessively or uncontrollably. distressing-general-finishes-chalk-style-paint-antique-bookcaseIt distressed beautifully and when it was sanded, showed some hints of the colours used to make the blue.  A warm hint of yellow showed through in a few areas which added another layer of depth and added to the beauty.  handpainted-lines-distressing-antique-bookcaseI just can’t say enough how my heart skips a beat when I see worn, distressed, chippy paint on an antique piece of furniture.  *Sigh*
recreated-antique-bookcase-distressinggeneral-finishes-chalk-style-paint-key-west-blue-distressedI couldn’t be happier with the gorgeous finish I was able to achieve with the General Finishes Chalk Style Paint!  As with the Milk Paint, this is definitely a paint I will be using again.  general-finishes-chalk-style-paint-key-west-blue-bookcaseTo see some other incredible Fresh Start projects by the Fab Furniture Flippin’ Contest Hosts, please visit Evey at Evey’s Creations and Stacy at Anastasia Vintage.

For more information about joining the Fab Furniture Flippin’ Contest, email

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I have 44 lovely thoughts, I would love to hear yours.

  1. Yvonne says:

    I see the finished project has shelves. Did u put some new ones in yourself?

    • I did. The original shelves were missing when I got the cabinet but the built-in brackets were still there so I had some cut to fit and then painted them.

  2. Diana says:

    Sweet makeover, Lisa; I especially like the addition of the pinstripes on the inside-back. Thanks for sharing your project with us all at Vintage Charm!

    • Thanks Diana 🙂 I loove the pinstripes too! They are one of my favourite parts of the piece!

  3. Jann Olson says:

    Lisa, I love the color and the bead board back! Thanks for sharing it with SYC.

  4. I love the retro blue you chose…so cute! I’m so glad you added this to the Thursday Favorite Things Linkup!


  5. Lisa, this transformation is awesome! I can’t believe it’s the same piece. You definitely gave it the love it deserves, it’s really beautiful now. I haven’t tried any GF paint products yet but after seeing this I can’t wait to get started. Hugs, CoCo

    • Thanks Coco 🙂 I have to say that I have used a few GF products for projects lately and I have really been loving them. The Chalk style and Milk paints definitely act like a latex so as long as you expect that going in all is good 🙂 Their colours are absolutely beautiful too!

  6. Jenny says:

    Oh this is so beautiful! You gave it the perfect amount of distressing – it really accentuates the shape of the piece, and those gorgeous legs!

    • Aren’t the legs soooo beautiful?! People think I’m nuts but I looove gorgeous legs on a piece of furniture 🙂

  7. Karen @ Dogs Don't Eat Pizza says:

    OK – seriously would not have known it was the same bookcase! Amazing! And I love that color!! Great project!

  8. Hi Lisa, I love to redo items and your book shelf is amazing. I love the blue. Thank you for sharing on SYC! Jo

    • Thanks Anne! Isn’t upcycling the best? It always makes me smile to be able to give an old piece a new life 🙂

  9. turned out beautifully!

  10. That Key West Blue is GORGEOUS! I will definitely be buying that one, too!

    • There are just so many pretty General Finishes colours it was hard to choose but I am definitely glad I went with this one 🙂

  11. Ashley Grenon says:

    I love the that key west blue! 🙂 Very pretty flip 🙂

  12. What a beautiful makeover! Thanks for sharing it at Talk of the Town. I pinned it on the party board –

    • Thanks Angie! I love checking out the party on your site each week 🙂 Anything vintage is right up my alley 🙂

  13. Very cool! I always want to try something like this but am a bit afraid. You make it look so easy!

    • Oh thanks Denise! It really is easy 🙂 You should definitely give it a whirl! It you are afraid of ruining a big piece, start with something small. Just make sure to pick the right paint for the right project 🙂 I’d love to see what you try!! Hugs, Lisa

  14. So love your transformation and the colors! I used the same color for my project too!

    • Thanks Darrielle! Wasn’t it a fun challenge? I am so in love with this colour 🙂 I can’t wait to see everyone’s incredible creativity!

  15. Hi Lisa, this looks amazing! What a flip! Love the colour, and open, without the doors, it looks lovely!

    • Thanks so much Katrin! As much as I love the doors, I like this piece without them too and I will plan on using them for another project 🙂

  16. Bernideen's Tea Time, Cottage and Garden says:

    That aqua colored paint is sure the #1 rage now! I love what you recreated. I have used a lot of Cece Caldwell’s paint – well that’s not quite correct as hubby did the painting!

    • I love this colour I have to say (and even before it was popular!) 🙂 It’s just so cheery and bright. Especially when you live in Canada and need a little brightness during the winter 🙂

  17. Wow, you really transformed this piece! I did not even recognize it. Good job with the distressing.

  18. Love your color choice Lisa, and a great furniture save project! Whatcha got planned next for those cool door frames? Can’t wait to see…

    • I haven’t decided what to do with the doors yet although I am pretty sure they will be some kind of wall art. They were terribly repaired on one side at some point and are pretty fragile so something stationary where they won’t get moved a lot will be perfect for them. I am totally in love with their design so definitely plan on using them in my house 🙂

  19. Love the color choice on this piece, its what drew my eye to the linky thumbnail. So pretty!

    • Me too Audra! I am so in love with that colour! I wish I had more of it in my house it is just so cheery 🙂

  20. I really like the distressed look you got on this piece, it looks great!

  21. Love it! Great Job!

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