How to Recreate the Look of a Grungy Dump Find Chalkboard


Do you ever see a piece and love the look but would rather have it in a different colour… or a little less grungy? That is exactly how I felt when I found this vintage chalkboard at the dump reuse centre last fall.

I loved the chippy paint and the beautiful wear it had on it but, frankly, it was all a little icky. The drawers had some water damage, the paint had been written on, and it was all just a little dirty.

Even though I loved it, I really didn’t want to leave it as it was. It needed a serious cleaning and a fresh coat of paint.

The Restoration

You know how much I love milk paint and it was the perfect choice for this little restoration. It is the only paint that will chip and flake naturally so I knew I could recreate the look the chalkboard had while cleaning and freshening it up.

While I don’t usually tape things off I did this time. I knew if I got any paint on the chalkboard I wouldn’t be able to get it off easily so out came the low-tac painter’s tape.

When trying to make something look authentically old, one of the easiest tricks is layering the paint. Vintage pieces tend to have layers of paint on them as it was an easy way, back in the day, to give something a fresh look for very little money.

After scrubbing the piece inside and out with soap and water, the first layer of paint put on was Milk Paint by Fusion in Velvet Palm. When layering paints, I always like to go from dark to light so this deepish blue-green made a great undercoat.

Quick Tip

Before I continue, here is a little furniture painting pro tip… grab a piece of chalk and number the bottom of any drawers.

With vintage pieces, drawers often only fit in one or maybe two places so it can be frustrating to replace them when you are finished. Even when there are only a few, it saves you so much time to pop a number on the bottom of each one for easy replacement later on.

Adding Layers

When you are layering paint on a piece, you want to be able to see each of the layers peeking through. This will add depth, character, and the illusion of age all in one easy step.

One of the easiest ways to layer paint is to add a resist between them. You can do this with a wax puck, hemp oil, or furniture wax. Just add a little to the spots you don’t want the next layer to stick to and then when you put it on, the resist will keep the next layer from sticking in those spots.

Once I added some wax to a few spots, I painted on a layer of Coastal Blue. You can see the difference between the first and second colours below.

And then the magic happened… chippy milk paint! Look at those beautiful chips.

Milk paint will not always chip and flake and it can be a bit unpredictable. I figured it would on this piece though because the original black paint was already flaking off. I also added the Coastal Blue shortly after the Velvet Palm and sometimes adding two layers quickly will promote chipping as well.

It paid off and this was what happened shortly after applying the second layer. It seriously makes me so happy when I see this!

After leaving it for a couple of hours so that it could do its thing, a light sanding will take off all of the loose pieces.

Protecting the Paint

The final step to the restoration was sealing and protecting the chippy milk paint. I grabbed some furniture wax and ohhh if you have not tried the Fusion Fields of Lavender Wax you are missing out. It is so creamy and soft not to mention it smells heavenly. It is by far my all-time favourite furniture wax.

I tried a new brush to apply the wax (if you missed the video of the wax application, you can see it here…) and it was just as dreamy as the wax. I usually use a rag because I find wax brushes stiff but the Staalmeester one is soft and supple.

To give the piece one final little oomph, I added some white wax after adding the layer of furniture wax. The white was to soften the colour up and just gave a warm hue to it all.

Even though the look is very similar to what it was when I found the piece, I am so much happier with it now.

With a good scrubbing and some fresh paint, the chalkboard is as clean as a whistle while still having that vintage feel.

Sometimes, recreating a piece just means cleaning it up and adding some new chippy milk paint. ♥

If you want to learn more about milk paint and how to use it,
check out my virtual Milk Paint 101 class here… 

**Please note that this post includes affiliate links. By using the link, the cost does not increase and a small portion of the sale is given back to help fund this blog. For your convenience, you can also find all of my favourite DIY products here. Thank you and Happy Creating! **

6 Comments on " How to Recreate the Look of a Grungy Dump Find Chalkboard "

  1. Lisa

    This is an awesome find! I love the finished look!

    1. Lisa

      Thank you so much Jessi! It was a fun recreation 🙂

  2. Lisa

    Great tutorial. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Lisa

      Thanks so much <3

  3. Lisa

    I really like the paint color you choose. It really goes nicely with the vintage style.

    1. Lisa

      Thanks! I am definitely a blue girl and love just about every shade of it lol 😉

Leave a Comment...