Refresh An Old Vintage Chest


This old chest was in dire need of a refresh. It was dirty, smelly and ugly.

I saw the potential in this wooden chest. It was found at a local vintage market at a bargain price.

I believe it was an old tool chest from the distress look of the piece. The stain color was horrible and it was discolored.

Painted Chest Tutorial: Refresh An Old Vintage Chest

Before Photo by White Lilac Farmhouse

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For this project, it was my favorite Dixie Belle paint line to the rescue. What I love about the Silk All-In-One Mineral Paint line, it has a built in primer, paint and a built in top coat.

Dixie Belle makes painting this chest so easy when you have quality products to use. The Dixie Bell paints come in an array of beautiful colors.


You must give you piece of furniture a good cleaning from dust, dirt and grime over time. Old furniture you just don’t know where it has been stored.

Follow the instructions on the White Lighting Cleaner to mix with the right amount of water to clean your furniture thoroughly with a sponge or cloth.

Use just plain water to give your piece one more wipe down.

3. Bleed Through or Odor issues – Use BOSS

This piece was really dark. It had coats of dark stain. To avoid any bless through issues, you will need to applied two coats of  BOSS. It is a great primer available in clear, white or gray. Allow to dry approximately one hour. Apply a second coat of BOSS and allow to dry for one hour before painting with Dixie Belle Paint. 

This piece also had that “old” smell. The best part, if you have a piece for furniture that has an odor, BOSS to the rescue to eliminate that old smell. In two coats, BOSS tackles tough set in stains including permanent marker, water stains, and much more. BOSS even masks smoke odors and nicotine smells.

BOSS stands for:




Stops Bleed thru

It’s a great products to use for your furniture projects.

4. Time to Paint!

For this project, the color selected was Silk All-In One Mineral Paint in Black Sands. It is a beautiful rich charcoal color. It’s one of my favorite colors. Recently, I finished an antique sideboard for my daughter in Black Sands. It turned out stunning!

First Coat

You can see the age of this piece. This box had a lot of distressing from over the years. It has a lot of character with all the the dents and rough appearance. This photo is after the first coat of paint. It had great coverage.

It had great coverage. You can use a Continuous Mister bottle to spray across the chest. It let’s your brush glide across the paint. The Continuous Mister Bottle is one of my favorite tools for painting. It has been a game changer for me. The paint dries quickly and the mist from the Mister helps me to get a nice finish.

Let the paint dry for 1 hour before giving it a second coat.

Second Coat Drying

After the second coat was applied, the lid was propped open with another jar of Silk paint. This way the inside of the lid and the edges can dry.

Again, let the paint dry for 1 hour before giving it a second coat.

5. Add A Stencil Detail

To personalize this chest, you can add a stencil detail. Just use a couple of pieces of Frog Tape to hold the stencil in place.

On a paper plate, you can pour a little bit of Manatee Gray Chalk Mineral Paint on it. With a small artist brush, you would barely added paint to the brush. It’s more like a dry brushing over the stencil.

Next, repositioned the stencil to add a number of your choice. With a tiny bit of paint on your brush, dry brush over the number until you have the desire paint coverage.

6. Add A Stripe Detail

With Frog tape, you will draw the line to the desire size preference. It is important that you run your finger across the lines of the tape to ensure a tight bond. It will give you a crisp line with no bleed under the tape.

I Next, you need to dipped the paint brush (2″ angle brush by Dixie Bell) into the remaining paint on the paper plate. You will give the stripe a light coat of the Manatee Gray Chalk Mineral Paint.

A light coat will give you a distress look. Before the paint completely dries you should remove the tape. There is something therapeutic about pulling off the tape and seeing a nice crisp line.

After the first stripe had completely dried, add the Frog Tape to create a thinner line. You need to run your finger across the tape to make sure it bonded well.

With a clean paint brush, you will give the chest a light coat of Vintage Duck Egg Chalk Mineral Paint or another color of your choice. This will be an accent line. Wait a few minutes then remove the Frog Tape.

7. Distressing The Piece

I took a sanding block to the sides and corners of this chest. A sanding sponge was used to distress the paint line to age the piece.

The hinges were left rusty. You could always use some Dixie Belle Gemstone Mousse in silver or gold to brighten the hinges.


Project Reveal

From Old to Modern Farmhouse - Painted Chest 2.jpg

The chest turned out amazing. The colors are nice and neutral.

From Old to Modern Farmhouse - Painted Chest 1

Even my Frenchie, Piper had to check things out. It got her seal of approval.


How To Paint A Chair Easily

Furniture Makeover Made Easy With Silk All-In-One Mineral Paint

How To Update and Refresh A Plain Old Mirror

Make it a fabulous day!

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  1. First, your home is gorgeous Tammy! Second, I think I have the same stencil! And third, I am crazy over old wood boxes! Great project – thanks for sharing on Tuesday Turn About!

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