Design, DIY, Vintage Love

Amy Howard Chalk Paint – Vintage Dresser Update!



Howdy, buddies! πŸ™‹πŸ»

Today I worked on updating a vintage dresser that used to be in my daughter’s nursery.  I love this old dresser, but it needed a face lift big time!  I partnered with Amy Howard At Home and used her chalk paint in Credenza and then finishing it with Cerusing Wax…let me show you how it went and give you my overall thoughts on these new-to-me products!  
(**Just to be upfront, I was gifted these products by Amy Howard At Home in exchange for a product demo for my IG and blog buddies and an honest review of my experience, so if that kind of stuff bugs you, it won’t hurt my feelings if you peace out.  πŸ˜‰  I’ll catch ya next time!  But I mean…who doesn’t want to play all day with chalk paint?!)

If you caught my Instagram stories today, you got to watch the process of choosing a chalk paint color (I chose Credenza over Robin’s Egg Blue after a vote from my IG buddies!), and I gave you step by step updates as I went!  I’ll recap things here, as well.

First, I prepped this VERY TURQUOISE dresser once used in my first born’s nursery by wiping it down with a damp cloth…aaaaaaaand that was IT as far as prep work goes.  Hollerrrrr!!!  πŸ™ŒπŸ»  By far my favorite aspect about using chalk paint is the quick and easy (and almost non-existant!) prep work that goes into the project.  Wipe it down and get movin’!  Now, if you are painting over VERY chippy or VERY dirty furniture, you might still need to sand, clean and smooth things out, but this piece was pretty much ready to go.  After putting big swatches of both colors on the dresser, I decided on Credenza, which is a creamy, milky sort of green/blue…I’ll show ya.

I applied two coats of Credenza using a basic paint brush pausing about 10-20 minutes between coats to let it fully dry (although…it dries REALLY quickly!  Probably more like 5 minutes, but I wanted to be sure.)  One reason I went with Credenza was that it seemed just a bit thicker or more opaque than Robin’s Egg Blue, which seemed too light to cover the turquoise in just two coats.  Not a deal breaker by any means, but I just preferred Credenza’s color more.  Robin’s Egg Blue was just the tiniest bit more transparent.

Once the second coat was nice and dry, I sanded the edges and raised areas with medium grit sand paper to create a sense of wear and tear that would naturally be found on a vintage painted piece.  Wiped the dresser down with a damp rag once more, let it air dry a few minutes, and then I started in with the final step: the Cerusing Wax.  

I was going for a lime wash feel with this piece, so I wanted a white wax that would work its way down into all those little natural crevices in the wood grain and down into the grooves and carvings of this old antique.  I’m not a big fan of the darker waxes that can sometimes create a sort of dirty sheen on pale painted pieces, so Amy’s team suggested this product.  I’ve used their Liming Wax before and really liked the effect, however they are moving towards promoting this product instead–it produces the same results, and, I can say from experience, it is WAY easier to use!  

I used an old t-shirt, squirted out a quarter size dollop of wax, and then I began buffing in the wax in circular motions.  The best way to finish off a piece by waxing is to focus on one area at a time to ensure even coverage, then, per the directions on the back, I let it sit for about 30-45 minutes before coming back with a clean t-shirt to do one last final buffing in.  Let me show you the results!

Isn’t it the creamiest blue green?!  Love the way it turned out!

**Note: I wanted a very aged, vintage vibe, so I went pretty heavy on the white wax so as to create sort of a milky, swirled haze up against the blue/green.  If you’d rather just let the chalk paint color shine through without a heavy wax look, use a little less and buff it in sooner and harder than I did.  It will come out even with just a little bit of the white wax down in the crevices to pull detail and texture without the heavy milky sheen.**

 πŸ‘‡πŸΌ (Easy DIY topiary post [HERE} in case you missed these!!) πŸ‘†πŸ»

So here are my thoughts regarding these products from Amy Howard At Home as opposed to other chalk paints and waxes I’ve used in the past, including DIY chalk paints I’ve made:

-This composition might be the creamiest and thickest I’ve used, and there were zero clumps or specs.  I was pretty darn impressed with the thick consistency and even coverate, however the Robins’ Egg Blue would have required three coats to cover that bright turquoise due to it being a bit streaky and more transparent than Credenza.  Again, this isn’t a deal breaker (because the color was gorgeous, FYI), but if you want a quick project and have to paint over something dark/saturated, go with Credenza instead of Robin’s Egg Blue.  They are pretty similar in tone and would have the same effect in color vibes.

Amy Howard chalk paint dries just a bit quicker than Rustoleum chalk paint, and it dried WAY faster than the DIY chalk paint I’ve made in the past.  Loved this.  I mean, you have to work quickly and not stop to scroll Instagram mid-stroke πŸ˜‰, but that’s the beauty of chalk paint: fast results!

-As far as the wax goes, I’d use this again in a heartbeat.  I’ll tell you that I let one side of the dresser sit too long while I dealt with the four tiny humans living in my home πŸ˜‰, and it was pretty tough to buff in.  However, the rest of the dresser came out perfectly because I followed the instructions listed on the back.  Basically, don’t get distracted by tiny humans mid-wax, mmmmkay?  πŸ˜‚  This wax is SO MUCH EASIER to use than others that you have to dig out of a tin can to get to–you just squeeze out a dollop and go!  Way better portion control, less mess.  Boom.  Plus, this stuff yields seriously milky, lime-wash-y results if you like that look…which I DO!! 😍

If you’d like to try out Amy Howard At Home chalk paint, click [HERE] to check out a pretty gorgeous variety of colors and some fun waxes!  I VERY highly recommend the color Credenza…yum yum yum.  πŸ˜

Here are affiliate links to the exact products I used in this post:

Amy Howard One Step Chalk Paint (select “Credenza”) – CLICK HERE
Amy Howard Cerusing Wax – CLICK HERE
1.5″ Nylon Tapered Brush – CLICK HERE
Black painting apron with pockets – CLICK HERE

So what do you guys think of the color I chose?  I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences on chalk paint–ever tried it before?  Any favorite colors or techniques?  Most importantly, what should I chalk paint next…?!?  Let’s go pickin’ and find some treasures, yes…?  πŸ˜‰  Let me know what you think below, or leave a question if you think of one!  And come say hi on Instagram and Facebook, too!


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  1. Lauren says:

    Gorgeous! I love the color😍 I’ve been wanting to try chalk paint for a few pieces that I have, so this was very helpful! Just a quick question, do you always use a brush with chalk paint? Never roll it on, right?

    • Erin | Cotton Stem says:

      Thank you, Lauren! I usually use a brush, mostly because I’m usually painting old furniture with crevices and tight spaces. Brush is easier! Plus sometimes the roller can leave that bumpy texture. Not always, but I just usually prefer a brush. Best of luck!

  2. Lee's Rustic Customs says:

    Hello Erin,
    Your dresser tuned put beautiful!! Love the color choice. I’m going to have to try out "Amy Howard Chalk Paint" I recently purchase a dresser from a garage sale, so I’m definitely going to have to try it on that.
    Lee’s Rustic Customs

    • Erin | Cotton Stem says:

      Oh perfect timing then! This was my first time using these products, and I’m pretty impressed. I’d love to hear what you think if you use them!

  3. Kim says:

    I just bought some Amy Howard recently for a small night stand project. Was pleased with it. I think it was called Linen. Loved the way it went on and dried. I want to do my kitchen cabinets so I’m torn on using her paint for that project or go with an enamel from sherwin Williams. Any thoughts based on your experience? Also would I use that glaze on the cabinets if I went with chalk paint? Thanks Erin! You are continually inspiring and motivating me! ❀❀❀

    • Erin | Cotton Stem says:

      Hey Kim! Sounds like a fun project! We just did our kitchen cabinets in chalk paint this summer, and it was pretty easy (as far as painting an ENTIRE kitchen’s worth of cabinets goes…ha.) πŸ˜‰ For our cabinets, I made DIY chalk paint from SW Alabaster mixed with calcium carbonate (lots of DIY tutorials on Etsy), and then we sealed with Minwax Polycrilic. I probably wouldn’t use this wax on my cabinets, bc it’s really more for creating a vintage, rustic, lime-wash look…unless that’s what you are going for in your kitchen! I know Amy Howard carries a few regular waxes, and I kind of wish I’d known about her products before making my own chalk paint–this product was SO smooth and thick. I loved it! Hope that helps give some insight!

  4. Sylvia Caruso says:

    It’s absolutely perfect! Love the dresser, love the color.

  5. Tina says:

    I was thinking of getting her ballet white for some furniture pieces. What I was wondering could I do a satin sealer instead of the wax?

    • Erin | Cotton Stem says:

      Oh man, I almost did Ballet White on this piece…I’m addicted to white, ha! πŸ˜‰ You know, I’m not totally sure on that. My gut would say to stick with her recommended products, although you could always do a test piece to see how the satin sealer worked with her chalk paint.

  6. Linda Osgood says:

    Came out beautiful! Question..what is the difference between chalk paint and milk paint? I am getting ready to paint a hutch and not sure which product to use. The chalk paint looked easy and pretty simple to use. Any opinions would be appreciated.

    • Erin | Cotton Stem says:

      Hey Linda, I’m going to copy and paste the info I got from Amy just now on that very question: "Basically Chalk paint is calcium carbonate based, Does not have to be sealed and can go on almost any surface and
      milk paint is caesin based, comes in a powder form, has to be sealed. They have different finishes but both are great if you want a new look for your piece!"

  7. Emily says:

    Love!! I have a mid-century dresser that I may need to try this color on! 😁😁 Great tutorial! And love your stories, lol.

    • Erin | Cotton Stem says:

      It’s like the creamiest, milkiest, greeniest, blueiest yumminess ever. I’m in love, obvs. πŸ˜‰ Thanks for watching, Emily!

  8. Tammy says:

    I Love it!! The color is perfect! Thanks for sharing!

  9. Barbara Gagnon says:

    Loved your IG stories! The piece was gorgeous before and is even more gorgeous (is that a wordπŸ€”) after. Such a special, sentimental piece. Isn’t is great to give an old piece new life. I love chalk paint. Just chalk painted the dresser I used as my boys changing table. Went from stained wood to a distressed white finish. I’m so happy with the results. Just love it. Thank you for being such an inspiration!

    • Erin | Cotton Stem says:

      Oh that’s so kind, Barbara–thank you!! That might be my favorite thing about using chalk paint, actually–it’s so easy that it makes it doable to bring life back to an almost-forgotten-about piece, like the ones you and I did. Fresh coat of paint, and boom! Old made new!

  10. Claudia Reyna says:

    Hola Erin,
    I love the piece and color choice. I’m an Amy Howard fan!! I’ve used her paint on all my furniture pieces. Thanks for sharing! 😁

    • Erin | Cotton Stem says:

      Oh really?! What are some of your favs? I almost picked Ballet White (shocker…I love white!!), but I’m so glad I went with this creamy color. I’ve got a few other little projects in mind–any recommendations?

  11. JaRae says:

    I think the transformation is amazing. The new color is so calming and with the little distressing you did, it’s the perfect piece.

    • Erin | Cotton Stem says:

      I kinda love it. πŸ’™ It might actually go back into one of my daughter’s rooms actually now that I think about it…we’ll see. πŸ˜‰ Thank you, JaRae!

  12. Rosalie Thomas says:

    Love, love, love. We’ve slowly been updating most of the rooms in our house…new floors, painting, new bedding, etc. Have a few antique pieces I’ve been wanting to refinish and have been considering chalk paint though have been hesitant/intimidated. Once again, you have walked me through another DIY project! Think I’ll be ordering Amy Howard paint in the near future. Thank you!

    • Erin | Cotton Stem says:

      Oh awesome!! That makes me so happy to read–thanks for taking a minute to write it out, Rosalie!

  13. Hannah says:

    I love before and afters❀ My mom is re doing her room in a cottage /farmhouse look , so I’m going over there soon to help her chalk paint her nightstands , we’re going to have a fixer upper marathon while we do it ! Love all your blog posts, your sense of humor is the best❀
    Hannah H

    • Erin | Cotton Stem says:

      Um…that sounds so fun! I wanna come! πŸ˜‰ Thank you for always being an encourager, Hannah!

  14. Leslie says:

    What a beautiful color! Glad you went with he credenza! You’re home is just beautiful!

    • Erin | Cotton Stem says:

      Hey Leslie, thank you! It was the overwhelming vote via Instagram, and it happened to be my fav of the two as well! Thanks for the feedback!

  15. Chris says:

    It turned out perfect ! I’m thinking of chalk painting my kitchen set that I’ve had for 20 years and it definitely needs a new look should I sand it first? It’s a oak set ! Thanks for your help ! I just started following you and love everything you do and have !!

    • Erin | Cotton Stem says:

      Hey Chris! So I usually don’t do any prep other than just wiping things down, but if it’s going to be piece receiving heavy use like a table you guys actually eat at, maybe give it a light sand first. I’d hate to tell you "do nothing" and then it chip or something, but honestly I never do much prep beforehand.

  16. Ereesha hoadley says:

    It looks amazing!!!!! I love that color and your house!!! 😍😍😍😍

  17. Emily says:

    Oh my goodness, it looks like a whole new piece of furniture! That color is so pretty!

  18. Holly says:

    I love the dresser- it came out gorgeous! Also love your IG stories. I want to paint an old vanity that was my grandmothers. Not sure whether to use chalk paint or milk paint. ??

    • Erin | Cotton Stem says:

      Hey Holly, thanks!! So I’ve only ever used chalk paint, but see below a few comments where I copied and pasted Amy Howard’s response to chalk vs milk paint. πŸ™ŒπŸ»

  19. Lynn Lam says:

    Love it….also loved how you filmed your walk back to the house in case of an opossum attack. lol

  20. Linda Flores says:

    Absolutely gorgeous! I’ve never used chalk paint, but after watching you use it so effortlessly I think I’m going to try it!!

  21. Lindzie says:


  22. JessicaCalene says:

    So in love! Perfection!! 😍

  23. Maria says:

    Turned out beautiful! Love the color!! Will definitely give her brand a try (used a more expensive brand first time I tried chalk paint). Have a few pieces I would like to paint. Wish I had enough courage to redo my kitchen cabinets…….building up to it! Enjoying your posts on IG…..

  24. Patty says:

    Wow, this turned out beautiful!! I’m loving the distressing and the wax. BoomπŸ’₯πŸ’₯, girl, you did it!!!

  25. Canvas and timber says:

    Love it❀️ Where was the art work above it purchased from. It’s so cute?

  26. Lynn says:

    Hi there! First time commentor. πŸ˜‰ so I stumbled upon your Instagram account and am hooked! I just had my first foray into chalk painting after watching your insta story. I used Rust-Oleum and have since ordered two cans of Amy Howard through your link πŸ™‚ I can’t wait to try the Amy Howard since you said it is so creamy. The Rust-Oleum was just okay. Thanks for such a great and detailed post!

  27. Debbie says:

    HI Erin, I know you did this post awhile ago, but I was doing some research on the chalk paint and I have a question. You said you used a regular paint brush to apply the chalk paint. Does it streak with a brush?? I don’t like the way paint leaves brush marks on furniture. so I was curious to know if you had streaks or brush marks? Thanks for writing up this post! Very helpful!

  28. Meridith Townsend says:

    I have a wooden bookshelf that is painted black that I want to redo in the same credenza color you used. What would you recommend for prepping since the black color is darker than the new paint? Thanks!

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