Giving Furniture a New Life

When my grandparents decided to move last year, they asked me if I’d like any particular piece of furniture. A couple of pieces came to mind, including a cherry highboy in their guest room. I thought it would be a great piece to store all of our blankets and the quilts I say I’m making. Its dark finish didn’t scare me when I brought it home, because I had bought a can of Annie Sloan paint.

If you haven’t used Annie Sloan paint, I encourage you to do so if you need to revamp a piece. It’s very easy to use, dries smoothly, and looks great.

The first step was fixing some of the sections that were chipping or were dented. I used wood putty and a sanding sponge. We then removed all of the hardware and prepped for painting. It took two coats in most places, but I did a third coat in a couple of spots. I also lightly sanded between coats. After I was happy with the coverage, I distressed the piece and sealed it with Annie Sloan clear wax.

I find that it can be challenging to distress a piece. What is the right amount? I typically distress the areas that would naturally distress over time. For this piece it was around the drawers, the legs, and couple of spots along the sides.

In addition to painting this piece, I also installed brand new black matte hardware. This piece has actually been residing in our living room, but will make its way downstairs into the cat room this weekend. I’m excited to see it in its new spot.


  • Use a good quality paintbrush, it really does make a difference.
  • Pour only a small amount of this paint into a container…it dries quickly.
  • Paint large strokes in the same direction, but don’t worry if in some areas you can’t do that.
  • Always label paint cans that you haven’t finished.
  • Use a rag for applying the wax. It’s much easier than a brush.


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