DIY How to bring an old piece furniture back to life!

With Bonus Chalk Painting Tutorial and Recipe


My 23-year-old daughter just moved into a new to her home. As usual, she immediately calls me with the list of what she “has to have.” This is the daughter that doesn’t like to do anything resembling art. Just messing with you baby, you know I love making things for you! One of the items she asked for was a microwave cart.  So I go to look through all the “I can’t throw this away, I will redo it one day!” pile and came up with this cart. I can’t even remember where this microwave cart came from. It had to be one of the ‘gifts’ I received from one of my customers at the store.

I’m sorry this has taken so long to get back around too!

You can use these same steps with any piece of furniture!

Along with the list of materials needed I have added easily to use links to the product on Amazon. I don’t know about you but I have gotten so attached to Prime! I don’t know what I did without it!!! If you are not familiar with Amazon Prime or haven’t seen it lately, it has SO much to offer now! Between Prime Pantry, Kindle, Amazon Video, 2-day shipping, and now a monthly membership that cost me the about the same as Netflix I use it several times a week! Read SAVING MONEY ON AMAZON here.


MATERIALS – furniture prep for DIY Microwave Cart Makeover Tutorial:

How to prep your furniture

  1. remove all of hardware and doors if any. *helpful tip* put hardware into a ziplock back and tape to the back of piece for easy retrieval later
  2. sand – YAY we don’t have to do this part! Because I am using chalk paint it is not needed! If you are not using chalk paint:
    • use a medium grit sandpaper to rough up the surface in order for the paint to adhere.
  3. wipe the piece down with A damp cloth (I like microfiber it doesn’t leave anything behind)
  4. keep the area as dust free as possible while painting and until the paint is dry

Chalk Paint Recipe

Materials list – chalk paint:


When recipes came out for chalk paint I tried them all!!! Whatever you do please do not try to do with plaster of paris, it made my piece feel like sandpaper! This is what I found to work the best and have used on over 700 pieces of furniture.

  1. Add your paint to a container (I use old ice cream containers with lids so I can cover and save what I have left between coats) taking note of how thick it is.
  2. Stir in approximately one tablespoon of sifted dry non-sanded grout to each cup of paint. I say approximately because I never measure, a little more or less will not hurt anything. You really want to sift the grout first to remove clumps and keep your paint as smooth as you can.
    • You want your paint to have a pancake batter type of consistency. If the paint is to think we can fix it in the next step. If it is to thin add a little more grout.
  3. Mix in Floetrol. 1/2 oz per cup of paint (1/2 oz = 1 tablespoon). Again this measurement isn’t a steadfast rule. You can add a little more if your paint is to thick. You also can add some if your paint has thickened after sitting (covered) between coats.
    • Floetrol is used to help eliminate brush marks it also helps to improve the flow and workability of your paint. Floetrol also allows the paint to adjust to more difficult conditions.


Materials Needed – painting your piece:

  • Paint – Chalk Paint Recipe
  • Paint Brush – Purdy is my goto for paint brushes. This is one place I have found you actually do get what you pay for!
    • If your willing to pay more for a really good brush (makes a big difference) – Find it here on Amazon
    • Inexpensive brush – I’ve stated several times all my links go to items I have used and feel good about. I’m sorry I can’t in good faith give you a link here for a brush that is cheaper.
    • If you rather have a brush that isn’t a Purdy brand brush I also have used Wooster when a hardware store didn’t have Purdy. I have used and like this one as well, it isn’t cheaper than the Purdy – Find it here on Amazon
  • Painters tape
    • I use Frog Multi-Surface Find it here on Amason
    • Less expensive brand (be careful with this brand, go over it several times after putting it where you want to make sure it has adhered well. It still may bleed some. – Find it here on Amazon


  1. Use painters tape to tape off any areas you don’t want paint on such as any remaining hardware. Also, you can tape around the top of the piece or tape newspaper to the top since we doing a resin pour.
  2. Paint the piece in long even strokes all going in the same direction.
  3. After this coat is dry do an additional coat if necessary.

Resin Fluid Pour

LOVE doing fluid pours and have watched YouTube videos for hours on end of different techniques. I ran across Suzana Dancks and fell in love with using resin instead of just paint on my pours. Here are a few videos to get you started that I really enjoy watching. Seeing several can give you ideas for how you would like to do your pours as well as a few different techniques.

I really enjoy watching Suzana Dancks, she is down to earth and a lot of fun to watch! She also has a playlist just for “newbies.”

Resin Obsession also has a resin painting playlist.

If you haven’t done any type of fluid pours I suggest that you play with it some prior to doing it on your piece of furniture. I did a lot of acrylic pours prior to working with resin. The resin is very expensive and I wanted to get down the pouring technique prior to working with the resin. There are several different types of pours you can do. I will do an article on the types of pours as well as different recipes in the next few weeks and will update this with a link once it is up. In the meantime, I suggest starting with acrylic pours and go from there. One of the first videos I watched on acrylic pours was by Danny Clark. He also has a first-time pour playlist with the recipes included.

Materials list:



Complete all steps you can prior to mixing your resin. Once the resin is mixed you only have a small amount of working time prior to the resin starting to harden.

  1. Lay plastic, newspaper, drop cloth or something to protect your floor.
  2. Tape off any area you do not want resin on.
  3. You would normally level your canvas/work surface. Since we are working on a piece of furniture it should be level. It wouldn’t hurt to check to be absolutely sure. If your surface isn’t level your resin will move and your finished piece will not be the same as when you left it.
  4. Measure and mix:[ngg_images source=”galleries” container_ids=”2″ exclusions=”8″ sortorder=”14,13,12,11,10,9,8″ display_type=”photocrati-nextgen_basic_slideshow” gallery_width=”350″ gallery_height=”200″ cycle_effect=”fade” cycle_interval=”10″ show_thumbnail_link=”0″ thumbnail_link_text=”[Show thumbnails]” order_by=”sortorder” order_direction=”DESC” returns=”included” maximum_entity_count=”500″]

    The amount of resin you will need for your full surface. ArtResin has a fantastic calculator for this! Check your particular resin for mixing ratios. All of the resin I have used in the U.S. has a mixing ratio of 1:1. This is by volume, NOT  weight! I have seen on some tutorials when I was first starting out stating that you can measure either way. I have used 5 different types of resin. The consistency of the resin in each and every one them is much thicker, more syrup like, than the hardener is. Therefore the same amount of resin will weigh more than the hardener.

    • Make sure to follow the mixing directions for your resin to the T
    • Keep in mind the working temp of your resin! This is very important in working time, the flow of the resin, and if your resin will set properly.
    • Mix the resin for at least 6 minutes, more or less dependent on the amount you are mixing
    • After mixing pour into another container and mix again to be sure that it is mixed thoroughly
  5. Separate your mixed resin into different containers for each color. I like to save some of the clear resin for a ‘just in case’ situation.
    • If you are coloring with mica powder add the mica to the container first
    • If you are coloring with anything other than powder add the color last
    • This step does make a difference
  6. Adding color:[ngg_images source=”galleries” container_ids=”1″ display_type=”photocrati-nextgen_basic_slideshow” gallery_width=”350″ gallery_height=”200″ cycle_effect=”fade” cycle_interval=”10″ show_thumbnail_link=”1″ thumbnail_link_text=”[Show thumbnails]” order_by=”sortorder” order_direction=”ASC” returns=”included” maximum_entity_count=”500″]
    • Remember when choosing your color some is transparent and some are opaque. It doesn’t matter how much you add if your color is transparent it will not become opaque.
    • When adding your color I have found it best to add a little less than I think I need. *A good place to start is to mix in about 2% of color to the resin. You can always add more but can’t take it away once it’s added.
    • As stated in the previous step, if you are coloring with mica powder you need to add it to your container prior to adding the resin. If you want to add more once mixed get another container, add the mica powder into the empty container and mix in the colored resin to that.
    • *DO NOT ADD MORE THAN 5% of color pigment to the resin. It can cause the resin to be soft and/or cure incorrectly.
  7. Pouring resin onto the surface:[ngg_images source=”galleries” container_ids=”3″ sortorder=”16,19,18,15,17″ display_type=”photocrati-nextgen_basic_slideshow” gallery_width=”350″ gallery_height=”200″ cycle_effect=”fade” cycle_interval=”10″ show_thumbnail_link=”1″ thumbnail_link_text=”[Show thumbnails]” order_by=”sortorder” order_direction=”ASC” returns=”included” maximum_entity_count=”500″]
    • The resin flows easier when it has already been coated with some resin. I like to pour my main color first and use my gloved hand to spread it over the surface. Make sure not to pour the resin to close to the edge. This is a fluid process and even with a leveled surface the resin is self-leveling and will move to the edges and some are bound to flow off of the edge.
    • Start pouring your colors where you want them to be. I start out with a vision of how I want my finished piece to look and go from there. Don’t get upset if it doesn’t turn out exactly the way you envisioned, the resin has a mind of its own and rarely ends up exactly where you want it to be.
    • I am sorry to say I don’t have the pictures of my original pour. The reason you are seeing resin poured on top of resin is that I didn’t like the original pour. You can also do multilayers to create a 3-D look.
    • Use a torch to remove air bubble.
    • Use a heat gun and/or blow dryer to move your resin around.
    • Continue adding colors and moving them around until you have the results you like

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Please leave any comments or questions below!




*Taken from Surfboard Resin Color Tint and Pigment Amount Guide

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