Sometimes a piece of furniture is absolutely fine as it is.

And sometimes even absolutely fine can be improved upon.

Case in point, this little white bench that Dean made years ago at our old house.


Perfectly acceptable. Nice and neutral.

But I get bored easily. And I like to play with paint when I get bored. So now our little bench looks like this…

americana finishes chalky finish painted bench

decoart vintage stenciled bench

chalky finish paint and vintage stencil bench

Custom Color Chalky Finish Painted Entryway Bench

When I decided to paint this bench and give it a makeover, I had to work with colors already in the space.

The inside of our front door is a lovely aqua color and the outside is dark grey.

front door colors

So whatever color I chose for the bench had to coordinate and couldn’t be too dark because I love our light and bright entryway.

Custom color to the rescue!


I also didn’t want to have to sand down the whole bench before I started painting.

Lazy, I know.

But I knew that if I used a Chalky Finish Paint I wouldn’t have to!


  • raw wood or previously painted benches
  • Chalky Finish Paint in Yesteryear, New Life and Everlasting
  • Deep Brown Creme Wax
  • ‘Distressed Harlequin’ Stencil
  • sandpaper (optional)
  • paint brushes
  • damp rag


1. In a bowl mix Yesteryear and New Life Chalky Finish Paint together in a ratio of about 2:1 to create a custom aqua/grey color.

mix chalky finish yesteryear and new life paint

2. Paint entire bench using custom color. Let dry and repeat if necessary.

custom chalky finish painted entryway bench

3. Using a fairly dry brush (dab off excess paint to avoid bleed-through and create a worn look) stencil top of bench with Everlasting Chalky Finish Paint and Distressed Harlequin stencil. Remove stencil and let dry.


4. Gently sand edges and stenciled bench top if desired.

5. Using another paint brush ever so slightly dipped in the Deep Brown Creme Wax, apply wax first to edges and grooves and then over surface of bench. Work in one small area at a time. Before wax dries, wipe gently with a damp cloth to remove excess and smooth out wax. (This step is actually more like glazing than waxing due to the water-based nature of the wax and the technique.) Let dry.

americana finishes dark brown creme wax

And now we have a beautiful freshly painted, stenciled and distressed entryway bench.


decoart chalky finish painted bench

More Painted Furniture Makeover Posts

More Paint Tutorials + Tips


This post is sponsored by Decoart. As always all opinions are all my own!

shannon photo and sig oct 2022

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    1. The lanterns are from Kirklands. And no – I totally cheated and used fake flowers from Michaels!

  1. Shannon, I had to laugh when you said you get bored easily. I laughed because I am the same way–rooms and decor get changed around frequently, we can never vaca in the same spot, I paint a furniture piece a few times before content. I love this transformation. Yesteryear from DecoArt is such a beautiful light gray and the stencil gives the piece just a bit of punch. Nice work.

    1. Thank you. The entrance photographs so well – it’s just not always that neat and tidy! Lol.

  2. I have two nightstands that are almost black with mirrored fronts. I am not happy with th dark color. This idea is FANTASTIC. YOU ARE INSPIRING ! I am going to do this ASAP on the two nightstands. Minus the stencil as it would over power the mirrored fronts which have a large criss cross woodwork over them. Thank you so much for sharing!

  3. I love how this turned out and how easy Chalkpaint seems over traditional painting. My question is: would this work over an oak bench that has been finished with a poly-type coat? I’m guessing that would all have to be sanded away first. Ugh!

    1. My guess is you’d need to rough it up so it’s not smooth. It may work without sanding but you’d have to use many more coats then. 🙂

    2. Thanks Shannon! I am totally new to all this big-time DIY stuff, have only done crafty stuff on a small scale in the past. But I am so inspired by your blog (and your attitude!). Will be moving this year from the Chicago area to NC so plan on using some of your ideas on our next house – turning our not-so-new stuff into wonderful new looks!
      Thank you for all your inspiration and tutorial help. Wonderful to have a fellow believing sister sharing her gifts like this! Keep it up!

  4. I have just recently started following you blog and I have enjoyed it so much! I just had to tell you THANK YOU for posting about these paints. I too have discovered them and love them, but I never thought of using them on large pieces of furniture. I’m so excited about starting my first piece and I wanted to thank you for the well thought out tutorial, It will be very helpful.