Chalk Paint French Linen Night Stands



After all the custom work I’ve been doing lately, it was nice to be able to paint these thrifted night stands however I wanted – namely in Dixie Belle French Linen. 

That said, I kept them pretty neutral but hopefully still unique and beautiful enough to sell quickly.  They also have a faux wood finish on top, and all the details of that technique are spilled later in this post.

french linen night stands before

These night stands were part of a bedroom set that included this armoire.  I separated the set and left the armoire project for another day and different colors.  I’ve been wanting to paint a piece inspired by a chippy European door I love, so that might be the one!

If you’d like to see this makeover in action, you can check out the Facebook Live video here.

Resource List:

(Note: These are affiliate links for which I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.  Thanks for your support!)

If you want tons of information on Dixie Belle paint and products, you can check out this Comprehensive Guide post, and you can download it free here by clicking the picture:

Painting with French Linen

After cleaning the tables really well with White Lightning, I gave the bases 2 coats of French Linen.  It is a mix of beige and gray, so you could call it greige.  I lightly sanded between coats with a very fine sandpaper. 

Returning to a trick I used back in the day for a smooth finish, I sprayed a small amount of SprayWay glass cleaner on my shop towel and dusted the piece thoroughly after sandings.  This just makes sure no dust particles remain to cause imperfections in your next coat of paint.

french linen night stands angled

Faux Wood Grain Tool

Let’s be honest.  Faux wood grain can look…well, pretty fake!  I use this 4-step technique to make it look authentically worn and natural.

Step 1 is to paint a base coat of Coffee Bean and let it dry thoroughly. 

Step 2 is to seal the Coffee Bean with Satin clear coat.  The beauty of this is that it doesn’t have to be perfect and streak-free.  You are just laying down a layer of protection for Step 3.  Let that dry.

french linen night stands top

Step 3 is to break out your wood grain tool.  Dixie Belle sells these for just over $12.  Paint a thin layer of Voodoo Gel Stain (water-based) over the clear coat. 

Using the small head of the wood graining tool, rock and drag it over the wet stain in a straight line in the direction of the grain.  (Refer to this video of another project for a demonstration.)

Step 4 is to dry brush with a lighter color.  I used Putty, a sandy beige.  After dipping just the tips of the brush in paint, I wiped most of it off on a paper towel.  With a very light hand, I then brushed over the top in both directions.

french linen night stand single top

Lastly, I lightly sanded the top and sealed it with another coat of Satin.  To avoid streaking in my top coat, I like to use this very economical blue sponge to apply it, rather than a brush.  Don’t you agree that the faux wood ends up looking pretty authentically aged this way?

french linen night stands side by side

Finishing Touches

To complete this project, I distressed lightly around the edges of the drawers and base.  The little catalog drawer pulls are from D Lawless Hardware.  I only added 2 on the top drawers rather than 3 because I didn’t have 6 of them on hand.  I think it looks okay without a pull in the middle section.

night stand distressing detail

The cup pulls on the bottom drawers are from Hobby Lobby.  They complement the style of the tables perfectly.

french linen night stand hardware

If you liked this project, you may enjoy these as well:

As always, if you love this makeover or thought it was a cool technique, Please Pin!

french linen night stands Pin
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13 thoughts on “Chalk Paint French Linen Night Stands”

  1. Grace says:

    I am new to halt paint. I have 2 side tables and TV stand I would like to paint in chalk paint.
    Question: DO I have to sand them .
    Just paint over,.
    How do I get the streaky brownish look after painting with color of choice.

    1. Shannon says:

      Hi Grace,
      No, you don’t have to sand them. Just clean them really well, and then paint. You may want to sand around the edges a bit, so you see the wood. Or you could try brown glaze for the streaky brown look. Have fun!
      xo Shannon

  2. Fabulous upcycle!! I’d love for you to share over at our weekly Wednesday Creative Crafts Linky Party
    https://creativelybeth.com/creative-crafts-linky-party-9-join-in-the-fun/
    Have a great week!
    Creatively, Beth

    1. Shannon says:

      Thanks, Beth!

  3. Thank you for sharing this with us at Farmhouse Friday!

    1. Shannon says:

      Thanks for hosting! xo Shannon

  4. I can tell French Linen is going to be a new favorite color for me. Love how these turned out. Thank you for sharing them with us at the Farmhouse Friday Link Party!

    1. Shannon says:

      Thank you for having the link-up! Yes, French Linen is so versatile and pairs with just about anything. xo Shannon

  5. These turned out so beautifully! Thank you for sharing at Charming Homes and Gardens.

  6. Super cute! The paint finish definitely lightened up those heavier pieces! Well done! Thank you so much for sharing at Embracing Home and Family!

    1. Shannon says:

      Thanks, Jennifer! And thanks for the great inspiration you provide as well! xo Shannon

  7. The tops are gorgeous and the hardware is even better! Great transformation:) Thanks for sharing at Vintage Charm. xo Kathleen

    1. Shannon says:

      Thank you, Kathleen! The faux wood grain technique is a new fave of mine.

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