Sneaky Peek with Jo and Chalk Paint!

A friend of mine puts pictures of gorgeous pieces of furniture that she transforms with a painted finish on her facebook page from time to time.  I have admired them and thought each and every time how very clever she is. So I decided to do a Sneaky Peek. Now usually with a sneaky peek I turn up and just ring the doorbell or phone when I am on my way, but Jo is such a busy lady that I had to make a time to just catch her at home. I don’t think I have ever seen Jo without a smile on her face.  She is one of those ladies who you want to be your friend, or you just want to be like her. She is gorgeous, accomplished, has a beautiful home and family that she cherishes and definitely has it all together.

Jo at home

Jo relaxing at home


I love that she welcomed me with a glass of bubbles too, well, I was there on a Saturday afternoon at wine o’clock. That evening she was planning a movie evening “in” with the family.  So I got right down to it. The piece of furniture I had seen her painting and transforming on facebook was what I really wanted to see but I got a real surprise. Jo’s house was full of treasured pieces that she has breathed a new lease of life into.

After the tour of her lovely home I picked her brain on exactly how she did it. I mean I have watched the YouTube videos of Annie Sloan chalk painting everything in sight and it’s not just Annie Sloan but type “chalk painting furniture” into the YouTube search bar and you could be watching video tutorials forever more. YouTube is fantastic like that, but is it, really as easy, as it seems on the videos. Jo said “it really is”.

Blue sideboard - Painted with calk paint


This piece was walnut colour stained timber in a previous life. The beauty of chalk paint is that you can paint over absolutely anything pretty much. No arduous sanding or preparing. You can give a light sand if you want to but it is really not necessary.

sideboard before painting

Sideboard – Before



walnut colour of sideboard before

Jo said she did 2 coats of white first then a coat of periwinkle.


during painting

There are a few different brands of chalk paint  but ‘Porters’ paints at Fortitude Valley is what Jo used.  Once the paint was dry she distressed, with sandpaper, the periwinkle coat, so that some of the white and wood could be seen through. 2 coats of sealer and she was done.

distressing up close

Distressing up close

She replaced the knobs and drawer hardware with new from ‘Paddington Hardware’ and walah (say with the typical flourish) a beautiful transformed piece of furniture. This took two weekends to complete. Jo said she is fussy and painted inside the drawers also which you don’t have to do usually. I thought it looked fabulous.

What a sense of achievement she must feel every time she looks at it.


Green and white coffee table

I love this coffee table


The next piece that caught my eye was the coffee table. This was an Ebay find. This one Jo completed in one weekend. It took about an hour for each coat of paint and 4 hours to dry in-between each coat. Jo said she lightly sanded between each coat of paint. The distressing is done before the sealer. This green colour was a tint. Jo just added it to an off white tin of Porters chalk paint til she got the colour she required. Stunning.


console table

Console Table


Another weekend project was the console table. This was a piece that Jo already had and with the success of the other pieces she decided to do this one as well. It was teak and varnished in its previous life. It had become worn and scratched. This one did need a bit of prep for the scratches and dents but I think you will agree it has come up a treat.


warwick fabric upholstered bedhead

Warwick fabric Upholstered Bedhead


This is not a painting project but is there no end to Jo’s creativity?  This is a bedhead that Jo covered in a ‘Warwick’ fabric. All you need is a piece of wood the size you want (chipboard or similar) wadding from somewhere like spotlight, the pretty fabric to cover and a staple gun. A couple of hours when all the pieces are assembled together and then it needs to be hung on the wall. Not a lot of time needed for this project. Picking which fabric to use, would take me the longest time, for this project.

This is what the bedhead looked like before

bedhead before

Jo has used the same ‘Periwinkle’ colour as used on the sideboard on the wall of the bedroom -Not a chalk paint but Porters Acrylic wall paint this time.


whitewashed bedside table

Either side of the bed are these gorgeous bedside tables. This is the first project Jo ever did.

This time it is a whitewash finish not a chalk painted finish. This wooden piece was completely sanded back with an orbital sander. Once a coat of paint is applied it is then wiped off after about 5 minutes to let the wood grain show through. Possibly a second coat will be needed. Crystal drawer knobs from Bretts Hardware (I found similar on Ebay) complete the look.

I am not as familiar with whitewashing as I am with chalk painting but I am sure I could find a YouTube tutorial on that too.

The last project we talked about, and it was while we were sitting on it enjoying the bubbles and having a chat, I happened to mention I loved her little table and chair setting on the deck.  Funny story Jo said ” I bought this on Gumtree for about $80″ Hasn’t it come up looking great.

Yes it has. I just love it when furniture has a story.

Surround yourself in your home with things that you love and I guarantee you will feel happy.

recycled outdoor setting

Recycled Outdoor Setting


This needed coating with “Bullseye 123 Primer” paint so that the stain used previously didn’t bleed through to the finished white coat. A durable outdoor acrylic was used for this – as it is outside in the elements (although under cover) so a durable paint was required.

Thanks Jo for inspiring me. I have actually painted an Ebay purchased bookcase for my study after my visit to your home and I will put all the details on Mocha Home soon.

If you have an old piece of furniture at home why not spend a weekend giving it a new lease of life. You may just love it all over again. Sometimes you just need a bit of inspiration.

Til next time



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