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Painting Cabinets with Chalk Paint is So Easy & Cheap!!!

Painting cabinets with chalk paint is one of the easiest and most inexpensive ways to upgrade those ugly old oak cabinets.

I have been remodeling my laundry room lately and finally have gotten around to showing you what I did!!  This was the last room in the house that I have done nothing to. 

We never even painted it when we moved in 14 years ago.  It’s been so depressing to walk in to with the oak cabinets and bland linoleum floor.  This was my last set of oak cabinets in the house! 

I have re-stained all of them (tutorial here on how to use gel stain), but for this room, I decided to try painting cabinets with chalk paint to add some fun color!

painting cabinets with chalk paint pin

Here is the fun before picture of our sorry-looking laundry room…  It’s a small narrow long laundry room.

painting cabinets with chalk paint

Pretty blah, right??  Trying to make doing laundry enjoyable is tough, but having a cute room to walk into makes it a little easier!

laundry room before makeover

Painting oak cabinets or any cabinets for that matter is super easy with chalk paint!  No prep, no sanding, just painting. 

I didn’t even take the doors off…  no one but me really sees the room, so it didn’t need to be perfect!

Materials Needed for Painting Cabinets with Chalk Paint

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  • chalk paint – I used Renaissance chalk paint – Celadonite color found here on Amazon
  • Clear Wax or Varnish - I used what I had - a Waverly varnish from Walmart
  • paint brushes
  • Patina or dark wax

The rest of my house is pretty much earthy tones so I wanted to add a pop of color somewhere.  I figured the laundry room was the perfect place! 

I could practice painting laundry room cabinets with chalk paint and aging them too and it wouldn't matter if they didn't come out well. 

But they did!  I love the color and the ease of chalk paint on oak cabinets.

Chalk Painting Cabinets

Again, when using chalk paint, no prep is required. That's the beauty of this amazing paint! If the cabinets are really dirty, you'll probably want to clean them, but mine were fine. Just a light dusting and they were ready to paint!

I grabbed the paint, stirred it up, and started painting the laundry room cabinets.  The chalk paint dries really quickly. 

I started by painting the bottom cabinets.  I opened the drawers and doors and painted the base with the Renaissance chalk paint.

painting cabinets with chalk paint
painting laundry cabinets with chalk paint

The easiest way I found to paint the cabinet doors was to do the inside edge first.  I used an angled paintbrush to apply the chalk paint on oak.

painting cabinets with chalk paint

You can see the trim was already dry and was a slightly darker color.

painting oak cabinets with chalk paint

Then I painted the raised border of the cabinet door and then the inside panel.

painting laundry room cabinets with chalk paint
how to chalk paint cabinets

I even painted the hardware!!  I know, I know... I told you, it's the laundry room!! I know a lot of you will cringe, as I've seen from the comments, but to each their own!

Another nice thing about chalk paint is that it scratches off easily off places that aren't covered with a sealant so as the doors keep getting opened the chalk paint is coming off the hardware.

painting cabinets with renaissance chalk paint

For the smaller crevices of the chalk paint cabinets, I used a small paintbrush.

painting cabinets with chalk paint

Here is a picture of the laundry room cabinets with everything painted with just one coat.  I love the color but I wanted the laundry room cabinets a little distressed.

how to paint laundry room cabinets

Distressing DIY Laundry Cabinets

Once it was dry, I painted on a coat of clear varnish/wax.  You need to do this before you add a dark patina or distressing stain.

adding wax to chalk paint cabinets

Once that was dry, I just painted on some antiquing patina around the edge of the drawers and crevices of the doors.  Then I wiped it off with a cotton towel.

dark antiquing patina
applying dark wax to chalk painted cabinets
distressing oak chalk painted cabinets

I'd love it if you come craft with me on Instagram!  I post a ton of short video tutorials on all sorts of different DIY projects.  Click the button below!

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painting cabinets with chalk paint
applying dark wax to painted cabinets

There is no right or wrong way to antiquing cabinets!  If you want it darker, add more! 

best paint for laundry room

If you think it's too dark, rub a little off with clear wax and a cloth.  The antiquing adds a little depth and rustic look that I love!

Here are some pictures of laundry room cabinets painted with renaissance chalk paint!

how to chalk paint cabinets
farmhouse laundry room
farmhouse laundry room

That's it!  Pretty easy and inexpensive!  Some of the paint wears off on the hinges but it adds to the distressed look.  Looking so much better already.

You can also read my tutorial on how to paint with chalk paints on bedroom furniture. Or check out my roundup of chalk paint ideas for a whole bunch of more ideas you can use chalk paint for!

Now, on to the flooring.  Click here to see how easy it is to apply vinyl planks.

Then I made this cute laundry room sign.  Check out how to make it and get the FREE laundry cut file by clicking here!

painting laundry room cabinets with renaissance chalk paint

For the full farmhouse laundry room makeover click here!

Thanks so much for stopping by and have a creative day!

leap of faith crafting

Tiffany knabb

Sunday 11th of April 2021

I love it ! Thanks for the step by step and confirming it can be done w/o taking all the doors off !! fyi I too painted the hardware might not be a pro but my cabinets are 100% better than before !

Shayla L Cabrera

Saturday 11th of July 2020

Hi. I love it and am about to paint my cabinets. I'm wondering how long it's been and how is the chalk paint holding up? Thanks

Leap of Faith Crafting

Tuesday 14th of July 2020

Thanks! It's been about a year I think, maybe longer. They have held up great, but again my laundry room cabinets don't get a lot of use! I have chalked painted my spindles over 5 years ago and they still look great!


Monday 20th of April 2020

Do i need to clean them to get the grease off can i paint them and rhen varnash themm i do not want the distreshed look

Leap of Faith Crafting

Sunday 26th of April 2020

If they're pretty greasy I would definitely wipe them down with a cleaner.

Marie Martin

Wednesday 25th of December 2019

I've been looking for an easy way to paint my kitchen cabinets without spending a small fortune. This looks like the answer! Thanks to you and chalk paint. I'm ready to go ahead with my project (lots of cabinets)


Sunday 4th of April 2021

@Marie Martin, can you show us a picture of your completed project?

Leap of Faith Crafting

Friday 27th of December 2019

I love chalk paint! It is easy. Good luck with all your cabinets!

Jo Scharf

Friday 3rd of May 2019

Your bathroom and laundry room projects look great! All in all, do you prefer the gel stain or the chalk paint? Which is easier (for an amateur diy-er) to use? Which holds up the best with use? Or are they equal?

Leap of Faith Crafting

Tuesday 7th of May 2019

Hi Jo, thanks so much! That's a tough question because they look so different. Chalk paint takes the least amount of time since it usually just needs one coat. It has a bit of a rougher feel to it than the gel stains. All of my cabinet doors that I have redone with gel stain and chalk paint have held up great. My staircase has some spots where it's rubbed off because I have little hands that are on it all the time. The chalk paint gives it a more textured appearance too. Hope that helps! is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to