Twin headboard makeover with Rustoleum Chalked paint

So remember when I hauled home a truckload of yard sale finds 2 weeks ago?  


This $10 twin headboard/footboard was in that load and I couldn’t wait to get it transformed.  I have REALLY been trying to be better about immediately putting into use and fixing up the things I pick up at yard sales.  You know how it is… you pick up this fun find that needs a bit of a makeover whether it is some candlesticks that need some paint, a metal décor object that needs some spray paint, or a piece of furniture and it gets put in a pile or in the garage and forgotten.  Well, I am tackling those piles and the furniture graveyard in the garage and determined to not add any more to it! 🙂


I have really been wanting to try chalky finish paint for a long time.  There are so many brands that make it now and I hope to share several of them with you.   Chalky finish paint or “chalk paint” is not the same as CHALKBOARD paint.  Chalkboard paint is a paint that you can spray or paint with a brush on maybe an old picture or on a wall and then write on it with chalk and erase.  Chalky finish paint is called that because of the matte/“chalky” feel of the paint once it is painted.  Chalky finish paint is also is known for not requiring a lot of prep before painting and also for the ease in which you can paint it on with a brush with minimal brush strokes and distress it.

I had the opportunity to visit Rust-Oleum’s headquarters back in October and try out all kinds of fun new products, some of which weren’t even available on the market yet.  And I was so excited to learn that they were coming out with a line of chalky finish paint and couldn’t wait to try it.  It is called Rustoleum Chalked and comes in several popular colors like 2 different grays, a light pink, a light blue/green, black, and white.


I chose to use Rustoleum Chalked Ultra Matte Paint in Linen White on this headboard/footboard.  And I just love how it turned out!


With Rustoleum Chalked paint, you don’t need to prime or sand beforehand.  The only thing I did was to make sure the piece was smooth – if you have any places that are chipped and need to fill in you can do that and I also sanded smooth a few spots where it looked there was nail polish drops or something on it.  But you don’t have to sand it so the paint will adhere – only to make it smooth.  I did 2 coats of paint on each side applied with a regular, good quality paint brush.  Only the legs and the top molding piece on this is solid wood – the rest of it is laminate so I only distressed the legs and top trim. 


I just lightly distressed because this headboard and footboard will be used in my 2nd guest room which my little nephew uses when he is here.  So I didn’t want it to look too “shabby chic” looking. Smile    And this paint distressed like a dream – I just lightly sanded with some fine sandpaper in some areas that would be naturally “worn”.


I don’t usually brush on regular paint on a piece of furniture – usually I spray regular latex paint with a paint sprayer on any pieces I have painted just to get a smooth finish.  And I usually sand and prep the piece and either use primer or use latex paint with primer.  But this was nice to have minimal cleanup and yet still get great results.    The paint is latex based so cleans up easily with soap and water.


I currently already have a twin mattress and frame in that room but have never had a headboard/footboard on the bed so I am excited to add this to give it the finishing touch.  I hope to share this room with you soon but it is 3rd on the list right now after finishing the 2 last projects in our master bedroom, then my main guest room, and then this one.    But my plan is for the room to be repainted in a light gray and will be decorated with navy bedding, hopefully some DIY navy/white striped curtains, a fun rug, an IKEA bench/storage unit, and some fun bright green and red pops of color.  I just love navy and white together!


Rustoleum Chalked paint is available online at in several colors – you can have it shipped to the store for free in most places.  And will be available on the shelf in Home Depot stores soon.

Disclosure: Rustoleum provided me with the paint, but all thoughts and opinions are all my own.


  1. This looks wonderful, Christina. What a steal at ten bucks! The navy and white bedding will really pop against this frame. That color combo is a classic and always looks so fresh and crisp. Can’t wait to see the finished room…later. (I understand trying to tackle one room at a time. I have a tendency to room hop and just end up frustrated because nothing is completely finished. The girls room is taking forever and a day to finish…it is such a large room and needs, ummm, everything. Curtains, sheers, curtain rods, pillows, a dresser and a desk, wall art, bedding (only for Zip), the list goes on and on. Whew! On a very, VERY tight budget, it can take a long time. Ha!
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  2. Kaye M. says:

    Thanks for writing about your experience with chalk paint. I’ve never tried it myself–only read about other people’s experiences. Some people use a wax on it after painting. What are your thoughts on that? Some people like it and others say that it doesn’t wear very well. I think your head and foot board look great and will be so pretty with navy blue. Your nephew will think he’s pretty special when he comes to stay at your house!

  3. Sherri S. says:

    Lovely!!! Glad you shared 🙂

    Have a lovely evening…

  4. Donna Lee says:

    Looks great, I also have wanted to try chalk paint and I too was wondering about the part people put wax on afterwards. If it isn’t finished with wax does it come off when you rub up against it?

  5. Eve West says:

    I so want to become great at painting yard sale furniture & my great little finds ! This post is a great ‘ just do it!’ What a great find& job you did! I guess I’m wondering like everyone else what type of top coat you used. I wanted to try something called Tough Coat instead of a wax. What did you use ? And did the company recommend something specific to you?

  6. hi. Looks great. Did you apply any seal coat to finish?

  7. I love the way the head- and foot-boards look. From my viewpoint, they almost have kind of a velvet look to them. Can’t wait to see them in their new home!

  8. Looks great, I also have wanted to try chalk paint and I too was wondering about the part people put wax on afterwards. If it isn’t finished with wax does it come off when you rub up against it?

  9. Did you put any sort of finishing wax over the piece after you used the chalk paint??? Can I just put 1-2 coats of this chalk paint on my side table and be done with it? Help!!

  10. I tried this Chalked paint on a small table and was severely disappointed. First of all it didn’t adhere well to the unsanded surface, which I thought was the entire point of chalk paint. It looked fine until I started distressing when it just came off. It also was not waterproof. The AS paint recommends not waxing an outdoor piece but this paint just washes off. I’ll stick to the more expensive standard, even though I live in a rural area where finding AS is impossible. I wanted this to work.

  11. Mary Jane Murphy says:

    I am excited to try this.. I recently bought a used bed frame and night table… I thought it was brown.. but it’s blue.. so hoping to make it pretty and going to use the linen white chalk paint… thanks for sharing yours…

  12. Shawn Threlkeld says:

    I love the way your bed turned out. I am going to paint a wood ding table and chairs in that color. I was at Home Depot earlier today and they are now stocking this paint in about 4 colors, including the linen white. Did you finish with any wax? Also, I just bout some great navy and white striped drapery panels at Homegoods. You may check there. They were only $20.00 for 2 panels in an 84” length. Am putting it all together in a gray painted room. I also love navy and white! Thank you for sharing your project! Great work!

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