Gray Whitewashed Dining Set Makeover

I have been so blessed to inherit furniture from family, and my great grandmother’s dining set is one of my favorites…

Beautiful whitewashed gray dining set- Maison de Pax

But I confess that I was not a big fan of the colors she chose…

Beautiful whitewashed gray dining set before- Maison de Pax

The cream was too warm for my taste, and the green wasn’t really me either. Plus, the finish had seen better days.

Beautiful whitewashed gray dining set before- Maison de Pax

So when Annie Sloan Unfolded asked if I wanted to try their products, I decided it was time to paint this set. And I’m so glad I did. Oh, and can you guess what color I chose? Why gray, of course. 😉

Easy chalk paint makeover- Maison de Pax

To create this look, I used Chalk Paint® Decorative Paint by Annie Sloan in the colors Paris Grey and Old WhiteClear Soft Wax, and Dark Soft Wax. I began with a coat of Paris Grey over the entire thing. The Annie Sloan Pure Bristle Brush was perfect for getting into the grooves of this piece.

Beautiful whitewashed gray dining set! - Maison de Pax

I then applied a coat of clear wax over the entire piece. Next, I used the Annie Sloan Flat Brush to “whitewash” Old White over the Paris Grey. To create a wash, I dipped my brush in water first and then in the paint and painted the piece sections at a time. Immediately after painting, I took an old rag and dragged it across the Old White, creating a layered look.

Beautiful whitewashed gray dining set during project- Maison de Pax

Once happy with the look (you can rub it off in places with a wet rag if you get the white paint too heavy), I used the Annie Sloan Wax Brush to apply another coat of clear wax and then to accent the carvings with dark wax.

Waxing after chalk paint- Maison de Pax

I also used dark wax along the edges and in the corners to give dimension to the door and drawer fronts.

Chalk Painted Dining Room Hutch- Maison de Pax

I did not apply the Old White to the inside of the cabinet; I wanted a simpler backdrop for my dishes.

Beautiful whitewashed gray dining set- Maison de Pax

Although the piece didn’t end up with a smooth factory finish, it’s ok because I wanted an aged, layered, textured look.

Painted Furniture Techniques- Maison de Pax

And since I’m obsessed with gray (you can seem more of my gray projects here if you’re interested), this was the perfect makeover for me.

Painted Hutch- Maison de Pax

I’ve already had fun decorating it for Thanksgiving…

Painted dining room table decorated for fall- Maison de Pax

And for Christmas…

French country decorated dining room- Maison de Pax

And I look forward to using it for years to come.

Painted hutch- Maison de Pax

So what do you think? Did I ruin my family heirloom or manage to bring it gracefully into the 21st century?

Chalk Paint Dining Set Makeover- Maison de Pax

Disclosure: I was given product by Annie Sloan Unfolded, but as always, opinions and obsessions with gray are 100% my own. To find your local Chalk Paint® Stockist, you can use their Stockist Locator


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    1. Grey is what is really in right now!! Love how you combined the colors. I. Am using chalk paint now on a piece and next is antiquing wax. Never used before wish me luck!!

  1. Oh my…. it’s BEAUTIFUL!!! I’m envious. Have a vanity I want to paint and am hesitating. Can’t figure out the right paint color to use. But you did a fantastic job!!

    1. Thank you so much, Mary! I debated about colors on this thing for YEARS… I know how hard that is. But I’m so glad I did it, and I hope you enjoy yours when the time comes, too!

  2. WOW! what a beautiful job Rachel. you are so talented. i am thinking about painting a small table i have had for a couple of years now. you have inspired me! keep up the awesome posts, i enjoy all of your projects.


  3. Just beautiful Rachel…great piece to work with and you transformed it to such a exquisite piece…one to treasure for many years to come!

  4. I love the way it turned out. I think you did a great job and how nice to have a piece that will always be a reminder of your grandmother.

  5. Another Annie Sloan knock-out! I love the color and finish you chose. Paris Grey is one of my favorites too. It’s absolutely gorgeous, Rachel!

  6. That looks beautiful. I have to paint an old family headboard for my oldest daughter. Gray is my color of choice. I love it with the white. I will be using this wonderful tutorial. Perfect timing…..thanks

    1. I’m so glad it was helpful, Holly! And what fun to use an old family piece for your daughter. I would love to see how it turns out! 🙂

  7. Rach,
    What a fabulous paint job! I know you struggled with wanting to paint this piece & love seeing the finished product. It’s SO you. LOVE the depth you gave the drawers. Personally, I think your grandmother would be delighted you took something that was hers and instead of getting rid of it, re-made it into something that was yours. Enjoy my friend. WELL DONE.

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  9. Family heirloom is definitely not ruined! Beautiful transformation–you’ll love it for years and years to come!

  10. Hi, I love your piece, it’s beautiful. I am debating what colour to paint my side board, it is a similar size to the bottom part of your unit. The colour old white seems quite cream on the colour chart, but it seems quite white on your piece, is it more white than cream or is it the lighting when you took the photo ? Do you think French Linen would be good under the old white as well, I wanted a white look , but slightly beige .

    1. Thank you so much, Jane! I think it may be a combination of the two things: against my greige walls and very ivory/cream trim, the Old White probably looks cooler than it would against a white background on a color chart. However, the Paris Gray is a very cool (almost blue) gray, so the two balanced out to a more neutral color. I actually debated about using French Linen as the bottom coat, and I’m sure it would be lovely. It will come out even darker and warmer, though, than the Paris Gray did. That might make the Old White seem even more cream? I’m just guessing here, but I hope this helps!

  11. Love the trunk. Now I have to figure out what color to paint over the one I painted red in a moment of not thinking.

  12. This piece came out lovely! I love the finishes you chose along with the hardware and the dark wax. I am so glad I stumbled across this post (and your blog!) Does the clear wax provide a durable finish? Does it need to be reapplied every so often, like furniture oil/polish, or is it a one-time deal? Also, how does it hold up to cleaning? Would you suggest using the wax on pieces that won’t get a lot of wiping (tables, kitchen cabinets, etc.)? Thanks in advance for your expert tips!

    1. Thank you so much, Lindsey! Wax finishes are not a one time deal, but they are much more durable than furniture polish. I like to think of them as semi-permanent. While they are not as durable as a varnish or polyurethane, they do not have to be completely stripped and replaced to be repaired. If one area wears faster than another, you can simply add more wax there. For pieces that get lots of handling (like a table top), you would need to apply more often (perhaps once a year or so), but for something like a china cabinet, it’s just a matter of maintenance. I hope I won’t have to rewax it for many years. And it’s important to recognize that not all wax brands are created equal. Most have their pros and cons, so you may want to look into any specific type before using it. A major factor to remember is that while the wax is water resistant, it is not water proof, so you’d be taking a risk with something like a kitchen cabinet. I hope this helps!

    1. Thank you! And I confess I don’t remember, but I don’t think so. I don’t usually go over dark wax with clear wax as it can sometimes remove the dark wax. Hope this helps!

  13. I apologize for commenting on a several year old post, but this cabinet is beautiful! Great job! I love the colors and want to recreate this but I’m afraid it might look too blue-grey in my house. Maybe the old white will warm it up. 🙂 My only question is this… you said you whitewashed after applying the clear wax: did you not not have any issues with the paint absorbing/drying on top of the wax? I’m just a bit confused by that. Thanks!

    1. Thank you, Tiffany! I’m so glad you like it. The old white definitely warms it up, and you can always come back with some dark wax at the end to warm it up even more, if needed. I also love French Linen for a warmer (and a bit darker) gray. It wouldn’t be ideal for a full piece to use chalk paint over the wax because I would be worried about adherence, but when doing an accent like a whitewash, the incredible adherence of chalk paint works just fine. I haven’t had any problems with it. I hope this helps!

  14. Ok this is the most beautiful thing I have come across in a very long time, I’m in love!!! I realize this is a family heirloom, but do you happen to know the manufacturer. I would love to find a similar piece and I just can’t get this set out of my mind. I’m so pleased I stumbled across your blog – AMAZING!!!

    1. You are so sweet! I apologize for the slow reply… Unfortunately, I cannot find the manufacturer’s information. I do hope you’re able to find something you love, though!

  15. Hi! I love your piece and I’m using the same colors on my bathroom vanity. How long did you wait in between coats and waxing. Must I do clear wax before the white wash? Thanks for your help.

    1. I’m so glad you like it! The clear wax before the whitewash gives you more freedom to adjust the whitewash. If you paint the white directly over the gray, it will soak in right away and be tougher to distinguish between the two colors. But it could turn out beautiful either way! And I’m sorry, I don’t remember how long I waited in between coats. I’m guessing I did one coat per day (just because that’s usually all I can manage while my kids are occupied ;).

  16. Hi! I LOVE the way this turned out! I have almost the identical piece which was my grandmother’s! It is still stained in the original wood finish and this is the exact look I’ve been describing to my hubby! My dining room table looks very much like yours as well and the look you created helps to visualize mine too! It’s going to be a freezing cold New Year’s weekend here (Dallas)…perfect opportunity to get it done! Happy New Year!

  17. I absolutely love your finished dining set. You have definitely brought the furniture into the 21st century. . I have an almost identical cabinet but with a larger base. With a bit of remodeling, my kitchen and dining room are now one large room. Because my kitchen cabinets are mocha and my island is off white, I have been thinking of updating the color of the cabinet, as well as the island and after seeing your beautiful transformation and the colors used, I am going to copy this exactly. I’ve worked with Annie Sloan paints in the past and love the quality. Thank you so much for the inspiration.

  18. Been eyeing my dinning room set to use Annie Sloan grey on. Tried it on one old chair – didn’t like the outcome. Love what you did with the grey and the white. Going to try it. Ques: what did you use to the table top? Did you just leave as it was?

    1. Thank you!! The top was already finished as such, so I just left it alone. I hope this helps and good luck with your project!

  19. Oh my goodness, after looking online for color ideas, I also love how your piece finished. I have not worked with chalk paint before but everyone says how easy it will be. Your instructions are easy to understand and I really think I can do this. My husband is on board to paint our china cabinet too. Wish me luck!

    1. Thank you, Ami! I’m afraid I don’t remember… I think the flat brush was a 2″ (that’s usually what I use), and the pure bristle brush was very large. I hope this helps and I’m sorry I don’t have more specifics!

  20. I am a newbe to your website/facebook and I just love your style. I have been researching how to refinishing my stained dining room hutch which I must say looks almost identical to yours. My husband and I bought it in 1974, I want to have it painted white. Do you think that the Old World White in the Anne Sloan would give a white look. I definitely have warm tones in my home. Also, do you think that the chalk paint has held up pretty well? Thanks so much for your time and expertise.

    1. Hi Cheryl! Old white is perfect– it is a warm white and sounds like it would go well in your home. Wax is applied after the chalk paint and I do think it is durable! I like to keep a small jar of the chalk paint available to touch up a few times a year.

  21. Hi Rachel, I have some nightstands that I want to finish similar to what you did. I noticed that the doors of your hutch have small locks on them, were you able to take those off? Or how did you paint around them? I have something similar on my nightstands and I’m concerned they’re going to get paint on them or be hard to paint around.

    Also, my nightstands are mahogany veneer, have you ever painted over that? I’ve heard the paint can come out pink. Any recommendations?

    Thanks for your help, and great job!

    1. Hi Melissa, I’m so glad you like the tutorial! I just painted around the locks with a tiny brush, and one of the great things about chalk paint is that it is pretty easy to scratch off if you do so before it fully cures. Any mistakes were easy to correct. 😉 And unfortunately, I have not painted any mahogany pieces, but I hear you can try a sealer (primer or shelac) beforehand to keep the pink from seeping out. You could also just try a test spot on the back and give it a few weeks to see if the pink comes through. I would think that it wouldn’t be as big of a concern with this gray finish as it would be with a white paint job. I hope this helps!

  22. I really love the dining room set and am going to try it with mine, my set isn’t as nice but I think this look will really improve it a lot!! I will take before and after pics. I’m practicing on a coffee table first, the drying time of the wax after the gray I’m curious about, how long until you painted the white after waxing?

  23. Beautiful! What did you use for the chicken wire (probably not the right term)? It looks like an upgraded version of what I’ve seen in other makeovers. Thank you!

    1. It actually was already on the china hutch previously, so I’m afraid I can’t take credit for it! 🙂

  24. Hi, I just came across your pictures of the beautiful hutch and noticed the “Noel” letters in one of them. My name is Noel and I would love to know where you found those? 😊

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Noel! Those letters were an easy DIY with craft store items. Many craft stores have wood letters and you can paint them with either craft paint or leftover paint you might have in your garage. 🙂 Hope that helps!

  25. Oh my gosh! Stumbled on this Pinterest Pin today and this is just what I needed today. Thank you for sharing what you did to these beautiful pieces. I also ended up with furniture that is not my style, 1960’s Henredon 96” dining room table, 6 cane back chairs and a 108” 3 pc credenza on a base. Same color as your grandmothers! Definitely not my rustic, log cabin, western style. But I love the pieces. I’ve had them for 3 years and debated getting rid of them. Your step by step and the products you used are what I needed to see. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I will be painting these pieces and cherishing them for a long time to come! 😃

    1. Hi Kelly! It is so hard to decide how to make those treasured heirloom pieces fit! I am so glad you found this helpful and hope these new pieces fit your home soon!

  26. This is amazing! I have used chalk paint a lot but I never white washed. I always sanded. This grey look is exactly what I want for my dining room hutch. Did you wait 24 hours between each coat of wax?

    Thank you for your help,

    1. I apologize, Megan, but I don’t remember! I don’t usually wait that long between wax coats, so my guess is no… but I wish I had a firm answer for you!

  27. Did you paint the hinges? What about the inside of the cabinet lower doors and drawers? Thanks, Ashley

    1. The hinges were all hidden, but we did paint the inside of the cabinets. The drawers we left since they were painted a cream color. Hope this helps!

  28. I’m doing a petite french provincial 2 drawer table loaded with carvings. I did 2 coats primer followed with AS pure white . I want to very lightly accent the carvings, any ideas.

  29. Hi! I love the whole set, beautiful! Can I ask how you did the table? Just restain and paint the sides white?
    Thank you!

  30. Hi, I absolutely love the color that you chose. I’m not sure if you answered this question, but how long did it take you to complete this project? I would like to do several pieces of bedroom furniture and wanted to get an idea of how long it would take me per piece.

    Thanks for your help!

    1. I’m sorry, but I really don’t remember. I had toddlers, so I probably tackled it during nap times over a few days… As with most projects, setting up and cleaning up take almost as long as the actual painting ;), but I would guess at least an hour or two per piece for the first coat and a little less for the whitewash. Waxing is hard work, but not terribly slow. I hope this helps!

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