Refinished Pine Chest

Refinished Pine ChestThis Refinished Pine Chest tutorial will give you all the information you need to complete this DIY furniture project!



Supplies List

80 grit sandpaper (if you don’t have an electric sander, you can sand it by hand)

3M 813 Bondo Tack Cloth

3 foam brushes

Paint brush

Wood conditioner

Minwax Dark Walnut Stain

White paint and Cooled Blue paint (or whatever color you want)


Decorative pull-(not pictured)

I picked up this pine chest at an Estate sale for $25. A little more than I wanted to spend but I loved how aged and worn it was. It was a piece I knew could be used inside or outside which made it a little more valuable and appealing to me.


Although I loved the rustic feel to this chest, I wasn’t all that excited about the green circled stains on top. Nothing my good ole palm sander couldn’t handle! I quickly sanded the entire exterior of the chest with 80 grit sandpaper. (Sand in the direction of the wood-always….almost always!)


After that I was left with a nice fresh surface to work with. After I sand an entire piece of furniture with my palm sander, there’s quite a bit of sawdust left over. I always use tack cloth to wipe down the furniture once I’m done sanding. Tack cloth is cheap but if you don’t have any on hand, a little vinegar mixed with water and a clean rag will do just fine. You definitely want to wipe it down though. If you don’t, your paintbrush will just eat up all the sawdust and it will be a clumpy mess!


Here’s a fun fact about pine-it’s VERY porous. Meaning, it soaks up lots of stain and paint. So before I started staining the chest, I applied some wood conditioner first. This is very easy to do. Just grab a cheap foam brush or paint brush and brush on the stain. Follow the instructions on the can. Mine said to leave the stain for about 15 minutes and then wipe off the excess with a clean rag so thats what I did.


This is what it looked like after the conditioner. It kind of had this burnt look to it-which I loved!


(I know, I’m not very neat and tidy with my stain cans…..or paint cans)

Once that conditioner dried for the recommended time, it was time to stain. Minwax Dark Walnut stain is one of my favorites. It’s not too dark but it does have a richness about it. A little stain goes a LONG way so keep that in mind. I usually buy the bigger can because I use it so often but the smaller can will work just fine for this project and you’ll have a lot left over. There’s different techniques to apply stain but what I usually do is apply it with a cheap foam brush and that way you can just toss it when you’re done. I find the sponges to be too expensive and come on…who really enjoys cleaning paint brushes? NOT me, that’s for sure. You can use whatever method works best for you! Apply the stain with the grain of the wood. You don’t need to be neat and tidy with this step. Just quickly cover the entire chest. Follow the instructions on your can. I waited about 10 minutes and then wiped off the extra stain with a clean rag. Helpful tip when using stain- you always want to wipe off every bit of the residue that doesn’t soak into the wood. If you don’t, the leftover stain will dry and become extremely tacky and it’s a pain to fix. So make sure you are thorough with this step. After the stain has had time to dry it’s time to white wash it.


Mix white paint (latex/chalk-doesn’t matter) with water in a 1:1 ratio. I mixed 1/4 cup white chalk paint with 1/4 cup water. Use a paint brush for this next step, not a foam brush! Just barely dip the bristles of your brush into the paint mixture and ¬†start brushing the paint onto the surface moving in the direction of the grain. Immediately take a clean rag and rub it in! Almost like you’re trying to wipe off what you just put on. This will help blend the paint mixture into the wood instead of giving it a streaky look. This is what the chest looked like after one coat. I did about 3 coats before it had the wash I was going for.


The fun part! Most of the time I like to keep it neutral. I enjoy soft colors like gray’s, creams, blue’s, etc but every now and then I like to throw in a pop of color! This cooled blue from sherwin williams did just that! Mix with water in the same 1:1 ratio. With the same dry brush technique, apply the paint the same way you applied the white wash mixture by barely dipping the bristles of the brush into the paint mixture. I didn’t care so much about seeing brush strokes with this color so in some areas I wiped it in and in others I just left the brush stroke the way it was.


I was instantly falling in love with how this was turning out! This was just a fun pop of color so I can’t say how many “coats” I did but I just brushed it on where I thought it needed it.


If this was an interior piece only, I probably wouldn’t have applied the polycrylic because it’s supposed to look old and worn but since this chest could also be used as patio decor, I wanted to protect it from whatever the weather might bring. I applied two coats, allowing the allotted drying time between each coat.


I wanted to add a decorative pull or knob to the chest just to make it look even better. I went to Hobby Lobby and found this lock and key rustic knob for 50% off! (Hobby Lobby fact- knobs and pulls usually go on sale about every two weeks so if you go there and they are full price, come back the next week.)


You’re going to need a drill and a drill bit for this. Match the size of your knob screw to the drill bit and drill a hole in the center. The finishing step is to attach your pull or knob!


You’re done!

DIY Pine Trunk

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1 Comment

  1. Cornelia Short
    October 17, 2017

    Great job and I love your color choices!


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