Upcycling a chest: Painting metal with Chalk Paint ™ by Annie Sloan

Do you have “those” things lying around your house or yard, the ones you have inherited from somewhere, someone, which have become forgotten, lost, left? I have quite a few of these things, inherited from people who are no longer with us. I am one of those people who finds it very hard to throw away this kind of stuff. One of my tests of whether I can pass an item on, is the emotion of the piece. If I have some kind of connection, it stays.

Are you like that or can you toss anything you have no need for?

I am good at passing things on and regularly upcycle and give or sell things, or donate to charity shops, but there are some things I hold onto. I also feel weird if I stick a pin through someone when I put their photo up on the wall…..so maybe I am a little bit eccentric. But I do think the feeling of wanting to keep something for it’s connection is very valid.

This old metal box was made by my Father In Law. He passed away on the 4/4/99 – on our 1 year anniversary, at 4.04 am, while we were both standing in our 3 and a half week old son’s room nursing him back to sleep, after a long day at the beside vigil. He was a cracker of a bloke. Always up for a cuddle. Always smiling and joking despite his long battle with prostrate cancer, always loving, and always loved. He was my husband’s step father and you could not want for a better one.

We took a few pieces when he passed away that he had made with his own hands, this box being one of them. He was an amazing upcycler before upcycling was even a word, as was my maternal Grandfather.

At first my hubby used it in his shed to store things in, but over time it migrated outside, sat in the weather and was forgotten. I noticed it a few months ago and decided it needed a new lease of life. This weekend I painted it with Chalk Paint™ by Annie Sloan, showing you how easy it is painting metal with chalk paint. And I think it has definitely started a new journey.

I do love the rustic look, but this was a bit too grotty and not enough rustic for me. I do love the rusty handles and have left those alone,just copper spraying the ring pulls and leaving the handles all rusty.

You will need:

Chalk Paint by Annie Sloan in your choice of colour/s –  I used duckegg blue.

A rag and some warm water for a simple clean.

A reasonable size bristle brush, preferably a round one, but you can really use any brush. I used the Annie Sloan brushes.

Spray paint (if you want to add a copper or other metallic accent).

Rag for wipe ups.

Old knife to open the paint can.



A simple clean with warm water.

Give the can a good shake and open.

Then paint – that is it really!

Use a reasonably loaded brush and paint on roughly, don’t  try to create a smooth finish. If you are painting an old, beaten up piece like this one, you do not want to aim for a perfect finish, but rather one which says “I have lived here forever”.

I spray painted the ring pulls with copper and taped around those while I sprayed. Then I touched a few areas up with the Chalk Paint.

Other than that, if an inside piece you would wax as usual. As this is on our deck I left it without wax as we don’t recommend waxing outdoor pieces, due to the heat melting the wax. It will weather naturally, chip and age and gather it’s own new history.

The paint went on very smooth and easily and left a lovely chalky finish. It also dried extremely quickly.


I didn’t tape the handles off- which you really should – so I cleaned them off afterwards. I also taped around the rings and then copper sprayed them.

It now takes pride of place on our deck. I think my father in law would be proud. What do you think?



metalbox after 14 (1 of 1)



metalbox after 15 (1 of 1)


And there you go.

Have you got a metal project you could paint, or have you painted metal with Chalk Paint before? We would love to hear any tips, so please do comment and tell us below!



metalbox after 16 (1 of 1)


  1. Abbie Jessup on December 2, 2014 at 6:37 am

    Lisa Aliendi

  2. Michele Lowe Bayssari on December 2, 2014 at 7:03 am

    After watching you use Annie Sloan chalk pain at the ‘junk to funk’ I purchased some for myself from brocante. Very excited to Upcycle my bedroom suite!

  3. Wendy on December 2, 2014 at 7:46 am

    Love this!  However – it will continue to rust won’t it?

  4. Recycled Interiors on December 2, 2014 at 7:59 am

    oh how exciting! Michele Lowe Bayssari would love to see what you do!

  5. Holly J Jenkins on December 2, 2014 at 8:05 am

    Aunty Sheryl x

  6. Helene Wild on December 2, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    looks FAB!

  7. Mel Dominguez-Nash on December 2, 2014 at 9:24 pm

    Tanya more projects U0001f60a

  8. Tanya Ballard on December 2, 2014 at 9:41 pm

    Yes I saw that today & was intrigued. I have almost finished some things I am happy with so will post soon

  9. Recycled_Interiors on December 2, 2014 at 9:44 pm

    thank you! @Helene Wild

  10. Recycled_Interiors on December 2, 2014 at 9:45 pm

    @Wendy the paint will help to prevent or at least slow the rust down Wendy:)

  11. Charlotte Mccaffery on December 2, 2014 at 10:07 pm

    Amy Brooks

  12. Mary Lunardi on December 3, 2014 at 12:14 am

    You can make your own chalk paint.

  13. Rebecca Simmons on December 3, 2014 at 12:22 am

    Fiona Simmons do you have this yet ?

  14. Tania Bradley on December 3, 2014 at 1:04 am

    Elmarie Swanepoel

  15. Recycled Interiors on December 3, 2014 at 6:53 am

    it is possible with plaster of paris but my experience is it is very lumpy and does not give the stunning finish or durability Gaynor Edwards

  16. Rachel Macreadie on December 3, 2014 at 8:30 am

    Love it… Is the chalk paint available in regular hardware stores? I have some old large cream cans that need loving U0001f60a

  17. Tenille Wong on December 3, 2014 at 9:09 am

    Christine Garnett

  18. Recycled Interiors on December 3, 2014 at 9:41 am

    no Rachel Macreadie have a look here, we would love to stock it but have to wait to see if the South Aussie Stockist is opening a new store so stay tuned, but for now you can find your closest store here http://www.anniesloan.com/acatalog/Australasia_Stockists.html

  19. Shelly Hennessy on December 3, 2014 at 2:40 pm


  20. Robynne White on December 3, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    Amy White

  21. Cara Couper on May 14, 2015 at 8:59 am

    Hi Helen! In this project you paint right onto the metal, no primer. Would this be the case with heavy cast iron outdoor chairs?

  22. Recycled Interiors on May 14, 2015 at 11:16 am

    yes! Cara Couper all you should need to do is a good clean and if any paint is flaking that will need a bit of a sand as flaking and dirt will stop the paint sticking, but otherwise go straight on! And if staying outside no need for waxing

  23. Jan Withers on July 11, 2015 at 9:27 am


  24. Helene Wild on July 11, 2015 at 10:05 am

    Woah what a difference! U0001f604

  25. Danuse Novak on July 11, 2015 at 11:42 am

    How cool,thank you for sharing :0)

  26. Susan Jordan on July 11, 2015 at 8:10 pm

    Stephanie R Hain Claire Hammill

  27. Sharon Lee Pearce on July 12, 2015 at 12:14 am

    Emma Mills can you tag ur mum for meU0001f600

  28. Emma Mills on July 12, 2015 at 1:04 am

    Sue Gillard

  29. Emma Mills on July 12, 2015 at 1:04 am

    Sue Gillard

  30. Sue Gillard on July 12, 2015 at 6:11 pm

    Have shared to my wall , thanks guys xx

  31. Tanja Bijleveld on June 4, 2016 at 4:23 pm

    I do like the old original look tho

  32. Recycled Interiors on June 4, 2016 at 4:39 pm

    me too but it was time for this one U0001f60a

  33. Emily Chambers on June 4, 2016 at 5:08 pm

    Cheryl Andersen some inspiration!

  34. Megan Grosse on June 4, 2016 at 8:10 pm

    This is my long weekend project… Thanks for the help.

  35. Recycled Interiors on June 5, 2016 at 6:35 am

    have fun! post pics!

  36. Custom King Furniture and Living on June 5, 2016 at 7:18 pm

    Good when their just a bit to far gone for a little dust off.

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