I love the look of antique maritme blueprints, and if I ever achieve my dream of a seaside cottage vacation home, I’ll surely decorate it will vintage nautical decor.

Today’s project, which I first shared on the DecoArt blog, brings that look to a seen-better-days yard sale dresser.

This chest would be perfect at a beach house or in a child's  room decorated with vintage nautical decor. The color on this piece is amazing! Click over for the full tutorial on how to transform a cheap yard sale piece of furniture into a custom piece.

Thanks to a little paint, chalk, inspiration and time, this $18 yard sale chest is truly something special.

You’ve probably seen antique maritime blueprints. They’re all the rage in nautical and coastal décor. That’s the look I was going for when I started this furniture makeover using DecoArt Chalky Finish paints and waxes.

See how I transformed an $18 yard sale chest into a one-of-a-kind piece of nautical decor , which would be perfect at a beach house or in a child's  room decorated with vintage nautical decor. The color on this piece is amazing! Click over to see the after and for the full tutorial on how to transform a cheap yard sale piece of furniture into a custom piece.

This post includes affiliate links, but I only recommend products I use and love.

Items needed:

Small wooden chest, preferably with a flat front
Americana Decor Chalky Finish Paint – Legacy
Americana Decor Chalky Finish Paint – Carbon
Americana Decor Chalky Finish Paint – Everlasting
Americana Decor Creme Wax – Clear
Waxing brush
2-inch paint brush
paint cup or wide-mouth jar
Assorted artist’s paint brushes, including a fine point brush
Chalk
Ruler or yard stick
Martime blueprint image

Instructions:

Remove hardware and clean your piece of furniture well. I will often wipe mine down with water or diluted TSP, a heavy-duty cleaner you can find at the home improvement store. You want to remove any dirt, dust, oils and residue for the best paint coverage.

For my chest, I wanted to match the vibrant blue color you see in vintage maritime blueprints. Americana Decor Chalky Finish Paint in Legacy is a pretty close match, but I thought it needed to be a bit darker and murkier.

So, I mixed a custom color, combining 2 parts Legacy with 1 part Carbon. Be sure to mix enough to complete your entire project. It’s better to have leftover paint than to run out and try to mix more to match.

See how I transformed an $18 yard sale chest into a one-of-a-kind piece of nautical decor , which would be perfect at a beach house or in a child's  room decorated with vintage nautical decor. The color on this piece is amazing! Click over to see the after and for the full tutorial on how to transform a cheap yard sale piece of furniture into a custom piece.

Paint the entire chest with one coat of your custom-mixed Chalky Finish paint.

Allow to dry, then follow with a second coat.

Now comes the fun part. And trust me when I say you do not have to be an artist to do this.

Find a maritime blueprint that floats your boat. (I couldn’t resist the pun.) You’ll use this as your guide for the boat you paint on your chest.

Vintage Maritime Nautical Decor: Maritime Blueprint
I found my sailboat – The Rudder – as a poster for sale on eBay and printed out a copy of the listing photo on my home printer. SeaJunk.com is another great resource for blueprint drawings of ships and sailboats.

See how I transformed an $18 yard sale chest into a one-of-a-kind piece of nautical decor , which would be perfect at a beach house or in a child's  room decorated with vintage nautical decor. The color on this piece is amazing! Click over to see the after and for the full tutorial on how to transform a cheap yard sale piece of furniture into a custom piece.

Using a ruler or yard stick, sketch out your blueprint using chalk. I like to sharpen my chalk to a point; it’s easier to work with.

And I deliberately chose a simple image with lots of straight lines, so there was very little freehand drawing required.

If you have an overhead projector, you can transfer your image that way.

See how I transformed an $18 yard sale chest into a one-of-a-kind piece of nautical decor , which would be perfect at a beach house or in a child's  room decorated with vintage nautical decor. The color on this piece is amazing! Click over to see the after and for the full tutorial on how to transform a cheap yard sale piece of furniture into a custom piece.

Once you’ve sketched your image, carefully paint over the lines with Chalky Finish paint in Everlasting, a bright white.

Don’t worry if your hand isn’t steady. I think the hand-drawn look contributes to the charm of the piece.

See how I transformed an $18 yard sale chest into a one-of-a-kind piece of nautical decor , which would be perfect at a beach house or in a child's  room decorated with vintage nautical decor. The color on this piece is amazing! Click over to see the after and for the full tutorial on how to transform a cheap yard sale piece of furniture into a custom piece.

Once the paint has dried, gently wipe away any remaining chalk with a wet cloth.

Allow any water on the surface to dry, then apply two coats of clear Americana Decor Creme Wax, allowing to dry between coats. When wax dries, buff with a soft cloth.

This chest would be perfect at a beach house or in a child's  room decorated with vintage nautical decor. The color on this piece is amazing! Click over for the full tutorial on how to transform a cheap yard sale piece of furniture into a custom piece.

I love how this dresser turned out; it truly is a one-of-a-kind piece.

This chest would be perfect at a beach house or in a child's  room decorated with vintage nautical decor. The color on this piece is amazing! Click over for the full tutorial on how to transform a cheap yard sale piece of furniture into a custom piece.

I considered switching out the drawer pulls on this dresser with some white knobs decorated with a compass motif. But I decided those would stand out too much. I also worried they’d take away from the sailboat.

So, I used the original hardware, but changed up the configuration a bit.

This chest would be perfect at a beach house or in a child's  room decorated with vintage nautical decor. The color on this piece is amazing! Click over for the full tutorial on how to transform a cheap yard sale piece of furniture into a custom piece.

I think the tarnished brass knobs and drawer pulls work well with the nautical look of this chest.

This chest would be perfect at a beach house or in a child's  room decorated with vintage nautical decor. The color on this piece is amazing! Click over for the full tutorial on how to transform a cheap yard sale piece of furniture into a custom piece.

A model sailboat, a buoy, artwork and some other nautical accessories (all of them yard sale or clearance finds!), and this dresser is ready for a lucky sailor’s room – or cabin!

This chest would be perfect at a beach house or in a child's  room decorated with vintage nautical decor. The color on this piece is amazing! Click over for the full tutorial on how to transform a cheap yard sale piece of furniture into a custom piece.

If you liked this chest, be sure to check out my other furniture makeovers.



Comments

  1. amy, just love this! wow.

  2. Awesome transformation! Thanks so much for the great tutorial and inspiration to do something fun with the yucky dresser in my little boy’s room. 😉
    ~ Ashley
    Ashley ~ 3 Little Greenwoods recently posted..Making Crafty Dreams Come True {A Silhouette Giveaway!}My Profile

  3. Such a cute idea! Love it!

  4. Great job!..Love it!!

  5. This is so awesome–and I love all your props too!

  6. What a great transformation! I love the idea of sketching with chalk. I want to do a project with this method now!

  7. Melanie C.
    Twitter:
    says:

    Great idea! Love the color too! But what I really want is that oar!!!! Wanna sell it by chance?

    • Atta Girl Amy
      Twitter:
      says:

      Melanie — I actually did sell the oar, at my antique store booth. I probably shouldn’t tell you I got it for $1 at a yard sale! It was a great find, and I wish I had a place for it in my house. Since I don’t have that dream beach house yet, I decided to sell it.

  8. very cool! great idea~

  9. I love this!! I may have to do this for my little boy’s room.

  10. I’m so loving this dresser re-do. So unique! Pinning :)

  11. This is awesome, Amy! It’s really beautiful.
    Lisa at Mabey She made It recently posted..Ultimate DIY Bundle–You Don’t Want to Miss This!My Profile

  12. What a great idea, you can literally paint any design on a vibrant coloured background! Oooo, I’m feeling very inspired! Thanks.

  13. Absolutely superb Amy! You out did yourself! You really gave that dresser a whole new life!
    Mrs Major Hoff recently posted..Easy Big Game Party Ideas Plus Seedless Roasted Red Pepper Hummus!My Profile

  14. You did a wonderful job. Love all the colors and you put the perfect image on the dresser! I am very jealous of your oar–I want one so badly!

    • Atta Girl Amy
      Twitter:
      says:

      I probably shouldn’t tell you that I found the oar for $1 at a yard sale. But to be fair, it was the best yard sale ever! I think I spent $15 and got a table, stool, the oar, a milk crate, some old liquor bottles, an old metal bucket and some other odds and ends. It was just an old man and his daughter in the country, who just wanted to clear out their storage building. I didn’t even haggle with them.

  15. I love this. There is just something about nautical decor that is totally soothing. Awesome job!

  16. What a great idea I love it and it turned out great! Thank you for linking up to the Oh My Heartsie Girls Wordless Wednesday Linky Party!

    Wishing you a fabulous week!

    xx
    Lysa
    Co-Host OMHGWW
    Lysa recently posted..Just Like Uncle Sam, I Want You… But For a Completely Different Reason!My Profile

  17. That looks awesome!
    Nicole recently posted..Pretty Pansies -Longing for SpringMy Profile

  18. I absolutely love the nautical dresser! You did a great job. Pinning.

  19. This is beautiful, what a fantastic transformation! Thanks for sharing at OMHG WW :)

  20. Love it! So creative. Thanks so much for sharing at the Create & Share Link Party. Hope to see you again tomorrow night (7:00 PM MST)!
    Mandee Thomas recently posted..Free Digital Washi TapeMy Profile

  21. Such a fabulous transformation! Thank you for sharing. You are one of the features tonight at the Make it Pretty Monday party at The Dedicated House. Here is the link so you can check out your feature. http://www.thededicatedhouse.com/2015/02/make-it-pretty-monday-week-127.html Hope to see you at the bash. Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

  22. That’s an amazing transformation!!! How gorgeous!

  23. LOVE this, and it looks AMAZING ! Thanks for the great tutorial, links and paint colors.

  24. I love this dresser. Great tutorial. This is just my taste, any nautical or that has to do with water or the sea. Beautifully done. Thank you for joining us at #purebloglove. We enjoy having you every Thursday at 8PM, EST through Sunday night. ~Cydnee

    • Atta Girl Amy
      Twitter:
      says:

      Thanks so much. I had a great time painting this dresser, and like you, I love anything nautical! I’ll definitely be back to party this week.

  25. This is so creative! I love blueprints + the sea. I too am waiting for that vacation cottage 😉 Thanks for sharing at Think & Make Thursday, I’ll be featuring this tomorrow on my blog!

  26. That’s adorable! What a wonderful idea! I see a lot of people painting pictures of things on their dressers, but I think this is the only one I’ve ever seen that I actually loved. Absolutely beautiful! Pinned!
    Chelsey recently posted..How to Create a Budget SpreadsheetMy Profile

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