Chalk Paint Stool & Graphics Transfer

I found a stool at a yard sale for $3 last summer and thought it would be a great piece for chalk paint. The original color was a dark walnut stain. I brushed on Annie Sloan’s Pure White Chalk Paint, only one coat. Some of the dark stain shows through, but I wanted to heavily distress it anyway, so I wasn’t concerned about complete coverage. I also wanted to try transferring a graphic design onto it.



I used a reversed image from Graphics Fairy.  NOTE: You must print the graphic on a laser printer or copier; ink jet copies will not work. If there are words in your chosen graphic, you will need to reverse the image. I taped the graphic face down onto the stool, then used a cotton ball saturated with lacquer thinner to dab all over the design. I did this a couple of times to get the design as dark as I wanted.



This doesn’t  give you a crisp image, so if you aren’t going for a worn, distressed look, you would probably need to hand paint the details. I still haven’t bought wax to finish my chalk paint projects, so I wiped on a coat of polyurethane, let that dry, then sanded lightly in some areas, more heavily in other areas.




Then I brushed on a brown glaze and wiped off the excess.



Finally, another two coats of wipe-on poly and it’s done.  You can see where the original walnut stain shows through the distressed areas.



The top after the wipe-on poly:



It makes a handy little table beside the recliner.



Another look:



I love it with a stack of books, but reality will probably be the tv remote and a bowl of popcorn. What do you think? Will you try the lacquer thinner method of transferring images?





A Little Knick Knack



  1. Jill Farrell says:

    Wow how great is that so want to try myself with a mirror I have chalk painted! Just wasted some paper ink etc will give this a try and see what happens wonderful ! stool is gorjuss ! thanks for sharing. Jilly x

  2. I put a link to this on my post. I hope it is okay! You told me about this and I love it!

  3. This is exactly what I’ve been looking for, and just yesterday I pinned a DIY that used ModgePodge instead of the lacquer. The application was a bit different, and in the end you have to wet the paper to peel it away from the ModgePodge leaving the graphic behind. Hmmmm, your lacquer technique seems a little less fussy! I have a table I want to apply a graphic to, so might give this technique a try!

  4. What a great idea – pinning this so I don’t’ have to use transfer paper!

  5. Christine says:

    What kind of poly did you use over the stool? I have painted an entire dining set and dread the thought of waxing all of it with the wax product recommended for the chalk paint. Thanks!

    • I used Minwax wipe-on polyurethane. I like it because you can just wipe on with a soft lint-free cloth, no brush marks. If I was doing a white without the glaze, I’d use polycrylic instead. Polyurethane will apparently yellow over time. So far, though, the stool hasn’t yellowed at all. Polycrylic isn’t supposed to yellow.Thanks for stopping by, Christine. Let me know if you have any more questions. 🙂

  6. I love this! Looks great!

  7. That stool is so pretty! So happy you stopped by, following you on LF too 🙂
    Happy Valentine’s Day!

  8. I love it! I’m just curious as to why you chose chalkboard paint? I’ve never used it before….

    • Actually, chalk paint is not the same as chalkboard paint. You can read about it at – she has a link that will take you to US stockists. The advantage to it is that it will stick to most any surface without priming. You do have to put a protective finish on top, though, and she recommends wax. I have been using polyurethane or polycrylic, though, since I already have it on hand. Hope this helps! 🙂

  9. I didn’t know you could use paint thinner! Thanks for the tut. It looks great!

  10. Wow, that looks great! I really like the distressed look. Thanks so much for sharing at shine on fridays!

  11. I really like the graphics you used on this. Thanks for the tips on how to transfer them to a project. Great ideas.

  12. So cute! I never knew lacquer thinner could be used for transferring. hmm… what can I transfer…?

  13. Your stool is beautiful! I love the image you used for it – fits perfectly! Coming over from Between Naps on the Porch: Met Monday.


  14. Beautiful! Your stool came out great!!

    A few blog friends and I are hosting our first link party tomorrow to finish off the Imagine the Impossibilities Challenge, we go live at 7amET. Today I revealed my project for the challenge, a gallery wall with only one screw in the wall. I’d love if you could come by to check it out and link up!
    Karah @ thespacebetweenblog = your newest follower

  15. I have a love for all things French Country so I adore this! Really pretty and so bright. Great use of the transfer technique to make this look aged.

  16. This looks amazing!!! I love how it turned out.

    I host a weekly Friday Link Party, if you are interested, I’d love for you to join!


  17. I love the result! I had not heard of this technique before. Have a great week!…hugs…Debbie

  18. It looks fantastic! I’ll have to try that method. I love adding graphics like that to furniture. You did a wonderful job!

  19. This is so cute! What a sweet little stool. I had no idea that you could use lacquer thinner for any other purpose than thinning lacquer, haha. Thanks for sharing such a great tip!

    I’m your newest follower, too. Feel free to check out some of my furniture makeovers if you’d like.

    Sarah@Adventures of Our Fami-Ly

  20. I love the graphic transfer idea! I pinned it so I could use it later! Your stool is wonderful! I am so glad I found your blog!


  21. Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. says:

    What a sweet little stool! I love the legs and the graphic turned out beautifully!

  22. I love your stool – it looks great. I definately will try the lacquer thinner idea. Thanks for sharing!

  23. I love it, great job. I am currently waiting the arrival of my chalk paint and I’m anxious to try it – especially since I hate painting normally. I think this transfer process is easy enough. I have to see if I can take my image and have it enlarged and printed out bigger, or in several sections as I’m going to attempt a graphic from the Fairy on my dining room table.


  24. I love how this turned out. Great job!

  25. What a great project. I have several of those $5 stools and little tables. Now I know what to do with them.

  26. Thank you for a great way to transfer. I know I have lacquer thinner somewhere in my garage!
    I will deffinately try this out!

  27. Your chalk paint results are beautiful. Many have had issues with the product, but certainly not you. Great results!

  28. Love the stool – so sweet!

  29. I love your stool! This is amazing! I’m going to try this on a table I’m working on now! Thanks for sharing such a great tutorial! I have never heard of using Lacquer Thinner as a transfer on painted wood! I’m excited to have a new way to do a transfer! 🙂

  30. I think this transferring is great. Just read about it yesterday on another blog. You can even transfer to fabric. Have a great day!

  31. Love it! It looks great beside your recliner! Thanks for sharing your ideas! Sue

  32. Well I see you didn’t have any of my craziness doing this!
    BRAVO! It looks fabulous!
    Where did yo get the idea of using lacquer thinner?
    I’ve got to give that a try!

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