IKEA Junior Bed Reno: Pink Chalky Paint Update

My plan has been to install beadboard wainscoting in Little Girls' Room with a soft pink paint above the chair rail. This room already has a white dresser with cute pink knobs as well as a hanging lamp and table lamp that match well. But the black hand-me-down bed just isn't going to fit this updated style.

After finding a great video on the Best Way to Chalk Paint Furniture, I decided to give it a try! The best part is that because the look is inherently imperfect, I felt comfortable including Little Girl in the bedframe makeover. And the even better part? The only prep work is to wipe the furniture with a damp cloth - that's it!

The Old Bed

This bed has been around for years and shows it's age in scuffs, bubbled paint, and distressed edges. I didn't want to invest the time in sanding and prep work, so I decided to paint right over all the knicks and wear. A color update would enhance the room's ambiance as well as add some personalized character.

IKEA junior bed makeover BEFORE

The Paint Color

I had planned to use one of Valspar's 40 tint colors named "Yards of Tulle" but for whatever odd reason, Lowe's couldn't make that color the day I was there.

After looking at many different pink colors, I decided on a beautiful Valspar color called Soft Stone (on the right), and I am super pleased with it! It's a light pink color that works well with neutrals - not too purple, not too peachy or coral, just a beautiful soft pink.

The color card on the right is "Soft Stone," which I ordered in the chalky paint for the bed update. The left color is what I intend to paint the walls above the beadboard.

Almost No Prep Work with Chalky Paint

My two favorite things about chalky paint: no sanding and imperfection is expected.

Those two things get a DIY project like this off to a great start! The fact that chalky paint kind of has an antiqued finish means that I can involve the kids without worrying about a perfect end result. It's great fun and so easy!

Another great thing about this product? Valspar's Chalky Paint is low odor and doesn't smell nearly as bad as some other paints, which worked out well for indoor application on a hot summer day! :)

The Top Coat

A Lowe's employee steered me away from the Valspar Finishing Wax because it must be reapplied every 6 months and isn't very durable in a harsh, dry climate. Polyurethane sealants can yellow light colors, so he recommended a water-based polycrylic top coat. I was familiar with this product after whitewashing our farm table and sealing it with a matte Polycrylic, however, for this bed, I decided to use a satin finish.

To be honest, I'm not a big fan of applying sealants, but this Polycrylic top coat does result in a beautiful finish when applied correctly (thin coat and don't overbrush). So I finally got over the procrastination and applied two coats of Polycrylic! My preference is to finish by very lightly sanding with 320 grit sandpaper.


  • Valspar Chalky Paint - Custom Color from the Valspar line called "Soft Stone"
  • Valspar Wax Brush or other high-quality polyester bristle paintbrush
  • Minwax Polycrylic in Clear Satin (water-based sealant that won't yellow a light color)
  • Minwax Stain and Sealant Brush
  • Disposable gloves
  • Paint stir stick
  • Trash bags or plastic to catch drips
  • Paper towels for cleaning up drips
  • 320 grit sandpaper

I was very happy with the light pink color, and the chalk paint was easy to work with. However, for the next chalk paint project, I think I'll try either the Polycrylic Spray or the finishing wax to minimize lines and maintain the flat finish. Either way, it's an updated bed that works great for a girl's room!