September 19, 2012

Breathe New Life Into Old Furniture Pieces: Dorm DIY

Project Personality
with Apple Box Boutique founder Leanne Playter Korsos

Hello and Happy Wednesday!  Has everyone adjusted to school being back in session?

A couple of weeks ago we were fortunate enough to be featured in an article on DIY for dorm decor.  Candice So of the Edmonton Journal came out to Apple Box Boutique and we had a really fun chat about how students can get the most for their money -- and of course Chalk Paintby Annie Sloan was at the top of the list!

Here is an excerpt.  To read the article in its entirety, visit

Breathe new life into old pieces

Friends and family are a great source of second-hand furniture, but if you have your eye on that perfect old table at the thrift store, go for it! A lot of used furniture, while grubby at first glance, can be remade into something that fits the confines of student space and satisfies your design yearnings.

There are pieces for the taking priced at $50 or less - and that’s including restoration, says Leanne Playter Korsos, owner of Apple Box Boutique at 6507 112th Ave.

Second-hand dressers can go for $30 at Goodwill or Value Village, and while they may look like junk, a fresh coat of chalk paint may be all that’s needed, she says. Her store sells Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.

“Chalk paint gives wood that lovely, rustic, distressed look,” says Playter Korsos. “To me, it’s the miracle paint.”

Photo:Bruce Edwards-Edmonton Journal
The painting process only takes a couple of hours because you can just slap the paint right on without first having to strip the piece down. The paint dries quickly, is non-toxic and can be mixed with other paints, says Playter Korsos, adding that if you paint a desk and decide not to wax or lacquer it when it’s dry, it can do double duty as a chalkboard.

Apple Box Boutique sells a four-ounce sample of paint for $14, but that can stretch far enough to repaint an entire bureau or dresser. Add that to the cost of a $30 bureau and presto, that piece was less than $50 — a good deal versus the cost of a new bureau. Playter Korsos’ own wedding was Jane Austen-inspired and used chalk-painted furniture." - Candice So

What didn't make the cut was that Chalk Paint™can be used to dress up your dorm or apartment in more ways than refreshing furniture -- Paint glass soda bottles to use as vases, or mason jars to make votive holders.  Add colour to inexpensive pillows and curtains with Chalk Paint™... or for that matter, paint T-shirts, shoes and other clothing to get a new look.

Pick up plastic or metal kitsch, planters, sconces and more at thrift stores and reimagine them!  There are endless ideas on Pinterest as well, and using Chalk Paint™ makes projects (including online tutorials!) even easier and quicker than with other types of paint.

I was asked if it's true that we DIYed our Regency ("Jane Austen") themed wedding... Yes, we sure did!

What can I say -- I'm a gal that loves a great deal -- and Chalk Paint™ fits the bill!

We'd LOVE it if you shared our blog:


  1. As beautiful as ever Leanne. How would I order some of your stuff?
    XO Mike Miller. Blast from the past. ;)

    1. Wow, Mike... I was just talking about you a couple of weeks ago! You can order in-store at either of our locations or through our online shop at Or you can call me at Apple Box Design Studio 780-458-0770 -- it would be great to catch up with you! XO ~Leanne


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