If you love home decor (like I do) you’re going to love today’s post by Jamie of Anderson + Grant. Jamie has an amazing style, and I love all the pieces she shares. This painted lantern is no exception.

I’m super excited to be sharing with you here today from my blog, Anderson + Grant, while Lisa is enjoying time with her new little bundle of joy! I am so grateful for the opportunity to share my project with a different audience!

So, today’s project started about seven months ago and has gone through three different coats of paint. Have you ever had a DIY project that just didn’t want to work? You can have a vision and a plan, but that doesn’t always mean what you are working with wants to cooperate!  

Last fall, JC Penny’s had a bright orange wood lantern on clearance. It was still about $18, but had originally been priced around $70, so I thought it was a bargain perfect for refurbishing since lanterns are normally so expensive. (Sorry for the less than stellar photo…..my photography skills have improved a lot since October!)

Everything screws together, so the lantern came apart easily for me to paint. My first plan was to paint the lantern a gray color then top it with white and distress it. The look was great, but for some reason, when I sanded the white to let the gray show through, all the paint peeled off.

For my second try, I tried a light blue color….it turned out very pretty, but was a little too beachy/coastal for me. It didn’t sell at my open house, so I decided I’d make it over one final time to share with you today!

I began by painting the metal top and all the wood of the lantern with black chalkboard paint.   After three coats of the chalkboard paint and drying time in between, it was time for the true “beauty” work. The edges of all the wood got rubbed with a clear votive candle.  This is one of my must have distressing tools. The wax allows the paint put on top of it to chip away easily, while protecting the surface below the wax from chipping at all.

The wood was then painted with three coats of white chalk paint.

I sanded the edges the next day when it was totally dry to reveal just a little bit of the black paint underneath. I finished off the white painted surface with Miss Mustard Seed’s antiquing wax to grunge up the paint a bit.  


The metal top and base inside the lantern were seasoned with chalk. It might be hard for you to scribble over your perfectly painted surface, but it will create a great distressed finish that looks almost like slate. The chalk fills in the ridges and dips left from your paint that won’t be erased away. After wiping away the chalk, I gently brushed Miss Mustard Seed’s clear paste wax over the seasoned black metal to keep the chalk from disappearing.

Then all the pieces were put back together.

And the lantern is finally finished. Hopefully it sells this time so that it won’t have to suffer through a fourth transformation!  

So, what do you think? I love how versatile lanterns are….you can fill them with candles, flowers, or seasonal things like pumpkins or ornaments. Plus, they can fit into any decorating style, which is always nice.

Even though you probably can’t find a lantern exactly like this, the treatment can be used on any lantern….even one that doesn’t have the metal surface. Since you can use chalkboard paint on practically anything, the finish will end up the same whether you are painting on wood or metal.

This actual lantern will be up for sale in my online store if it is something you’d like to have and don’t want to try making it yourself.

If you like this project, I’d love for you to take a moment to visit my blog, Anderson + Grant, to see what other interesting DIYs, recipes, and tips I have to share!


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Jamie @ Anderson + Grant

Thanks for inviting me to be here today!