Side Table Makeover

This is one of those projects when you wonder what took you so long to get around to it when it’s finally finished. I discovered this little side table (makes me think of a cigarette table) at the local habitat for humanity months and months ago. It was in fairly rough shape. The finish was worn and it had plenty of dings and bumps, but I just loved the skinny legs and overall shape of it. So then I purchased it and it sat by our front door in it’s original state as a catch all f.o.r.e.v.e.r. Then I moved things around (as I do frequently) and the little table found it’s way into my bedroom where it sat for awhile longer. Maybe looking at it every morning as I got out of bed finally motivated me to make a decision about what to do with this little sucker.

Pardon the so-so pictures, we have terrible indoor lighting in this house and it was nearly impossible to get a true representation of the new color on the table. In real life it has more green and is a nice rich teal color.

Due to the state of the finish and general condition of the table, it would have been close to impossible to get a “like new” appearance so I decided to go with a slightly distressed look. First, the bottom shelf and legs had to be repaired.

The shelf had a split across the middle and a couple of the legs had started to separate as well. A good amount of wood glue and clamps corrected all those problems without too much effort. I let it sit overnight before moving onto the next step.

My plan was to paint it with some DIY chalk paint and I know supposedly no sanding is needed, but I can’t help it. A light sanding with my palm sander made everything all smooth and ready for paint.

Next, I made some homemade chalk paint using a recipe I found on Pinterest. The owner of the recipe actually reviewed three different DIY mixtures and her favorite was actually a different mixture then the one I went with. The reason for this? I already had everything on hand and she didn’t hate this recipe, it just wasn’t her favorite. It’s super simple:

  • 3 parts paint
  • 1 part plaster of paris
  • a little water

I had previously purchased a sample pot at HD in the color of choice and only used about half of it when creating the chalk paint. The paint went on smoothly and dried quickly. The only modification I would make for next time would be to add a bit more water to create a slightly thinner paint.

After three thin coats it was completely covered. It was dry to the touch within an hour, but I let it dry a little bit longer before beginning the sanding/distressing process.

The paint sanded off super easy, but due to the thickness of my paint mixture I did put in a little extra elbow grease on the top to get it complete smooth to the touch.

Even in the daylight the paint still looks more bluish than it is real life. Oh well, try to picture a darker more tealy color (I’m all about using technical terms). With sanding complete I wiped everything down and brought it inside to apply the wax. Before waxing down the table I did a little clean up job on the drawer pulls. They were super dirty, but after some scrubbing with the always stinky Brasso they looked super shiny. As shown in the before and after photo below:

Now that the little table was ready to wax I did a little more research on what would available both locally and within my budget. I’ve read great things about Annie Sloan’s wax, but it’s just a little outside my budget at the moment. She provides details on the different types of wax, availability and how to apply. With all that new knowledge fresh in my brain, I went with an easy to find paste wax. The simple style of table with all of it’s straight lines and flat surfaces wouldn’t require a softer wax.

I applied three really thin coats and let it sit for a couple of days before setting it down in it’s new home next to the bed.

It replaced the tiny little table I’ve had been using for so long. Like I said it’s one those “Why didn’t I do this sooner?” projects. Overall, I loved working with both the DIY chalk paint and wax finish. My next project will most likely involve staining another thrift store find and I can’t wait to experiment using wax as the top coat.

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