Thrift Store Table Makeover Using DIY Chalk Paint

Remember the cute little brown table I found at the thrift store? I finally finished transforming it.

Before

My $5.90 thrift store find.

Furniture Before and Afters

 

After

I removed the wheels and added ball accents to the top corners.  The wheels made it too tall next to the chair I placed it by. I saved them, if I ever want to use the table somewhere else.   The table was a bit beat up so instead of trying to make it perfect, I made DIY chalk paint and gave it a distressed white finish.  It is exactly the type of table I have been searching for to go with the big white chair in my family room.

Furniture Makeovers using chalk paint and wax

I made a few variations for it.  Mirror inserts are one. I can just imagine some candles and greenery on the mirrors when the holidays come around.  The mirrors on  the top and bottom will reflect the light and add to the holiday glow.

DIY Chalk paint recipe

If you want a distressed or aged patina on the furniture you makeover – chalk paint is the way to do it. Not chalk board paint, but paint that has a chalky finish that beautifully distresses and then gets buffed with wax. Annie Sloan is the brand that is just beautiful, but it is pricey.   This is my first time working with this type of paint. I am sold… and I didn’t even use the real stuff, I made a DIY version. Although I think the next time I will buy the Annie Sloan clear wax since the Minwax on white paint adds an orange tint on rough spots.  I had to redo them to get them white again.

I was inspired to paint this table a bright fun color like one of the tables from oomph.  I adore this site and browse frequently for inspiration.

oomph online furniture and accessories

But I could not commit to any one color, so I went about adding some color in a different way.  The table top is slightly recessed so I bought inexpensive hardboard and had it cut to size to use as inserts for the table top and bottom shelf.

Thrift Store Furniture Makeovers

 

I painted each one a different color so I would have lots of color options and never tire of the table.

Furniture Before and After Ideas

I love color, but I also love change.  One day I may be in a pink mood…

Painting Furniture with Chalk PaintChalk Painted furnitureHow to distress and wax furniture

and can simply change out the color when I am feeling more of a turquoise vibe, or just to fit my mood, day, or an occasion.

Furniture Makeovers using chalk paintDIY Chalk paint

 

Furniture Makeovers

 

How To: Thrift Store Table Makeover Using DIY Chalk Paint

Step-by-Step-Instructions-2

 

Materials I Used:

4 – 1 1/2”  round wood balls – AC Moore
4 – Dowel screws – 3/16” x 2” – Lowes
Drill and drill bit
White semi gloss paint and non-sanded grout to make DIY chalk paint – Lowes
Johnson’s Clear Finishing Wax – Lowes

 

1. Carefully drill a hole in each ball. Make sure to keep the drill bit straight as you make the hole.   You want to go as deep as one half of the screw. Be careful not to drill right through the ball like I did.  Luckily I only needed four and six come in a pack. 

Furniture Makeover Ideas

 

2. Insert a dowel screw into each ball.

Furniture Makeover Ideas

 

3. I added the wood ball embellishment to each of the top corners. I painted the table before I purchased the wood balls and ended up painted the wood balls once they were attached.  You could attach them first and paint everything at once.  You can also see in this photo how the brown hardboard/mirror inserts fit into the top of the table.

Furniture transformation ideas

 

4. –  1. Drill a hole into each corner. 2. Insert the other side of the dowel screw that is in the wood ball into the drilled hole.

Furniture makeover ideas

 

It will look like this.

Furniture makeovers

 

Repeat on each corner and then paint.

Thridft Store Furniture Before and Afters

 

I made my own chalk style paint using this recipe.  I only needed a little bit of each color, so I cut the amounts in half. I used one bottle of craft paint for each board’s color.

chalk-paint

I used a paint stick to stir the mix until it was fairly smooth; you can add a tiny bit of water to get a brush-on consistency.  I applied it fairly thick since I knew I would be sanding it smooth once it was dry.

mixing-chalk-paint

After the paint was dry, I distressed the edges by rubbing all over with medium grit sandpaper wrapped in a sanding block.  I sanded the edges and cleaned all the sanding grit off with a damp rag.   I applied a thin coat Minwax with a soft cloth all over the table and boards.  I let it dry overnight and then used another soft cloth and  buffed the waxed surfaces to give them a nice glow.

painted-boards

The application of finishing paste wax truly makes the finish look professional.  Chalk paint requires no priming or sanding before painting, which saves a lot of time, but it does require the wax finish which is another step, so it is just a time trade-off. I loved working with the paint and will definitely use it again.

 

Basic white

How to use Finishing wax over chalk paint

Painted inserts

Decorating with paint ideas

 

Mirror inserts

Furniture makeovers with mirrors

I am loving my $5.90 table.  I am happy I decided to duck my head into the thrift store “just real quick” one day a month ago because you never know what you will find.  It is always hit or miss, but you have to keep looking to find the treasures.

Living room Decorating Ideas

 

More to tell you…

I have a new post up over on My Colortopia on how I painted the  doors in my foyer to match my staircase risers.

How to paint a door

 

I also wanted to announce the-

Winner of the $100 Home Depot Gift Card

 

Congratulations!!!

winner

Capture

Stay tuned. If you didn’t win this time, I will be having another $100 Home Depot Gift Card next month to help you celebrate Father’s Day.  XO

 

 

 

Comments

  1. says

    That turned out beautifully, Diane! I love it white and that you added the wood balls to the top. You are so smart to take advantage of that insert and make up different colors. I especially love the mirror. That will look great at Christmas, especially reflecting lights and candles.

  2. MelissaJane says

    You are awesome. You inspire me every time! This is so creative and clever, especially the inserts. I love the table!

  3. says

    What a sweet table. It turned out absolutely beautiful. I love how versatile you made it with the different inserts. I think my favorite is the glass.

  4. Sheryll & Critters. says

    Oh gosh, I so love your brilliant idea. Every idea was just pure genius!

    I have one more to add to my list of things you teach us and I am wanting/wishing for sometime in the near future. My list is getting a bit long now too.

  5. says

    I love the all-white and the mirrored look best! I just recently tired a DIY chalk paint formula too. I used latex paint with Plaster of Paris and a little water. I didn’t sand or put on wax ..yet. I’m still trying it out before I do my end tables. I’m not sure I want to distress them yet either. But it’s fun to experiment.

    Love the little table. Isn’t it fun to get those terrific thrift store finds!

    • says

      Hi Connie- I saw the recipe for the Plaster of Paris, but Lowes was closer than the crafts store, so I used the non-sanded grout. I was very happy with the paint alone, but I figured I would try the wax just to see and it really made the finish come to life. I applied a very thin coat and let it dry overnight. Then buffed it with a soft cloth until the rag slid over the surface easily. I do love to find goodies at the thrift store – the thrill of the hunt – so much fun and rewarding.

  6. says

    You go girl!! That is an incredible piece now. My fav is with the mirror! Makes it look super expensive. I am curious about your paint recipe?? I am going to have to give it a try.

    • says

      Hi Debra – the paint recipe is very easy – just mix them together well and add water as needed. It will be a bit lumpy and thick, but that is OK if you are going to sand the piece and distress it. I love the finish it produced. Buffing it with the wax really brings out the color and gives it a glow. If you are not going to distress – I would stir the paint mixture very well. There is also a recipe for it using Plaster of Paris. I am sold on the non-sanded grout though. Try it on a small piece. It goes a long way. I used craft paint to make the pink and turquoise colors – 1/2 cup paint – 1 T non-sanded grout.

  7. says

    What a wonderful result, and how very clever of you to paint different color inserts! Seriously, that is brilliant, but I must say the white and mirror are my fave’s.
    One other thing – how did I not know that there were such things as dowel scews? Seeing those just made my day as it solves a problem I was trying to work around while building a play gym for my parrot! YAY you!
    Have a great Mother’s Day!

  8. says

    Diane-
    This table is nothing but pure genius! I love the ideas that you implemented. I would have never thought to make 3 separate inserts. Genius! I love your style of DIY & of course your beautiful home. Also, your photos are fantastic as well. Thanks for all the wonderful eye candy! You are one talented lady! Pinning!
    Have a fantastic Mothers Day!

    ♥Tausha
    sassystyleredesign.com

  9. Erin says

    This table redo is absolutely brilliant! I think the idea of the different colored inserts for the top is fantastic, and the ball finials add the perfect touch to make it whimsical and unique. Love everything about it. Thank you for posting. I am visiting from Serenity Now and following you forever!

  10. melinda ke says

    Super cute, I really like the mirror option! You always come up with the best ideas! :)

  11. pam clark says

    My favorite part is the wooden balls. I’d have never thought to do that and it gives it just that special little punch! thanks for sharing

  12. says

    Love the way it turned out. The addition of the knobs is just perfect. Hope you saved the wheels, because with the mirrors this would still make a really nice beverage/serving cart for a party or dinner!

  13. Connie Watson says

    I am absolutely a brand new DIY person..well not yet, anyway. I want to try and do all these neat things you show us and enjoy how you make it seem so rewarding. I guess I have the WANT TO but no courage. So many people laugh and say these things are a waste of time, but I want to try something like this. I know I should just start with something simple and DO IT, but I am not sure what holds me back. In the meantime, I do enjoy each and every post you provide and reread and look at the archives over and over. I don’t know what holds me back from just trying my first project. Were you that way? I know that NOW you aren’t, but were you ever skiddish about just beginning this awesome rennovation life you lead? Just needing to know how to jump in I guess, just some encouragement for a complete rookie who harldy knows which screw driver I would need!! ….Thanks for all you show me!!

    • says

      Hi Connie – You should just jump in :) Start with something small – like painting a small table or dining room style chair. If doing a chair, cover the seat with new fabric and once you see the transformation take place you will start to gain confidence and be proud that you did it yourself. Try doing different things – paint, working with fabric, stencil something. Make a pillow or a table runner if you have a sewing machine or make it the no-sew way with fusible web. Pick up some inexpensive thrift store finds to practice your techniques on until you get them right. It is a process and the more you do the better you get at it.

      I think the first DIY I ever did was in my first college apartment. We needed window treatments and I fashioned some sheets into passable college decor :)

      Think of the Nike slogan and – Just do it!

      • Connie Watson says

        Diane,
        Thank you for your kind words of encouragement and good practical advice. I think I was getting overwhelmed with all of the the newest DIY projects that are showing up everywhere these days. I felt like I was losing my way in a mountain of things to attempt. I appreciate you taking the time to just listen to me and offer good advice. School will be out for us next week and I intend to let my very creative 10 year old son tackle my first small DIY project with me. I picked up an old worn out coffee table that I want to repaint and make into a lego work table for him. I think I can even manage to place it on casters! LOL…I will let you know how it goes. Thanks again for your encouragement and your time!!

        Connie

  14. says

    Oh wow Diane, you really knocked out of the ballpark with this one. Not only are you so creative you are stylish with your design! Love the options you created with the painted boards, just genius once again. You always amaze me.

    • says

      Thanks so much Stephanie. I am always looking for ways to make the most out of items. It comes naturally to me, but I think all the years I worked in retail display opened up my view of what is possible. We always had to ask ourselves – what if? to come up with new ideas using only what we had in a prop room.

  15. says

    This is a great post with interesting information, I really enjoyed reading it. I must say that the subject matter is well discussed and I will definitely coming back for more. I’m gonna bookmark and share this to my friends. Thank you for this!

  16. Denise says

    Diane,

    I was getting my hair colored in L.A. buy a celeb colorist (I know, it’s my big splurge)! I was looking at your blog on my iphone & he spotted pictures of your table and thought it was GORGEOUS! He’s very artistic, paints in his spare time & he said you were muy talented!

    • says

      Hi Denise – that is nice to hear. Thanks for telling me. So how do you like your hair? I would love to get my hair cut and colored by a celeb stylist. What a fun splurge! Do you love it?

  17. Lori says

    Love your table! I bought the same one at a thrift store, painted the base white and top gray. Using mine as a cart for my printer and cricut next to my desk! Definitely one of my favorite pieces at home now.

  18. says

    I just found you through Mod Vintage Life. I loved what you did with this table. I never would have thought of adding the balls. Genius I tell ya, Genius.!!!!!

  19. SB Hoffman says

    I absolutely love this, and thanks for the “chalk” paint recipe. What type craft paint did you use – latex, acrylic? (I can’t read paint labels to tell.) I have a “roadside trash” table in my basement that I know what to do with now. Love the mirrors especially also. Just a little bit of bling that will reflect the colors of anything sitting on it. I just found your site (looking for how to build a frame to skirt the outside of my bathtub) and I can’t stop looking and getting more and more ideas.

  20. Larisa Shevchuk says

    I followed your steps and made diy chalk paint – great, then I applied a coat of varathane semi gloss and then I read the instructions… it needs 3 coats of 2 hours dry in between….. I am ready for this project to be done! Can you give me more details of the minwax you used and will it give sturdy enough coverage for everyday use? I painted old dresser that will be used daily. Thank you.

    • says

      Hi Larisa –

      When using chalk paint there is no need to use Polyurethane over it – it would ruin the aging effect. Wax is more subtle and will protect the painted finish. Any clear paste wax will work. I have learned since posting about how I did my stool that Johnson’s Paste Wax is clear – a better choice than the Minwax which is orange (dries clear but can leave a orange cast on your piece) that I used. Annie Sloan also makes one, but you can’t buy it a grocery or home improvement store. To apply: Once your paint is dry use a soft rag to apply the wax over the painted surface rubbing it in as your work. Let dry for a few hours until it dries to a haze or overnight and then using a clean soft cloth – rub over the wax to buff the wax to a shine. If you want more shine go over it again with more wax, let the wax dry to a haze and repeat the buffing process. Work in circular motions as you buff. A soft sheen will transform and protect the finish. It looks beautiful. If you see a spot wear over time – just apply a bit of wax to the area and buff.

      • Larisa Shevchuk says

        I did one coat of varathane already, which did make the dresser look yellowy (kinda neat as I did want an antique finish), can I apply minwax over this one coat of varathane? or should I paint over it again with chalk paint and then apply wax?

        • says

          Hi Larisa – The wax won’t adhere to the urethane. If you want the chalk paint aged finish – I would go over it with the chalk paint and then apply wax. Normally you do not need to sand the finish first when using chalk paint, but since you already have a few new layers of paint on the dresser I would take some sandpaper over the entire surface first just so your finish doesn’t look too thick when you are all done. Just a light going over with some sandpaper on a sanding block will do, especially if there is a build up of paint or urethane in any areas.

  21. Larisa Shevchuk says

    Diane, could I use chalk paint to paint my kitchen cabinets? I started sanding some of the doors to paint with melomine paint. I would love to use diy chalk paint again. What are your thoughts?

  22. Larisa Shevchuk says

    Diane, can you please explain the chalk paint too please :) What exactly does it do? I like the ease of it and already painted a dresser I found on the side of the street with no drawers :) I was inspired by the one you have in the mood room. I will line the made shelves with wall paper I picked up for $1 to make them a little bit more weather proof. We will use the shelves for shoe storage at our entrance. I really liked that I painted it in one afternoon, without sanding the dresser beforehand and I also distressed it a little and it turned out great. Waiting on my husband to make the shelves though….
    I want to paint more furniture with the chalk paint. However, I see a lot of diy projects using spray paint and priming before using paint…. Can you just fill me in onto the chalk paint and its uses, advantages and disadvantages. Is this your new go to paint in restoring furniture? Thank you!!

    • says

      Hi Larisa –

      As far as your kitchen cabinets- There are only a few disadvantages to using chalk paint on your cabinets that I can see. The wax might get worn in spots, but if you are after an aged patina then this is in your favor. The wax finish could melt. I don’t think I would use it on a kitchen table top where you place hot items or on a cabinet over a stove. You could use chalk paint in these areas without the wax, but the wax is what brings out the finish. You stated you have Melomine paint. That is great stuff and is the best for making glossy surfaces paint-able. Kitchen cabinets take a lot of wear and tear and I think if it were my kitchen I would stay with that and use chalk paint on furniture or a bathroom cabinet where there is less heat.

      Chalk paint does not have to be aged at all which a lot of people think it needs to be. You can use it just like any other paint, but you don’t have to prime first :) After it dries – buff with wax and it creates one beautiful finish.

      There are so many ways to paint these days and personal preferences comes into play. Tried and true methods- primer and paint will always be popular because that is the way it has always been done. No method or way is better or worse. The real success in any paint job is the time you take to do it nicely – not just slap it on. I know many people who think spray paint is not for furniture. I would totally disagree. I use it on items with spindles and rounded edges. It is my go to paint source for getting a perfect finish on those items.

      Chalk Paint is still new on the scene and the Annie Sloan brand is still a bit pricey for most people and is still not widely known. In a few years I think it is only going to gain in popularity and there will be other brands emerging to compete with Annie Sloan. I am so happy with the DIY version as I can choose any color I want. I have painted my third item using DIY chalk paint and I have to say I will be using it more and more – each piece just gets better. The piece I just finished I painted lime green and aged it not by sanding the edges, but by rubbing on Valspar antiquing glaze, wiping it off, and then wax. It just came to life and looks great. I am sold and will be using it again as my go to source when painting furniture, doors, and who knows what else – I think the two big corner cabinets in my family room are going to see it soon :)

  23. says

    What a great find!!!! It turned out gorgeous!!!!! I recently found a solid oak night stand that I chalk painted and distressed for a steal at $9. Don’t you just love a great bargain :)

    Happy chalk painting,
    Angie

  24. Brenda says

    Your work is beautiful! Great transformation! I have a question. I am using a water based enamel alkyd paint. I have painted one thin coat. After letting the paint dry, can I sand with a fine wedge? I sure don’t want to damage the piece but there are some paint brush marks that are annoying me. Thank you for any help you can give!

    • says

      Hi Brenda – You can sand it – no problem. Just use fine sandpaper. If you don’t sand the brush marks after the first coat – with each added coat – the marks will just get built up so it is best to get them smooth between each coat.

  25. Janet says

    LOVE everything about this table!! You did a great job. How do you make the mirror insert?

    • says

      I usually use the white that comes already white in the can from most paint companies. It usually is marked – “White” or “Bright White”. I have used Valspar – Bistro White on a few pieces. It is a nice white white – without feeling too cool. On the table, I probably mixed whatever whites I had leftover from other projects – which would have been all of the above, but I think it was mostly the Bistro White.

  26. Kimberly says

    Thanks so much for sharing this! I have a dresser I’ve been wanting to update but wanted to skip sanding and priming. I’d like to know how much would 1 batch of paint cover? I’m working with a 5 drawer dresser.

  27. says

    Hi Diane! I’ve been browsing your website for the last few weeks and I’m so impressed. Your tutorials and ideas are fabulous! This little Thrift Shop table is so cute and I love the interchangeable inserts…very creative and a great way to change the look and feel. I’m totally in love with the mirrored top!

  28. amanda alred says

    for this project did you mix your unsanded grout with just regular craft acrylic paint?

  29. Cambria says

    Hi! I love your table!!!! What a beautiful piece :) how did you find a mirror to fit on top? Dumb question I know… Also have you tried Benjamin Moore Chalkboard Paint? I’m using it to paint my old kitchen chairs… I Love that it comes in ANY color! Cheers!

    • says

      Hi Cambria – I took the table top measurements to my local glass cutting place and had mirrors cut to size. Yes, I have used both BM and Valspar Chalkboard paint. It does come in great colors.

  30. Laurie says

    Hi-

    We bought a beautiful but totally beaten up real wood pedestal dining table with chairs. Painted it with DIY chalk paint, let the paint dry/cure 24 hours then waxed it with Minwax Finishing Paste. We bought an electric buffer and after waiting for the wax to dry for 15-20 minutes, we used the buffer on the flat surfaces. We hand-buffed the non-flat surfaces with a rag.

    I try not to put anything rough on top of the table yet I notice we keep getting dark scuff marks. Can you think why? Did we maybe use too much wax?

    We’ve had to sand the spots using a fine-grit sandpaper (it’s the only way we could get the spots to disappear) and then re-wax and re-buff.

    I love the way the set came out but I’m not looking forward to having to baby-sit it like this – no-fuss, no-muss is why I went the chalk paint route to begin with!

    Love your blog – you are unbelievably creative. When I’m feeling stressed out I re-read your posts detailing how you made your craft table. I thought that was so AWESOME. I love all the posts that you wrote about setting up your craft room. They always make me feel better. :)

    • says

      Hi Laurie – It makes me so happy to hear that you come to my blog when you are feeling stressed out. I am glad I can make your day better. As to what could be causing the dark scuff marks to appear on the table – I am not quite sure. It is most likely the wax – you only need the smallest amount and the fact that you used an electric buffer says that you were able to really get it buffed well to seal the wax and bring it up to a shine. I would suggest not adding any new wax and just keep buffing to remove some of the wax build up that may be on the surface like small ridges that dust/dirt gets stuck in.

      I used Minwax Finishing Paste on my very first piece I chalk painted – it works fine, but I have found with experience that there are better waxes to use over chalk paint. On the least expensive side is Johnsons Paste Wax- $8 . It can be found in the cleaning aisles in grocery and home improvement stores. It is smelly, but works great and is clear. Minwax is orange and when used over white or light paint colors can change the look of the color. Fiddes and Sons is my favorite wax. It is around $20 a can. I use it in clear. It does not smell as much and goes on like butter. I buy it on Amazon.

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