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Thrift Store Table Makeover Using DIY Chalk Paint

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Remember the cute little brown table I found at the thrift store? I finally finished transforming it. Here is the before and after makeover I gave it using DIY chalk paint. 

Thrift Store Table BEFORE Makeover

My $5.90 thrift store find.

Furniture Before and Afters

Table After Makeover

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 have another mirrored coffee table in my living room that I love). 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. You can find the recipe here. 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 furniture side table next to white slipcovered chairHow 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 Makeover showing white painted side table with pink flowers on it.

How To: Thrift Store Table Makeover Using DIY Chalk Paint


 supplies needed: 

  • 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.

Thrift 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.

The Best Chalk Paint Recipe

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.


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.


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.

All White TableHow to use Finishing wax over chalk paint

Table with Painted Inserts

Decorating with paint ideas

Table with 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


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  1. 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.

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

  3. 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.