The Table That Almost Wasn’t

I feel amazing. Today I finished a project that I started four weeks ago, which I thought would be a one-day task. I’ve quickly realized that the Ikea furniture I hurriedly bought to fill my apartment is not my style. Since I’m not in a position to go out and purchase all new furniture, I figured it would be more fun and practical to keep my eye out for pieces I could personalize to suit my style over time.

DIY Shabby Chic Kitchen Table

DIY Shabby Chic Kitchen Table

I’d like to have real wood furniture rather than laminated particleboard, and a few months ago I stumbled across this great round table at a local thrift store for only $75. Other than needing to be re-stained the table was in good shape. My plan was to give the top a dark stain and the bottom a worn shabby chic look. It seemed like a simple enough plan but as I’ve said even while following directions I still manage to get into trouble.

My great thrift store find!

My great thrift store find!

First, the boy and I sanded the tabletop and gave it three coats of Minwax PolyShades one-step stain and finish in Bombay Mahogany. We followed the directions but since we were first timers the extra coats helped hide our mistakes.

The table after 2 coats of stain

The table after 2 coats of stain

Then, things got complicated. Although my mom recommended several brands of chalk paint, they can be pricey. She has also mixed her own chalk paint from a recipe online and found it works just as well and is much cheaper. We tried the plaster of Paris recipe and within seconds of mixing it became chunky as if the plaster was separating from the water and paint. We realized instead of mixing the water and plaster first we’d mixed all three together and decided to try again the following weekend. This time we followed the instructions to a T and the same thing happened. Week three we followed a new recipe my mom got from her local Lowe’s (½ cup water, ½ cup paint, ½ cup plaster of Paris) and again the mixture was grainy and unusable.

The base sanded

The base sanded

As you can imagine at this point I was about ready to just light the table on fire. But we opted to put in some elbow grease and forgo the chalk paint. Instead we got our third paint sample from Lowe’s (Valspar “Cream Delight”) and painted the base after lightly sanding. I did three coats so I could manage how distressed I wanted it to look.

Shades one, two and three of paint

Coats one, two and three of paint

After letting the paint dry I took my sander and lightly sanded edges and corners where it might naturally wear. Lastly, I put on a coat of Minwax paste finishing wax with a rag (following the directions on the can). And voilà! Four weeks later I had my finished table.

My new kitchen table!

My new kitchen table!


13 thoughts on “The Table That Almost Wasn’t

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