Coffee table chalk paint makeover

I bought this Pottery Barn coffee table on Craigslist shortly after we moved into our house. While the table is sturdy and well built, the finish wasn’t in very good shape when I brought it home. Over the years it has taken more of a beating with a toddler who loves to bang it with a toy hammer and run his Hot Wheels all over it.

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I came across this awesome tutorial from Dear Lillie on Pinterest. Ironically enough, it was for the exact same table, so I knew it would work. I followed the directions, making just a few small modifications.

1. We used Klean Strip stripper to remove the dark varnish from the top only. Just brush it on, wait about 30 minutes, and scrape it off. Like the tutorial, it took 2-3 applications to fully remove all the finish. The sides and drawers I left as-is, since I would be painting those.



2. After stripping the top, I sanded it down with a pad sander and 120 grit sandpaper.
3. In the tutorial they stained the top with a walnut stain, but we really liked the natural look of the wood, so I just brushed on two clear coats of polyurethane in a satin finish.

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4. I used Annie Sloan chalk paint in Paris Grey on the bottom part of the table. It took two coats.  (the tutorial uses Benjamin Moore’s Revere Pewter, which also looked great). For this part I just used an angle 2″ Wooster brush – the same type I use for cutting in.

5. After the paint dried (which for chalk paint is only about an hour or less) I distressed the edges of the table and drawers with some 220 grit sandpaper. This part I did by hand.

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6. I wiped off the dust from distressing, and applied a coat of Annie Sloan’s clear soft wax. For this part I use the waxine brush from Annie Sloan and buffed it with an old t-shirt.

This was my first foray into chalk painting, and I’m hooked. It requires pretty much no prep work (except dusting off the furniture before painting), sticks to any surface (wood, leather, metal, plastic, fabric, etc.) and the color options are so pretty. It’s a bit pricey, but that is offset by the fact that a little goes a loooong way.

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I love the new look. When I walk into my living room now, I have a little moment. Kind of like that moment in “What not to wear” where the formerly unstylish person has their big reveal after hair and makeup. I wish I had a beautiful picture of it perfectly positioned in front of the throw-pillowed sofa and accessorized just so, but the truth is that it lives pushed in front of the fireplace for now (and is usually covered in toys) to allow more open space for the kids to play.

Chalk painting was so easy that I did a few more pieces. I painted a wood file cabinet that I got for free. I haven’t taken any pics of that yet because I am still figuring out where it will live in our house. I also painted our entryway console table Duck Egg Blue. I love how it turned out! (The basket below holds bibs)

IMG_6857IMG_7149I’m sure I will probably chalk paint some other things down the road, but between doing these pieces of furniture and the nursery, I’m pretty tired of painting for now. I announced to Blake that I will not paint anything else until spring. We’ll see if I can make it that long!