Apartment Living / Craft Tutorials / Decorating

Side Table Makeover

The other day I was browsing the furniture listings on Craigslist (something I do often) checking out what people were up to with their projects; although Craigslist is a place for some people to sell old junk, here in Texas it’s a lucrative hobby for others who have an eye for repurposing and refinishing items.

I have some gorgeous paint leftover from another furniture project that I actually paid someone else to do when I didn’t have the time to do it a few months ago, so when I spotted an ugly side table with potential on Craigslist, I decided to try my hand at refinishing! I can’t believe I forgot to take a before picture, so you’ll have to imagine this table: it looked like a kid had slapped on mustard-colored flat craft paint as fast as they could! It was awful. But, as you’ll notice, it’s amazing what a little paint can do when you do it the right way and with the right kind!


Drop Cloth

Interior Semi-Gloss Latex Enamel, Paint and Primer in One (I had Behr Ultra in Gray Morning color, but I’d say this color is more of a Robin’s Egg Blue)

Synthetic Brush and/or Foam Roller for the top

Varnish for Finishing

Love the gorgeous detail of this front section! And the distressing really makes it even more beautiful.


Since this table was a very matte, flat finish and the fact that my paint was “paint and primer in one”, I didn’t prime this table. If you have peeling paint or a glossy surface that you’re painting over, you must sand the piece first to remove the peeling paint and slick surface so the paint will stick and you will have a much longer-lasting finish.

So I cleaned and dried the table well and painted it with two coats, allowing 4 hours of drying time in between. After allowing to dry about 6 hours after the second coat, I used medium-grit sandpaper to distress the table. I’ve distressed a number of items at this point, and my best advice is “less is more…and then do just a tad more than that”. Cliche and cheesy, yes, but the thing is you can always do more later. With any project, sometimes the best thing you can do is step away from it for a few hours and come back to it with fresh eyes. It’s amazing how your perspective is refreshed!

I love a lot of distressing, that’s why I say “do just a tad more than that”. Really, it’s hard to mess it up when it comes to distressing, so be confident and know that the distressing adds character and charm! The other thing is, don’t worry about distressing the same exact places on each side…the different amounts of “wear and tear” make it look that much more genuine.

So there’s a simple way to bring new life into something old and ugly!

Love the gorgeous detail of this front section! And the distressing really makes it even more beautiful.


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