DIY Chalkpaint & Waxed Side Table

I have some pretty exciting news to share, we’re less than 2 months from closing on our new house!!! We are SO excited!! We have brick and drywall and they started painting this weekend. It’s all coming together so perfectly. On the flip side, time is ticking I have many, many projects I hope to finish by closing day which means I better get started!

For me one of the most exciting things about building a house twice the size of our last house is filling it up! Unfortunately, we’re building a house so we don’t have money to go out and buy all new things and that wouldn’t be as fun anyways, right? 😉  I knew we needed some side tables for the living room and have been eyeing the side tables with queen anne legs and a drawer for a while. Every day I looked on local facebook garage sale sites and Craigslist for a set that were what I wanted for the right price. I finally found a set that were perfect, they were the exact style I wanted and they said they’d take $50 for the pair…SOLD! One of them was really scratched up on the top but I didn’t mind because I knew I was going to paint them.  Our couches are brown leather and the rug is darker colors so I wanted to do an antique white look to brighten up the room a bit. You may remember my mood board with some of the details, here.


I am going to be honest, this project intimidated me a bit. My only experience with painting and distressing furniture was this headboard I found on the side of the road but this is an entirely different ballpark. For the headboard I used normal wall paint and didn’t wax or finish it with anything.

These tables are going to be in the living room so they need to look good and need to be done correctly and need to be sealed for protection.  This was my first chalk paint/waxing furniture experience and I hate to say it but as many tutorials and videos you watch, you will never fully feel comfortable or confident  doing it until you just get in there and try it. So that’s what I did. I figure the worst that can happen is I hate it and I have to start over and paint over my first results.

Here is how I refinished the table:

For this project I decided to use the Americana Décor chalk paint from Home Depot. The reviews are decent and it’s significantly cheaper than other brands of chalk paint. I purchased the “Lace” color and although my experience with chalk paint is limited, I would not purchase this again in the lighter colors. Everyone brags about how great the coverage is for chalk paint but it took me 3-4 coats with this paint to fully cover this table. Ultimately I think it looks great but I was just disappointed in the coverage and would try another brand next time (when sticking to an antique white color, I hear the paint works awesome with darker colors).

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Here is after one Coat:


Here is after 4 coats dried:


After the four coats and a couple days of drying time, I took my palm sander and lightly scuffed up some of the edges and areas of the table. I didn’t want it to be heavily distressed but I wanted a little bit of distressed character with this table. I mostly distressed only the edges and feet where they would naturally get scuffed over time.

For the waxing, I used Howard’s Wax in the Dark Oak. It was recommended by a local vendor, The Urban Cowgirl, who paints and refinishes furniture and I knew if it was good enough for her, it was good enough for me! The great thing about this wax is you get a large can of it for $13! That’s about half the price of most waxes and it comes in a larger container so I definitely recommend it!

After it was distressed I wiped it down really good and started waxing. I didn’t use any fancy brush, I just used an old sock of my husbands. That’s what was recommended to me and I’m all about being resourceful instead of buying an expensive brush! Tip that I will do next time: Wear rubber gloves under the sock to protect your fingers and nails from the wax 🙂

I just applied small amounts and kept rubbing it in trying to keep my strokes in the same direction most of the time and then at the end rubbing in circles. I’m not sure there is any wrong way to apply it. I rubbed the wax into the table really well where there wasn’t much left to remove. I used a small paint brush to get into the corners and areas my finger couldn’t reach. Once, I was happy with the wax coverage, I just left it out in the living room to admire and dry!


Overall, I’m very happy with the way these turned out. I spend about $40 total on this table with all the supplies and that is a great price for a nice side table. The process was easier than expected and other than the several coats of paint, it was very quick. I think I can knock out the other side table in one day now that I know what to expect! Believe me, if I can do it, so can you!


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Here was my only complaint, that I’m choosing to live with at this time. When I used the palm sander, it created this “sprialy” pattern that was more noticeable when I applied the wax. I think for the next one, I will just use the sander where to distress and I will not use it any other areas to prevent that spiral pattern in the paint. You can kind of see the pattern it gave it in this picture below. It’s not super noticeable unless you’re up close and picking it apart like I am! 🙂


What do you guys think? Did I achieve the antique distressed look or does it just look dirty (as my husband says)?


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