Rusty Modern Thrifted Table

7 Materials
2 Hours

We spotted an industrial metal and wood side table at our local Starbucks that we thought we could DIY. After we found the perfect table at a thrift store, we used a faux rusty/crusty technique to transform it. We loosely followed a tutorial from Rogue Engineer. (See our full blog post for a link to the tutorial for more information.)

Here it is-our thrifted side table. It's made of metal and surprisingly heavy, but was the perfect size and shape for our DIY makeover.

After cleaning up the table, it was sprayed with primer. Be sure to use one that is good for priming metal.

The first step in creating the faux rusty/crusty finish is to mix sand with flat black paint. The original tutorial called for chalkboard paint and a fine grit sand. Since we didn't have chalkboard paint we used a flat black paint that we had on hand as well as a coarse sand.

See the portion cups in the picture above? I mixed two parts black flat paint (two portion cup full, which is probably 1/2 cup) and one part sand. Mix throughly.

Paint everything except the top. After this is dry we added highlights and a distressed look with a rust colored spray paint.

Even though our inspiration table had a wood slat table we decided to use some leftover floor coating. This is the same coating we used on Steph's garage floor. We were doing some repair on the floor and knew we'd have some leftover product. Not wanting to waste it as it can not be stored, we used it on the table top.

As you can see there are brush lines, but as it is self-leveling, most of the obvious lines leveled out leaving a beautiful, mirror-like finish.

The end result leaves a great reflective surface!

A close-up of the rusty/crusty finish.

The little table has now found a place at Steph's house. If you want to read the backstory of our project, head to our blog.

*concerning cost estimates. Please note, the estimated cost is for the price of the table, paints and sand. The floor coating we used was leftover from a repair project. That product cost $125 a box.

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 13 questions
  • K
    on Sep 14, 2019

    The table is beautiful and the book lighting is absolutely awesome you’re gonna have to tell about that one but you should’ve demonstrated the rusty paint I don’t see how you applied it and honestly most of the products a lot of people don’t have LEFT OVER so for the price you can’t buy a table that looks like that but you can buy a table for that price that is my only issue but everything is beautiful I need to know the secret for the top to get it so shiny after you put the flooring stuff on what did you do what is the STEP that you did after that??

  • Tara Austin
    on Sep 14, 2019

    What is the medium used on the table top.? The leftover floor stuff?

    • Mother Daughter Projects
      on Sep 14, 2019

      Yes, way to expensive just for this project. Standard epoxy would be a better option, although epoxy is surprising expensive as well. ~Vicki

  • Michelle Donahue
    on Sep 23, 2019

    Does the crusty leg paint fall off if it gets brushed or knocked?

Join the conversation

4 of 33 comments
  • Iberkeley
    on Sep 14, 2019

    Spelling error v. (probably) spell check error. Good point, though. We see what we want to see.

  • Brenda Carson
    on Sep 21, 2019

    I recently (over a year ago) did a textured stone wall and mixed play ground sand into the paints to give it the raised look and it adds depth to the whole project.

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