Ugly Bistro Table Into French Country Beauty


A $1 yard sale find becomes a beautiful French country inspired bistro table.

It was the end of a hot yard sale day in Florida, and at the last stop, they were ready to just get rid of everything. This bistro table wasn't cute, and the top wasn't even the original glass top, it was a wood replacement that had definitely seen better days.

Knowing it was metal and wood, I knew there would be a way to give it a good makeover.
ugly bistro table into french country beauty
The wood top was solid, but the ugly brown paint job was crackled and stained. The metal was also in great condition with no rusting or bad spots, but again, just not attractive.
ugly bistro table into french country beauty
The first thing I did (after scrubbing the metal base down to clean it) was spray paint it black.
ugly bistro table into french country beauty
Then, I used a palm sander to remove all the loose paint and smooth down the chips and cracks in the top.
ugly bistro table into french country beauty
Next was a coat of gray chalk paint.
Then, using an image I found on thegraphicsfairy.com and a wax paper transfer method thats discussed in depth on The Graphics Fairy, I added my image to the top of the table.
Briefly, the wax paper transfer method is simply using an ink jet printer, cutting kitchen wax paper to size to run through the printer, and while the ink is still wet, you rub the image onto your surface.
ugly bistro table into french country beauty
This image had to be resized into four different pieces to fit well on the table top. You'll find a few ways to resize your image discussed on The Graphics Fairy as well.

Last, I used my palm sander to give it a bit of a distress look and coated the table top with a spray sealer.
ugly bistro table into french country beauty
Now, it looks as thought it was discovered at a french flea market and originally had a life on the patio of an adorable cafe in Paris!

Suggested materials:

  • Spray paint
  • Chalk paint
  • Wax paper
See all materials
Molly - Just a Little Creativity

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

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Have a question about this project?

3 of 5 questions
  • Tami Stone
    on May 29, 2017

    Would the wax paper transfer work if I wanted to put the transfer on glass? And if so, how do I rub it on, like with what?
    • I've never tried the wax paper transfer method on glass. My initial guess would be that it may not work, but you never know until you try :) You could always test it on a small piece of glass. I used the edge of a credit card to rub the wax paper to transfer it.
  • Verna Mae Schlueter
    on Aug 25, 2017

    is the top attached to the base? or just setting on top?
  • Sabina Stephan
    on Apr 3, 2018

    It's sonice to see. Tell me, where can i get the waxpaper ???


    • Darlynnsue Allen
      on Dec 10, 2018

      You can buy wax paper at any grocery store. It is sold on tubes with the aluminum foil, plastic wraps, and other food storage supplies.

Join the conversation

2 of 43 comments
  • Robin
    on Feb 21, 2019

    Love it! I’m working on a similar side table, using a large (Parisian themed!) wall clock as the top and wrought iron candle stands as the base... we’ve had these for years, and finally thought to put them together as a unique accent piece. Thanks for sharing!! You made me confident it won’t look strange in our living room 😉

  • Kathy Kraus
    on Mar 25, 2019

    Beautiful, you did a great job!

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