Give Modern Furniture a Vintage Look

7 Materials
2 Hours

I bought this side table at a thrift store. It's very solid and I loved that it has three tiers of shelves. But I did want to give it a more vintage look, so I used a pounced paint technique to build some texture and dimension.
It's not a very old table. It was manufactured in China, which I know sometimes gives the impression of lesser quality, but it is made of solid wood and quite sturdy. It's also heavier than it looks.

The finish is very smooth. It was slightly worn on the top. I was hoping to go with a natural wood finish on this piece.  I tried sanding the finish with no luck. I tested a spot with paint stripper and that didn't work either. So I decided to jump in and paint it with a pounced (or stippled) paint effect. Pouncing (also referred to as stippling) paint is an easy way to create texture and dimension and works well on modern furniture to give it a vintage look.

My plan was to paint the table black, but I was very low on paint and wasn't sure I had enough to complete the project (paint store was closed), so I used a variety of colors underneath my final paint finish. It can also be done with just one color. But if you use different colors, just be aware that the initial colors might peek through if you sand the final finish.

I used an old paint brush and dipped the tips into the paint. Instead of brushing the paint on in strokes, I applied the tips of the brush straight down onto the surface and then pulled it back up. I continued the process quickly and reloaded with paint as needed.
After the first application dried, I applied a second pounced coat. The photo shows the beginnings of the texture being created. 
It looks a bit of a hot mess at this point! As I mentioned earlier, I was running low on paint, so for the next layers I used blue and yellow. I left some areas bare so it would remain smooth after the final paint application.
For the final coat I applied Graphite using an angled brush (which makes it so much faster to quickly paint all the corners and angles). I brushed the paint on in a regular fashion over the stippled layers. 
The final finish is Graphite with French Linen on the shelves.
Here's a closer view of the texture created by using the pounced paint technique.
It is subtle, but if you look closely you might see some of the yellow and blue peeking through.
I had a lot of fun with this project and hope it inspires you to be creative. I'd like to invite you to stop by my blog to see more photos of this piece or to see other projects I am working on.
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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 8 questions
  • Regina
    on Feb 21, 2019

    What did you do after the coat of graphite to make the other colors show through?

  • Nikki
    on Feb 27, 2019

    Absolutely inspired! I read every word and saw the three products. But an still confused what “graphite” is.. is it the color of the chalk paint you were almost out of ?

    • Patricia
      on Feb 28, 2019

      Yes, graphite is the name of the color of the top coat and it is the color that I was almost out of. It is one of the colors from the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint brand.

  • Debra Heins
    on Feb 27, 2019

    What exactly is “chalk” paint? I haven’t crafted in a while so it is unfamiliar to me.

    • Patricia
      on Feb 27, 2019

      Chalk paint is very matte and has an almost chalky finish. It's different from chalkboard paint. It needs to be sealed with wax to achieve a silky finish and to protect the paint. I use the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint brand, but as April mentioned, you can also make your own.

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