Renewing a Second-hand Kitchen Table With Paint!

7 Materials
5 Hours

I needed to replace our very dated 1985 table and chair set. Oh my, it was TIME! I found this very solid and well-built table in online classified ads and, though it looked okay as it was with a cream paint and heavily varnished, it wasn't the colour for me. I knew I could paint it, so we picked it up and brought it home for a transformation. Out went the 1980's set and in came a classic, solid table that can stand the test of time. Here's how I did changed it up ...
Here's our old, 1980s set that just need to go... and fast! LOL
This table is very heavy and well constructed, but it needed to change colour to fit with my decor, so I sanded it well and wiped it down.
I applied a first coat of white chalk paint, by Crooked Label (which no longer exists). I like to paint a coat of primer or a base of white, usually, as it gives me a blank canvas to work with and I can visualize the end product more easily. It also covers up the old wood easily.
I had a lovely sage green chalk paint that I thought I'd love, so gave it two coats of that, using a small foam roller and a brush for the smaller areas.
Here's a closeup of the new green (looks a bit yellow in this photo). You can see the original finish on the lower part of the leaf. I wasn't loving the green, I can tell you! It was a safer choice for me, a colour I often used in my home decor over the years. I decided this wouldn't work at all!
So, I created a homemade chalk paint, using a steely grey flat latex and mixed in a combination of 1 part Plaster of Paris with 1 part water to 3 parts of the paint. I mixed very well and painted a couple of layers over the bottom parts of the table. I knew I'd change the table top to white.
Here's a second coat of the dark grey going on. I had tried a lighter grey first, but wasn't crazy about it.
Here it is, finished! I used a bright white chalk paint for the top, Crooked Label (discontinued), and then I gave four coats of water-based Rustoleum Clear Top Coat for protection on all parts of the table, and a fifth light coat to the tabletop, just to be sure it will endure use. I found these chairs at IKEA and they are perfect for the look I'm going for.
The steely grey works very well now, instead of that sage green I had started with. It also grounds the table nicely.
Now, this table fits in nicely with my overall decor and colour scheme in our living space. I use place mats or a table cloth, but the top is still durable enough to handle every day use (mind you, I don't have small kids here anymore).
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Have a question about this project?

3 of 4 questions
  • Christine Zeiler
    on Aug 5, 2018

    Why chalk paint? I’ve never used it. Just curious.

    • Kristen Ojeda
      on Aug 5, 2018

      I love making and using chalk paint. I have redone a lot of furniture using both oil and latex paints. Both made me never want to do it again. The chalk paint goes on with no prep other than cleaning with soap and water and gives great coverage. It also really holds up to daily use.

  • Greta Dk Threadgill
    on Aug 7, 2018

    Could you do this on a bedroom suit?

    • Marj MRC Creations
      on Aug 7, 2018

      You can do it on any style of furniture, but preparation depends on type of surface. If it's a laminate or high gloss surface, there's more prep involved. Be sure to check online what your bedroom furniture's surface requires before starting.

  • Mary Gonnering
    on Sep 2, 2018

    Why do you put plaster of Paris in with the paint?

    • Marj MRC Creations
      on Sep 3, 2018

      Hi Marie. That is one recipe for making chalk paint. I use one part water to three parts Plaster of Paris, mix very well and add one part of flat latex paint. I use large jars to mix them in and store the paints I make. You can Google "homemade chalk paint" and find other similar recipes as well. :)

Join the conversation

3 of 14 comments
  • Marj MRC Creations
    on Aug 6, 2018

    Why thank you so much, rgi! I'm glad this post is timely for you. I've been inspired SO many times by projects posted on here over the past several years and continue to be impressed with what can be done to transform tired, old furniture.

    Prep is key when painting any piece, so be sure to clean well, sand and/or prime, depending on your surface. Once that's done, chalk paint, mineral paint and even some latex paints are great for updating your table. I'd check what type of top coat would work best for your paint and for your use. Good luck and post your project to share with others! :)

  • Wow! Beautiful. I have the exact same table and am in the process of refinishing it! Coincidence? :-)

    • Marj MRC Creations
      on Aug 7, 2018

      Really? How cool! To be honest, as mentioned in my comments, I did mine maybe 18 months ago. Best of luck with yours and please share your project on Hometalk!

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