$20 Entry Table Transformed Into a Million Bucks

6 Materials
3 Hours

Tips on how to chalk paint to update a piece of furniture to make it look brand new and what to look for when thrift shopping to see if its worth the update.

I recently found this entry table at a local thrift store for only $20. Before buying furniture at second hand stores I always give a good thorough inspection of:

  1. Is it sturdy? I give a good shake to see how stable the legs are. If it doesn't rock - that is a good sign. If it does rock - I inspect how the legs are attached. If they are screwed and just need to be tightened that is an easy fix. If they are glued or if there is a crack that is making it so they legs are not supporting the weight, I usually pass it up because those are harder to fix.
  2. I check for any major damage such as deep scratches, chunks of wood missing, cracks in the wood, etc.
  3. Check the quality. I usually can tell by the weight of the piece. If it is heavy, it is usually solid wood = good quality. I check inside of the drawers for any type of branding of the maker. I check the construction of the drawers (if there are any) to see if the drawers are dovetailed = good quality compared to stapled drawers.
  4. Lastly, after I check the sturdiness, damage, and the quality I check to make sure the price matches with what I think is a good price or steal for the item. If it does have some damage that you would have to repair and you are capable of repairing it you can usually knock off some money if you think it is overpriced.

Ok, now that we found our furniture - lets dive into how to turn it into a million bucks!

For the entry table I used the following items:

  1. Cleaning rag (not shown)
  2. Disposable cup
  3. Chalk Paint - I used 2 Chicks and a Toolbelt Chalk Paint in Seaglass
  4. Chalk Paint brush - I used 2 Chicks and a Toolbelt brush
  5. Valspar Sealing Wax in Clear Satin Acrylic (found at Lowes)
  6. Chalk Paint / Wax Brush (found at Lowes)

First step in Chalk Painting furniture is to clean your furniture with a damp rag. Wipe off all dust, grime, cobwebs, etc so you have a clean surface to work with.

What I love about Chalk Paint (with this particular brand anyway) is you do not need to prep your furniture with primer, sanding, etc. NOTHING needs to be done other than wipe off the dust. This paint will cover all materials - wood, plastic, metal, laminate, etc!

This particular paint is VERY thick. I used my disposable cup to put maybe 1/8 - 1/4 C of paint and watered it down until it was the consistency of a melted milkshake. Not watery but not pudding thick.

Next remove any hardware and put down a tarp or old sheet - something you don't mind getting dirty.

I recommend painting in a ventilated area. Although, this paint does not smell like wall paint it is nice to have some air circulating.

I chose to paint in my garage because last time I did it outside, the wind would blow my tarp onto my furniture when it was wet and cause texture on my smooth paint finish. Also, you have the possibility of dust getting onto the furniture which will cause unwanted bumpy texture after you just cleaned it.

I started with my milkshake consistent paint and my chalk paint brush and started at the base of my table and worked my way up with long paint strokes to avoid any paint drips. This paint dries very quickly so I usually brushed back and forth or up and down until the area was covered and smooth. Think Karate Kid as Mr. Miagi taught Daniel son to paint his fence!

I ended my first coat at the top, where again, you use long strokes to make a smooth finish and even coverage. My stroke would go from one end of the table to the other end without lifting my brush.

After the furniture was dry, I used Valspar Sealing Wax in Clear Satin Acrylic and a separate wax brush. You cannot use your chalk paint brush for wax if it has already been used for paint and vice versa. Once you've used your wax brush for wax you cannot ever use it for painting. Keep them separate! The sealing wax is white and has the consistency of Mayo. You put on light coats using the same painting method of long, even strokes for coverage. It dries clear and gives it a slight sheen. The overall time of the project took me roughly 2.5 hours (not including the dry time of the wax) I left my table to dry overnight so the wax could do its job before bringing it into the house and setting it up the next morning.

Isn't it beautiful?! $20 table plus about $25 worth of supplies I think it looks like a million bucks!

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Have a question about this project?

3 of 8 questions
  • Sunny
    on Jul 20, 2019

    Very nice! What color paint did you use?

  • JaBro
    on Jul 26, 2019

    This is absolutely lovely! I found two Chippendale style dining room chairs next to a dumpster During a thunderstorm. How lucky was that?! I’d like to try chalk paint with them, but I am nervous about streaks. I plan to use an Asian red color. Do you think this would work?

    • JaBro
      on Aug 8, 2019

      Thanks, Jessica. I’ve been gathering my supplies and just have to pick the color. It’s 99 Degrees here today. I think I’ll have to wait until my garage (where I’ll work) is cooler.

  • Sharon Johnson
    7 days ago

    I have been debating chalk paint for a long time. I have an abundance of acrylic paint, though. Would it be feasible to combine plaster of Paris and acrylic paint?

    My hope is to cover a badly worn poly-coated dining room table. The poly coat is peeling. If this method works, it would cost me not but sweat equity, because I have all the supplies.

    Am I a nut to consist this?

Join the conversation

2 of 44 comments
  • Chris
    on Aug 7, 2019

    I just bought a table similar to this one from a thrift store a few weeks ago. seeing this one has inspired me to get going with transforming it into something as special as yours. great colour choice. love it.

  • Valentine
    on Aug 12, 2019

    Looks 1000% better painted. Love the color.

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