Refurbished Farmhouse Style Nesting Tables

by Meg
6 Materials
3 Hours

One of my favourite things to do is bring old furniture back to life, and what better way to do that then an inexpensive DIY paint project! This project did not cost me anything as I already had the materials (bonus). This project is great for anyone.. even people who don’t normally paint. The great thing about paint is if you don’t like something you can always change it! These tables would be great for any small space as they obviously nest inside one another & are great to stack out of the way if needed. These tables would also be great to use in a guest bedroom for your guests to have a spot for their bags.

Before picture of the nesting tables. I lucked out and found tables that were in excellent shape!

First Step- I always recommend giving your furniture a good clean to prep the surface. This ensures that any dirt/residue/oil is removed before you start to paint. If you don’t wipe down/prep your surface there is a good chance any residue will show through your paint and you definitely do not want that! I generally just use Dawn dish soap with warm water & a microfiber cloth.

Second Step- I lightly sanded all three tables with 200 grit sand paper to remove some of the shine from the tables. This ensures your paint has something to adhere to, as it dulls the surface. It’s always a good idea to sand in the direction of the wood grain.

Third Step- I wiped down all three tables with the same microfiber cloth to remove any dust from sanding.

Fourth Step- Now you can start to paint! I always recommend painting the same direction as the shape of the wood (for example I painted the legs on the tables horizontally as it is easier). I also recommend long brush stokes on the tops of the tables for a smoother finish.

If your piece looks like this.. don’t panic! The great thing about chalk paint is that it is very forgiving. This is only the first coat.. trust me it does get better! I allowed the first coat to fully dry before applying the second coat. If you start to paint the second coat too soon it will pull your first coat up.

This is after the second coat.. much better!! Remember, any spots that you may have missed you can always go back and touch up. I don’t pay much attention to full coverage as I distress a lot of my furniture. It all depends on the look you’re going for.

I then simply distressed all three tables. I generally lightly go over any edges that would naturally get dinged up/scratched with time with the same 200 grit sandpaper. I personally think using this technique makes your piece look realistic and gives the affect that the piece is old (that’s what I go for). Keep in mind if you sand something a little too much you can always go back and cover it up with paint!

I then simply sprayed each table with this top coat (used what I had on hand). This gives your furniture an added layer of protection.

I decided to leave the tops of each table and not distress them, but it is something you can always do. Feel free to make pieces your own & add your own twist on things.

I love how this set turned out! Such an easy way to change the look of a piece you already own and love.

Resources for this project:
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Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
3 of 5 questions
  • Penny Hovda Penny Hovda on Nov 30, 2019

    I have had sealers like this that have yellowed on my white pieces. Is this product non-yellowing?

  • Marcia Marcia on Dec 07, 2019

    Was the use of the chalk paint because you had it on hand? With the use of the high gloss spray paint ,the purpose of the chalk changed.

  • Anntik45 Anntik45 on Nov 30, 2020

    Do you rinse the Dawn off?

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2 of 32 comments
  • Billie Billie on Dec 01, 2020

    Yes I would, love the distress look on these tables.

  • NRgizer Bunny NRgizer Bunny on Jan 11, 2021

    I def agree with a high grade primer to prevent previous stain and/or tannins from leaking through. Learned the hard way on furniture pieces for my first child many years ago. Even then I used a primer sold for that very purpose and it didn't prevent knots from eventually bleeding through. These tables look nice, but in time there is a strong possibility that that dark stain will discolor in time.