Get the Wood Leg Look on Painted Thrift Furniture Finds

by Natalie
7 Materials
3 Days

One of my very first blog posts was on this same finish, but holy moly, it has gotten sooo much more popular again!

And there is good reason! Those turned legs are so pretty!

But a lot of the times the finish on the legs aren’t in very good condition when we find them. And if the legs are, then they most likely are the wrong color or outdated.

How to get the Look

There are a few ways to get the look though! Some with very little work, and others with a little more patience and elbow grease. Over the years I’ve used these different techniques to create a wood finish on the legs of furniture.

  1. Gel Stain
  2. Sand with Sand Paper
  3. Strip off the old Finish with a Chemical Stripper

For details on how to Gel Stain or Sand down the legs, head over to our blog post with all the information!


For this specific makeover we stripped the old finish off of the legs with stripper.

If you’re looking to start with fresh wood, my favorite way to remove the old finish is to use a chemical stripper. It may seem intimidating, but it really is a simple process, that doesn’t take much elbow grease at all!

My go to stripper is Citristrip!

Simply brush on the stripper, cover the stripper with plastic wrap and then let it sit for at least 8 hours. My favorite is to put the stripper on before I got to bed, and then let it sit overnight.

Once the stripper has done it’s magic of lifting off the paint, I wipe everything off of the wood and then use mineral spirits with 0000 steel wool to remove any leftover residue.

If you’d like to learn more about this technique, head over to our  detailed tutorial here.

The Light Gray Table Makeover

For this specific makeover, we used the Citristrip Stripper to remove the old finish from the legs.

The we prepped the top of the table the way we prep every one of our pieces of furniture.

Including cleaning, wood filling, scuff sanding, vacuuming, wiping down, priming for bleed through and taping off areas of the table.


  • Krud Kutter, 220 grit sandpaper, Wood Filler & Tack cloth for prepping
  • Kwikwood
  • Dixie Belle BOSS Stain Blocking Primer – Clear
  • Tape and Pre – taped plastic
  • Country Chic Paint in Simplicity, Dark Roast, Lazy Linen and Sunday Tea (Use rayofsun10 at checkout to get 10% off your first order)
  • 220 grit sandpaper & Tack Cloth
  • Varathane Polyurethane Waterbased Topcoat

One area of the detail was missing, so we used some Kwikwood Epoxy to recreate the missing detail.

Once the repair was made, and all the prep work for paint was complete, I mixed a few different Country Chic Paint colors together.

I really wanted a light gray color, but I didn’t have enough of the Lazy Linen (which is a really pretty light gray shade). So I improvised with a new mix of paint colors.

First I mixed a tiny amount of Dark Roast (deep brown) with a healthy amount of Simplicity (white). It came out to a really pretty warm gray.

Then I added in the small leftovers that I had of Lazy Linen and Sunday Tea (another light warm natural gray).

Note: Use the code rayofsun10 at checkout to get 10% off your first order from Country Chic Paint!

Mixing paints is such a great way to create new colors AND use up the small amount of paint that is always leftover after a project or two.

If you aren’t familiar with mixing colors, or you’re scared to mess up, start with a teaspoon or two of the paint to make a sample of what it will become when mixed.

Priming, yes it’s necessary

Over the years I’ve learned to always prime a piece of furniture for bleed through. Even if I don’t use a light color of paint.

Bleed through is caused by a lot of things, but it results in splotches and stains that come through the paint, and literally will not go away, no matter how many coats of paint you paint over it.

Bleed through sometimes even waits to show up until after you have finished everything, and months go by.

So I always always always prime to prevent bleed through.

This time I used Dixie Belle’s BOSS stain blocking primer. It works really really well and is easy to use. I just brush it on after everything is prepped and before I paint on any paint. It comes in clear or white, and so far, it’s my very favorite stain blocking primer!

Spraying Chalk Style Paint onto Furniture

I personally love to use a paint sprayer to paint our pieces of furniture. I love the professional finish it creates, and I love how much faster it is than a paint brush.

I’ve created a few blog posts about  how to use a paint sprayer (the one I used for over 3 years, and still have on hand since I bought a professional paint sprayer).

You can spray a lot of different types of paint in these paint sprayers, and chalk style paint is definitely one that I use the most!

How to Protect from Over Spray

It is super important to cover anything you don’t want paint on, because the paint sprayers have over spray that tends to get on anything you don’t cover.

So, I wrapped the legs up in paper and plastic, and taped off the inside of the drawers with tape and plastic.

Finishing Touches

Once the few coats of paint were on the top of the table, and completely dry, I used 220 grit sandpaper to distress the edges of the table. Then I wiped off the paint dust and removed the plastic and paper from the legs.

The whole entire desk, along with the legs got 3 coats of our favorite topcoat to protect the wood and paint finish.

Learn more about the process and get links to the products used on this makeover in our blog post. (Click on the button below to go to the blog post).

Suggested materials:
  • Citristrip/ Mineral Spirits and Steel Wool
  • Country Chic Paint
  • Kwikwood
See all materials
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
  3 questions
  • Dorothy Sittler Dorothy Sittler on Feb 17, 2019

    I like the piece of furniture. How did you shape the kwikwood for the missing piece?

  • Jjqq Jjqq on Feb 17, 2019

    What is the favorite top coat you used? It looks great.

  • Creative Moments Creative Moments on Jan 16, 2020

    lovely job, classic colors and style :)

    Do you find lots of plastic waste using the citristrip? That is my hesitancy to use it

Join the conversation
2 of 25 comments
  • Brayjo12 Brayjo12 on Oct 19, 2020

    I have a similar piece of furniture and this will brighten it up. Thanks and thanks also for your details.

  • Katen Katen on Jan 13, 2023

    Fresh looking