Side Table Makeover

This little side table came close to being donated twice.  I saved it the first time, telling myself I’d paint it and use it in the guest bedroom as a bedside table.  Then it saved itself the second time by being the perfect size and height for the wipe warmer when my son was born.  Six years after I saved it the first time, I FINALLY painted it!  This blog is helping me get projects D-O-N-E!


It’s not much to look at, especially in that awful, chipped, worn oak stain.


But it sure is handy for storing wipes, diaper cream, and hair bows right next to the changing table.


And once we’re done with diapers in this house, it would make a great little bedside table in my daughter’s room…

So I finally jumped on the chalk paint bandwagon and bought the Amy Howard brand from Ace Hardware.  The woman in the paint department was really helpful, showing me samples of painted wood and even demonstrating how to apply the wax.  I wish they had paint chips in the store for picking colors, but I ended up choosing based on looking at the paint jars themselves.  I chose a paint color of Linen, and a wax color of Light Antique (both $15.99 each).


I started by wiping down the table with a rag and some mineral spirits to clean off any dirt, residue, furniture wax, etc.


Then I wiped it down with a clean rag and water and allowed that to dry.  Next, I shook the jar of paint for a couple of minutes, like it says in the directions, and I also stirred it.  I applied the first coat of paint and was a bit skeptical I’d get it done in two coats.  You can see the dark streaks of the wood showing through.  I also painted the underside of each shelf, just so there wouldn’t be any wood color left to catch someone’s eye.


I decided for the second coat to switch to a nicer paint brush to get a more even finish.  I used paint brushes we already had on hand and didn’t buy any Amy Howard brushes.  The second coat did the trick, and I just did some spot work for the third “coat” wherever I could still see stain peeking through.  If I was going for a distressed look, I would have skipped the touch-ups altogether.  There isn’t much paint left in my jar, so if you’re doing a project any bigger than this, you’d need to size up to the can of paint.


After letting it dry overnight, I applied the wax with a brush.


I had a hard time deciding between the clear wax and the light antique wax in the store, and it would probably be hard to tell the difference on this project.  The light antique wax does give it a little more depth, and the wax in general made the table feel smoother and less dry/matte.  In the photo below, the wax is on the leg on the right but not on the left.  Hard to see a difference, huh?


I let the wax set for about an hour, and I used a clean rag to wipe it all down.  And it’s done!  I’m a perfectionist with some things but not with painting and definitely not when my kids are distracting me while I paint.  So there may be a few drip marks I attempted to fix, but hopefully they just add character!


What a difference!  Chalk paint made easy work of this project, since sanding down those carved legs would have been quite a job!  I definitely see more chalk painting in my future…