The laminate-topped table had lived a hard life.

I paid $25 for it and four wooden chairs at a yard sale several years ago with every intention of painting it quickly to resell in my antique store booth. Before then, it had spent a decade or more in the original owner’s barn.

But it was one of those projects I never got around to finishing — probably because the table was so darn useful as a space for stacking other yard sale finds and garage essentials and as a work table.

How to Paint Laminate Furniture: Kitchen Table Maekover

By the time I got around to painting it, the table was covered in a thick layer of paint splotches, unidentified spills, sanding dust and pollen.

How to Paint Laminate Furniture: Kitchen Table Maekover

Though I planned to use a mix of no-prep-required paint for this makeover, I thought it best to strip and sand the piece to its original finish so I would be starting with a smooth surface. That’s the in-progress photo you see above.

I didn’t bother prepping the table legs or the chairs, though, beyond wiping them down with water and a degreaser.

How to Paint Laminate Furniture: Kitchen Table Maekover

I just started painting, starting off using my HomeRight paint sprayer and finishing with a brush.

For this furniture upcycle, I used a variety of different paints and finishes to achieve the look I wanted: a worn and chippy tabletop with layers of paint showing through, paired with chairs the color of faded blue jeans.

How to Paint Laminate Furniture: Kitchen Table Maekover

Here’s what I did (some of the links below are affiliate links):

I started out by painting the entire set with two coats of Van Gogh Fossil Paint in Starry Night, a midnight blue.

Then, I applied a wash to the tabletop using thinned out Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Old White before the tabletop had completely dried. I dragged my brush back through the paint while it was still wet, which caused the white paint to crackle some and pull alway, revealing the blue base coat.

How to Paint Laminate Furniture: Kitchen Table Maekover

Once the paint had dried completely, I distressed it more with a medium sanding block to reveal more of the blue underneath.

How to Paint Laminate Furniture: Kitchen Table Maekover

Finally, I used Martha Stewart Metallic Glaze in Black Coffee (the same glaze I used on these nightstands) to add some antiquing and sealed it with DecoArt Americana Decor Ultra Matte Varnish.

How to Paint Laminate Furniture: Kitchen Table Maekover

To give the chairs and table legs that worn denim look…

How to Paint Laminate Furniture: Kitchen Table Maekover

I distressed them with my sanding block. Then, I used Miss Mustard Seed White Wax — a little bit goes a long way — rubbing it into the wood and buffing a lot of away to achieve that dusty look.

How to Paint Laminate Furniture: Kitchen Table Maekover

The white wax totally changes the look of paint. I love layering it over darker colors for contrast.

How to Paint Laminate Furniture: Kitchen Table Maekover

With glazing and antiquing, whether with dark wax or with white wax — it can be tricky to get uniform coverage. I’ve often said I have a love-hate relationship with antiquing wax, because there’s always a point in every project where I think I’ve ruined it with my heavy-handed antiquing.

But I’m always able to salvage the makeover with lots of buffing and the layering on of more clear wax, which not only seals and protects the painted surface but also acts as an eraser to remove overzealous antiquing. (That is, if there’s a layer of clear wax between your paint and your antiquing wax!)

For this project, I used one of my favorite waxes — Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint Furniture Wax. This wax is very light and has almost a whipped consistency, like softened butter or cake frosting. It’s a beeswax, so it’s softer than petroleum-based waxes.

How to Paint Laminate Furniture: Kitchen Table Maekover

I’m really pleased with how the makeover of this dated kitchen table and chairs turned out. It was fun experimenting with the different paints, glazes and waxes in my workshop.

They weren’t meant to be used together, but I think the result is pretty amazing!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy here.


  1. I love the look of your table! Perfect for summer dining. I’m using chalk paint for the first time on a wadrobe project… we’ll see how it goes. =)

    I’ve moved my blog and would love for you to stop by!

    Happy Monday!!
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    • Atta Girl Amy

      Don’t be surprised if you start a new hobby once you finish your wardrobe painting project. I first used chalk paint about 2 years ago (crazily painting outside in the sun on a hot July day!) and I haven’t stopped painting since! Obsessed.

  2. Love, love, love the blue. I have a table that needs painting and must get started now!

    • Atta Girl Amy

      I have a garage full of furniture that needs painting. i definitely work in spurts. I did this piece back in May, and it’s time to paint some more.

      For some reason, I’m inclined to paint more things blue… I must be going through a blue period!

  3. I love it! Antiquing/glazing is tricky.

    Hubby and I had a set just like that when we married over 40-yrs. ago. Of course in the brown. Our chairs had a more rounded back but everything else is exactly the same. Wish I still had it…I see now it had potential and I missed the chance. 😉

    • Atta Girl Amy

      Clearly, those kitchen sets were built to last. I’m sure this one has been around for a good long while, too.

      And I often have regrets about things I’ve sold, donated or given away.

  4. I love this! I’ve always thought laminate was a lost cause and that nothing would stick to it. Mind you I never actually tried it because I thought I “knew.” You’ve now given me another reason to go yard sale shopping!

  5. Those look so cool–thanks for the tips!

  6. I keep saying I’m going to try a laminate table but I keep putting it off for fear of it not turning out. You’ve got the BEAUTIFUL proof that it can be done – so no more excuses. I’m getting that table out and doin’ it!

  7. These turned out great! I’m definitely going to be braver now and give this a try.
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  8. This looks soooo great!! Thanks for the tips!! (Oh FYI, the word makeover is spelled wrong in your title)

  9. Very cool! I am in love with the Martha Stewart Glazes, but I heard a rumor that HD was going to stop carrying them. You might wanna stock up!
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  10. I have a dresser that needs this exact treatment! Thanks for the great tips :)

  11. I love it! Great results! I painted a laminate sofa table I got for $2 at a yard sale years ago so I found out it can be done but I don’t think I was quite as proficient as you at it! Are you going to keep it now? It looks great on your porch. :)

  12. Hi Amy! I know this is an old article, but I recently required this exact same table, and I was interested in upscaling it. So, I scoured the internet for any tips, and I came across this article. I really couldn’t believe my luck. Anyways, I plan on keeping the piece in my kitchen. I want it to be a mint green base color, because I think it would pair well with the colors I’m contemplating for my kitchen walls. In order to get the color I want for the table, I know I’m going to have to mix the teal color chalk paint with old white. I really want to follow your instructions as closely as possible, so I’m wondering about the white wax. How much does it affect the color of the original paint? Should I just stick with the teal and let the white wax lighten it, or should I go ahead and mix the chalk paint to the color that I want?

    • Atta Girl Amy

      Hi Renea, the white wax does lighten the paint quite a bit, but to get the tone you want, I would probably mix the two chalk paint colors together. (I’m sorry I didn’t have a good before wax photo of my table. But you can see the Starry Night paint color I used here. http://www.vangoghfurniturepaintology.com/what-is-fossil-paint/)

      If you do mix your teal and white chalk paint together, you can use clear wax or a light coating of white wax to give it a little more texture or dimension.

      I’m also not sure that Miss Mustard Seed still offers white wax anymore; for some reason, I thought she was discontinuing it. But you can always mix a little Old White chalk paint into some clear wax to get the same effect.

      I’d love to see how your table makeover turns out.

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