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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Once the paint had dried completely, I distressed it more with a medium sanding block to reveal more of the blue underneath.
To give the chairs and table legs that worn denim look…
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.
The white wax totally changes the look of paint. I love layering it over darker colors for contrast.
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.
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!