How To Modernize Old Furniture With Chalk Paint

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There are many ways to decorate your home on a budget! I’m sharing a $15 thrift store table and a simple tutorial on how to modernize old furniture with chalk paint today.

Modernize and Update OLD Furniture (the easy way!) AND budget friendly too! #furnituremakeover #paintedfurniture #chalkpaintedfurniture #ascp #chalkpaintfurniture #weathered finish #coastaldecor #cottagestyle #coastalfurniture

You don’t have to spend a fortune to decorate or furnish your home.
This blog is a testament to that! ;)
I’ve bought (and sold…and used in my own home) many pieces of used furniture over the years.
Not only used furniture but even home decor items, too.

Today is Trash to Treasure Transformation Tuesday and I’m sharing this $15 thrift store table makeover with you.
(don’t forget to scroll all the way to the bottom to see what my friends are sharing today too!)

And “how to modernize old furniture with chalk paint”.

Or any paint but chalk paint tends to be easier with a little less prep when painting old furniture.

Here’s how my fab find started out:

Modernize and Update OLD Furniture (the easy way!) AND budget friendly too! #furnituremakeover #paintedfurniture #chalkpaintedfurniture #ascp #chalkpaintfurniture #weathered finish #coastaldecor #cottagestyle #coastalfurniture

Not terrible but a little beat up…..and old.

BUT, with a very nice form, I think. Don’t you?

I decided to keep it pretty simple to show how you can take something like this and give it a completely new, updated, modern look.

I started the project by removing the finish on the top with my fave remover, Citristrip.

Modernize and Update OLD Furniture (the easy way!) AND budget friendly too! #furnituremakeover #paintedfurniture #chalkpaintedfurniture #ascp #chalkpaintfurniture #weathered finish #coastaldecor #cottagestyle #coastalfurniture

I mean, just look at that!
I love this stuff.
It takes the gunk and old finish right on off.

If you like the way it looks once doing that, you can clean it well (I usually give it a wipe wipe with mineral spirits) and give it a coat of poly.
It sure is pretty enough to do that which just makes this makeover even easier!

But, I don’t want to do that with this one. ;)
I’m going to give it a beachy, weathered vibe instead.

So I had to sand it a little to get the stain layer off.
Not my favorite thing to do but it didn’t take very long since that top thick finish was removed.

Here is what I ended up with:

Modernize and Update OLD Furniture (the easy way!) AND budget friendly too! #furnituremakeover #paintedfurniture #chalkpaintedfurniture #ascp #chalkpaintfurniture #weathered finish #coastaldecor #cottagestyle #coastalfurniture

Lovely pink wood! haha
It actually is pretty but I want a bit more of a gray, weathered look so it might be a little challenging since it’s so red.

I did seal the entire bottom half with Shellac though. This wood tends to “bleed” right on through your paint but Shellac works wonders!
I usually use a spray but this is the Shellac I used this time.

I started out by taking a wet cloth and wiping on this glaze.
I honestly don’t think it would have mattered if I used this or a white colored chalk paint.  (I thought it would apply differently than it did)
For this you want to make sure you use a fairly damp cloth so the paint does not go on too thickly.
I actually had two cloths, one for paint, and one that was just damp and clean to wipe back over the paint that I just wiped on. (you can also use paper towels for this)
You just need to work it in, in long strokes, with the grain of the wood, until you get it looking like you want. I will be doing another video tutorial on this very soon. :)
Keep an eye out for it!

Modernize and Update OLD Furniture (the easy way!) AND budget friendly too! #furnituremakeover #paintedfurniture #chalkpaintedfurniture #ascp #chalkpaintfurniture #weathered finish #coastaldecor #cottagestyle #coastalfurniture

It still looked too “red” so I used this blue chalk style paint to counter act that. (you can see that effect further down)

I originally thought I’d paint the base white but with that “little too warm” top, it didn’t look right.
As you can see here…. (the white bottom shelf….too white)

Modernize and Update OLD Furniture (the easy way!) AND budget friendly too! #furnituremakeover #paintedfurniture #chalkpaintedfurniture #ascp #chalkpaintfurniture #weathered finish #coastaldecor #cottagestyle #coastalfurniture

Instead I used this chalk style paint, which is a nice cream shade. It went on like a dream!
But how much better does that look? Much, right?

Want to know about 26 other chalk style paints?
I’ve got the low down for you right here! >>> 26 Types of Chalk Style Paint For Furniture

Here you can see the top with the blue added.
You can see how it really “cooled” things off.
Much better.

Modernize and Update OLD Furniture (the easy way!) AND budget friendly too! #furnituremakeover #paintedfurniture #chalkpaintedfurniture #ascp #chalkpaintfurniture #weathered finish #coastaldecor #cottagestyle #coastalfurniture

But now that I had the top a little less “red” and warm, I decided to add some white back in to the bottom.

I gave the entire base some dry brushing with this white chalk style paint so as to not cover up all the creamy color.
You can see my video tutorial on “how to dry brush” here.

Modernize and Update OLD Furniture (the easy way!) AND budget friendly too! #furnituremakeover #paintedfurniture #chalkpaintedfurniture #ascp #chalkpaintfurniture #weathered finish #coastaldecor #cottagestyle #coastalfurniture

This way you can still see some warmth but the white really brightened it up nicely.

I applied the dry brush in opposite directions to give the bottom shelf this look.

Modernize and Update OLD Furniture (the easy way!) AND budget friendly too! #furnituremakeover #paintedfurniture #chalkpaintedfurniture #ascp #chalkpaintfurniture #weathered finish #coastaldecor #cottagestyle #coastalfurniture

The top got two coats of my fave sealer and the bottom got one coat.

And done!

Modernize and Update OLD Furniture (the easy way!) AND budget friendly too! #furnituremakeover #paintedfurniture #chalkpaintedfurniture #ascp #chalkpaintfurniture #weathered finish #coastaldecor #cottagestyle #coastalfurniture

A fun “new” modern piece for anyone to love! For $15 and a little work (fun, not work, I call it fun ;) ).

You really can not beat that!

You can modernize old furniture with chalk paint…or any kind of paint really, and it’s fun too! Promise!
And who would ever think you could get a nice weathered, white washed looking top out of that table top?

Modernize and Update OLD Furniture (the easy way!) AND budget friendly too! #furnituremakeover #paintedfurniture #chalkpaintedfurniture #ascp #chalkpaintfurniture #weathered finish #coastaldecor #cottagestyle #coastalfurniture

You can see the grain of the wood even better than before…

What a difference a little paint makes…always.

I just love paint. :)
It’s magic. :)

Modernize and Update OLD Furniture (the easy way!) AND budget friendly too! #furnituremakeover #paintedfurniture #chalkpaintedfurniture #ascp #chalkpaintfurniture #weathered finish #coastaldecor #cottagestyle #coastalfurniture

Modernize and Update OLD Furniture (the easy way!) AND budget friendly too! #furnituremakeover #paintedfurniture #chalkpaintedfurniture #ascp #chalkpaintfurniture #weathered finish #coastaldecor #cottagestyle #coastalfurniture

Loving that pretty new finish on the top.
Goes perfectly for a coastal or farmhouse theme.

Modernize and Update OLD Furniture (the easy way!) AND budget friendly too! #furnituremakeover #paintedfurniture #chalkpaintedfurniture #ascp #chalkpaintfurniture #weathered finish #coastaldecor #cottagestyle #coastalfurniture

The blue paint really toned down the red nicely without really looking “blue”.
Which would have been totally okay with me, don’t ya know?! ;)

Modernize and Update OLD Furniture (the easy way!) AND budget friendly too! #furnituremakeover #paintedfurniture #chalkpaintedfurniture #ascp #chalkpaintfurniture #weathered finish #coastaldecor #cottagestyle #coastalfurniture

You guys would not believe how dark it was today when I had to take these photos.
It was one of those really overcast days where it almost looks like night time inside.
You know the ones. ;)
So I had to really work my camera….and bring out my lighting kit…to get these shots.
But it sure does look like it was a pretty, sunny day doesn’t it! lol

Modernize and Update OLD Furniture (the easy way!) AND budget friendly too! #furnituremakeover #paintedfurniture #chalkpaintedfurniture #ascp #chalkpaintfurniture #weathered finish #coastaldecor #cottagestyle #coastalfurniture

Natural lighting is so much better but oh well, what can ya do?!

Edited to add this post I wrote about the Pros & Cons of using Chalk Paint for Furniture, see it >>> here.

Modernize and Update OLD Furniture (the easy way!) AND budget friendly too! #furnituremakeover #paintedfurniture #chalkpaintedfurniture #ascp #chalkpaintfurniture #weathered finish #coastaldecor #cottagestyle #coastalfurniture

So what ya gonna do next time you hit up the thrift store?
Or drive by a garage sale and see that old, dated, beat up furniture with good bones?

You’re going to stop and throw it in the back, right? ;)
Right!

PIN this post to save it for when you do! ;)

Modernize and Update OLD Furniture (the easy way!) AND budget friendly too! #furnituremakeover #paintedfurniture #chalkpaintedfurniture #ascp #chalkpaintfurniture #weathered finish #coastaldecor #cottagestyle #coastalfurniture

Now hop on over and see my lovely friends and their beautiful trash to treasure makeovers too! (links are below the photo collage!)

  1. Prodigal Pieces
  2. Blesser House
  3. Confessions of a Serial Do It Yourselfer
  4. Girl in the Garage

See you later to share what I did with this!

UPDATE! See it now, here!!

xoxo

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42 Comments

    1. Hi Kathy! Thank you! No, I didn’t, I actually did it the same way I did the white. I need to edit that! Sorry! Once the white was on and dry, I just went back in and added a little blue here and there. In the same way I did the white. (with the damp rag, etc) I will do a video soon on this. :) xo

  1. LOVE everything about this! You know I love that weathered white-washed look and this looks amazing in this finish! And yep, looks like a bright, sunny day outside, but I know it wasn’t lol! XOXO

    1. Thanks Christy! Yes, it would also look great in your house! :) And yes, it was SO gloomy yesterday!! haha xo

    1. Thanks Robyn! :) It sure is a different table now, for sure! I figured I’d sell this one….but I may keep it. It’s fun for a change! ;) xo

    1. Thanks Marcie! I’m loving the design of this one and may end up keeping it for a nice little change up! :) xo

  2. What a difference! Very pretty. Thank you for all the info.
    The end result of painting furniture is like the 8th wonder of the world, isn’ t it? I am amazed every single time at the before and after of painted furniture.

    1. Thanks Jamala! :) I think so too, and why I think I’m going to go ahead and keep this one! ;) xo (the drapes are no-sew curtain panels, you can see them here…so easy to make!)

  3. This is a great transformation! I love finding pieces at a second-hand store and reinventing them. Could you please apprise me of the brushes you used? I sometimes end up with brush strokes. Thank you!

    1. Thank you Debra! :) I use mostly Purdy brushes. (and chip brushes for the “dry brushing” or any effects like that) xo

    1. Hi Amy! Thanks! The blue Seasalt by Sherwin Williams and the white is called Extra White also by Sherwin Williams :)

  4. Hello Nancy. Thank you for all of the wonderful tutorials.
    Are your slip cover pieces Pottery Barn or IKEA? I’m in the market but just found out IKEA discontinued the set I wanted. 😢
    Thank you,
    Trish

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