Old Thrift Store Coffee Table Transformed with Chalk Paint & PolyShades

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Picked up this little beauty at the thrift store for $5 dollars and gave it a little PolyShades love.

Makeover with PolyShades & Chalk Paint!! Old Thrift Store Coffee Table artsychicksrule.com #polyshades #chalkpaint #updatewood

Great deal, right???
Well, here is what it looked like after a little Minwax Polyshades & Chalk Paint…..

Transformation with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint & Minwax PolyShades- artsychicksrule.com #polyshades #chalkpaint #updatewood

I used the two colors “Espresso” & “Antique Walnut” in the Minwax PolyShades.
I’d say about 3/4 of the Walnut to 1/4 of the Espresso for some depth.

  1. I lightly sanded the top just enough to take the shine off.
  2. I put several coats over the top, letting them dry in between.
  3. I lightly sanded, with a very fine grit sandpaper, in between the final coat.

It ended up a very lovely shade and with just the right amount of “age”.
This worked perfectly because I didn’t want it to look brand new. I wanted it to look aged.
I love the character of an old piece. And now this looks like one….in a good way!
Old Thrift Store Coffee Table Transformed with Chalk Paint & PolyShades- artsychicksrule.com #polyshades #chalkpaint
For the base I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Old White.
I distressed the edges a bit and then put a coat of polycrylic over it to seal the paint.
That’s it. Easy.

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

Old Thrift Store Coffee Table Transformed with Chalk Paint & PolyShades- artsychicksrule.com #polyshades #chalkpaint #updatewood
And like new. Better than new really!
Just a few simple products….and there you have it…..
Thrift Store Table Transformed with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint & Minwax PolyShades- artsychicksrule.com #polyshades #chalkpaint #updatewood
What a difference a little paint and poly can make.
Have you used Minwax PolyShades or Chalk Paint yet?

Do you think this is something you would try?

Want to see even more “before & after” furniture makeovers?? Click here.

Be sure to check in next week to see what I did with this little cutie!

UPDATE!! See it now, here!!

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Be sure to follow me on Instagram if you don’t already! I always post projects and things I’m working on plus lots of fun random dailies. :)



  1. Hi Nancy, I am a Chalk Paint virgin from Dublin, Ireland and have just stumbled upon your amazing site! I am totally in love with all of your work and now can’t wait to get started with my first project!! It’s a tired pine unit that has sat unloved under my TV for years. I can visualise it now looking like I have just brought it back from the French Reviera (bit optimistic maybe for my first try but sure I can dream ha ha) Martina :)

    1. Hi Martina! Thanks so much :) So glad to have you here!! I love painting furniture…and everything really. ;) I would love to see what you do with your pine unit! Email me with photos when you finish it..really! I don’t think you are optimistic at all…you can do it!

      1. I will indeed, however it turns out…already looking around the house to see what else I can attack :) Will do a little more research on how to get the result I want and best way of going about it and sure then there will be no stopping me. Nite nite (12.55am here) x

    1. Hi Jennifer,
      I normally use a Purdy brush for pieces that I’m sanding/staining/poly-ing but for something like this I just use the little foam brush “throw aways”. So much easier! Nancy

    2. Hi , can anyone tell me if I wax my coffee table after calk painting , will the table be stain resistant from spills food etc

      1. Hi Janie,

        I typically don’t recommned waxing a table that will be used for dining, etc. You have to be super careful not to place hot items on it (wax) and yes, it can stain sometimes. I would finish it in a poly of some sort.

  2. Hi Nancy, I am new to painting and refinishing old pieces of furniture usually small things like side tables and such. I love the work that you do and I have a question for you. When you apply the stain with a foam brush how do you avoid the stroke marks? Do you put a lot of the stain on at a time or just keep dipping the brush every time? I seem to have a hard time when I use a foam brush. Any advise you can share with me I would appreciate. Thank you for sharing your projects they really are beautiful.
    Best regards

  3. I am looking through you blog since I just started following you and I am in love with this. I have a table I want to paint but I have been afraid too. I think I will just jump in and do it! It’s only paint right!
    The Adored Home

    1. Thank you Bruce! :) I agree, it’s amazing what a difference it made. I never tire of the transformations! Nancy

  4. Did you have any discoloration on Old White when you used polyacrylic ? I have trouble using it over any light colors. Any hints?

    1. No, I really don’t. The 2 don’t touch so it shouldn’t be too much of a problem. I did the top first and then painted the bottom area. (the entire table was wood, not painted, when I started)

      Hope that helps!!

  5. Love Annie Sloan chalk paint! Haven’t mixed it yet with a stain but must try after seeing your table. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Hi Lou,
      Oh yes, I do love painted wood but mixing some wood with paint is a gorgeous look, in my opinion!!


  6. Have you ever come across a thrift store glass top table that was scratched? I found one that I absolutely loved but the scratches kept me from getting it. To replace the glass table top (dining room size) it would have cost around $500-$700 and I just couldn’t think of how to either disguise the scratches or make them disappear. Any suggestions?

    1. Hi Sherry,
      Gosh I don’t know! That is a crazy amount to have to spend on the glass. I think some options would be putting something different there. (unless you were set on keeping the glass) You could make a new wood top and stain to match (or even paint a color, white, black, etc) or inlay some tile, etc. Other than that, I don’t really know how to remove the scratches. Sorry!


  7. I thought this table looked familiar. I bought it from you at a consignment store in Yorktown. Just letting you know that I absolutely adore it. It’s my favorite piece of furniture.

    1. Tasha! OH, wow really?? That is so neat…and so very nice to hear. I have to tell you, this is one of my very most popular posts!! (and one of the most pinned on Pinterest!) People seem to just love this table. So glad you do and are enjoying it. :) Thank you for letting me know!

  8. I love, love, love this piece. My husband and I just getting into repurposing furniture and old wood pieces. I am always looking for ideas.

  9. I have a walnut table and chairs from my grandmother. I would like to do this and maybe leave the table top the lighter walnut color. What would you suggest I do with the chairs? Leave them walnut and maybe change the seat covers to something brown and white? Currently they are just a patterned brown (and I really don’t look forward to painting 6 chairs!)

    1. Hi Barbara,
      I am with you on not wanting to paint the chairs!! My least favorite thing to paint. ;) Although I do love the look of them painted.
      I would do exactly as you mentioned and try that first. Leave the chairs the same as the table top. Then find a lighter seat cover to bring in some of the painted bottom of the table..to the chairs.
      See how you like that for a bit before you paint all the chairs.
      (If you have a paint sprayer, painting the chairs would be a breeze though!…just a thought)

  10. I just finish a smaller table the same way, did you use annies paste on top of the minwax top? or… do I have to get a minwax product to wax the top too?
    very confused……. thanks a bunch if you have time to answer

    1. Hi Connie,
      No I didn’t use AS Wax on the top. It is just finished with the PolyShades. The AS Chalk Paint and wax are on the bottom half only.
      You don’t have to wax over the Minwax PolyShades.
      Hope that helps! :)

  11. Hi! Love this piece! Question…..I’m guessing that you mixed both colors together for the top of the table right? Or did you layer them?

  12. Great project…I love the results! When you say that you “distressed the edges a bit” what do you mean exactly? Did you do the white chalkboard first then come back a sand down to create highlight areas? Did you wipe off areas while still wet?

    1. Thank you! Basically, for distressing, you can lightly sand over the edges with sandpaper OR you can take a damp cloth and wipe over the edges (the second will work with things like Chalk Paint and Milk Paint). And, you can come back and wipe away before it’s totally dry. All will give a different look. Your best bet is to take some sample wood and try all of them to see which you like best. :)


      1. Thanks sooo much for the tip! I’ve been coveting this look for a long time and can’t wait to use it on some vintage pieces I have in storage:)

  13. Hiya Nancy! What a beautiful job on the table! I love the contrast in the colors. You inspired me to try the same combination on a dresser I have . I recently used the polycrylic on a coffee table top over AS chalk paint. There are brush strokes visible… Is there a way to minimize the brush strokes with the paint and poly??
    Happy New Year!

    1. Hi Kathy!
      Thanks so much! :)
      You can lightly sand after it is dry and apply another coat. A good brush and a light hand will give you less visible strokes. For the Chalk Paint, try lightly sanding and adding a bit of water to your final coat. If it is too thick it will be more likely to get brush strokes.
      Hope that helps!!

  14. Good Morning! I have a question about the Minwax Polycrylic sealer you used over the chalk paint, is this product more durable than the wax that is generally used for finishing the surface? Your work is amazing! Thank you, Dora

    1. Hi Dora,
      I wouldn’t say it was necessarily more durable (athough the Varathane poly I used on my kitchen cabinets seems to be!). It’s mostly just a matter of preference. The wax is also pretty durable once cured but does need a bit of upkeep.
      Depending on what and where the piece will be, will determine which sealant I use. :)
      I also love General Finishes High Performance Top Coat.
      Hope that helps!

  15. Oh, I love this table!!!
    i have never used polyshades before, always just your typical stain. I do have a hard time sanding off the entire previously stained wood on some pieces, especially tables with the rounded sides. you said you lightly sanded… (this is what I do with chalk paint to help it adhere better) so is the polyshade able to go over old stain? of does it it need to be bare wood again (with traditional stain i always have to get the piece down to bare wood)

    I hope i worded that correctly so it wouldnt be as confused as i am! ha!
    thanks, Jessica — Girl in a Garage, LLC

    1. Hi Jessica!
      Thanks so much! This one was a fun transformation to witness. :)
      Yep, the Polyshade will go over old stain. You do need to do a light sand first though. (you don’t have to remove the old stain, just roughen up the top coat so the Polyshades will adhere)
      Traditional stain does need to be sanded completely, this doesn’t. I’ve done a few other posts with some other similar products too (that don’t need a full sanding)
      Take a look in my “furniture makeovers” under the Project Gallery on my blog and you’ll see them. Lots of options out there these days!! :)
      Have fun!!

  16. Was this table all wood or is the top veneer? I have a coffee table that I want to refinish like this but the top is veneer. Can is sand and stain it like wood? Your table looks great!

    1. Hi Christina!
      No, the top was wood on this one. If the top is wood veneer then yes, you can lightly sand. I wouldn’t sand too much at all or you’ll go right through it though. Just be very careful. (if it’s laminate/not real wood than no, it really wouldn’t work so well)
      Good luck and thank you! :)

  17. Hi this is beautiful. I have a question. You didn’t have to strip the top? You just sanded?

    1. Hi Kathleen,
      Thank you. No, I didn’t at all. I very lightly sanded only then applied the PolyShades. :)

  18. Hi Nancy, I came across your post just now and I must say I love what you did with the table! I know what I’m going to do with my table now. I see that Polyshade comes in satin stain and gloss stain, so could you please let me know which one you used? Also how did you manage to paint the legs? I did a trial on my table the other day and I found it hard to paint the legs where there are curves. I’m just not sure which directions to go (left to right, top to bottom, etc.) Thanks!

    1. Hi Laine,
      I think on this one I used gloss. It’s been about 5 years since I did it. I usually always use Satin these days though. I just paint, any which way most times, on legs. You can lightly sand in between if you are concerned about brush strokes on those. But with a couple coats, you should be fine. :) xo

  19. Just did my kitchen cabinets and accessories in Country Grey Chalked. It had good coverage for not removing prior testers which I wish I would have for a smoother finish with a stripping gel. I love the new shelf liners that match and will be redoing the wallpaper(bad walls) in a white cherry blossom with silver drawing and refreshing the ceiling color. I’m considering doing Old Ochre chalked for the living room walls and am still debating a color if I want to take on the living room furniture such as coffee table, end table, entertainment stand. Wish I had some suggestions…am looking through pictures of what some have done to get ideas.

    1. Sounds lovely Laura! You can lightly sand the Chalk Paint to get a smoother finish. Or roll it instead of using a brush and also giving it a very, very light sanding. For the living room furniture, it all depends on your other colors and whether you want to go light or dark in there. You could use a complimentary lighter shade (such as even mixing the Old Ochre with some white to lighten it up a bit) or you could go in another direction entirely, like dark or medium blue, red, etc. All depends on your color likes/dislikes. :) Looking through photos is a great way to gather inspiration though!!

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