Update Wood Furniture with PolyShades & Chalk Paint

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It’s easy to update wood furniture if you have the right products and a little know how!

This table I picked up at one of my favorite thrift stores.
I think I paid $15 for her.

Here’s what she looked like BEFORE:

Update Wood Furniture Minwax PolyShades and Chalk Paint - Before Full - artsychicksrule.com #polyshades #minwax #chalkpaint

Hi Friends!

I’ve got a super easy way to update wood furniture for y’all today.
But that doesn’t mean it looks it.

It looks like a million bucks…or well, a whole lot better anyway! ;)

And I only used two products to do it.
The same two I’ve used so many times before.

Update Wood Furniture With Minwax PolyShades and Chalk Paint - EASY DIY Makeover!! - artsychicksrule.com #polyshades #minwax #chalkpaint

Minwax PolyShades and Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.
Both products great for the home DIYer.


And again what it looks like now….

Update Wood Furniture Minwax PolyShades and Chalk Paint - After Full - artsychicksrule.com #polyshades #minwax #chalkpaint

Quite the difference, right?



Update Wood Furniture Minwax PolyShades and Chalk Paint - Before Top - artsychicksrule.com #polyshades #minwax #chalkpaint

Not blah ;)

Update Wood Furniture Minwax PolyShades and Chalk Paint - After Top - artsychicksrule.com #polyshades #minwax #chalkpaint

I love this color combo.

I used PolyShades in the color Tudor (because I can’t find the Espresso locally anymore…bummer).

Minwax PolyShades Tudor - Artsy Chicks Rule

Be sure to give a light sand before starting.
You want to remove the slick finish and give it some “tooth” for the poly to adhere to.
Clean it very well before applying the PolyShades.

Here is the first coat going on….
(okay veering off topic…but aren’t my Aubusson Blue painted pretties so luscious back there?)

Update Wood Furniture Minwax PolyShades and Chalk Paint - First Coat - artsychicksrule.com #polyshades #minwax #chalkpaint

I thought I’d share this photo because I know many of you might try this and wonder “what the heck” as you’re applying that first coat! ;)
I worked quickly on the top, larger area, to apply the product.
That’s what you see happening there.
I then went back quickly, with long even strokes from end to end, and smoothed it out with the brush.
I let it dry for about 6 hours, lightly sanded, cleaned well and applied 2 subsequent coats to get the darkness I desired.
(a little bit harder with the Tudor shade)

….and for the base, Pure White Chalk Paint.

Update Wood Furniture Minwax PolyShades and Chalk Paint - Pure White Base - artsychicksrule.com #polyshades #minwax #chalkpaint

You can see the pretty new dark top…and the honey legs.

I love contrast…so I just adore the contrast I now have with this table.
I applied two coats of the white, let dry, distressed, waxed and buffed.

Update Wood Furniture Minwax PolyShades and Chalk Paint - After End - artsychicksrule.com #polyshades #minwax #chalkpaint

Update Wood Furniture Minwax PolyShades and Chalk Paint - End After - artsychicksrule.com #polyshades #minwax #chalkpaint

That’s my pretty press back chair I redid awhile back.
You can read about it (and see what it looked like before) here–> Antique Press Back Chair Makeover

An up close of the tiny bit of distressing I did on the legs.

Update Wood Furniture Minwax PolyShades and Chalk Paint - Distressed Detail - artsychicksrule.com #polyshades #minwax #chalkpaint

What a world of difference these two products make.

Update Wood Furniture Minwax PolyShades and Chalk Paint - Easy Makeover!! - artsychicksrule.com #polyshades #minwax #chalkpaint

Gives a completely fresh and updated look to any piece of furniture!
And you can use any color stain. I could have stopped at one coat and it would have just freshened up the color there.
You can also use any color for the base. Duck Egg Blue, for example.
Or even a pretty Yellow or Turquoise.

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

I really love the classic look of dark wood and white. :)

Update Wood Furniture Minwax PolyShades and Chalk Paint - Before and After - artsychicksrule.com #polyshades #minwax #chalkpaint

Much better.

If you click those other posts (other project photos above) you will see more tutorials on how to do this.
Update Wood Furniture Minwax PolyShades and Chalk Paint - So Easy! - artsychicksrule.com #polyshades #minwax #chalkpaint

It’s so nice to have products that make it fairly easy to change and update our furniture ourselves.
That’s the way this thrifty girl likes to update wood furniture.
And if you do too…then give this a whirl!

Check back later this week to see this one! (and fun surprise, that top was on upside down!)

UPDATE!!! See it now, here!!


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You might like these similar makeovers:


  1. Will the polyshades work on table tops that have damage and are uneven in color or just ones like this table that are pretty much intact with no damage? It’s very pretty!!!

    1. Hi Kim,

      The PolyShades works best on wood finishes that don’t have much damage. If you have a lot of damage,uneven finish or scratches, etc., I go the full route of sanding down, re-staining and poly.
      and Thank You! :)

  2. I always enjoy your projects, however, I really go into this one. I appreciate your insight that you shared. We appreciate the comments on what you encounter because it helps us tremendously. We know what to expect and trying something new in less intimidating. Thanks. I’m on my way to buy the stain! Just happen to have a table top awaiting a new look!

  3. Looks so nice Nancy – from drab to fab! One of my favorite color combinations is a dark stained top with white base. I haven’t tried the polyshades stain yet nor the tudor satin color, I usually gravitate towards Dark Walnut.

    1. Thanks Marie! :)
      I LOVE Dark Walnut but the PolyShades line doesn’t have that. Tudor is the closest to it. They have an “Antique Walnut” but it’s not dark enough for my liking! :)
      I used to LOVE the Espresso mixed with the Antique Walnut though…that was the perfect shade. Too bad I can’t find it anymore.

  4. I love it, Nancy!

    I may have asked you this before, so please forgive me if I have…. do you prefer the Polyshades or the GFJava Gel Stain? I’ve got the Java Gel Stain, but have never used the Polyshades.

    As always, beautiful job! xo

    1. Thanks Karen! :)
      Hmm…I like them both! They are quite different actually. (similar idea but different) I would say the Java Gel is probably a bit easier to control the final outcome but it needs to be covered with a poly of some sort. So there is an extra step with it.

  5. This looks beautiful. I LOVE the white leg and dark top. I have some of the polyshades sitting at home right now waiting on a project and now I’m excited to use it. Great tutorial. Much appreciated!

    1. Hey Heather!
      Thanks so much! I really so love this color combo.
      Good luck and have fun on your new project!!! :)

  6. Hi,
    Could you tell me what grit sandpaper you use? Do you just sand enough to give it tooth or do you remove all former shine/gloss?


    1. Hi Sarah,
      I don’t remember on this one in particular but I usually use in the 3-400 range. Fine, just enough to take the shine off.
      Hope that helps!

  7. Hello Artsy Chicks Rule. I was wondering if that table was hand made. My uncle made furniture as a hobby and later a business and I have 2 tables one like that and one smaller with no drop downs. He worked most the time in a shop outside Charlotte He usually put initials some where WB or Bittenger. Maybe it is just a mass produced table but it looks so much like his early work I had to ask :). It looks adorable. I am afraid to change mine for fear of my family having a tizzy but it is cute… NOW

    1. Hi, I’m so sorry, I no longer have this table so I’m unable to look. Thank you and I totally understand about the family! ;)

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