You are currently viewing Easy Chalk Paint Coffee Table Makeover You Need to See

Do you love that rustic farmhouse style?

This coffee table totally speaks farmhouse to me.

We were asked to refinish this table for a client who was looking for that fresh farmhouse style.

But let me tell you when I first saw this table, all I saw was a beat up table that I wasn’t sure was worth saving.

However, keep scrolling and watch the dramatic transformation of this Chalk Paint Coffee Table Makeover.

If you love to re-imagine old furniture pieces like us, then you’ll love our Modern Desk Makeover too!

Or take a look at our Modern Floating Nightstand.

Coffee Table - BEFORE

paint furniture

Without a doubt, this table was in rough shape! It had had a nailhead border that was removed. The finish was chipped, as well as water damaged.

paint furniture

The table top was so rough, it looked as though someone had taken a fork and pierced the surface. It was trashed! But with a little lovin’ it became a treasure!

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Step 1 - Fill in nail holes.

paint furniture
paint furniture

First of all, we needed to tackle all of the nail head holes. Using Drydex Spackling Paste and a small putty knife, we filled in all of the holes.

Step 2 - Sanding

paint furniture
paint furniture

Normally when we refinish a table and use chalk paint, there is no need to sand. However, this table top was in such rough shape that if we did not sand the top, all of the divets would have stuck out like a sore thumb. 🤪 So, we got out our palm sander and began sanding until the surface was smooth.

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The spackled nail holes were sanded by hand with a piece of fine grit sand paper. This area was too small for the palm sander.

paint furniture

Now it’s time to clean the surface for paint. Since the table top is planks, we used the brush attachment on the vacuum to get the dust out of all the crevices. Then wiped the entire surface with a damp cloth.

Step3 - Chalk Paint

paint furniture
paint furniture

Ok, we are ready for the fun part, the paint.  Using our favorite paint, Behr Chalk Paint in Farmhouse White and Purdy paint brush, we applied 3 coats of paint to get complete coverage. Let dry completely before distressing.

Step 4 - Distressing

paint furniture
paint furniture

Distressing the finish is a necessary step to get that popular farmhouse style. It is best to do this by hand, this way you are able to better control the amount of distressing you would like.

paint furniture
paint furniture

Using a fine sandpaper, gently sand off some of the chalk paint around the table, focusing on natural wear spots like the corners, as well as a few random spots. 

paint furniture
paint furniture

After distressing the table, we realized that the distressed area on the table top didn’t match the distressing on the rest of the table.

The remainder of the table had a darker stained finish that was showing through on the distressed areas.

While on the table top, we had sanded off all of the stained finish and just the bare pine wood was left.

To fix this problem, we used a stain marker to add some color to the distressed areas on the table top. Let it sit for about 10 minutes then wipe off any remaining stain.

paint furniture

This little trick worked perfectly, so that all of the coloring on distressed areas matched.

Step 5 - Protective Finish

All chalk paint requires some sort of protective top coat. Waxing is always a popular choice, however for this table we decided to use a poly finish.

We love to use this Wipe-On Poly finish for all of our DIY furniture projects. It is extremely durable, easy to use and leaves the furniture with a beautiful finish.

Wipe-on Poly is so easy to use. Pour a small amount on a clean cotton cloth. We like to use pieces of old t-shirts. Then simply wipe on the poly covering the entire surface.

It is always better to apply 2 light coats, then you are less likely to get runs. After the first coat is dry, sand lightly with an extra fine steel wool and repeat.

This will ensure you have a beautiful, smooth finish.

For the table top we applied a 3rd coat of poly. This will give the table top a little extra protection, where it will get a little more wear and tear.

Chalk Paint Coffee Table Makeover

paint furniture

Doesn’t this finish look amazing? Look at that gorgeous, silky and smooth finish. When it turns out this great, I can’t keep my hands off of it, I just need to feel that silky surface.

For another farmhouse style coffee table, see how we turned an old dining table into a round coffee table.

paint furniture
paint furniture

Can you believe the transformation? Remember, I had thought that this table wasn’t worth saving? Boy, was I wrong! It is a real show stopper now!

Also, checkout the china cabinet that we transformed with black chalk paint.

Furniture Makeover
paint furniture

Have you tried using chalk paint? It never ceases to amazing me what a little paint can do. Do you have a piece that you’ve been waiting to revamp? Please share what you are working on, we love to hear from you!

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And as always here at Sunny Side Design


Would you like to see more ideas for refinishing furniture? Then take a look at the tutorial for using Saltwash here.

Would you like to see how to use glaze to create a beautiful worn finish? Then chick here.

Do you love a Restoration Hardware Finish? Then see how we used vinegar and white wax to achieve this finish. Just click here.

Looking for even more DIY and organization ideas? Be sure to follow us on Pinterest!

This Post Has 11 Comments

  1. Dawn

    Love the finished table- your instructions – were so informative – thank you – I’m going to measure my table now.. lol

    1. Stephanie

      Thank you Dawn, good luck on your project. Please share your results, we’d love to see. Have a wonderful day!

  2. Cindy

    What kind of wax would you use instead of the poly?

  3. Roseanne Rothman

    Shouldn’t you use Water Based polyurethane because Oil based yellows

    1. Michelle Dickson

      Yes, Roseanne you are correct. At the time we did this project we were not aware that it could yellow. So far so good.

  4. Ginger Young

    I have a question…Why do you sand after rubbing poly on? Do you sand after the second application of poly? Thank you!

    1. Michelle Dickson

      That’s a great question Ginger. When the first coat of poly is dry you can feel a little grit and texture on the surface. Sanding it lightly with the fine steel wool will knock those imperfections off and will result in a beautiful hand rubbed finish. When I touch a piece of furniture I want it to feel smooth, just like it was professional finished and by sanding between the 1st and 2nd coats you will achieve that.

      1. Lisa

        Sanding between coats also aids in better adhesion. This is true for each coat of paint, as well.

        1. Michelle Dickson

          That’s a great point Lisa. Taking the time to sand makes for a superior finish.

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