Friends, this post is brought to you by sheer perseverance. And love for you readers. So much love. I have been working on this DIY farmhouse style table since April 17th when we got back from vacation. I could have finished it that day if I had been more organized. However, between daily rainstorms, trying to redo A BUNCH of furniture at once, and getting bronchitis, it’s taken me a just a little longer than anticipated.
Today, when I woke up after only getting a couple of hours of sleep and my bronchitis in full swing, all I wanted to do was crawl back into bed and stay there all day. But I knew I had to get this post out there for you guys. And I renewed my commitment to get two weeks ahead on my post schedule for May so that these last-minute panics don’t happen anymore. We’ll see how that goes.
I know I’m probably scaring you all off by making this project sound like it was lots of hard work. I promise it’s not. It’s really a very simple project, and as long as you only try to tackle one project a day, it’s really easy to redo your furniture in an afternoon. Plus, look at how pretty! Totally worth it, right?
In this post, I will show you what products I used to redo this table, as well as a step-by-step photo guide of how I refinished it. You will need:
- A table or other piece of furniture you want to make shabby chic
- TSP Wall Cleaner
- Course grit sand paper
- Chalk paint
- Paint brush
- Clear creme wax
- Brown creme wax
- A LOT of rags
These are some of the products I used. The TSP is super old and I don’t even know if they package it that way anymore, but there’s a link to something similar. The deglosser doubles as a sander and can be found here. I used Valspar chalky paint. We got white, but you can use any color you want. I just think white paint really has that farmhouse feel. We tried making our own chalk paint to save money and it ended up being a waste of money because it turned out grainy and clumpy and totally unusable. This was a bummer, because chalk paint is kind of pricey.
While chalk paint doesn’t require prep or priming, it does require sealing with wax. We used Americana Decor brown wax and clear wax, but Valspar has waxes that might work better with the Valspar paint. You can also find all of these products at your local home improvement store.
Now that you have all your products figured out, here’s how you can actually go about making your furniture look shabby chic!
Step 1 (Optional): Sand Your Furniture
I’ve marked this step as optional because the sander deglosser technically sands the furniture for you, and furthermore, chalk paint doesn’t require any sanding or prep. However, if your furniture is in really bad shape, I would recommend sanding it first and still using the deglosser. Use coarse sand paper to do this. Be sure to sand everything you intend to paint, including the legs and the front of any drawers. Be careful of lead-based paint if your piece is old. If there’s even a chance your piece has any lead-based paint on it, paint outside and wear a mask to be safe.
Step 2: Wash Your Furniture with TSP
This step is especially helpful if you have old or dirty furniture. The TSP helps to get all the grime off. If you sanded, TSP also makes sure the sawdust is off of your furniture completely.
Step 3 (Optional): Degloss Your Furniture
Technically, the deglossing step is also optional. We are using chalk paint, which can be used on furniture without any prior sanding or priming. That being said, the table we were painting had been sitting in a storage unit for 30+ years, so while not necessary, I wanted to be sure we did our best to get the table in good shape before painting. So if your furniture is in a questionable state, get out your sander deglosser and rub down your furniture with it. This will help smoothen the surface of your furniture and make it easier to paint.
Step 4: Paint Your Furniture
Now, we’re ready to paint! Before starting, make sure your paint is well stirred. Be sure to paint with the grain. Another great thing about chalk paint is it goes on thick; you’ll probably only need one coat to do the job! We ended up doing a couple of coats because, like I said, the table was in rough shape. Be careful not to paint it on too thick! My mom and I were piling it on WAY too thick and then we had to come back and sand down drips. A little goes a long way, so keep that in mind. Wait for the paint to dry before moving on to the next step. It doesn’t take long, only about 25 minutes to dry.
Step 5: Apply the Clear Wax
Get a little bit of wax on your cloth and start applying the wax in a circular motion. Start on the edge farthest away from you so your cloth doesn’t drag into an area you’ve already covered. Work in small sections; this wax dries fast so you want to make sure your section looks good before you move on. If you want to, you can buy a special wax brush just for this step, but the cloth really does work just fine. Then, take a clean cloth and wipe off the excess, this time moving in a back-and-forth motion.
Step 6: Distress
This is the fun part- distressing your furniture! Take your sandpaper and start distressing your furniture in places where it would normally have wear and tear. A good place to distress is around the edges and table legs, around any knobs, and well as a little bit on the top. On the top, I distressed going one way and then distressed again perpendicular to the original distressing. This created a nice crosshatch look that I like. Don’t be surprised if you spend more time sanding than you did painting! When you’re done, wipe down your furniture with a clean cloth or dusting rag to be sure you get all the sawdust off.
Step 7: Apply the Dark Wax
Apply the dark wax the same way you did the clear wax. Be sure to continue using a circular motion. After you apply the wax, wipe off the excess in a back-and-forth motion using a clean cloth. Like I said, this wax dries fast so be sure to work very quickly in very small sections. The next step will help lighten up the wax, so don’t be scared if your piece looks dark.
Step 8: Apply the Clear Wax Again
This time, apply the wax in a back-and-forth motion. The clear wax will lighten up the dark wax, but it does take some effort. Push hard and rub back and forth until you have the look you want. This wax also works as a sealant, so be sure you get a little wax everywhere, even the places where you don’t want to lighten the dark wax.
Step 9: Enjoy Your Farmhouse Style Table (or other furniture!)
You’re done! You’ve just shabby chic’ed your furniture! This really is an easy project, and since each step only takes 20-25 minutes, it’s an easy project to do on a Saturday or while the kids are at school. What do you think? What piece of furniture do you want to do in a farmhouse style?