I have been wanting to paint this little side table for quite sometime. A couple years ago I painted it this pretty shade of aqua and although I really liked it at first, my tastes have changed a bit since then! I love the modern farmhouse look and so I thought this would be the perfect little project to tackle! But before we get to the nitty gritty here is a glorious before shot of the table, stains and all. Photography skills for days, am I right?
First things first…here is a list of materials needed:
- Black, Grey and White Chalk Paint
- Dark Wax
- Clear Wax
- Soft Bristle Brush
- Wax Brush
- Small Foam Roller Brush
- Fine Grit Sandpaper Block
- Clean, Lint-Free Cloth
I used Americana Decor Chalk Paint in Carbon, Yesteryear, and Everlasting which can be found at your local craft store or Home Depot, but you can use any brand you want. This was the first time I used this brand and it is really affordable, especially if you can catch it on sale or use a coupon! What I love about chalk paint is that the coverage is really great so a little goes a long way!
If you want to create a distressed look for this table with a high contrast to the white you’ll want to start with a dark base. So the first thing you’ll want to do is apply a coat of paint in Carbon so that when you sand it to distress the look, the black will be the color that shows through. I know what you’re thinking when you see this photo but trust me, this is one of those things that has to look worse before it looks better. Trust me. UPDATE: While I still wanted the top to be black, it ended up being totally pointless to paint the front and sides because I changed my mind on the finish I was after. Oh well, it happens! Just make sure the top is a neutral color and you’ll be good to go!
When the paint dries, it’s time to paint the top with the grey color. It doesn’t have to be perfect and super even as we are going for variation, but you’ll want to give it a nice good coating. Right after you are finished with the grey and the paint is still wet, you will then immediately move on to the next step.
Lightly dip your brush into the white paint and wipe off the excess. Then, working from one end of the table to the other, apply the paint varying between long and short strokes with a lighter hand in some areas and heavier in others. This will help to create a more natural reclaimed wood look. Continue this process until you like the look and variation. If you feel like there is too much white, you can either gently wipe with a damp cloth, or paint over it with more grey.
Once you are happy with the way the top looks, you will want to let it dry completely. If you’d like, now is a good time to paint the front, sides and drawers with white paint. You can either use a clean, soft bristle brush, or you can use a small foam roller. Personally, I used a brush for the first couple of coats and the foam roller for the final coat. While the foam roller offers a smoother finish, it also tends to soak up the paint. I wanted to conserve the paint which is why I only used it on the last coat so if you would rather use the foam roller for all coats that is totally fine! However, if you plan to do the brush/roller combo just make sure to lightly sand between coats to reduce the look of brush strokes that will likely occur. You won’t get rid of the look completely but it will definitely feel smoother! When your project is finished the look of brush strokes won’t matter anyway! After you’re done with the final white coat let it dry completely.
Next is my favorite part of the process. This is where the distressed farmhouse look you’re going for really begins to take shape and you begin to see your efforts pay off! Using the dark brown wax, you’ll want to lightly dip your wax brush and wipe or blot off the excess onto a piece of cardboard, paper plate, or paper towel. Take your brush and lightly go over the table top lengthwise, working from one end to the other. You want a good variation so just as you did with the white paint, apply the wax very light in some areas and a bit heavier in other. If you feel like some areas are too dark, you can take a cloth and wipe away some of the wax, but it won’t take it away completely. If you do that and you still think it looks too dark, just paint over it with a bit more grey or white paint, depending on your preference. You can either leave as is or add a little bit more dark wax, whatever is to your liking. Easy fix! Tip: Don’t over buff the wax! Remember, we are going for a distressed wood grain look and the brush strokes created when applying the wax helps to achieve that.
Once you’re finished with the top you can move on to the front, sides, and drawers. Using the same technique, apply the wax from one end to the other until you get the look you want. Try not to overthink this part! It’s important to get some good variation in the texture. I decided to use vertical brush strokes for the front and sides of the table, but horizontal strokes for the drawers.
After the brown wax dries, it is time to cover it with one last very thin layer of white paint. If you haven’t used your foam roller yet you definitely want to use it for this step! It is so much easier to get a thin even coat with a roller than a brush. Applying this last coat of white tones down the warmth and intensity of the brown wax, creating a more whitewashed finish.
Using the clear cream wax, lightly dip your wax brush and blot off the excess. Then, begin buffing the wax into the top surface, taking care that you are not missing any areas. Complete this step on the front, sides, and drawers. Once you are done, let dry for 24 hours and then take a clean, lint free cloth and buff to the desired sheen!
Now it’s time to reattach the hardware. I wanted something a little different for my table than what I had so I purchased these ring pulls. I love the charm they add! You can find them on amazon here.
And that’s it! You’re done! I hope you enjoyed this tutorial!