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  • Writer's pictureKay Still

How to Transform a Laminate Wood Accent Table with Chalk Paint

For me, the best part about moving into a new home is getting to decorate and accessorize your new space! Often, though, we find that our old furniture doesn’t quite fit the look and feel we’re trying to achieve in our new home. Take this dreary discount side table, for instance. I purchased this side table at a popular discount store here in Atlanta for only $20! I needed a small, accent table to put by the front door in my apartment. The feel in my apartment was very warm and cozy – think browns, tans and shades of beige. While not a stunning work of art, the table served its practical purpose as a place to set down my keys and mail when I walked in the door, and fit in well enough with the former décor.

Once I moved however, the entire palette of my home changed. We had brighter, cooler tones in the house, with a few softer creamy accents like the moldings, frames and blinds. Some of the brown furniture that made its way from the apartment no longer had that warm touch but felt more like a dark cloud over a bright sea of cool grays, whites and pearly creams.

If you’re at all like me, you’re either frugal or just don’t like furniture shopping. I didn’t want to replace everything I owned just because I’d moved. Sure, in the long run, I’d like to swap out these cheaper pieces for beautiful furniture, but for now, I had to find a way to make this cheap, table fit into my new space.

Below are the steps I took to create this beautifully traditional, yet country-inspired accent table.

1. Clean your surface. Wipe the surface down with a lint-free cloth to ensure you’re removing any dirt and grime from the table. This step is critical, so you don’t have any coverage issues when you start painting.

Cleaning the laminate wood table

2. *Apply your chalk paint. I’m not sure how I managed to skip a pic of this step, but honestly, you just paint onto the surface like you would a wall or a canvas. I used the recommended brush and painted in circular motions until the wood was completely covered. There were tons of paint options, but I landed on Rust-oleum in Chiffon Cream. It was the right balance of a pearly creamy white with a hint of cool. It brightened the table but still gave it that country finish I was going for. Let dry for an hour or two and apply a second coat. Let dry over night.

Putting the first coat of chalk paint onto the accent table

4. Distressing the Wood. This next step is optional. You can leave the table as is and skip to step five or you can sand it to add some depth, dimension and character to the piece. I decided to give it some texture by sanding it down. The key was to use a soft-grit sandpaper. I found that the tougher grit papers, like for sanding wood, were too hard on the laminate surface and practically removed all the paint in one swipe. Instead I used a soft-grit drywall sand paper. It was much easier to sand down the paint and allowed me to distress in layers and levels.

I wish I could say there was technique involved when I sanded the paint but, to be honest, I just sanded it until I thought it started looking like a beautiful, antique table. I tried to focus on edges and areas that were naturally exposed – meaning areas that would likely get scuffed and scratched over time, in a natural setting.

5. Seal with Beeswax. Chalk paint dries with a matte, chalky-looking finish (hence the name) so, this will give the paint a beautiful finish, slight shine and protect it from continuing to strip, chip and distress. For this step, I used a clean, lint-free rag to evenly work the wax into the table. I let it stand for about two hours and then applied a second coat. Let the beeswax sit overnight so that it can harden and create a barrier on top of your paint.

Beeswax to seal chalk paint

I love how the final product turned out. It fits beautifully into our new traditional, country-style home!

Final laminate wood accent table transformation

What do you think? Tell me your thoughts on Twitter, IG or in the comments below!

Until next time…

With Love, From Kay

*Since I the surface I was painting was laminate wood, I didn’t have to sand the area down. If the piece you’re painting is real wood, you’ll want to add in a step between one and two, to sand down the surface until it’s smooth and clean. The move forward with applying the paint.

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