How to Paint an End Table With Chalk Paint

chalk paint end tables

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DIY Chalk Painted End Table Tutorial

refurbish old wood table with chalk paint
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Chalk paint revitalizes most surfaces with minimal prep work. This revolutionary paint product is ideal for distressing furniture and decor items like candlesticks, mason jars, and wooden boxes, but it also creates timeless finishes depending on the technique used to apply it.

With antique end tables, some experts say that it's best to leave the original stain. However, sometimes the existing finish is so damaged that it would take skilled woodworkers hours to correct it with a complete resanding and staining. 

Update an end table with chalk paint when you know that the furniture doesn't have a very high market value that would be compromised by painting. The process is simple, quick, and fun. Keep on reading for some chalk paint tips we learned along the way. 

Gather Supplies

supplies for painting with chalk paint
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  • Chalk paint (We used The Spruce Best Home Chalky Finish Paint in Casual Sophistication)
  • Clear sealing wax (We used The Spruce Best Home Clear Sealing Wax)
  • Medium grit sanding block
  • Rags 
  • Paintbrush 
  • Wood filler (optional)

  *Add an ounce or two of water to the paint can prior to mixing.

Fill Any Imperfections With Wood Filler

using wood filler on end tables
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Chalk paint can be used on many surfaces like metal, stone, concrete, and wood. This paint hides imperfections well and usually requires little to no prep work.

However, if the surface has holes, deep scratches, or large gaps missing, a little wood filler will go a long way. 

Apply a small amount of wood filler using a putty knife and allow the spot to dry completely. Lightly sand the surface with a medium grit sanding block to smooth out the wood filler. 

Create a Smooth Surface by Sanding

how to sand an end table
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Depending on the condition of the end table, you may be able to skip this step altogether. If the furniture is in poor condition and has alligatoring stain or peeling paint, then sanding will dramatically improve the finished product. 

Use a medium to high grit sanding block to scuff up the surface and create a flatter finish that is free of any noticeable imperfections. This end table had some areas where the stain had started cracking and bunching together. We sanded until these areas were smooth to the touch and no longer bumpy. 

It is also helpful to scuff up any glossy surfaces to help the paint grip to the furniture better. Chalk paint will adhere to glossy surfaces better than other paint, but this is still a helpful and quick step to ensure the paint will stick and all surface oils and grime have been removed. 

Thoroughly Clean the Surface of the Table

prep table for chalk paint
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Once sanding is complete, clean the surface with a damp cloth and allow the table to dry completely before going on to the next step. For best results, chalk paint needs a clean surface that is free of any dust or debris. 

Apply the First Coat of Chalk Paint

how to paint with chalk paint
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This chalk paint works well on uncoated or painted surfaces. However, avoid using it on areas that will be walked on or any furniture that will be kept outside. 

Depending on the furniture in question, paint on one or two even coats of chalk paint. Be sure to let the paint dry completely between coats. We applied two coats and waited at least six hours between coats. 

Buff on a Protective Wax Finish

wax finish for chalk paint
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Chalk paint is very matte and benefits from an additional layer of protection. If you want to create a distressed two-toned wood look, use dark sealing wax. To create a more timeless finish, we buffed on a thin layer of clear sealing wax.

To apply this wax, take a small amount on a clean, lint-free cloth. Buff the wax into the surface using circular motions and allow to dry. Once dry, go back in with another rag and further buff the surface to create a satin finish. 

Enjoy Your New Chalk Paint End Table!

finished chalk paint end table
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Chalk paint is incredibly easy to work with once you know what you're doing. These are some of the most important takeaways that will help you create the look you want:

  • Add an ounce or two of water to the chalk paint per the manufacturer's instructions. Many paints will come in powder form or have a thick consistency that requires the addition of water. 
  • Even though this paint claims that it is a no-prep paint, a little prep work will go a long way. Take the time to sand the surface and create a smooth finish before painting. 
  • Invest in a quality paintbrush that is designed for chalk paint or latex paint. The last thing you want is to find a bunch of bristles in your finished table that fell out of the brush while painting. 

Watch Now: Fun Ways to Use Chalky Finish Paint