How to distress a vintage table with chalk paint



This post might be what you’d call ‘A distressing situation.’ 😉 Today I’m going to show you how to distress a vintage table with chalk-style paint. Otherwise known as:

A chippy table made chippier.

How to take a bad table to worse – on purpose.

How to use a paint brush and a wet rag to create something you just aren’t sure about.

Take your pick. Any of the above would work.

Fact is, this table has been kicking around for decades. DECADES. And over the decades, it’s been painted, dinged, scuffed, broken, abused and generally taken for granted. The last paint job on it (in a softish, not terrible, celery green) was done HORRIBLY.How to distress a table with chalk style paint

Huge drips, unsightly scrapes, massive bubbles, uneven finish from painting latex over oil with an overly saturated, cheap sponge brush… it was just done all wrong. And this poor table is now suffering the consequences.

But it had some redeeming qualities. It has cute fret work on the sides and it’s a great height for a side table.

So I thought I could use up some leftover paint and maybe give it a new life.

I mixed 1/4 cup of Paris Grey with 1 tablespoon of Aubusson Blue to make a creamy ocean blue. (This is why I always have a cheap set of plastic measuring cups and dollar store cutlery in my painting supplies!)How to mix paint to create a distressed look

I sanded down the piece as best I could. I’m not invested enough in this table to use chemical strippers or anything like that. But I knew as soon as I put the first coat on the top, that there was no way on this good Earth this table would ever look ‘polished’ again. A coat of paint wasn’t going to do it. I had to disguise the damage in plain sight.How to distress a table using chalk style paint

What to do? Well, I can’t decide if this was against my better judgement or not, but I painted everything with my new blue colour (except the fret work).Vintage table makeover with chalk style paint

Then, using my leftover Old White, I used a ‘wet distressing’ technique to make this shabby table even shabbier.

If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em right? (Errr… maybe?)Distressed Side Table with Annie Sloan Paint

Wet distressing simply involves brushing on a generous amount of paint over top of a freshly painted piece and then wiping it off with some pressure using a damp rag.

It creates a similar look to sanding without creating all the dusty mess.

Here’s where I ended up. You guys – I just don’t know. I like the colour. But I think the piece was just too far from saving.Distressing furniture with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

And I’m not entirely sure that the chippy look is my thing.Distressing furniture with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

I can tell Dan isn’t overly thrilled with it either – but we both agreed that it does sort of look ‘beach worn’ and therefore arguably has a place in our beachy sunroom.Distressing furniture with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

ANNNND – we do think it’s at least better than it was – when it was a terrible paint job trying to look like a good paint job. Now it’s – well, a decent paint job with a questionable finish that is masking an even more dreadful painted facade.

Distressing furniture with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

I guess I’ll be on the look out for a new end table after this!

C’est la vie!

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