White dinning table makeover with chalk paint

5:16 PM


painting an old table with chalk paint for a fresh coastal vibe

There is one project that has been on my mind for quite some time, and it was to do something about our dark, old, rather worn out dinning table. 
I started thinking about it when I painted our coffee table 3 years ago using chalk paint. For a while, the plan was to pain the dinning table in the same colors to match said coffee table, but then, we replaced the sofa and I got rid of the aforementioned coffee table, so I decided to go with the idea of having a white dinning table, which is one of the things I have on my bucket list. 

If you remember well, I bought chair covers earlier this year to cover our rather cringeworthy super worn out dinning chairs, because once again, there was a possibility of me painting the table before I got around to the idea of buying new dinning chairs. 

This dinning table and chair set was first bought in 2010 when we moved to Navi Mumbai, it has seen then been through 4 moves and have seen years of toddler abuse, followed by art project and art class abuse, to say that it has had a well lived life is an under statement. If you are new to this blog, and never saw what it looked like before, here is a fairly recent picture of it before all the makeovers happened : 

This area of my flat is a tricky one as it recieve no direct light from any windows, it's sitting in a window-less nook between all the bedrooms and the dark wood made the area look even darker than it is. At night it's also the one spot we can't have proper soft lighting, it's either we get blinded by one of those bloody tube lights I hate because I can hear the humming and see the light flicker they create or eat in semi darkness (it's another thing we are planning for later).

As said, the table got scratched over the year, the veneer bulged in places, and there are a lot of paint splatters for art projects I did before I decided getting plastic sheets was a good idea. Then there are all the art classes I thought would be non messy that we did without a protective sheet and got me to learn a valuable lesson : kids don't do non-messy in art class, they will find a way to color the table with colored pencils if they have to. 

I was waiting the end of the monsoon to get started on this project because the humidity during the rainy season then to affect wooden furnitures and it's never a good idea to use paint in those conditions. 
Ideally I would have prefered the kitchen renovation we are supposed to get to be done with, but nothing has been happening for over a month (a story for another time) so I decided to at least get that done before Diwali.

I used the same brand of paint I used when I painted my coffee table, plus a few tools which I am all going to list below as Amazon affiliate links. This means that if you click on any of these and make a purchase, I get paid a commission at no extra cost to you. So here goes! For this project here is what I used : 

- 2 pots of "Little Birdie" Chalk paint in Snow white, the pots are 450ml each and 1 pot let me do two full coats on my 6 seater dinning table, top and legs. 

- Since I was working with a HUGE surface, I bought a 9 inch paint roller and paint tray. I also had smaller foam rollers at home and I used the biggest one in that set for the legs and sides. 

- For tiny nooks and crannies and applying the varnish, I used flat brushes in several sizes

- To seal my paint, I used a matte varnish from "Little Birdie", I used the exact same one on my coffee table 3 years ago, it really will protect your table a long time. 

The first thing you need to do is wash the surface properly before painting, you want it to be as free of dust and grease as possible. To do it, I really just use the kitchen cleaner spray and a damp cloth, then let everything dry before painting. 
Since I have plastic sheets around for the art classes I give, I used these underneath the table so that no paint would hit the floor while I painted the legs of the table. 

I poured some of the paint into the paint tray and used my 9 inches roller to paint the table top and the smaller roller and brush to do the legs and sides of the table. 

Chalk paint can be applied as is on wooden furnitures without using a primer, the first coat always act as  a priming coat. So if you plan on painting your table a certain color, buy a small pot of white chalk paint to do the primer coat. 
In this case the table was going to be white, so I just painted that priming coat all over quickly. Chalk paint dries quickly if you apply it in thin coats, so by the time I was done with the last leg, the table top I painted first was dry and ready for the next coat. 

I painted 3 coats all over, and then applied one last quick coat of white on the table top since it was going to be the most used part of the table. 1 pot of 450ml was enough to do the priming coat and the second coat all over my 6 seater table which has curvy legs. At this point the coverage was quite good on the top, and almost good on the legs (them being curvy made painting them a bit challenging). 

The 3rd coat of paint evened out all the patchy bit left on the legs and gave the table top a uniform smooth finish. By then, I put my 9 inches roller away, and decided to use the leftover paint in my tray to do one more quick, thin coat on the top. I could have done without it, but since I had that paint leftover, why not? 

The paint dries very quickly but I let it be for 2-3 hours before applying the equally quick drying varnish. I applied 2 coats to the table top, and one coat on the sides and legs. I had only one bottle of varnish so I did the job with it, and will apply a 3rd coat tomorrow when my second bottle of varnish arrives. 
This brand of varnish recommend 2-3 coats of varnish for heavily used furnitures like a dinning table, otherwise 1 coat is enough. 

As I said, I used that brand when I varnished my coffee table in 2018 and 3 years later, it has done a great job at protecting the table from stains. 
Chalk paint will distress over time giving your furniture a shabby chic vibe, which is exactly what happened to the coffee table. So if you plan on wanting your table to keep on looking pristine without chips and scratches over time, you'll need to apply a new coat of paint every now and then. It's what I might do with the dinning table to be honest. 
The distressed coffee table was great, and I didn't mind it too much, but I have a feeling I might need to make a few food stains and scratches disappear on the dinning table, so I stored the leftover paint, ready to be used again as needed.

If you plan on doing touch ups on your furniture, make sure you keep a bit of paint handy, or write down the brand and color you used so you can reorder some for a future paint job.

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