If you’ve ever wondered how to paint furniture shabby chic, today I’m answering that question! Aren’t these little side tables charming? Their petite size and curvy shape caught my eye, so I snapped them up from Facebook Marketplace a few weeks ago.
If you’d like to see me painting one of these tables, I did a Facebook Live video here. Unlike like last week’s project, this one was pretty simple and would be great for a beginner. Here is the short list of the products I used.
(Note: These are affiliate links from which I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.)
By the way, if you want a handy reference tool for all of Dixie Belle’s products (dry times, application methods, top coats, etc.), you can download my free guide by clicking the picture here:
After I cleaned the tables thoroughly with a TSP-based cleaner (Dixie Belle has one called White Lightning), I rinsed them and let them dry.
The key to making this paint job easy was the brush. Typically, I prefer a synthetic paint brush for most projects, but since these tables have so many nooks and crannies, the French tip was perfect. It has a pointed shape and gets the paint down in all the grooves easily. I applied 2 coats, allowing about 30-40 minutes of drying time between coats.
If you haven’t tried a furniture transfer yet, what are you waiting for?! They are so easy to work with, and give a huge impact. There are also tons of ways to use them. I almost always cut them up and use little bits on a piece, making one transfer stretch over 8-10 projects. You can also layer them, like I did on this yellow table.
You can even place them vertically like I did on the side of my jewelry box project. I also like combining images with script like I did here.
Or you can use them as intended as one big piece of art across the front of your piece. Transfers really make anyone look like an artist, which I love since I don’t hand paint designs. The one I used on this project is my absolute favorite with those pops of red and gold – “Midnight Floral”.
After paint and before any top coat, I like to give a quick scuff sand with a 220-grit sanding pad. This will make the surfaces buttery smooth and ready for wax or liquid top coat. One time, I forgot this step until after I had added Satin Clear Coat. I went ahead and sanded after sealer, and it worked like a charm and smoothed the finish perfectly.
I also sanded right over the transfer to give it more of an aged vintage-y look. I like it to look as incorporated as possible, not like something just stuck on top.
Using a big round wax brush, I applied white wax over the whole piece working in sections. I wiped each section back with a shop towel before moving on to the next section.
After I had waxed, I decided I really wanted to distress the tables a bit too to add a little more depth and dimension. Normally, I would have done that step first, but since I had already waxed I just went for it. It didn’t seem to cause any issues, so distressing after wax is an option.
And that’s how to shabby chic furniture with chalk paint!