Imagine your house is transformed into a glorious country-chic farmhouse with beautiful, coordinating furniture and lovely little farm decorations. Imagine you could achieve this on an affordable budget. I’m here to share this DIY Farmhouse Side Table Makeover that allows you to accomplish just that, because cheap farmhouse decor is the best.
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Have you ever tried working with chalk paint? I love it—how easy it is to apply, the coverage it gives, the texture and look…chalk paint is perfect for a simple chalk paint table makeover project like this farmhouse side table.
Now, I will say that chalk paint can cost a bit, so it may increase your project budget, but you can always watch for deals (or even clearance paints), it covers pretty well so it should last for several projects, and you can use these two cans to update several pieces of furniture to match.
DIY Farmhouse Side Table Makeover | Cheap Farmhouse Decor
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You can use any furniture you’d like for this and adjust accordingly. I used two pieces that are made of different materials with different textures—our cheap side tables that we have had for years and years (they were pretty beaten up) and our pretty-nice but plain entryway table that needed a little lift too.
To be honest, I did not do a whole lot to prep these pieces (sand, prime) because the paint sticks pretty well, but you can if needed. I did do a few things differently for the entryway table, but I will share those details below.
Clean off your surfaces and allow them to dry before starting. You don’t want to get a bunch of dust or anything mixed up in your paint.
See each table before!
Lay down a drop cloth, especially if you are working indoors. I also recommend having a window open and/or a fan on to allow some ventilation.
I painted two types of tables—one dark-based and one light-based—and each needed its own specific modifications.
For the black-based tables, I added a coat of white chalk paint overtop of the black bottoms of the tables (the legs and area around the top, but not the top itself).
Due to the texture of the veneer, the paint did not stick very well for the first coat, so you will notice some spots that are not fully covered. That is totally okay, because we want them to look a little imperfect and we will add more coats later anyway.
For the white table, since I didn’t really need to re-paint an already white base white, I just painted the top with a coat of black acrylic paint so it would match the red on the black side tables a bit better after everything is finished.
Let your first layer of paint dry for a bit before adding the second layer. I did not make a point to do a second layer of black on the white table, so I would not worry too much about full-coverage there.
Once the first layer has dried, add a second layer of white paint to the base of the black tables. Again, this does not need to cover all the way. If there are spots where it is not sticking well, let it dry and add another layer. Let dry some more before moving on.
Pull out the red paint. Make sure it is all mixed well.
Apply a thin layer of red paint over the top of the black top and edges of the tables, as well as overtop of any dried black acrylic paint you used if you are painting a light-surfaced piece. Again, you do not need to worry about perfect coverage here.
Once the paint has dried, apply another layer of red paint. You can add up to three layers of red paint, as desired.
If you have spots that create drip marks, that’s fine! I actually loved having drip marks on mine and did not make a point to keep the paint flat like I usually would.
Once the red paint has dried, you can add a little more red paint in just a few areas if desired, just to add some more texture, but this is not a necessary step.
Let all of the paint dry completely and entirely before moving on.
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The next step is sanding your farmhouse accent tables. I recommend sanding outdoors, because it will throw off a lot of dust that you probably won’t want to spend time cleaning up.
You will want to use sandpaper with different grits, because the amount needed will really depend on the amount of paint you’ve applied and the surfaces you are using. You will want to test small areas to see what ones you’d like to use. If you need to, just paint over any spots that get messed up and try again once the paint is dry.
Carefully sand certain parts of the top and sides of the table to give it some texture. Do not sand the whole thing, because the point is not to smooth the surface, but to give it a somewhat “banged up,” rustic look.
Focus more on edges and corners that generally would receive wear and tear, but also some in the middle of areas that may get worn down. Sand some spots just a little, and sand some others a bit more. Allow some spots to let larger areas come off, exposing the black that is underneath. Focus some on any screw coverings or hardware, as well.
The white table did not have a coat of black underneath the white, so I went another route—I added black acrylic paint to make it look as if the paint had worn off on some areas, even though it really was just more added paint. This can be challenging, but you can always wipe off with a damp washcloth and try again if you need to, until it’s right.
Add just a small amount of black paint to the tip of the paintbrush. I usually would wipe some off onto the plate or bowl that I had the paint in, so it would not apply too much to the project.
Make small swipes and hits against the areas that would usually receive a little more wear and tear to make it appear roughed-up. Some spots can use just a small, thin layer, and some do well with a thicker layer of paint so they look more exposed.
If you are using a light-based table and added black paint under the red on the top, you will likely also want to add a few light brush strokes on top of the red here and there, because the black underneath may not show through as much as you’d want.
Once you’ve sanded, dust off any mess from sanding.
Add a small amount of the white chalk paint and a small amount of water into a disposable or washable bowl or cup, until the paint is thin enough to splatter, but still thick enough to give a good, white color (and not look watery).
Dip your brush into the paint, then test it out a little bit on an area of the drop cloth or somewhere else it won’t harm the project. If it’s good, then start adding to the project. Dip the brush into the watered-down paint and get a small amount on it. Tap the top of the brush handle (near the bristles) on your hand or a cup edge or another surface that it can hit without making a mess.
Move the brush around the table as you tap, allowing specks of white paint to land in various areas around the red top of the tables. Add as much or as little as you wish.
Let the paint dry completely.
Now it’s time to seal our project. In areas where I only added black paint over an already white, smooth surface, I did not bother sealing the project, but I did seal each entire farmhouse side table and the top of the farmhouse entryway table.
To seal, follow the directions on your sealing wax. I brushed a thin layer on, let it sit for a while, then wiped off the excess with a rag. Once you’ve coated enough, let it dry out completely before using. Following the package instructions is your best bet here.
I didn’t like the plain knob on my entryway table, so I switched it out with a cute rooster knob (which was the inspiration for the red top with black underneath). I’ve linked to a similar rooster knob, but there are tons of cute ones to choose from—some are regular knobs with roosters painted on, some are similar but golden and can be painted to match mine or left as is…do whatever suits you! This is your wonderful DIY farmhouse decor.
I absolutely adore my cheap farmhouse decor. These farmhouse accent tables add the perfect rustic/country chic touch to my modern farmhouse style home decor.
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Very detailed post! The painted red and white table and chais look good. Also, I’ve learned how to repaint.