It’s been a long, cold, and very lazy winter, but I’m finally getting reacquainted with my spray gun and finishing up (or starting!) some furniture projects! My lastest redo was these two little pedestal end tables that I got for free from my mom…who got them for free from her neighbors. I love free furniture!
They’re not the highest quality pieces of furniture, though we were glad they come apart so we could fit them in our car on the way home from Little Rock! The legs and top piece are made of mdf, which is pretty obvious in this picture.
It was easy to tell on the top, too, despite the attempts at a faux wood grain finish, so I figured the only solution was to paint them. I was nervous that any sanding would either rough up the mdf or penetrate the coat of sealant and cause the mdf to bubble from the moisture in the paint.
So after cleaning them really well, I used my HVLP gun to spray them with a couple coats of an off-white chalk paint. I believe the color I used was Sherwin William’s Agreeable Gray. (Here’s a tutorial on how I make the chalk paint and a post about my HVLP paint sprayer.)
I love the finish when I use chalk paint with my sprayer! When I spray a larger surface with a semi-gloss or glossy paint, it requires 4 or 5 (or more!) coats to get a consistent sheen. With the chalk paint, though, it’s flat so this is never an issue! Sometimes I like the rustic charm of brush marks, but I jut felt that these tables needed a brush-free finish. (The sprayer does create a slightly rough texture with primer or chalk paint, but after a really quick sanding with a high grit sanding block, the finish is flawless.)
I lightly distressed the tables because I figure with no sanding or priming, it’s just a matter of time before they become distressed on their own. Since I didn’t sand, though, the wood underneath appeared a little too shiny next to the flat, white paint.
So I dabbed a tiny bit of chalk paint over each distressed area to make it a little more subtle and less shiny.
I really love how these turned out! The finish is smooth, the color is perfect, and I love the distressing!
After that, I applied a coat of Johnson’s Paste Wax. You can wax before distressing, but I find this causes more paint to come off and I wanted very small distressed areas.
The Johnson’s wax is easier to use than Minwax Clear wax as it has a softer consistency, and it’s completely clear whereas Minwax is slightly orange. If you’re painting with a white or very light colored paint, this could slightly affect the color of your finish. I found Johnson’s wax at Home Depot in the floor care section. Definitely recommend it!
I apply the wax using cheesecloth and cover the entire surface with a thin layer.
I usually wait 10 or 15 minutes before wiping it off and buffing the surface with a clean piece of cheesecloth. (If the furniture piece is small enough like these, I wax the entire thing and then go back and buff in the same order.) The wax will darken the paint just a little bit, but there’s no discoloration once dry. It gives the piece a very slight sheen, eliminating the chalky looking finish, and it adds a little bit of depth.
They’re now inside to avoid overspray from any other furniture projects. Aren’t they cute?
I may end up doing another layer or two of wax on the tops for added protection, though coasters are still a must!
I really love the hints of distressing, and I hope the wax will keep it protected from too much natural distressing!
And considering these were a free project, I really love the end result!
But now I’m itching to paint something a bright color! It’s unfortunate that white/cream/off-white is such a popular choice! They always sell better…but maybe gray can appease me?