Farmhouse Style Chipped Finish Side Table Restoration Tutorial


I can’t live without my bedside table or the little end table by my sofa. So, when looking for a new project, this farmhouse-inspired chipped finish side table restoration is a great starting point. It turns a simple inexpensive side table into a gorgeous addition that is both functional and lovely in any home. With layers of paint, wax, and some minor distressing, you too can recreate this look on any furniture piece.

Finished side table with decor

Side Table Restoration

I remember as a teen getting a set of furniture pieces, that while functional, just wasn’t that pretty. They were solid and quality, but I always wanted to make them a bit more feminine and stylish. Years down the road, I no longer have those pieces, but this side table is very reminiscent of that set and definitely shows how you can take truly any style and turn it into something unique, fun, and functional.

I love how this dark black surface was transformed into a lightly distressed wood look. You would never imagine the two pieces are one and the same! It’s a lengthy process but the result is fantastic. Whether you do this to add to your own existing furniture or you intend to repurpose and sell pieces at a local shop, this is a great place to begin.

What Type of Surface is Best For This Makeover?

I always look for quality sturdy wood pieces that are solid wood. To me, this is a better choice for my time investment as I know they will last a longer time than those made with pressed board or particleboard. However, you can use this on almost any wood surface as long as you follow the steps of sanding first and painting to get the desired look.

Finished side table with decor

More Fun Restoration Projects

Need more inspiration for your next DIY, repurposing, or upcycling project? I have tons of great ideas gathered over the years to get you started. Whether you want another full restoration like this distressed curio cabinet restoration, or you are looking more for a small project like how to repurpose old household items, I’ve got you covered. Below are a few more ideas to add to your list!

Side of end table

What Tools Do I Need?

Begin with Preparation Before Staring a Restoration Project

Before you begin working on your furniture makeover project, take time to prepare everything. This includes cleaning and setting up your workspace as well as the prep on the piece itself. Sanding, cleaning, and readying to paint are all part of this process.

  • Place furniture in a clean workspace. If working in a garage be sure to sweep or blow all dirt and debris out of the area you will be working in. Lay a drop cloth down to ensure the paint does not drip and ruin your flooring.
  • Take one lint-free cloth and dampen it with mineral spirits. Clean the entire piece of furniture with the spirits to remove any and all debris or oils that may be on the surface. Be sure to wipe down anywhere you will be painting, including the inside of drawers and/or doors. It is advised to wear a mask or be sure you are in a well-ventilated area.

Mineral spirits on table

  • Sand the entire piece using 220 grit sandpaper. If you have an orbital sander you can use this for the top of your piece and any larger areas to save you time and energy. If not, no worries sanding blocks and regular sandpaper will do just fine. Be sure to rough up the existing finish to expose the natural wood grain. Smooth out any imperfections and ensure your piece is smooth to the touch.

Sanding side table

  • Be careful around any small details. Sanding is all about the pressure you apply. Heavy pressure in areas that have a thick existing finish, light pressure on corners, and areas with detail you do not want to disturb.

Sanding side table

  • Take another lint-free cloth and remove all dust particles from the sanding process. Take your time, you do not want any lingering particles that will live under your paint. If you have an air compressor gun you will be done in no time. Don’t miss the corners and crevices!

Rubbing cloth on table

Beginning Painting Your Furniture Makeover Project

Make sure when painting anything you are working in a well-ventilated space or working outside. If possible, wear masks or a respirator for double protection against fumes.

  • Shake your Dixie Belle Rebel Yellow Chalk paint for 30 seconds.
  • Pour Dixie Belle Rebel Yellow on to a paper plate. A little goes a long way. Best to add more to your plate as you go to ensure you do not waste.
  • Using one of your Natural Bristle Chalk Paint Brushes, coat the bottom of your brush and start painting the top of your piece. Be sure to work the paint in the same direction as the wood grain.

Painting table

  • Working from top to bottom will help minimize drips. Coat the entire piece. Don’t worry if the paint looks streaky it will all flatten out.

Painting table

  • Let dry for 30 minutes.
  • Flip piece and paint the backside and underneath with Dixie Belle Rebel Yellow. Be sure to focus on any edges, insides of doors, or areas that might be visible to ensure full coverage.

Painting table

  • Let dry for 30 minutes.
  • Flip piece to have top of piece parallel with the ceiling.
  • Apply a second coat of Dixie Belle Rebel Yellow. Work in the same direction as the wood grain.

Painting table

  • Let cure for 24 hours (depending on weather and humidity)
  • If necessary, using 220 grit sandpaper lightly sand any areas of paint drips or build up.

Sanding side table

  • Using your lint-free dust cloth remove any debris.
  • Apply generous coats of petroleum jelly with a foam brush on any areas you want your Dixie Belle Rebel Yellow to chip through. Focus on corners, areas of detail, and areas that will show natural distress.

Adding Vaseline to table

  • Shake your Dixie Belle Cotton Chalk paint for 30 seconds.
  • Pour Dixie Belle Cotton on to another paper plate. Remember a little goes a long way.
  • Using your natural bristle chalk paintbrush, coat the bottom of your brush and start painting the top of your piece with Dixie Belle Cotton Chalk paint. Paint in the same direction as the wood grain.

Painting table

  • Work from top to bottom. Be sure to paint over the petroleum jelly. You do not have to fully cover your piece if you don’t want to. You can apply quickly, remember we want some of the Dixie Belle Rebel Yellow to show through the Dixie Belle Cotton Chalk paint.
  • Let dry for 30 minutes.
  • Flip piece and paint underneath and back with Dixie Belle Cotton. Be sure to focus on any edges or areas that might be visible to ensure full coverage.
  • Let Cure for 24 hours.

The Finishing Touches for The Side Table Project

These final steps are really what gives your table character. You’ll also want to make sure your project is cured so it lasts for years to come. These steps are a must!

  • Using 220 grit sandpaper sand the entire piece. Areas, where the petroleum jelly was, will chip off exposing that beautiful Yellow. Any areas you would like additional distressing for a naturally aged look, sand away. Corners, legs, doors, and drawers are a great place to distress.

Sanding side table

  • Using your lint-free cloth remove any dust or debris. Ensure your piece is clean before the next step.

Rubbing cloth on table

  • Set a timer for 15 minutes. Start the timer when you begin the next step.

Painted side table with drawer

  • Using your natural bristle wax brush and Dixie Belle Best Dang Brown Wax apply a thin coat to the entire piece. You can dip your brush right into the tin. Remember to apply a thin coat. Work quickly

Waxing table

  • Once the timer goes off you can start to rub in your wax. Work in the area that you applied to first. Using your last lint-free cloth rub your wax into your piece. Be sure to rub in all directions and press the wax into the wood. If you’re not sweating you’re not doing it right. This takes elbow grease.

Rubbing cloth on table

  • Let Dry for 2 hours.
  • The full Cure time is 30 days. (You can gently use your furniture after the first 48 hours) Be sure not to clean or drag anything across your beautiful creation before your 30 days are up.

Top of distressed end table

Always Clean Up After You Finish Any Project

Don’t leave a mess. Even though the furniture makeover is done, you need to make sure your workspace and tools are ready for the net project you take on. Take time to clean and put away things for next time.

  • Clean all chalk paint brushes immediately after use with water. If buildup occurs you can gently clean with mineral spirits.
  • Place wax brush in a ziplock bag. No need to clean your brush as long as you only use the same color wax with the same brush. Place in a ziplock bag immediately when you’re done using.

Finished side table with decor

Other Fun Furniture Makeovers:

Metallic Finish Rustic Side Table Restoration Tutorial

Distressed Wood Desk Furniture Makeover Step by Step Tutorial
Modern Farmhouse Glass Top Wooden Tables Restoration
25 Furniture Makeovers Using Paint

Yield: 1

Flowers on side table

Follow this step by step tutorial for making your own farmhouse style chipped finish side table. A perfect furniture makeover and home restoration project anyone can do!

Prep Time
2 minutes

Active Time
5 days

Additional Time
2 days

Total Time
7 days 2 minutes

Difficulty
Medium

Instructions

Begin with Preparation Before Staring a Restoration Project

  1. Place furniture in a clean work space. If working in a garage be sure to sweep or blow all dirt and debris out of the area you will be working in.  Lay a drop cloth down to ensure paint does not drip and ruin your flooring.
  2. Take one lint free cloth and dampen with mineral spirits.  Clean the entire piece of furniture with the spirits to remove any and all debris or oils that may be on the surface.  Be sure to wipe down anywhere you will be painting, including the inside of drawers and/or doors.  It is advised to wear a mask or be sure you are in a well ventilated area.
  3. Sand the entire piece using 220 grit sandpaper.  If you have an orbital sander you can use this for the top of your piece and any larger areas to save you time and energy.  If not, no worries sanding blocks and regular sandpaper will do just fine.  Be sure to rough up the existing finish to expose the natural wood grain.  Smooth out any imperfections and ensure your piece is smooth to the touch.  Be careful around any small details.  Sanding is all about the pressure you apply.  Heavy pressure in areas that have thick existing finish, light pressure on corners and areas with detail you do not want to disturb.
  4. Take another lint free cloth and remove all dust particles from the sanding process.  Take your time, you do not want any lingering particles that will live under your paint.  If you have an air compressor gun you will be done in no time.  Don’t miss the corners and crevices!

Beginning Painting Your Furniture Makeover Project.  

  1. Shake your Dixie Belle Rebel Yellow Chalkpaint for 30 seconds. 
  2. Pour Dixie Belle Rebel Yellow on to a paper plate.  A little goes a long way.  Best to add more to your plate as you go to ensure you do not waste.
  3. Using one of your Natural Bristle Chalk Paint Brushes, coat the bottom of your brush and start painting the top of your piece.  Be sure to work the paint in the same direction of the wood grain.  Working from top to bottom will help minimize drips.  Coat the entire piece. Don’t worry if paint looks streaky it will all flatten out.
  4. Let dry for 30 minutes.
  5. Flip piece and paint the backside and underneath with Dixie Belle Rebel Yellow.  Be sure to focus on any edges, insides of doors, or areas that might be visible to ensure full coverage.
  6. Let dry for 30 minutes.
  7. Flip piece to have top of piece parallel with the ceiling.
  8. Apply a second coat of Dixie Belle Rebel Yellow.  Work in the same direction of the wood grain.
  9. Let cure for 24 hours (depending on weather and humidity)
  10. If necessary, using 220 grit sandpaper lightly sand any areas of paint drips or build up.
  11. Using your lint free dust cloth remove any debri.
  12.  Apply generous coats of petroleum jelly with foam brush on any areas you want your Dixie Belle Rebel Yellow to chip through.  Focus on corners, areas of detail, and areas that will show natural distress.
  13. Shake your Dixie Belle Cotton Chalkpaint for 30 seconds.
  14. Pour Dixie Belle Cotton on to another paper plate.  Remember a little goes a long way.
  15. Using your natural bristle chalk paint brush, coat the bottom of your brush and start painting the top of your piece with Dixie Belle Cotton Chalkpaint. Paint in the same direction of the wood grain.  Work from top to bottom.  Be sure to paint over the petroleum jelly.  You do not have to fully cover your piece if you don’t want to.  You can apply quickly, remember we want some of the Dixie Belle Rebel Yellow to show through the Dixie Belle Cotton Chalkpaint.
  16. Let dry for 30 minutes.
  17. Flip piece and paint underneath and back with Dixie Belle Cotton.  Be sure to focus on any edges or areas that might be visible to ensure full coverage.
  18. Let Cure for 24 hours.

The Finishing Touches for The Side Table Project

  1. Using 220 grit sandpaper sand the entire piece.  Areas where the petroleum jelly was will chip off exposing that beautiful Yellow.  Any areas you would like additional distressing for a natural aged look, sand away.  Corners, legs, doors, and drawers are a great place to distress.
  2. Using your lint free cloth remove any dust or debris.  Ensure your piece is clean before starting step 3.
  3. Set a timer for 15 minutes. Start the timer when you begin step 4.
  4. Using your natural bristle wax brush and Dixie Belle Best Dang Brown Wax apply a thin coat to the entire piece.  You can dip your brush right into the tin.  Remember to apply a thin coat. Work quickly
  5. Once the timer goes off you can start to rub in your wax.  Work in the area that you applied first.  Using your last lint free cloth rub your wax into your piece. Be sure to rub in all directions and press the wax into the wood.  If you’re not sweating you’re not doing it right.  This takes elbow grease. 
  6. Let Dry for 2 hours.
  7. Full Cure time is 30 days.  (You can gently use your furniture after the first 48 hours) Be sure not to clean or drag anything across your beautiful creation before your 30 days is up.

Always Clean Up After You Finish Any Project

  1. Clean all chalk paint brushes immediately after use with water. If buildup occurs you can gently clean with mineral spirits.
  2. Place wax brush in a ziplock bag. No need to clean your brush as long as you only use the same color wax with the same brush.  Place in a ziplock bag immediately when you’re done using.

Notes

Follow this process for any favorite furniture piece.

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Comments

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