Side Table Makeover with Chalk Finish Paint

Today I am going to show you how I made over a $20 side table with DIY chalk finish paint!

Since last fall, I haven’t had any side tables to place beside our couch or loveseat.  That drives me crazy because I like to have a lamp and a place to sit my drink while I am sitting on the couch.

Honestly, I just haven’t had the extra money to buy a new side table, so I have been looking for something inexpensive to re-do and use.

I was so excited when I found this little side table at a local antique mall for $19.99.  I liked the shape, and it was well made with solid wood, so I decided to buy it.

Here it is sitting by our couch just a few days ago with the glass lamp full of Christmas ornaments in it that I kept forgetting to take out.

side table makeover with chalk finish paint

I instantly knew that this would be a great piece to paint with chalk finish paint.

side table makeover with chalk finish paint

To make my chalk finish paint, I used my favorite white latex paint and Plaster of Paris.side table makeover with chalk finish paint

I stirred together 1 cup of paint, 1/3 cup of Plaster of Paris, and 1/3 cup of water in a plastic measuring cup from Lowe’s.


side table makeover with chalk finish paint

Then I was ready to paint.  You can see what the top of the table looked like here…

side table makeover with chalk finish paint

I love that I didn’t even have to sand the table before I painted it.

That small amount of paint was enough to do three coats on this table.

I forgot to take a picture of the final coat, but you can see the first two coats below.

side table makeover with chalk finish paint

For the drawer, I removed the old hardware to make room for some new ones.

side table makeover with chalk finish paint

Then I filled the holes with wood filler and let it dry.

side table makeover with chalk finish paint

After the wood filler was dry, I sanded it down until it was smooth.

side table makeover with chalk finish paint

After painting the drawer with three coats, I lightly sanded it with some fine grit sandpaper.

side table makeover with chalk finish paint

I sanded all the edges of the table as well.  You could skip this step if you do not like the “worn” look.  Smile

side table makeover with chalk finish paint

To make my white side table not look quite so “white,” I decided to add some glaze to it.

I decided to make my own glaze.  I mixed together about 1/2 cup of Valspar’s translucent glaze and 2 tablespoons of “Liberty Bell” {ar721}  paint from Lowe’s. {I only purchased the sample size.}

diy glaze

Now for this next step, I had to channel my inner Mr. Miyagi.


When applying the glaze, you wipe it on with a clean rag, and wipe it off with a another clean rag.

Wipe it on.

side table makeover with chalk finish paint

Wipe it off.

side table makeover with chalk finish paint

Wipe it on.

Wipe it off.

Repeat until you have covered the whole table with the glaze.

Lastly, I applied the Wipe-On Poly from my well-used and well-loved can.

side table makeover with chalk finish paint

I applied two coats of wipe on poly, lightly sanding between each coat.

Then let it dry and STYLE! Smile

side table makeover with chalk finish paint

I bought two new handles from Hobby Lobby for 50% off.  They are wrapped in jute string, and I just used Gorilla Glue to attach them to the drawer.  {They didn’t come with screws, so I will add those later.}

side table makeover with chalk finish paint

Aren’t they cute?!!

I used a basket that I already had to place in the middle of the table.  Eventually, I will probably get a different basket that is a lighter color and maybe not quite as tall.

side table makeover with chalk finish paint

But for now, this basket is fine.  I am loving how the table turned out!  And did I mention I only paid $20 for it?!


It looks perfect next to my slipcovered couch from Ballard Designs.

side table makeover with chalk finish paint

I wasn’t sure I would like making my own chalk finish paint, but I loved it.  It is thicker than regular paint, but it dries very quickly, and I love that I didn’t have to sand the table before I applied it.  I really like the “look” of the chalk finish paint, and I love that I can make it any color I want!  The skies the limit!  Smile

side table makeover with chalk finish paint

Have you ever made your own Chalk Finish Paint? 


Did you like it?


I created this project as part of the Lowe’s Creative Ideas Team.

If you have a smartphone or tablet,  be sure to download the Lowe’s Creative Ideas App to see some unique seasonal project ideas!  {Psst..they featured my craft closet makeover in their January Issue!  Download the app to see it!}Winter LCI Badge Banner-392x240

And be sure to follow Lowe’s on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.


*Disclosure:  I am a member of the Lowe’s Creative Ideas Team, and I received a gift card to purchase supplies for this project.  However, the project idea and opinions were 100% mine.


  1. Wow! You have certainly made a charming table out of your little Plain Jane (and inexpensive) find!

    And I love that you made your own chalk paint…who knew?! My mind is not spinning with all the possibilities…

  2. Looks great! I’ve made my own chalk paint too. Mine was not as smooth going on as ASCP but so much less expensive and I only needed a little bit in a custom color. Love the jute wrapped hardware!

  3. Looks beautiful! I have made chalk paint, very similar to yours, only I used powdered grout. It chips more easily than ASCP, but it’s definitely worth it, especially for furniture or other items that won’t get much wear and tear (I wouldn’t use it on a dining table, for example). Those flowers are a nice touch of spring on this icy day in Georgia :)

  4. This rocks Traci – I love it! And the “recipe” for making chalk paint, when the budget doesn’t allow for purchasing extra paints right now. Hmmmm…. There has to be something around here I can paint!

  5. I love the new look of the table! How adorable! I love the twine that is around the door pulls as well. I haven’t worked with chalk paint yet but I CANNOT wait to try it out!

  6. What a darling side table–love the handles!It is amazing what a couple coats of paint can do. I have not tried chalk paint yet–but I have a piece waiting to be made pretty so I am going to use your recipe…

  7. Okay, I am sold! I have had a coffee table I got at GW for $10 for a YEAR now — and have gone back and forth about how to paint it. I wanted to try Chalk Paint, but cannot justify the cost of ASCP (at least not for me) — your post about your side table just made my decision on what to do! Now…you know what I will be doing this weekend (and we are due for temps of high 70’s, so it will be a good weekend to do it!) :)

  8. That is quite an amazing transformation on the end table. Really cute! However… To make sure I didn’t miss the info, I have read this post 4 times now and I’m dying to know where the ADORABLE beach bicycle pillow came from. Pleeeeease share! :)

    Also, which Ballard Design sofa do you have? Have you been pleased with it and do the slipcovers wash well?

    1. Hi Shari!
      I bought the pillow at Garden Ridge.
      My couch from Ballard Design is called the Baldwin Sofa.
      I got the Suzanne Kasler slipcovers and they wash very well. They recommend dry cleaning, but I washed mine in the washing machine. I got my new couch in October, and I just recently needed to wash a few of the cushions. Not bad with 5 boys in the house! :)

  9. That table is beautiful! And you styled it so well! I am like you – gotta have a table beside my seat for my iced tea.
    I saw homemade chalk paint on Pinterest but had not read of anyone using it. It sounds like something I could do. Do you have any idea how it would work on raw wood? I have an Ikea Rast chest that I need to paint.

    1. Thank you, Kim. I’m not sure how it would do on raw wood. I think it should be fine, but I have never tried it so I can’t tell you for sure.

  10. Love it! I thought you were going to have a black chalkboard finish on the top – the kind you write on – so this was a surprise. Love the pillow on the couch – where did you get it?

  11. Love it! It looks fresh!
    I’m so behind with the painting technique. What’s the deal with Paris mixed in paint? And wipe on poly? Holy cow! What else am I missing?

    And I want your vintage bicycle pillow! Where did you get it?

  12. It looks beautiful and a great idea for using left over paint. I used all kinds of paints and techniques for repurposing furniture for my home. Like you, I love to breath life into an old piece of furniture at bargain finds. I also love using ASCP. I don’t think it’s expensive when you can get several pieces of furniture refinished out of one little quart of paint. It’s so easy to work with too. Like I said, I experiment with many different paints.

    Please keep these great projects coming. I love to read your blog and see all of the beautiful projects.

  13. I just paintd our hutch with chalk paint, I truly like the look, I certainly think your sidetable is adrable and just perfect where it resides. Sending oodles of hugs for you today.

  14. Awesome transformation Traci! It looks fantastic, and goes perfectly with the sofa! You’ve inspired me to try making my own chalk paint now…i’m sure hubby will be thrilled, lol, he never knows what changes to expect when he gets home :).

  15. Very nice looking table after the makeover, but I especially like the excellent step by step detailed instructions with pictures. Thank you.

  16. Traci, love your table and chalk paint. Does the wipe on poly provide enough protection to prevent the chalk paint from coming off when glasses, lamps, etc. slide across the top?

  17. This is exactly what I need to do to the two side table I just bought for a total of 20.00. Now. Was the left over white paint flat?, eggshell, semi gloss. Gloss? Trying to figure out the finish! Thanks!

  18. I love this! I have a few pieces that I want to paint with the chalk paint — just need to get up my courage! Can you give me an idea of where you got this little side table? I’ve been looking for something similar.

  19. the table turned out great. I’ve never used chalk paint but I bought all the ingredients in the hopes I can use it soon. Do you work for Lowes?

  20. Wow… I am pretty good about seeing the potential in pieces but I don’t think I would have seen that one! Those handles and the basket changed it completely. Love it! and can’t wait to try the recipe for the chalky paint too. Love your styling too, Traci!

  21. Why chalk paint? Is this the same chalk paint, I’ve bought many times in black to paint a board or a label to write on it with chalk?? What look does it give to a piece of old furniture? New to your blog, and ur amazing…soooo gotta be some reason to go to all the work and the time to paint 3 x’s and also make your own. And why after all the coats are you rubbing on the last treatment? Rub on , rub off means to me that there is a certain amount of color(??) Like antiquing it but in pic it looks bright white… (?) Obviously, I’m new to the world of D.I.Y. & I’m not patient, dislike to sand, and wait to dry. I love and live for spring time for daffodils, tulips and SPRAY PAINT!! Help a newbie??

  22. I love a gray find. Yes, I will make my own chalk paint from time to time. My favorite part is the quick drying time. Your table is perfect !

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