Thrift Store Side Table Makeover with Chalk Paint

Cottage Door chalk painted table

A thrift store table makeover with chalk paint is a fun and easy way to create a pretty custom piece that works with your decor and style.

Our youngest daughter recently moved into a new apartment.  Much like when my son got a new place last year, she didn’t have a lot of living room furniture.  

After we helped her get moved in, I made a list of some of the things that would help her get organized and be more comfortable in her new place.

Here was my list:

Thanks to Amazon’s overnight delivery and a couple of quick thrift store visits, I had everything on my list checked off in no time!

Thrift Store Finds

thrift store side table

You guys know how much I love furniture makeovers, and thrift stores are the best places to hunt for good-quality, old pieces of furniture for DIY projects. 

I set off to find an old coffee table or side tables that could be given a new life.

Luckily, I only had to visit one thrift store to find both the wall mirror that was on my list, and an end table that I knew would make a great project.  

It was in good condition aside from a little bit of water damage on the top, but I knew that could easily be sanded right out.

A quick stop at one more thrift store, and I had the perfect lamp in hand too!

I am partnering with Dixie Belle Paint Company for this post. Paint and stain were generously provided to me by Dixie Belle, but all ideas and creations are my own. This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

Thrift Store Table Makeover with Chalk Paint


The first thing I did when I got the table home was remove the hardware and give the entire table a good cleaning.  I used Dixie Belle’s Pristine Clean and some shop towels to make sure that any old furniture wax, dust, or dirt was removed and my chalk paint could adhere properly.


The next step was to sand the entire table top down to bare wood.  

The top of the table had a pretty pattern inlay and I wanted to remove the old stain to allow it to show through better.

My Corner Cat electric sander with medium grit sandpaper was an easy way to achieve a smooth finish that was ready for a new look.


Dixie Belle recently came out with a beautiful new palette of colors called “The Cottage Collection” and I was excited to try them out!  

Cottage Door Chalk paint

Our daughter already had some pretty coral tones in her existing sofa pillows and a piece of wall art, so the color Cottage Door was the perfect choice to coordinate with them.

thrift store side table makeover with chalk paint

I used a DB large round brush (Dixie Belle has the best paint brushes!) to add my first coat of paint to the table legs and base.  

Using a couple of light coats of paint is better than thick coats.  

After the first coat had dried for about 30 minutes or so, I came back and added a second coat to the entire piece, except for the top since that was getting a wood stain instead.

thrift store side table makeover with chalk paint

A smaller Dixie Belle Artist brush was perfect for trimming along the edges.


Dixie Belle makes a lot of great wood stains. For this project, I chose their Voodoo Gel Stain in the color Tobacco Road.  

I wanted a more neutral color for the top since the base was so colorful, so the warm brown tones of Tobacco Road were the perfect complement.

Gel stain is a good option if you don’t have much time.  Because it’s water-based, it dries more quickly than oil-based stains and still provides good coverage and rich color.

I squeezed some out right onto the tabletop and then used an applicator pad to smooth it evenly over the entire surface.  For best results, allow it to dry for about 30 minutes before applying a second coat if needed.

Clear Coat

Next, I was ready to add a protective finish to the stained top of this beautiful table.  

I chose Dixie Belle’s Satin Clear Coat and applied a light coat using a blue applicator sponge.  I allowed the first coat to dry for a little while before applying a second light coat.  

You definitely want some sort of protective top coat for an end table or coffee table. Dixie Belle has several different finish options: flat, satin, glossy, and Gator Hide for the strongest level of protection.


The original hardware was a little too bright for this piece, so I toned it down and made it warmer with some black chalk paint in the color Caviar, and some bronze Gilding Wax.

I simply applied one coat of black paint, and when it was dry, I dabbed on some bronze wax to create an interesting texture.


On the base and legs of the table, I brushed on some clear soft wax for a little extra protection, then buffed it with a clean applicator pad.  

Clear Wax for thrift store side table makeover with chalk paint

I chose clear wax for this project, but Dixie Belle’s Best Dang Wax comes in several different colors.  

  • White chalk paint is a popular choice for farmhouse-style makeovers. Dark wax looks great with light grey paint or white paint!
  • Any of the new Cottage Collection paint colors are perfect for a shabby chic look.  Experiment with distressed areas and different wax colors to create the look you want.
clear wax

The Finished Chalk Paint Table Makeover

thrift store side table makeover with chalk paint

I love the subtle pattern inlay of the wood.

stained top with gel stain

Before delivering it to our daughter’s new apartment, I stamped the bottom with my brand new custom “House on Silverado” stamper. Isn’t it great?! It will be perfect for marking all of my custom pieces!

custom stamp HoS

This cute little side table looks great with the colors already in her apartment! Cottage Door was indeed the perfect color.

side table makeover

And what about that adorable Eiffel Tower lamp? Our daughter is a lover of all things French, so as soon as I saw it, I knew it was perfect!

I replaced the old shade with a new, more modern-looking square one and that was all it took to make this thrift-store find look brand new and ✔️ it off my list.

Another fun project, signed, sealed, and delivered.

More Paint Projects You May Like:

Let’s stay in touch! You can subscribe to The House on Silverado, and follow on social media, so you won’t miss a thing!

Facebook —– Instagram —– Pinterest

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

Dixie Belle Paint Company

12 thoughts on “Thrift Store Side Table Makeover with Chalk Paint

  1. I have been going to thrift stores, garage sales and 2nd hand stores since I was first married. That was how I was able to get most of our furniture. When my kids were born, I would get a used crib and paint it to match the theme. And fast forward to just last year, I went to a garage sale and lo and behold they were selling an oak queen bed frame. It was sold the minute I saw it, and the best part, I did not have to sand and paint! We for sure have fun shopping together! I sure enjoyed seeing your stages of refinishing. Is chalk paint chalky or smooth? I am curious.

    Take care and best wishes!

    1. Yes, we are quite alike, Debra! I’d say 2/3 of the furniture in my home is upcycled! I like buying quality, older pieces and customizing them to my liking! I use Dixie Belle Chalk Paint and it applies so smoothly. It’s my favorite paint and easy to work with!
      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. That is a lovely table makeover! The color is so pretty. I used to have those same exact Eiffel Tower lamps and now I’m wishing I had not gotten rid of them. They are SO cute.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *