From Drab to Fab: My First Successful Furniture Transformation Using Chalk Paint


Hello everyone!!!  I didn’t think I would be writing this blog post so soon but I’m super excited to share this with you all. I thought I would be sharing it next week but the project didn’t take as long as I thought.  In my last post here, I shared about how I discovered chalk paint and I’m telling you it is amazing!! And because it dries so quickly I was able to finish this project quicker than I thought.

I also shared in my last post that I was going to repurpose this old beaten up Ikea Lack coffee table.

This old thing has seen better days

The great thing is that with chalk paint barely any prep work is required.  My type of project.  All I did was give the table a good cleaning.  I used disinfectant wipes to really wipe it down.  After wiping gathered my supplies and got to working.

Table 3
I wanted a farmhouse top style table so   from Home Depot   I picked up four 1″x4″x8′ common board and had them cut them down to the lengths I needed.  This gave me 8 pieces but my table required only 7. Stain for the wood.  I used a combination Minwax Special Walnut and Classic Grey (more on that later), liquid nails to glue the board onto the table, screws, Americana Decor Chalk Paint in Vintage


  1. 1x4s
  2. sand paper 120 grit, 220 grit and 400 grit
  3. Stain
  4. Chalk Paint
  5. Good quality paint brush
  6. Clear Cream Wax
  7. Dark Cream Wax
  8. Clean rags
  9. Liquid Nails/wood glue
  10. Screws
  11. Polycrylic/Polyurethane

I started out by sanding my 1x4s.  It didn’t require a lot of sanding as the boards were pretty smooth.  Start with 12o grit sand paper then smooth out with 220 grit.  After sanding I wiped off all the dust with a tack cloth then proceeded to staining. Before staining I always use a pre-stain wood conditioner.  This helps the wood absorb the stain and prepare splotchiness.  I use Minwax wood conditioner.

Sanding the boards

After sanding I proceeded to stain.  I stained with Minwax Special Walnut first and after letting that dry for about 6 hours I applied a second coat of stain with the Minwax Classic Grey then let the stain dry for 24 hours.

While the boards were drying I started painting my a table.  Like I said earlier the only prep required for painting with the chalk paint was cleaning the table.  I used the Americana Decor Chalk Paint and I have to say I love it.  It gave good coverage and dried super fast.  The only thing was that there were visible brush strokes though after applying the second coat the reduced drastically but brush strokes were still visible.  As I was going for a textured look this didn’t bother me.

After the paint dried, I sanded with 400 grit sandpaper just to smooth out the paint.  Then I took my 220 grit sand paper and started to distress. I wanted sort of a shabby chic vintage distressed look.  I wanted a light distress so I mostly sanded the edges which gave it a lightly worn out look.

So with chalk paint, in order to preserve it from chipping you need to wax it.  From my research I found that there is clear wax which and there is dark wax.  Clear wax is a must and the dark is optional.  The dark wax helps to give the furniture the antique look.  So I started with the Americana Decor Clear Creme Wax.  I just followed the instructions.  I applied it on with a clean rag, wiping off any excess and then allowed to dry.  After drying I buffed to give it some sheen.  If you are going for a matte look this step is not necessary.  I decided I wanted to give the table an antique look so I decided to try the dark wax also by American Decor.  Also followed the instructions: applied with a clean rag, wiped off and allowed to dry. Once dry a buffed to get a nice sheen.  I have to say I like the antiquing effect.

The waxes used
After waxing with both clear and dark wax

Once I was happy with the paint job, and my boards were dry it was time to attach the boards to the table top.  Note that I didn’t paint the top of the table since the boards were going on top of them.  I ran a 120 grit sand paper on the table top just to roughen it up a bit to allow the liquid nails to adhere.  Then I wiped down so as to remove any dust.  Then I started glueing my boards to the top.

Liquid nail glue attached to the back of the board

Once all the boards were glued on I let it sit for about half an hour to allow the glue to adhere properly.  I also placed heavy objects on them since I don’t have a clamp.  All my big heavy nursing textbooks came in handy for this lol. After about half an hour I proceeded to add my screws.  I want to use screws for two reasons, one it makes the boards more secure on the table.  Secondly, aesthetic purposes.  The screw heads on the table gave the table an industrial feel that I like.  If you don’t like the screws showing you can screw from underneath.

Drilling in screws
I did three rows of screws: on the ends and the middle of the table

After the screws were installed I proceeded to seal my table top with polycrylic.  You can use either polycrylic or polyurethane for this step but from research that I’ve done polyurethane causes the wood to yellow over time so I opted for polycrylic. The polycrylic helps to protect the wood.  I used a semi gloss so it gave it a bit of a sheen.  I applied three coats letting dry for two hours in between coats and sanding with 22o grit sandpaper in between the coats also.

And with that the table is done yay!! I really love the transformation.  What do you all think?


I think this tray I found on sale at Target is perfect for the table.  All I need now is to add maybe some candles and a vase with some flowers to style.



9 Comments Add yours

  1. George Osai says:

    It’s a WOW transformation, Kandi. It’d probably take a ‘hardworker’ like me 3 months to pull this off. 😊


    1. Kandi Brown says:

      Thanks George!! It was surprisingly not that hard and I’m pretty sure you could pull it off in less than three months lol


  2. Chinyere says:

    Bravo Kandi. You’re a genius.


    1. Kandi Brown says:

      Thank you!!! 😀😀


  3. Mary Job says:

    Wow, from drab to Fab indeed. Well done. I can use some DIYs myself, thanks for the inspiration. Glad to discover you via #FinLove💕


    1. Kandi Brown says:

      Thank you!!! I’m glad you’re inspired and thanks for checking out the blog 😀😀 #FINLove 😻😻

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Mary Job says:

        You welcome Sis. Xoxo.👍


  4. Chichi says:

    Finsis, this is awesome! I’m already thinking of where one can get all these supplies in Naija to put some fingers and creativity to work.


    1. Kandi Brown says:

      Thank you!!! Are there any art supply stores?? Also builders must be getting their wood from somewhere so maybe you can look into that for sourcing


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