DIY Sofa Table Makeover

I love finding old pieces of furniture to paint and fix-up! Check out my jewelry armoire, my friend’s headboard, my nightstands and my nursery dresser!

I was in the market for a colored table to brighten up our living room walkway when I saw this sofa table on a local sale website and couldn’t pass it up. Even though it’s not as old and rustic-looking as I would have liked, I couldn’t pass up a real wood table with these kind of grooves for glazing. Ideas were already churning in my head!

It sat in our living room for a while as-is until I figured out my plan of action. Ultimately, I decided on a mustard yellow color to match our living room decor. Instead of making the entire table yellow, I wanted some contrast, so I decided to make the drawers and the flat part on the bottom a darker brown.

Since I knew this part could be messy, I did this first. I just used some old dark brown wood stain we had sitting in our garage. It just took several light coats of stain to look the way I wanted.


*Note: I originally stained the top brown as well, but later decided to paint over it.

Since the table was nice and smooth and I didn’t want to take the time to sand and scuff up the whole piece, I decided to use some DIY chalk paint. There are many recipes online, but I just use about one tablespoon of non-sanded tile grout to one cup of paint. If it doesn’t seem chalky enough, I just add a little bit more tile-grout.

*Remember – non-sanded grout is key!

Just start brushing it on – one light coat at a time. Obviously, the first coat will not look very good, but you don’t want to slop it on too thick. More light coats, in my opinion, are better than a couple thick coats!

After the first coat dries, you can lightly sand any areas that have small drips or look thicker than the rest. I didn’t really notice anything that caught my eye, so I just went ahead with the second and third coats.

Now for the glazing part… I normally would use some glaze or gel stain, but I didn’t have any dark brown glaze at the house and really just wanted to finish the project. So, I tested it out with a regular can of dark brown latex paint and it looked perfect, so that’s what I used! Just dab a foam stencil brush in the paint and wipe off almost ALL of it on a paper towel and lightly stroke it on the corners and grooves. You can stop there or you can gently brush it on the smooth surfaces for added effect. I like the distressed look, so I lightly brushed it on all the legs and smooth surfaces as well.

I decided to use a glazing effect on the drawers as well, but since they were already brown, I used the yellow for this part. I just stroked some of the chalk paint over the corners and edges of the drawers and it resulted in a pretty cool look.

I distressed the handles as well. Since I had some oil rubbed bronze spray paint laying around, I first used a coat of that. Then, I just brushed on some of the yellow chalk paint over the top to give them more of an antique look.

Once the glaze (or paint in this case) dried overnight, I used a clear wax to finish off the piece and to protect it from anything that might sit on top of it (or from kids’ hockey sticks and hockey pucks scratching it). I love Fiddes and Sons clear wax, but you can use any clear wax you like. You can just use a regular paint brush and lightly brush it on a small area at a time. Then, take a small cloth or paper towel and wipe off the excess. If you want your piece to have a little more shine to it, you can do a second coat of wax, but it’s not necessary.

That’s pretty much it!

My table now sits in the perfect spot in our house and I love it! It was just the right touch of color this area needed. I do need to update the pictures in the window pane frame that goes above it, but for now – it works!


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