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Transforming a Table & Chairs with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

Let me start off by saying that this is my first time refinishing furniture. I’m not an expert and this post is not intended to be a how-to. As I work on projects in my home I may share some of them with you like I did with my chalkboard frame. This is one of the projects that I wanted to share because it’s something so new for me. If I can refinish furniture then believe me you can too.

I’ve always been intimidated by the thought of refinishing furniture. I think what scared me the most was having to sand a piece to achieve the look I was going for. I figured it was just easier to buy a piece of furniture close to what I wanted than to hassle with transforming a piece. I lost some of this fear when I discovered Annie Sloan chalk paint. This is not a new product by any means. I’ve just been living under a rock and never knew it existed until Pinterest came along. I had heard it mentioned on blogs but never researched it further until recently.

My husband brought home a table from work that was going to be trashed. They took over a new space in the retail complex and it belonged to a cigar shop that closed down. The table had been in the shop for years. When he brought it home it went in the garage because it smelled like smoke really bad.  It stayed there until I was ready to tackle turning it into what I wanted.

I didn’t like the color of the wood and knew I wanted to paint it. One day I overheard my boss talking to a co-worker about this paint she had picked up and was going to try. As soon as I heard the words Annie Sloan chalk paint my ears perked up and I went over to talk to her about it. Sharing what we both knew about it I decided this was the paint I was going to use for this project because it requires no prep whatsoever except for wiping down a piece with a cloth if it’s really dusty or has cobwebs. Even a piece of furniture with varnish on it can be painted without sanding. This was right up my alley for sure.

I decided to wash the table because of the smoke smell. Over time the smoke smell had faded while the table sat in the garage but it was still there. I bought some TSP and cleaned the table real good and let it dry for a day. I probably didn’t need to wait that long but did so to be safe. It helped a lot with the smell but I can still faintly smell smoke every now and then. I’m hoping with time it will fade completely.

I don’t know how well you can see the name in the picture above but I used the color Provence. It’s an amazing color. It only took two coats and a light third coat on the top to cover the table and totally transform it.

The amazing thing about the paint is that depending on how thick your coats are they can be dry to the touch in about fifteen minutes. Crazy! I waited about an hour to do my second coat and then another hour before applying the third coat on the top. I didn’t need to wait this long but I wanted to make sure it was really dry and I wouldn’t be pulling at the first coat.

After I finished painting I let the table sit overnight before distressing it a little the next day. I didn’t want to distress it too much because the color of the wood underneath was light and I didn’t feel it would look good to do too much sanding and have light wood show through. Also, I was scared because it was my first time distressing. Let’s be real. Lol!

Sorry if the color looks off in some of the pictures but it was raining off and on when I took them. Yes I painted while it was raining and had no problems with drying.

I had to buy chairs because I didn’t have any that would go with the table and fit the look I was going for. I found these darker wood chairs that I liked and transformed them with Annie Sloan’s Old Ochre.

I only did two coats on the chairs and I wasn’t too concerned about perfect coverage because I was going to distress them. You can see how great this paint is. I did no prep work. I painted right over the shiny wood.

After getting used to using a sanding block with the table I wasn’t scared to distress the chairs. The fact that the wood underneath was dark helped too. I knew that they would look great with distressing.

Once all the pieces were ready to go I sealed them with Annie Sloan clear wax. I used a little dark wax in spots on the table to age it a bit. I didn’t use the dark wax on the chairs because I felt the exposed wood was enough to make them looked aged.

I won’t go into too much detail about waxing because I’m not trying to do a tutorial here but I will say that the hardest part of the whole process is the wax. I used Annie Sloan wax brushes to apply it and I feel like they are well worth the investment. However, there is a learning curve with the wax. Even though I read up on the product and watched tutorials on how to use it I still over waxed my pieces and they had a bit of a tacky feel to them but this disappeared after a few days and some buffing with a cotton rag. I’ll include some resources for you at the bottom of this post with sites that I found helpful while researching how to use this product.

I love how everything came out. Like I said this was my first time refinishing furniture and I’m really proud of myself. I’m so envious of the gorgeous DIY and home blogs I see out there. They take such amazing photos and their homes always look so pristine. You’re not gonna see that here. Lol! I had the hardest time taking pics and capturing what the table looks like in person.

We are still trying to make our home more of a home and not look like we have “apartment furniture”.  We have so many mismatched pieces. It will be a work in progress for years to come.

I’d like to finish by saying that Annie Sloan chalk paint is not cheap. I spent a little over $200 on the two colors of paint, the two waxes, a paint brush and two wax brushes. I won’t even discuss the cost of the chairs. All to transform a free table. Oy! A little goes a long way with this paint though. I still have a 1/2 quart or a little more of each color left. I’m searching my home for what to use it on next. I’ll get my money’s worth out of it. The wax takes some time to get used to and a little goes a long way too. Both my waxes especially the dark are practically still full. I was so amazed at how something that has the look and feel of vegetable shortening cured and sealed the paint with a varnish type feel. Also the sheen it got after buffing was a nice surprise too. You don’t have to finish your pieces with wax and they don’t have to have a sheen but I like mine with the wax.

Here are some resources that I found helpful:

Blue Egg Brown Nest – video tutorials on chalk paint can be found here

The Purple Painted Lady – also has video tutorials

Simply Reinvented – video tutorials as well

**This was not a sponsored post. All products mentioned were purchased by myself and all opinions are my own.

Special thanks to my friend Terri at Fresh Cut Flours for giving me advice when I first got the table and emailed her to ask what do I do? Terri inspires me with not only her cookie skills but also her ability to refinish furniture. She’s got the magic touch.

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  1. It turned out AMAZING! Love the Provence with the Old Ochre!
    So, are you hooked? Are you ready to hit the thrift stores to look for more pieces to repurpose?
    Terri recently posted…A quick Update!My Profile

  2. Oh WOW! The table and chairs look amazing! Your first project was to take on a table and chairs? That is crazy…but I guess what they say is true…Go Big or go home! They look so pretty, you have inspired me to tackle some chalk paint too. I have 8 chairs that need to be done…and I think you have just made my job a little easier…no sanding…no stripping…count me in!

    Great job….I can not wait to see what you do next!
    Kim @ The Cookie Puzzle recently posted…Welcome to the New The Cookie PuzzleMy Profile

  3. Oh my gosh, I love this! I am so intimidated by refinishing furniture and I have a table I want to re-do. This post just gave me the inspiration and courage to do it!
    Colleen @ Royal Icing Diaries recently posted…Swim Team CookiesMy Profile

  4. You did such an amazing job! You have inspired me today – thank you.

  5. These came out beautifully – well done! I know a certain coffee table in my house that would look fantastic with this paint. Thank you!

  6. I have been dying to try this paint. Your table and chairs look amazing so I am going to take the plunge! Thanks for sharing. 🙂
    The Bearfoot Baker recently posted…Snowman Puppy Chow RecipeMy Profile

  7. LOL It’s very much like the money the scrapbookers and card makers spend to make a card. But you know what, you made something beautiful and you will enjoy it for years to come. It’s bright and fresh and DIY. I love a great DIY to brighten the Winter and your spirits. Great project!. I have an old solid wood table that a lady in my community gave to me as long as I wouldn’t let a man in the community have it? Interesting, eh? It’s in the shed begging to be painted and I may just bring it in and use it in my sewing room. The table I have in there now, is too big, this little square table would be perfect. I had my husband fashion an insert for it, that I could paint too and use if necessary. Picking a fun color will be the hardest part. LOL
    Paulette recently posted…Tuesday Morning Oct 2013 and Jan 2014, Stampin’UP Envelope Punch Board, Jennifer McGuire’s Favorite ToolsMy Profile

  8. You did and amazing job Melissa!!! I’m loving it 🙂
    Tami (Tami Rena’s Cookies) recently posted…Freezing Decorated CookiesMy Profile

  9. You did an incredible job, Melissa! The colors look great and you really transformed that wooden table. I must have been living under said rock too, because I never heard of Annie Sloan until you started mentioning it. BTW- your salt and pepper shakers are pretty awesome as well. 🙂
    Mike @ Semi Sweet recently posted…Seattle Seahawks Cookies- Tips on Icing Sports LogosMy Profile

  10. I absolutely love the colors that you chose. You are a woman of many talents!! Cookies, cakes, and now DIY!!!
    Marci Johnson recently posted…Nothing beats a brownieMy Profile

  11. I love how it turned out!!! I just got into doing chalkpaint myself and am still learning. Very inspiring project though!! Thanks for sharing

  12. Goodness no work beforehand? My kinda project! Looks great 🙂

  13. This looks gorgeous! A friend recently gave me the ingredients to make my own chalkboard paint and I’m hoping to cover the side of my refrigerator with it this week. Somehow I think it will not be as beautiful as your dining set, but I’ll still love it.
    Jelli recently posted…Mixing Bowl Recipe Party #3My Profile

  14. Hi
    We have a B&B with 4 pine tables and chairs that I’d love to do like this. One question, once the tops are waxed, are they ok to place cups, teapots etc on them? I don’t want ring marks left on them!

    Many thanks and well done.

    • Hi Kate,
      I have placemats on my table but I put a drink directly on the table once and it left a ring. I thought I had ruined it but it disappeared after it dried. My best suggestion would be to paint a piece of scrap wood and wax it. Then put a cold drink on it and see what happens. I hate to tell you that it won’t get rings and it does. I’m really new to using this paint. Since your table will likely see a lot of use you may want to do a traditional clear coat just to be safe. I’ve read that your waxed pieces may need a fresh coat of wax every so often if it’s a well used piece. I’ve gotten some stains on my table from sauces that splattered but I’m not too concerned about it right now. Once I feel it needs some refreshing I will put a coat of paint on the top and wax again. The great thing about the paint is that there is no stripping or sanding required so if it needs refreshing you just paint over the existing wax and then wax again. Good luck. I’d love to see pics of your transformation 🙂
      Melissa recently posted…Party in Your PJs #7My Profile

      • Thanks for getting back to me so quickly. Going to take the plunge and purchase some paints and wax today. Clear varnish on top is probably best idea as you say. 🙂

        • Sue Philips says:

          I’m a great fan of Annie Sloan chalk paint. The quality and colours are FABULOUS! I just wanted to suggest a little trick for the waxing….buy yourself a car polisher. They’re inexpensive, quick and easy to use, and the results are professional looking. After applying the dark and light wax by hand, you first use the cotton terry polisher and then finish off with the wool fleece polishing pad. Once the wax has fully cured (about 3 months) it won’t be tacky anymore. Also, if your piece is going to be in the sun, you might want to try finishing your piece with hemp oil (brushed on) instead of wax, as the oil will not break down in sunlight. You won’t have the same effect as you would with the dark wax (where it settles into cracks etc and gives that aged look), but you can still distress with the various sanding/rubbing techniques. It leaves a lustrous finish, whereas the polished wax leaves more of a shine.

        • I was wondering how the paint with the wax was holding up over time as well. And if you used something else, what exactly would it be? I’m in the middle of painting one now and not sure the best finishing process.

  15. finally… I found someone who thinks and does things the way I CAN. – before finding your advice I read someone elses about waiting 5 weeks for the entire process to “cure”… seems it didnt take that long for your table and chairs to be finished? – I do not have 5 weeks to wait.. I have 3 kids that need to eat off my dinning room table. – Im on my way out the door to find chalk paint!!! wish me luck.

    • Sue Philips says:

      Hey Tammy…..Placemats work. You don’t need to ‘stay off’ the table. You just need to protect it somewhat. If you’re using a wax finish, you’ll need to always protect it from excessive moisture, and reapply a light coat of wax (and buff) every year or so, because it sounds like your table will be ‘well used’.

  16. They turned out pretty cute looking. I’m more of a fan of keeping wood more natural looking, but I like the old-time feeling that these shades of color bring out.
    Ryan recently posted…Compare and Choose: Reviewing the Best Teak Outdoor Dining SetsMy Profile

  17. Hi, I have a question. I am going to purchase some Annie Sloan but don’t know how much to buy. I have 2 chairs that I want to paint. Do you think the small size (4oz) would be enough or should I go for the quart?

    • Sue Philips says:

      Beth…the 4 oz will work. BUT…you will be so hooked on it, that you’ll wish you’d purchased the quart. I have a collection of Annie Sloan paint in different colours. If you find your paint gets a bit thick after a while, you just add water.
      I’ve used the paint as a ‘wash’, to acquire a stained look, by adding a lot of water. So, depending how much water you add, you can obtain different effects.
      There is no end to the creativity you can achieve with this paint!

      • Thank you so much for getting back to me. I am thinking of getting the Antibes green and I don’t think that there will be that many things I want in that green. Maybe I will get a more neutral colour in the quart size. 🙂

  18. Great transformation! I am actually planning to paint my kitchen table and chairs the same colors, so it was fun to see one that’s been done!
    I have been reading a lot about the wax vs. polycrylic to finish the table. I’m curious how your table top is holding up now? Have you had to re-wax it? I have 4 kids, so I need something durable! 🙂

  19. Mickella Paden says:

    Your dining set looks great! I recently paying my dining table and chairs and am having a big problem with food stains and shoes marks. I use a damp cloth to try and get them off, with no avail. Just wondering if you had any suggestions?


  20. Elizabeth says:

    I’ve recently became obsessed with chalk paint as well, and I’m needing to do my kitchen table as my kids have spilled so much on it and the stain is coming off. I wonder, is a clear coat necessary for a kitchen table as opposed to the wax? I know the clear coat will take away the chalky finish but will the wax protect against kids as well as a clear coat would? I’m not a pro yet so I don’t know much about the wax and how protective it really is.

  21. Hi, I have this same table and I love the color. I am going to do it. I already did my kitchen cabinets and love them. Do you mind sharing with me the paint color on the wall? Thanks.

    • julia boose says:

      Hey Teena, Did you do your table? I am just about to second coat mine…..unsure about distressing the top, and/or using a coloured wax. Let me know what you did please?

      thanks much!! Julia.

  22. What color did you use for the table?

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  26. julia boose says:

    I have the exact same table (only mine has a leaf) and am doing it white. I couldn’t see with yours much evidence of you distressing the table, or using the dark wax. Did you use the wax all over? Can you give a bit of debts about how you distressed the table and if you used clear way only on the top of it? My table has a couple of ridges around the edge of the top, but other than that it’s identical.

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  31. Thanks for the tutorial. That blue color reminds be of an old painted piano that my parents had in the home when we were growing up.
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  33. Thanks for sharing. It looks great to getter . Well done. 🙂
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  34. Thanks for sharing. It looks great to getter. Well done. 🙂
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  35. Excellent tips! The before and after images look so different!! The paint completely enhanced and transformmed your furniture. Worth trying.


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    Transforming a Table

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