Antique Pie Crust Table Makeover

Are you looking to give a tired old piece of furniture a new lease on life that is consistent with it’s age? Then look no further than this antique pie crust table makeover!

This two-tier mahogany table was worn and scratched, but with some milk paint it has been completely transformed into another piece of black painted furniture. The result is an antique-style piece that looks true to its age but isn’t worn out.

before photo of Antique Pie crust table

Upcycling furniture is a great way to give new life to an old piece of furniture and save money in the process. But sometimes it can be hard to know where to start, especially when you have something like this antique pie crust table with a scratched and worn original finish.

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That’s why we decided to take on this project and share how we gave this two-tier mahogany table a complete makeover!

Keep reading to find out how we created this beautiful transformation!

Supplies for Antique Pie Crust Table Makeover

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Removing the Old Finish

First I removed most of the old finish. This isn’t usually necessary with furniture, but the finish on this one was very scratched up and dinged up all over, so I opted to remove the finish before painting.

I used my SurfPrep 3×4″ sander and coarse 1/2″ foam pads to remove the finish. Check out our blog post about the best sanders for furniture to learn more about how to pick one that best suits your needs and budget.

using SurfPrep sander to remove old finish of furniture

The 1/2″ foam pads made sanding all of the curves and details possible, and easier than normal, but it would have been easier to remove the old finish with Stripwell QCS instead of sanding it.

Check out my honest Stripwell QCS review to learn about how this chemical stripper works and my experience using it on furniture.

Using a stripper can be messy, but so can all of the dust a sander creates if it isn’t hooked up to vacuum to suck up the dust. Honestly, I think sanding takes about the same amount of time as using a chemical stripper.

Check out our post on refinishing a dresser to learn exactly how to use Stripwell QCS to remove the old finish. Or check out our how to sand curves on furniture post to learn tips and tricks to sanding curved surfaces like what this table has.

After sanding with the coarse foam pads, I sanded it all with medium foam pads to smooth the wood out a little more for the paint, and then I removed all of the dust with my shop vacuum and wiped it off with a tack cloth to remove any remaining dust.

Priming Before Using Milk Paint

Then I sprayed on 2 coats of Dixie Belle Boss Clear Primer. Milk paint doesn’t really need a primer, but I wanted a chippy look, and milk paint will not chip when you paint raw wood, which is what I was left with after sanding off the finish.

Here’s our list of the best primers for painting furniture to help you pick the right primer for your next project.

This table is also made of Mohagany wood, and mahogany wood is notorious for leaving stains in the paint when you paint over it. This primer helps milk paint chip more, but it also helps stops stains from coming through the paint.

The awesome thing about this primer though is that it is waterbased, so you don’t have to deal with stinky primers. But, honestly, it doesn’t block bleedthrough as well as the stinky primers.

In this case, since I used black paint, I didn’t need the primer to completely block all of the stains.

I put the primer into my sprayer and thinned it out a little bit with some water so I could spray it on better. I didn’t use very much water though because I didn’t want to mess it up.

using my wagner paint srayer to apply primer onto furniture

I probably used about 10% water to the primer. Here is more about how to thin paint for a Wagner FLEXiO sprayer.

You can totally use a paint brush for this, here is our list of the best paint brushes for painting furniture. If you want to use a sprayer, here is our list of the best sprayers for painting furniture.

I let the primer dry between coats, and then I let it dry overnight.

Milk Painting Furniture

The next day, I mixed some Shackteau Interiors Milk Paint in the color Black Beach up with some water to turn it into paint. Read our how to mix milk paint post to learn how simple it is to make the paint.

Then I brushed the paint on with a Zibra round paint brush. I love the round brushes for projects that have all these curves and for any spindles. It paints the paint on so much easier!

photo of high quality Zibra round paint  brush to apply paint onto furniture

The milk paint goes on so well with Zibra brushes, and the black beach paint has great coverage. One coat is really all that is needed!

Then I let the paint dry. It dries very fast though, in less than an hour typically.

Distressing Milk Painted Furniture

When the paint was dry, I sanded the paint with 220 grit sandpaper to distress it and smooth out the gritty feeling of the paint. If you aren’t sure how to distress painted furniture, read our distressing furniture post for more information.

Topcoating Milk Painted Furniture

Black paint is hard to topcoat without leaving a streaky finish to the paint, so I sprayed on 3 light coats of Minwax oil based polyurethane in a spray can.

Learn more about the features, pros and cons, and how-to’s of Minwax polyurethane spray here.

photo of Minwax oil based polyurethane to topcoat furniture

The oil based polyurethane is great for dark colors because it doesn’t leave a streaky look, and the amber tint makes the paint look even deeper.

Before I applied the polyurethane we let the paint dry for at least 48 hours so we didn’t mix waterbased products and oil based product together and create a reaction between the 2 products.

If you have a sprayer, it’s easy to spray waterbased polyurethane and create a perfect looking finish! Here is how to spray polyurethane, to learn more about this process.

If you aren’t sure what topcoat to use, here are our best topcoats for furniture post, and our wax vs polyurethane post for more guidance.

And here’s what the antique pie crust table looks like now!!

It was worn out and just looked sad before. Now it has a fresh finish, but the finish was done in a way that it can still be true to its character and age.

close up view photo of antique pie table
full view photo of antique pie table

More Before And After Makeovers

Click any of these “before” photos below to view the “after” of that makeover.

close up view photo of the distressed part on paint

Antique Pie Crust Table Makeover

full view photo of Antique Pie Crust Table

Do you want to transform an old piece of furniture but don't know where to start? Here's the step by step process for our antique pie crust table makeover.


  1. Remove the old finish using a SurfPrep sander and foam pads or a chemical stripper. Then use medium foam pads to smooth the wood.
  2. Use a shop vacuum and tack cloth to remove all the dust.
  3. Spray 2 coats of clear primer, let the primer dry between coats, and then let it dry overnight.
  4. Mix milk paint with water, apply with a brush, let dry.
  5. Sand with 220 grit sandpaper.
  6. Allow the paint to dry for 48 hours before applying 3 coats of oil based polyurethane.

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before photo of Antique Pie crust table

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