Chalk Painted End Tables

Today, I’ll take you on a journey through my chalk painted end tables makeover -turning old end tables into vibrant, charming furniture pieces. This step-by-step guide is filled with valuable tips and tricks on using a paint sprayer when creating your own chalk painted furniture makeovers.

So whether you’re an expert DIYer or a beginner, strap in, as we dive into this fun and rewarding process of giving a new lease of life to discarded furniture! Let’s get our hands dirty and transform these tables into something truly spectacular.

Wooden end tables before getting painted with chalk paint

Before we jump in, let’s set the stage. Picture this: you’ve stumbled upon a couple of old end tables that have seen better days. They might be scratched, chipped, or just plain outdated. But you see potential.

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You imagine them in a fresh, vibrant color, jazzed up with trendy new hardware, taking pride of place in a cozy living room. Well, that’s exactly what we’re tackling today.

With a bit of patience, the right tools, and some good old DIY spirit, we’re going to transform these end tables from drab to fab. Trust me, it’s easier than you might think, and the results are oh-so satisfying!

Oh, and a little shoutout, thank you Dixie Belle Paint for sponsoring this post and giveaway!

Scroll Down to Enter the $250 Dixie Belle Giveaway!

Supplies for Chalk Painted End Tables

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. I also may earn from other qualifying purchases with other companies or get free product to review and use. All opinions are my own.

Here’s a quick round-up of the supplies I used for this project.

Remember, your specific project might require additional or different supplies depending on the furniture and finish you’re working with.

Preparing End Tables for Chalk Paint

Did you see what the end tables look like before? They have scratched tops and loose wobbly legs. They have a cute style though!

Close view of the top of a dinged and scratched end table

First I clean the tables with Krud Kutter and remove hardware.

There were some stickers and tape left from the previous owner so I scrubbed off stickers residue and tape. Here’s how to clean furniture before painting to learn more about the step by step process of cleaning furniture.

The drawer on one end table is loose, so I pulled it off, remove the nails and then glue and nail it back in place. Flip tables over and tighten the screws that hold on the legs. The legs are much more sturdy and tight in place now.

End tabled flipped over to tighten the legs with a screwdriver

Sand the top to remove the scratches. Start with 80 grit sandpaper and I am trying to not sand too much because this is for sure veneer over pressed wood. But I almost sanded through the veneer in one spot. I don’t think I can stain the tops without this spot showing up as a different color.

But, I got most of the scratches out, so that’s good enough.

Sand tops smooth with 100 grit sandpaper, then 150 grit sandpaper, and then 220 grit sandpaper to slowly get it to a smooth surface. Moving through the grits like this helps prevent sanding swirls from showing up, even if you paint the wood.

Check out our blog post about sanding before painting furniture to learn more about why it is important.

Remove dust with shop vacuum and tack cloth.

Take end tables outside and spray clear shellac on end tables. The clear shellac blocks bleed through from coming through the paint and it helps the paint that I am using stick better. That’s why I didn’t have to scuff sand the rest of the table before painting.

Let the clear shellac dry overnight to help it block bleedthrough as much as possible. Here’s how to stop stains from coming through paint to learn more about how to fix paint bleed through, and how to prevent it from happening the next time.

Chalk Painting End Tables

I got a new paint sprayer, the Wagner FLEXiO 5000 sprayer, a model just above the sprayer I use all of the time (the Wagner FLEXiO 3500.) The 5000 paint sprayer has the motor in this case, so this is like the air compressor.

And then you don’t have to hold the motor in your hand. This sprayer is an electric sprayer so you just plug it in and put paint in it.

Check out our Wagner Flexio 5000 paint sprayer review to learn more about the features, pros, cons, and overall performance to help you decide if it’s the right fit for your next project.

For this makeover, I’m using Dixie Belle’s new cottage paint line color Cottage Door. Dixie Belle sent me a package of supplies for this makeover. I am testing out the Wagner sprayer cup liners to see if they are worth it to use.

I pour my paint into a paint filter to prevent my sprayer from clogging, and then I add water to the paint to thin it out so I can get a perfectly fine finish on my furniture.

This paint is thick, so I’m thinning it with 20% water. Gotta mix the paint and water together really well to make sure it is all mixed in. Learn more about how to thin paint for the Wagner FLEXiO sprayer here.

This sprayer just clicks together, and then you just flip a couple switches to turn it on.

I test the spray on a piece of cardboard so I can make sure it sprays right before I spray on my furniture. Then I spray the furniture.. and this sprayer is spraying AMAZING. Less overspray, and it definitely is lighter in my hand than the other sprayer.

Learn more about how to use this sprayer in our how to use Wagner FLEXiO 5000 paint sprayer post.

Using a paint sprayer to paint end tables with chalk paint

Look at how well it sprayed on my first coat!! Hardly any texture at all here!

I also pulled the drawers out, so I can spray the edges of the drawers. And yep, that’s plastic around my drawer so I don’t get paint inside the drawers.

Spraying the edges of the drawer on an end table with paint

Dealing with Challenges

I let the paint dry for maybe an hour, but now that I’m looking at it, I can see cracks on the top, so I need to fill them in with wood filler. I like this Plastic wood filler, and I just use my finger to apply it in the cracks. Then I let it dry for an hour or so.

Check out our list of the best wood fillers for furniture to learn more about the different wood fillers and when you should use them.

Filling cracks in the top of the end tables with wood filler

And now I have to sand the wood filler flush so you can’t tell that I filled these areas. I am using 220 grit sandpaper to sand it down. And now that I created a bunch of dust, I’ve gotta clean it up. So I vacuum up my dust and then use a tack cloth to make sure the dust is all gone.

And yeah, I use the same tack cloth over and over again until it won’t pick up dust anymore.

Now I have to cover up the wood filler, and while I’m at it, I’m spraying everything just to make sure I have full coverage all over. I really didn’t think I would like this sprayer, but I’m liking it more and more as I use it.

I think this is my last coat of paint, so now I’m going to clean the sprayer and get it ready for topcoat.

I do think that I was able to get more paint back out of the sprayer since I used these liners. I was able to squeeze the paint back in the container instead of washing it down the drain. Now I gotta clean the nozzle of the sprayer.

I just rinse it out and then spray some soapy water through it to make sure the paint is cleaned out of the inside. While the paint dries overnight, my sprayer is drying out too. Learn how to clean the Wagner FLEXiO paint sprayers in our blog post.

Topcoating Chalk Painted End Tables

The next day I mix my topcoat into the sprayer. I’m doing basically the same thing that I did with the paint. But as I’m spraying the topcoat, it’s not going on right.

There is too much coming out, and I’m wondering if I thinned the topcoat too much because I’ve never used this topcoat before. I have my settings basically all the way down and it’s still spraying way too much.

So, I have to brush out the topcoat so it doesn’t drip everywhere before it dries. I’m using a Dixie Belle paint brush to brush them out, and hoping for the best honestly, because it is everywhere!

Here’s how to apply polycrylic to painted furniture by hand, so you can learn the tricks that we use to get a streak free finish!

Using a brush to get rid of drips in the wet topcoat on an end table.

But once it dried, it looked so good!!! I’m impressed! No brush marks in it or anything.

For the next coat, I’m still not sure what to do, and guess I’ll just brush out the drips again… But halfway through I ran out of topcoat, so I have to fill it up again.. and as I’m testing the sprayer again, I realize that my tip isn’t screwed on tight!!

Ugh! That was my issue this whole time with the topcoat! Because now that I screwed it on tight, I had to adjust my settings and turn them way up, and it’s spraying normal again. Ooops!

Learn more about different options of Topcoats for Painting Furniture here!

Final Touches

The next day with the topcoat dry, I’m trying to decide between a couple of knobs, but I think I like how fun these white and gold knobs are, so that’s what I’m going with.

Here’s what it looks like now! These cute peach chalk painted end tables are going to be so much fun for someone! What do you think of the color and the hardware?

front close up view of the end tables
full view photo of the end tables

More Before And After Makeovers

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

close up view of end table showing the inside of the drawer

Now, without further ado, it’s time for some fun!

Enter the $250 Dixie Belle Giveaway here!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Visit these other furniture makeovers for 4 more chances to win the $250 Dixie Belle Giveaway!

  1. Salvaged Inspirations
  2. Reinvented Delaware
  3. Petticoat Junktion
  4. Confessions of a Serial DIYer
collage of furniture makeovers before using Dixie Belle Cottage Paint

The winner will be randomly picked and announced on Tuesday, September 26th here on the blog. The winner has 48 hours to claim their Dixie Belle Giveaway before another winner is selected so be sure to check back! 🙂

Chalk Painted End Tables

full view photo of the end tables after makeover

A step-by-step guide to transforming dull furniture into vibrant, chalk painted end tables using a paint sprayer and Dixie Belle paint.


  1. Prepare the tables by cleaning and sanding the tops to remove the scratches. Remove the dust.
  2. Apply clear shellac and let it dry overnight.
  3. Thin the chalk paint with 20% water and mix thoroughly. Using a sprayer, apply the paint to the tables and let it dry.
  4. Fill any visible cracks with wood filler and sand to a smooth finish. Remove the dust again.
  5. Apply a second coat of paint for full coverage.
  6. Apply 3 coats of topcoat using the sprayer and allow it to dry between coats. Use a paint brush to brush out drips if needed, before each coat of topcoat dries.
  7. Attach new knobs to finish off your freshly chalk painted end tables.

Recommended Products

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  1. Mary Kaiser says:

    Wow, the tables turned out amazing! So smooth with the paint sprayer! Great job!

  2. ColleenB.`Tx. says:

    really like them end tables.
    I go for more of the black and white or cream colored furniture

    1. Love the color, and your directions for sanding!

  3. Angelia Lutz says:

    Thank you for sharing these gorgeous end tables. Dixie Belle has some very pretty new color choices. You picked a great one. 👏🏻

  4. I’m sure these would be loved by all the Barbie lovers out there!

  5. Denise - Salvaged Inspirations says:

    These turned out SO CUTE Natalie! Love the knobs you picked and your styling! You’re patience with the topcoat paid off in spades… looks super smooth! Pinned! XOXO

  6. Those end tables turned out fabulous! I love the color.

  7. I love how these turned out! I had a set similar to these, but let them go. I could have done so much with them!

  8. Kathy Iannuzzi says:

    Love coming here for new ideas as I am trying to start up a side hustle to bring more money into my home by rehabbing furniture. I have to say I follow a few bloggers but I appreciate yours the most for not always painting white or light blue, and for the ones you re-stain to bring back their wood beauty when possible.

  9. I love the pink…I’m always nervous to use bold colors on my furniture.

  10. Blues and greens are my favorite colors to use.

  11. Love these tables! I would say my favorite color to paint furniture is either a nice creamy white or a muted olive green.

  12. First time visit to your blog! Looks like lots of great info there! Those knobs really set off the tables…something so simple.

  13. The color is beautiful and one of my favorites! So pretty!

  14. Jill Tetsworth says:

    Hi. My favorite furniture paint color is a navy blue. I’m a first time visitor, but certainly not a last. Love your simple makeover. No blending, stencils, transfers, etc. Just my style.

  15. Those tables are lovely! The color is perfect.

  16. Christy James says:

    These are so pretty now, and I love the choice of hardware! Looks like they were made to go with that rug! XOXO

  17. Denise Lauder says:

    Love the color. Love the finish.

  18. Sometimes I cringe when someone paints over a beautiful wood finish, but then they paint it and it looks amazing. Yours is just that kind of makeover. Thanks for the inspiration.

  19. I’m a big fan of your posts and use them as my guides for a current bedroom suite project that is underway. Although I tend toward neutrals I have the perfect spot to these beautiful pink night tables in my (overly?) floral guest room. As for the drawing my flowers are saying “Pick me!” Thanks for sharing your experiences and expertise.

  20. Vicki Bray says:

    What a pretty color. So glad you realized what was going on with your spray gun. They turned out great!

  21. Cute. I just used DB Soft Pink for a child’s dresser.

  22. Deb Young says:

    So cute! really good information about the sprayer as well!

  23. Debra Hubbs says:

    Very pretty. Love the knobs and this color.

  24. Really nice! Thanks for the step by step, but I really like the outcome,

  25. Love love this color! Thank you for all the problem solving tips!

  26. Just discovered you through the giveaway link on the pages of two other bloggers I regularly follow — always fun seeing what others are doing to revive older pieces of furniture. As for your favorite-color question, I’m intrigued by the Dixie Belle color Collard Greens and would love to see more examples of how it actually looks in use.

  27. Mother Deer says:

    What a pretty finished product. I love the drawer pulls that you chose for this project 🙂

  28. They turned out so cute! Not my favorite style, but the color made it a lot better (for me!!).

  29. Angela Godlove says:

    It amazes me how you take a damaged or scratched, etc pieces of furniture and turn it into beauty!

  30. Pam smith says:

    I love your project! Anything turquoise or white are my favorite!!

  31. This pair of tables look amazing Natalie! The color is so pretty! Way to press through the challenge with the sprayer! Pinned 🙂

  32. This is a great color. Love the look.

  33. Cheryl B Acampora says:

    What a great color! And the knobs just dress it up a little bit more. Nicely done!!

  34. I love your blues and greens. Those are the best makeovers.

  35. Blue is my favorite but I love that pink!

  36. Krista Roberts says:

    I love your style and honest reviews of the products you use. I bought the SurfPrep sander because of your review. Do you have any tutorials on how to use the sander?

    1. So glad to hear that! I don’t have one on how to use it, but I’ll add it to my list. That’s a great idea!

  37. Cindy Gaston says:

    Love all the problem solving tips you give! They look beautiful now!

  38. Beautiful! I love this color!

  39. Crystal Baer says:

    Thanks for all the ways you serve with your experience!

  40. Michelle P. says:

    Love the color you chose!

  41. Ginger Townsend says:

    Beautiful pop of color!

  42. The BEST paint with the BEST results!

  43. Sylvia Holberg says:

    Beautiful work!

  44. Sylvia Holberg says:

    Perfect for a girls room!!

  45. I love Dixie Belle products! I use White Lightning and Dixie Belle Mud in most all of my furniture fix ups!

  46. I love the color of peach! So happy!

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