If you are looking to add a little something extra to some old outdated end tables, then painting wood end tables is just for you! Plus, we added a little extra flare to these tables with some wood slats to give them a more trendy design.
Get more Blue Painted Furniture Ideas here!
These end tables were $15 each at our thrift store. But we’re going to make them over with some paint!
Painting Wood End Tables
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- Krud Kutter
- Wood Filler
- Wood Glue
- 1/4″ Square Dowels
- 220 Grit Sandpaper
- Shop Vac
- Tack Cloth
- BIN Shellac Based Primer
- Painters Tape
- Sprayer Paint Filters
- Heirloom Traditions Paint (Spruce Color)
- Paint Sprayer
How to Prepare Furniture for Paint
First, we got the tables ready for paint.
Learn more about what, why, and how to prepare furniture for paint here.
Clean Wood Furniture Before Painting
I cleaned them off with Krud Kutter because you never know where thrifted furniture has been.
Krud Kutter removes grease, oils, and grime that could prevent the paint from sticking. So even though it’s annoying to do, I clean every piece that I makeover.
Learn more on how to clean furniture before painting here.
How to Fix Chipped Veneer
Then I had to fix all of the chipped wood.
Learn more about how to fix chipped wood veneer here.
These thin pieces of wood were chipped off in a couple of places, so I filled those in, and I filled in the shallow damage on the top.
I just used regular wood filler for these since all of the repairs were very minimal.
Read through this post to learn more about the best wood filler for furniture.
When I filled in these 2 bigger areas, I found out that the wood was loose.
So I put some wood glue into the cracks and then I taped the wood down with some painter’s tape while the glue dried.
Here’s another post on fixing damaged wood on furniture before painting using a glue method.
Create a Wooden Dowel Furniture Look
Since the sides of the tables all had wood slats, I thought I would add more to create a more trendy look.
So I bought some ¼” square dowels, cut them to size, and played around with the spacing and amount of dowels.
I ended up going with 4 dowels in each slot, and just kind of eyeballed the spacing.
At first, I used my pin nailer to attach them… but after the first side, it was giving me fits. I ran out of nails, and then it kept getting jammed.
(I should have known it was going to give me fits. It did the same thing on this slatted wood dresser makeover too!)
So I ended up just gluing the dowels and putting tape over them to hold them in place while the glue dried.
Gluing and taping took a little longer than the pin nailer, except I didn’t have any fits with it. So it was probably faster in the end… at least that’s what I’m telling myself. haha
The next day I removed all of the tape… worried that the tape held the dowels in place. But they all were glued on well!
One or two shifted… or maybe that was just my bad placement. But… I’m honestly just choosing to ignore that. Haha It can be on the back. Right??
Fix Chipped Veneer (Again)
But I couldn’t ignore that the wood repair wasn’t fully glued down. I had only glued from the bottom before, so I missed gluing from the top.
So I filled those again, taped them in place, and waited 30 minutes.
Sand Wood Filler
While I waited for the glue to dry, I sanded the dry wood filler down flush with the surface with 220 grit sandpaper.
Wood Fill Again
The wood filler on the top of one table didn’t feel like it was filled in all of the way, so I filled those spots in again.
Since wood filler shrinks when it dries, I wasn’t surprised at all that I needed to fill it in again.
After the glue had dried for 30 minutes, I removed the tape, sanded the wood filler, and filled that spot again.
Annnnd then I waited for that all to dry again before I sanded it back down flush again.
Sanding Before Painting Furniture
And then I continued that sanding all over the tables.
This step was just to lightly rough up the surface of the furniture to make it so the paint would stick to it better. 220 grit sandpaper is my favorite for this.
For all of the dowels, I used a fine grit foam sanding sponge since it was easier to hold onto for that area.
Technically, this paint and this primer that I’m using has amazing adhesive properties, so I probably didn’t HAVE to sand everything. But it will always help the paint and primer stick better.
Before I moved onto the next step, I cleaned up all of the dust with a brush and a tack cloth.
Best Primer for Painting Furniture
Then we took the tables outside and sprayed a coat of BIN shellac-based primer all over them.
These 2 little tables took 1 whole can of primer.
I used this primer to help cover up the wood grain on the raw wood dowels, but it also has excellent adhesion, and it is really really good at blocking stains that come through the paint when you paint wood.
Here’s a closeup of what it looked like when it was drying. There were a couple of spots where I sprayed too much in one area, and it looked pretty spotty.
After an hour the primer was completely dry.
But one of the most annoying things about spraying this primer is that it dries with a really rough texture.
Check out this post for the best primer for painting furniture.
So, I sanded it all with 220 grit sandpaper wrapped around a sanding block. The sanding made it feel smooth, but I was also easily able to sand out the spots where it puddled because I sprayed too much primer.
Even though it’s annoying to have to sand, this stuff is so easy to sand. It doesn’t clog up your sandpaper when you try to sand it an hour later, and it sands to a fine powder instead of gumming up.
After I sanded everything, I vacuumed up the dust and wiped everything down with a tack cloth.
Paint with Heirloom Traditions Paint
Then it was time to paint!
I used Heirloom Traditions Paint in the color Spruce. I really wanted to paint these black, but I thought the wood details would be lost, so I went for this shade of blue instead.
Check out this guide for painting furniture with Heirloom Traditions Paint.
Spray Painting Furniture
I poured it into a filter and into my Wagner paint sprayer so nothing in the paint would clog my sprayer.
And then I added a couple of ounces of water to thin the paint out so the sprayed paint would look better.
Here’s another Heirloom Traditions Paint Furniture Makeover if you are planning on brushing or rolling it instead.
If you want to try to use a paint sprayer, here’s my list of the Best HVLP Paint Sprayers.
Spray Painting Furniture Tips
I tested out the spray on a piece of cardboard to make sure it was right, and then I sprayed the paint onto the tables.
With the dowels, I had to spray in every direction so I could get paint in between them all. So I sprayed the paint a little lighter than I typically would.
But, I also didn’t want to spray too thin of coats, because there needs to be enough paint for all of the speckles of paint to melt together and create a flawless texture free finish.
I let the paint dry for a little over an hour. They were nice and dry and they looked awesome!! And they felt really smooth too!
Should I Sand Between Paint Coats
Just to be sure that the tops were going to feel nice and smooth when they were done, I sanded them lightly to remove any texture that was there.
Technically sanding between coats can help the paint adhere better too… but I mostly just sand in between coats so then the final coat of paint feels smooth to the touch.
I cleaned off the dust and then I sprayed another coat of paint.
Topcoat After Painting Furniture
This paint in particular doesn’t need a topcoat. It is really durable on its own, and it dries to a satin sheen. So there is no need.
That’s one thing I LOVE about this paint.
Learn more about the pros and cons of Heirloom Traditions Paint here.
Check out my list of the Best All-in-One Paints for Furniture for your future painting projects.
Also, check out Heirloom Traditions Paint Before and Afters for more inspiration!
So after the 2nd coat of paint, I let it dry overnight. And then they were done!
Watch the Video of this Makeover below.
And here are what they look like now!
Super cute huh? A little trendy, but not overly trendy right?
What do you think of this color? It’s a little bold, but it’s muted, so it’s not too in your face.
Let me know what you think in the comments and I’ll catch you next time!
More Painting Wood End Tables Ideas
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