If you are looking to add a little something extra to some old outdated end tables, then painting wood end tables is just for you!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.
Learn more about Heirloom Traditions Paint here.
These end tables were $15 each at our thrift store. But we’re going to make them over with some paint!
Supplies Used For Painting Wood 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.
- 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
Clean Tables and Fix Chipped Wood
First, we got the tables ready for paint. 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.
Then I had to fix all of the chipped wood. Learn more about how to fix chipped wood furniture here.
Get the Secrets!
Grab this super convenient How to Repair Furniture Ebook with all of our secrets on how to repair furniture for only $14.
You can print it out and have instant access whenever you come across damaged furniture, and know exactly how to fix it!
Click on the picture of the book to purchase!
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.
Here’s another post on fixing damaged wood 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.
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.
Sand Tables Before Painting
And then I continued 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.
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.
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 spray 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.
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 Tables 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.
Want to know how Heirloom Tradition paint compares? Check out Beyond Paint vs Heirloom Traditions Paint to learn more.
And then I added a couple of ounces of water to thin the paint out so the sprayed paint would look better. Learn more about how to thin paint for Wagner FLEXiO sprayer here.
Here’s another Heirloom Traditions Paint furniture makeover in this post about painting furniture without sanding or priming 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.
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!
Sanding 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.
Does Heirloom Traditions Paint Need a Topcoat?
Nope! 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.
Check out my list of the best all-in-one paints for furniture for your future painting projects.
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 is what they look like now!
More Before And After Makeovers
Click any of these “before” photos below to view the “after” of that makeover.
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!
- Clean the furniture to prepare the furniture for paint. Fix any chipped and damaged areas by filling them in with wood filler and wood glue.
- Cut up wooden dowels to size and play around with the spacing to where you want to put them. Glue the dowels in place on the dresser and tape over them to hold them while they dry.
- Once the glue is dry, lightly scuff sand the dresser all over with 220 grit sandpaper. This is for the paint to stick to the dresser better. Clean up all of the dust from sanding with a vacuum and tack cloth.
- Now, Apply a coat of primer all over the end tables. The primer can dry with a really rough texture so you should sand everything smooth again. Vacuum all the dust as well.
- Pour Heirloom Traditions Paint into a filter and into your paint sprayer. Add a couple of ounces of water to thin the paint. Then spray paint onto the tables. Sand between coats to make sure everything's smooth.
- Let the end tables dry overnight.
More End Table Makeovers
- End Table Makeover
- Gray Chalk Painted End Tables
- Redoing End Tables
- Chalk Painted End Tables
- Hexagon End Table Makeover
Follow us on YouTube to get more tips for painting furniture.
Or share your project with us on our Facebook Group and be part of our community. See you there!