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How to Refurbish an Old, Water-Marked Table with FolkArt Home Decor Chalk - Part I

Part ONE of a two part blog post!

Repurposing, refurbishing and giving new life to old worn furniture is more than a current fad; it definitely is a trend, but it also is perfect for households on a budget, folks who love to thrift store and garage sale shop, and perhaps it gives purpose to that old piece of furniture you have in the garage or basement!  Take a look at this very worn and abused table I found.  It is starving for a little attention and some added detail painting ... come follow my journey and I'll share with you just how easy it is to transform this worn, outdated table into a REAL piece of art!

This project was a little more involved than other simple projects, so I decided to break up the instructions into two parts and will blog about the decorative painting details next week on September 16, be sure to check it out next Tuesday!


I gathered a few supplies to begin my refurbishing journey, however, when I started I really wasn't sure how I would accent the top of the table.  I thought perhaps I might incorporate a few stencils (shown in the photo below), however, in the end I created simple-to-paint hydrangeas using FolkArt Multi-Surface Paints

I decided on three colors of FolkArt Home Decor Chalk to paint the table.  Here is my supply list for the table refurbishing only, the supplies needed for the table top decoration will be posted next week.

  • 34161  FolkArt Home Decor Chalk - Nautical
  • 34167  FolkArt Home Decor Chalk - Parisian Grey
  • 34150  FolkArt Home Decor Chalk - White Adirondack
  • 34170  FolkArt Home Decor Clear Wax
  • 34907  FolkArt Home Decor Chalk Painting Brush (large)
  • 34909  FolkArt Home Decor Chalk Paint / Wax Brush Set (smaller brushes)
  • 34908  FolkArt Home  Decor Chalk Wax Brush (large) Opt., I did not use this brush.
  • 34910  FolkArt Home Decor Chalk Painting Brush (4" wide brush)  Opt., I did not use this brush.
  • Miscellaneous Supplies:   a foam plate for a palette, fine - medium grit sandpaper, household window cleaner, paper towels, stencil tape 5/8" and 1/4" and have a water source nearby to clean your brushes. (as mentioned above the decorative painting portion of this project will be described in a blog post September 16 therefore, the remaining supplies will be listed in detail then.) 

I painted the table using FolkArt Home Decor Chalk which is FABULOUS paint that delivers an ultra matte finish; NO major preparation, sanding, priming, etc. is needed to prepare your piece.  The simplest prep to be done is simply to clean your piece.  Years of wax, dust, dirt and grease may be resting on the surface.  To remove those impurities, spritz household window cleaner over the surface and wipe clean using a paper towel.   TIP:  Remember to always take a "before" photograph of your piece so that you can fully appreciate the transformation! 

Twist and lift to remove the jar lid, release the heat seal and gently stir the paint to make sure it is fully incorporated.  Next, pour a small amount onto a foam plate or you may paint directly from the paint jar if using a small brush.  FolkArt Home Decor Chalk painting tools are wonderful!  I used two different paint brushes on this project, both the small (on the table legs) and large (on the table top).  I did not use the 4" wide painting brush, however, it is a perfect tool for any large surface such as armoires, chest of drawers, dressers, and large tables!  I chose to paint Nautical as the first layer of color.  Check out how smooth the paint flows.  TIP:  A small amount of paint really goes a very LONG way ... one 8 oz. jar will cover approximately 20 sq. ft. AND check it out ... you can see I did not sand my surface first!

As I mentioned earlier, I switched to a larger brush to paint the table top which helped me cover the surface area quickly.  The smaller paint brush was awesome when painting the detailed spindle table legs.  Next, I waited two hours to thoroughly dry the paint before I added the second color.  FolkArt Home Decor Chalk dries to the touch very quickly, however, it Is best to wait two hours between paint applications to make sure it is thoroughly dry to the surface.  Oops, looks like I got a little blue on my thumb, no worries, it washes out easily using soap and water.  After my table was completely painted with Nautical, I washed both brushes with soap and cool water to remove the excess paint.  TIP:  NEVER allow paint to dry in a paint brush!  (You can see in this photo that I was careful when painting to achieve smooth brushstrokes, that is just a creature of habit for me, however, when painting with FolkArt Home Decor Chalk, it is NOT necessary to paint as neatly as I did.  Brush stroke directions can be "slip slap" which can create texture and give a piece a more aged look when completed.)

Two hours later, my table was ready for the second coat of paint.  I chose Parisian Grey.  Repeat the first step of painting the entire table painting directly over the Nautical.  TIP:  I knew that I wanted a two color distressed look on my project, however, I could have stopped with the Nautical and began distressing with sandpaper which would allow the original stained finish to show through.

Again I waited two hours to make sure Parisian Grey was thoroughly dry.  Using a sanding block or fine to medium grit sandpaper, begin sanding on areas where you want the first color to appear.  Usually these "distressed" areas on furniture are on edges, around corners and wherever you want a time-worn look.  TIP:  As you sand, you will notice that the top layer of paint turns to a fine powder dust and does not "gum" up your sandpaper.  The longer you sand to distress in one area, if desired, you may distress through both layers of color and allow the original stained finish to show. (sorry for the blurry pic, I must have been in motion!)

I continued sanding and distressing the entire table until I reached my desired look.  I then wiped down the table to remove the sanding dust.  (You can use either a moistened paper towel or a tack cloth.)

I then used stencil tape to mask off the border area on the top of the table.  As you can see, I wanted to follow the general shape of the table.

Next I painted the masked border White Adirondack.  I wanted it to be opaque, so I allowed the first coat to thoroughly dry and then reappled a second coat.

When my painted border was dry, I then carefully removed the tape.  TIP:  Did you know that you can safely remove tape even when it appears stubborn by heating it up with a hair dryer first?  It works!  The heat will loosen the stubborn adhesive.  Another tip when removing tape is to pull the tape away from the painted area as you remove it (as pictured below).

Quickly I sanded the white border just a bit to smooth the painted edges and slightly distress it.  I knew I would be painting hydrangea blossoms within the white border so I did not want to distress too heavily.  Leaving it crisp and white would allow my painted flowers to "pop!"

I could have stopped at this stage, however, I really wanted to tie it all together and bring in a little of the navy color provided by Nautical.  So I switched to thinner stencil tape and created additional borders both on the interior of the table as well as along the table edge.

All that was left was to fill in the smaller width borders with Nautical, allow it to dry, remove the tape and lightly sand the edges.  Again remove any sanding dust and VOILA a refurbished table using FolkArt Home Decor Chalk!

My table is so pretty as is and yes, I could have stopped here and applied FolkArt Home Decor Clear Wax, buffed the wax and called it a day .... but of course, I didn't. 

My white painted border was screaming for painted hydrangeas!  And I can show you just how easy they are to paint ... stay tuned until next Tuesday, September 16.  I promise they are easier to paint than they appear!

Posted: 9/9/2014 7:08:00 AM by LEAP | with 0 comments
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