Step 2: I painted a base color of General Finishes Milk Paint in Chocolate Brown. I almost left them this color, it was so rich.
Step 3: Painted the final color, Annie Sloan's Chalk Paint in Provence. In this photo, I've already started distressing. (The General Finishes Top Coat in front? I was also working on some smaller projects while the table was drying between steps.) I wet-distressed, meaning I rubbed...and rubbed...and rubbed...with a wet cloth to get the look I wanted. I sanded lightly after each coat of paint throughout the project.
Step 4: After distressing, I coated with a light coat of Top Coat, then used General Finishes Van Dyke Brown Glaze to give depth to the paint and distressing. To apply the glaze I put on a pretty heavy coat, then rubbed off most of it, leaving just enough to get the look I was going for. Lots of rags gave their lives in this step! I like to use wet wipes better, but ran out of them after the first table, and since it was near midnight at that point, I used rags on the second one, sometime damping the rag a bit to get the glaze how I wanted it.
Step 5: The tables were finished with General Finishes High Performance Top Coat in Flat for a soft sheen. Before the Top Coat I rubbed over the tops with a crumpled brown paper bag to smooth any rough places.
That's basically the process. It takes time and lots of patience. The second table top gave me fits to get the finish looking right and I ended up sanding it off twice and repainting until I was satisfied.
Step 6: Into the booth and staged to show them to good advantage. The whitish look on the front table is actually reflection from the chrome coffee service.
How many hours into this? It's hard to say because I'd do a step, go work on something else--canning, painting, cleaning, laundry, etc--and then go back to it. My guess is probably something like 6-8 hours total.
But in the end it was worth my effort. These junk store banged-up, sad tables will one day grace someone's home again. That's my reward for my work, and that makes me happy.
Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.