Get a Rustic Farmhouse Look with Paint, Sandpaper, and Glaze


I literally just finished saying I didn't have room for any new projects when my husband said he was going to the Restore for Habitat for Humanity to drop off extra supplies. He asked me if I wanted to ride along. I bet you know where this story is going, but in case you don't know me I jumped at the chance, and once I spotted this darling table I couldn't leave it behind!

This post has lots of photos of the process, so if you want to skip this part then just scroll down to the bottom to see the "after". Or you can click HERE to see a slide show (with cheerful music!) from my Facebook page. I can't take credit for creating the slideshow because my phone app did it automatically, but I hope you enjoy it.


Before

The table was stamped with the manufacturer's name, "St John's Table Company, Cadillac Michigan". It was in rough shape, and not to mince words, it was downright filthy!  I didn't even want it in my garage in it's original condition. I washed it down outside with soap and water and then gave it another wash with disinfectant before I could even take a "before" picture.

I planned to give it a rustic farmhouse look with paint, so the first order of business was to sand away the original finish of the table top and smooth out the scratches. I used my orbital sander to make quick work of the job. 

Orbital sander and supplies

I started with 60-grit, and then progressed to 80-grit, 100-grit, 150-grit, and finished with 200-grit sandpaper.

Sanding with an orbital sander
Goodbye yucky finish!
I don't know what was on it, but it was sticky.
 I hand sanded the tight spaces with 150-grit sandpaper wrapped around a flexible sanding pad.
Hand sand with 150 grit sandpaper
Use 150-grit sandpaper in tight spaces.
I turned the table upside down to paint the legs and the underside of the table. I chose Duck Egg Blue for my base color and applied two coats.

Apply Duck Egg Blue Chalk Paint
Applying the first coat of Duck Egg Blue
 Next I painted a very thin coat of Old White onto the table top and the underside of the drop leaves.

Apply a thin coat of Old White Chalk Paint
Apply a thin coat of Old White to the top.
To achieve a thin coat and a smooth finish, I diluted the paint with water and spread it evenly over the top with a paint brush.

Dilute the paint with water to achieve a thin consistency
Dilute the paint with water to achieve a thin consistency

Once the white was dry, I applied an uneven coat of Coco for a contrasting color.

Apply a darker color for contrast.
Apply a darker color for contrast.
Then I used a fine sanding sponge to sand back the Coco and blend the two colors together. I used 220-grit sandpaper to apply heavier distressing to the base and table legs.

Sand blend and distress.
Sand back the darker color to blend and distress.
To further age the finish I decided to use a decorative glaze. For this project I applied a coat of soft clear wax before I applied the glaze.
Mix the glaze thoroughly before applying
Mix the glaze thoroughly before applying.
OK I admit this part is a little scary after all the work that was already put into the project! I used a foam brush and applied a generous amount of decorative glaze over the waxed surface.

Apply the decorative stain with a foam brush.
Apply the decorative stain with a foam brush.
The next step is to wipe away the glaze with a shop towel, and you'll need to have plenty on hand as they become saturated. You could use a rag instead, but I like the absorbency of the shop towels. Use a damp shop towel to further wipe off if the look you get is too heavy. If you wipe too much away then just apply more. It's really so easy to work with.

Wipe away the excess with a shop towel.
Wipe away the excess with a shop towel.

After

And although the table has a worn distressed finish, it is now clean and fresh. It's so much better now!

Get the look of a rustic farmhouse table with paint
Rustic farmhouse table with paint
The variation of color and distressing is visible in the close up below.

Close up of layered paint and distressed finish.
Close up of layered paint and distressed finish.
This style of table is one of my all time favorites. It has a small footprint which makes it perfect if you're tight on space.
A table with small footprint is perfect for small spaces
A table with small footprint is perfect for small spaces.
The wooden supports underneath the table swivel out to provide support when the leaves are extended.

The wood support bars underneath swivel to extend the table leaves.
The wood support bars underneath swivel to extend the table leaves.
The versatility of this table style can't be beat. Open one or both leaves when company comes over or if you're working on a craft project.
Extra surface space with the table leaves extended.
Extra surface space with the table leaves extended.
 Then drop the leaves again when the space isn't required.

Drop the table leaves again when not needed.
Drop the table leaves again when not needed.
I think this table would work quite well in a small kitchen, but it could also function well in other spaces, too. I'll include a supply list below in case you're interested in trying this technique on one of your projects. I would love to hear from you if you do give it a try. Well honestly I'd love to hear from you even if you don't! Thanks so much for stopping by!

Supply List 

(These are products I actually purchase and use; some have affiliate links; some do not.)
  • Orbital sander and variety pack of sand paper
  • Chalk Paint by Annie Sloan (Duck Egg Blue, Old White, and Coco) and Soft Clear Wax. Click on the link to find where you can by her products from local stockists. Some stockists also ship via online orders.
  • Paint brush & foam brush
  • Flexible sanding pad These come in a box of 20, but I cut them in half so I get 40! One box will last for a very long time. The pads also come in a superfine finish for even smoother results.
  • Sandpaper (150 and 220-grit)
  • Tack cloth (for removing sanding dust)
  • Decorative Glaze (For this project I used the Rustoleum brand, but I also use General Finishes brand. Either one should give you awesome results.)
  • Shop towels
  • Lint free rags for wiping off excess wax (you can use t-shirts, but since I sell my furniture I don't like to use old clothes on my projects). These can also be used to buff the wax.
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