Rustic Table Goes Casual

I picked up this table from an auction thinking I would play up the rustic look. My goal was to get the project done with a minimal amount of labor time so I could keep the asking price to a minimum. But after I started working on it I had second thoughts about the rustic design. So I decided to go with a casual look instead while still keeping in mind my time constraints.


Before - rustic.
The table was certainly rustic and had a couple coats of white paint on it. It was labeled as a sofa table, but I couldn't imagine putting it in my house in its current condition. I thought it would make a good work table in a garage or a gardening table.

I liked the look of the wood planks on the top of the table. 

Oh the possibilities!

The rustic style was obvious on the legs of the table.

Extremely rough edges.


As I was cleaning the table my cloth kept snagging on the rough wood. I like to run my hands over the furniture but didn't on this one because I didn't want to dig out splinters from my hands! I was concerned that if someone with small children buys the table it could end up being a safety hazard. So I patched and filled in the rough areas with wood filler.

Rough areas patched.
Some of the legs required two sessions of
wood filler to build up an even look.

I used an Elmer's product wood filler. It goes on purple and then turns white when it's dry.

Wood filler goes on purple and turns white when it's dry.

I typically use this product when I need to make a repair on something that I will paint white.

The purple wood filler is starting to fade as it dries.

Before I started filling in the legs I went ahead and sanded the top. I was going to stain it but there was paint in between the slats and it would have taken too much time to remove all the paint. Not impossible, but too time consuming for this project.

I sanded the top.

So I decided to go ahead and paint the top instead. Nevertheless, I was glad I sanded the top because it took out most of the dings and dents and left a fairly smooth finish.

Paint remained in the cracks and I didn't have
the time to remove it. So paint was the answer.


The table retains a casual feel but it isn't a "perfect" piece. I think it would work well in a farmhouse or coastal decor style. I picture it in a mudroom as a landing pad for all the kids' electronic gear and book bags. But it's still casual enough to work well for a work table in the garage or for gardening.

The extreme roughness on the table legs is gone. And any worries of splinters is gone, too.

The base is painted in a custom mix of Pure White and Old White (Annie Sloan Chalk Paint).

The top is painted in two thin coats of Arles (Annie Sloan Chalk Paint).

I added some distressing to the paint in keeping with the casual feel.

It might be hard to see in the photo, but some of the wood grain peeks through the painted finish.

The entire table was sealed with a satin urethane finish.

Overall I think I met my time goals. I spent a little longer than I initially planned adding the wood filler, but that didn't take too much time except for waiting for it to dry. I didn't keep an exact time record, but I estimate a hands-on time of 2-3 hours for this project.

Dimensions: 47.25" wide x 15.5" deep x 29" high.


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