How To Paint and Refinish Two Side Tables

I have TWO tables to talk about today. Two tables, one found in a Dumpster, the other left for dead in a dirty, dusty barn.

I am on a mission to clean out every last piece of dead or nearly dead furniture in my garage. I made a relatively large hole in one of these tables by redoing it.

My husband disagrees, but I know progress when I see it! Progress is progress, two tables down, and this pile is left to go.

How to prep your Table Makeovers

Here is what I started with. The Big Round Baroque Table (Dumpster Find) was relatively stable; the top was peeling and needed sanding.

The Small French Side Table only needed a quick clean and sand. The honey stain on the table was fine for 1994, but 2023 is calling and wanted it to get with the times.

First, I cleaned each piece thoroughly, sanded the entire finish off both, then used DIY Paint Dark & Decrepit Patina. I created a step-by-step video to share how easy it is to use Dark Patina as a stain. I used to stain the tops of furniture regularly, but I was not too fond of the off-gassing and the respirator I had to wear to protect me from the awful fumes. I also tried water-based stains and found they were pretty stinky.

How to Paint Your Side Tables

For the paint finish on the body of the tables, I used DIY Paint and the new DIY Paint Brushes! The new brushes are miracle workers. I hope you catch the video to see how the brush glides along the paint, and there are virtually no brush marks. I show how easy this is in my video!


How to Finish Your Side Tables

What is the best finish for your tables? I sealed the pieces with DIY Paint 100% Clear Wax. The wax deeply penetrates the paint, and after the wax is dry and buffed, the depth of color, as the light bounces off the paint, is stunning. For the Baroque Round Table, I combined equal parts DIY Paint in Mermaid Tail and Bohemian Blue. LOVE the color combination and the wax just made it pop.

For the French Side Table I used two coats of DIY Paint Skeleton Key. A beautiful classic, French inspired blue-grey.

For the tops of the tables, I used one coat of DIY Paint Big Top, followed up with a coat of clear wax. The two-step finish creates a water-tight barrier to the tops of furniture, making them virtually stained and waterproof.

Here is the top of the Baroque Round Table with 3 coats of DIY Paint Dark Patina followed by one coat DIY Paint Clear Wax:

Here is the top of the French Side Table, as shown in the video, I did a layer of DIY Dark Patina, followed by a combination of DIY Paint Copper and Gold Patina, with DIY Paint Clear Wax. I highly recommend this finish, super glamorous! 

Where to find Side Tables to Makeover

Visit my garage in Northern California! If you don’t live near me, I recommend searching your local Facebook Marketplace listings, Thrift stores, and Garage Sales. I often spot these side tables as many people don’t know how or do not want to give the side tables a 2nd life.

If you enjoyed this post, let me know! Do you have questions about your next furniture project, or small projects? I would love to help you get started. Leave a comment !

If you enjoyed this post, you might also like some of these makeovers with full tutorials included

How to Makeover a Dresser and use an IOD Paint Inlay

How to Paint Upholstery and Keep it Soft! 

My Top Five Dumpster Dive Makeover Projects 



  1. Mary

    Yaaaas, they turned out Super Gorgeous, Love those colors!!! You do such a thorough job!❤️❤️❤️!

    • GTC

      Thank you so much for the sweet comment Mary!

  2. Dawn Sapp

    Karen! They are gorgeous! I have the same little table, the blue one, and I might just copy you😁 I’m definitely going to use the golden copper because I’m redoing a table for my brother and that is the ticket!

    • GTC

      That’s so awesome, and thank you for the sweet comment! I love those little french tables

  3. Cheryl r Atkinson

    Hey Karen!! I cannot wait to get my Journal in the mail!! Looking forward to all of the new contributors. These tables turned out fabulous. I have a can of skeleton key I haven’t even opened. I need to find something small to paint. Of course I love the Bohemian Blue and Mermaid tail blend. Those two colors just go beautifully together. Thank you for sharing. Gives me so much inspiration.

    • GTC

      Hi Cheryl! I am so sorry I missed this comment! I am thrilled that you subscribe to the Journal! We just finished all the submissions for the next Summer issue and I am so excited to see it, but it will be a few months….Let me know what you do with the Skeleton Key!


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