Do you ever see that piece of furniture and immediately fall in love with it? This little vintage two-drawer table was really love at first sight for me! I could just see the possibilities brimming in this little table. I wasn’t quite sure what I planned to do with it, as far as colors and designs but I knew it would be a fun project. So now I’ll show you my small two-drawer vintage table makeover using Dixie Belle chalk mineral paint and a Redesign With Prima furniture transfer.
This little vintage small table was stored in a family member’s old storage shed, so needless to say it was very dirty and just begging for a makeover. I could tell it was old from the design and build structure. And overall it needed a good sanding. And there’s also a funny story about our encounter with a very large black snake that lives in that shed haha! He had made himself at home in the shed and is still there I’m sure. I’ll save that story for another time, but it always makes me laugh to think on it!
Vintage Table Makeover Table Step 1: Sanding and Cleaning
We’d all like to think that chalk mineral style paints are no prep paint products, but truth be told, there really is no such thing as no prep. Sure, I could go ahead and slap some paint on this vintage small table and leave the makeover at that. But the quality and durability of your paint job is directly related to the prep work you do prior to even picking up a brush!
The prep work is often no fun but so very necessary. If you paint over scratches, splinters, peeling veneer, dirt and grease, then it will be evident in your paint finish. So it is well worth your time and effort to do good prep work needed to get ready for the fun part of painting.
So how do you prep an old vintage piece that is dirty and a bit dinged up? Well. first give the piece of furniture a good looking over to see what is going on. Are there splinters, cracks, or scratches? Is the furniture really dirty or any greasy or sticky areas? Once you asses your furniture’s condition, just pick what to do first. I generally start with sanding out scratches or splinters and then move to overall sanding.
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Prep Work: Sanding
This small vintage table had a few scratches and dings, especially on the top of this piece and a few splinters along the edges. So I got out my electric rotary sander and gave it a good overall sanding to smooth it all out. If there aren’t scratches, I generally give furniture a light hand sanding with a fine grit sanding paper or block, like 220-320. Even a light sanding helps the paint adhere well to the surface.
Prep Work: Cleaning
Next up in the prep is cleaning. All furniture must be cleaned thoroughly before being painted. If your piece is dirty and dusty and grimy from years of use, it reduces the ability of the paint to adhere and some stains can leak through you paint color causing a discoloration spot. And as this small vintage table was hiding out in that shed with the black snake, it was dirty so adequate cleaning is necessary in the makeover process.
While there are several ways to clean furniture before painting, I genearlly use Dixie Belle White Lightening. White Lightening is a granulated cleaning product that you mix with water prior to use. I keep a spray bottle with the mixture ready to use. But for a really dirty item like this one, I mixed a fresh batch of White Lightening with hot water and got to town cleaning. Always follow your cleaning with a rinse of clean water to wash away cleaning residue. After I cleaned with Dixie Belle White Lightening I filled the bucket with clear hot water and wipe down the item with a clean rag and clear water.
Vintage Table Makeover Step 2: Choosing Design Elements
Once it is dry you are ready for the fun stuff! Finally, after that prep work is done you can now pick up your paintbrush. While it sounds like a lot of work to prep, it makes a difference and is such an important step. I encourage you not to skip it!
For this small vintage table makeover I had an older Redesign With Prima transfer to use so I chose paint colors that coordinate with the transfer. Unfortunately this particular transfer is no longer available. To match this transfer I chose Dixie Belle Caviar, which is a true deep black, and Muscadine Wine, which looks like it sounds, a deep wine color.
Vintage Table Makeover Step 3: Paint Application and Blending
My idea was to blend the colors doing an ombre style design. I hadn’t done much blending before but really wanted to give it try. Now, from what I understand blending is much easier if you work with lighter colors in the same family. So, I likely took the hard road by blending these two dark colors, but I was determined. I started by painting the bottom half of the item including the legs with Caviar. Then the top half I painted with Muscadine Wine. I let that first coat dry. Luckily Dixie Belle paint dries fast, usually and hour to two hours for each coat.
I then went ahead and did the second coat. With the second coat wet, I used a dry brush to try to blend the line between the Muscadine Wine and the Caviar. The goal is to make is look like a seamless transition from caviar on the bottom to muscadine wine on the top. Overall I’d say it went okay. I learned that it is more difficult to blend those contrasting colors in such dark tones. But it is doable with patience. Continue to add a bit of paint and continue blending to get the smooth line you desire.
Once blended I added a topcoat in satin, using Dixie Belle Clearcoat in Satin. Next, I decided to put on a layer of Dixie Belle Black Glaze to help improve the blended look. This black glaze is thin and looks blue in the container but it dries a clear black, adding a hint of color.
Adding the Redesign With Prima Transfer
No for the fun step of applying the furniture transfer. This transfer, by Redesign With Prima, is no longer available. But it is such a pretty transfer! And perfectly sized to go right on the front of the table over the two drawers. Have you tried these furniture transfers? I just love them and highly recommend them as a way to add some creative personality to your furniture projects! If you’d like a step by step tutorial on how to use the transfers, go to this post. I’ll walk you step by step through this easy and fun process!
Redesign with Prima recommends letting your coat of paint dry overnight before putting on the transfer. Sometimes I get impatient and rush ahead but I did wait overnight before applying this one. These transfers rub on really well with the applicator tool. Redesign With Prima also makes a transfer application tool that you can try if you’d like. If not, each transfer comes with it’s own applicator stick. As you rub on the transfer you can see and hear it separate from the clear paper backing. Just work slowly and carefully, gently pulling away the backing as you work.
Fun Design Elements: Waxes and Glazes
Once this transfer was in place, I could unfortunately see the clear edges of the transfer paper around the periphery of the transfer. I hadn’t noticed this with prior transfers but I think the dark background paint color made the line more visible. I therefore used a fine grit sanding paper, about 220 grit, to gently sand away that clear line. And, it ended up giving it a more distressed rustic look. Then, to help blend those edges even further I rubbed in some Dixie Belle Best Dang Wax in black around the periphery. My goal was to have this transfer look like it was part of the furniture for many years. And it worked!
So, to finish out this project, I used décor wax along the edges in a burnt amber color. I strategically rubbed on some of this wax along the edges all over the furniture. This step gave it just a little pop of shimmer and accented the edges. Another product that would work great for this would be Dixie Belle’s new Gemstone Mousse. The decor wax I used is by Art Alchemy and comes in so many cool colors.
Adding a Topcoat For Protection
Lastly to protect all this work I finished with two coats of Dixie Belle Clearcoat in Satin. Satin is the topcoat sheen I reach for most. Dixie Belle brand topcoats come in flat, satin and glossy. I would rarely use glossy. The satin has just enough sheen without being shiny, so it’s perfect for most projects. The topcoats go on hazy but dry clear. Another topcoat I use a fair amount are Dixie Belle Gator Hide and General Finishes High-Performance Topcoat in Satin. These are all water-based topcoats. If you are interested in how I choose what topcoats to use, here is a link for some more information on topcoats.
Oh, and one more thing I added to really help this project pop was the really sweet clear glass rose knobs for the drawers. I found those at Hobby Lobby. Here is the link to the glass rose knob at Hobby Lobby and a similar one at Amazon.
To summarize, this is the step by step makeover of this small two-drawer vintage table using Dixie Belle chalk paint and the Redesign with Prima furniture transfer. If you have any questions at all about any of my steps or the products I used, just let me know! I’m happy to share what works for me. And, if you have a project you are working on and want an opinion on what colors, products, accents to use, I’m also happy to help with that! So, go find a project to work on and happy painting my friends!