Elegant Vintage Table

French end table

I found this non-vintage end table on craigslist for $35.  Amazing score, right?!  It is a newer manufactured piece, but with all those curves and carvings, I knew my elegant vintage technique was the way to go.  I had recently painted my jewelry box and a serving tray using this method, and I realized it was a formula or recipe I was using to achieve different looks with the same elegant aged feel to them.  Today I’m sharing the 4 steps of this technique with you! 

Before we get started, check out  my Comprehensive Guide to Dixie Belle Chalk Paint for more information on any of these products.

French end table before

Elegant Vintage Step 1

Step one of this technique is to choose a base color.  You are going to paint one coat all over the piece.  If the coverage isn’t great, that’s okay!  I actually try to leave little areas where the wood peeks through in the recesses. 

You want to consider what décor transfer(s) you will use later, and choose your base color to coordinate well with that.  You want that transfer to show up and be visible, not get lost in the base color.  For this project I used Haint Blue, a beautiful sky blue.

French table back

Elegant Vintage Step 2

Step two, choose 1 to 2 metallic paint colors to wash over the base color.  I used Moonshine Metallics in Pacific and Steel Magnolias.  Using a chip brush, I painted a small section with a random pouncing motion to get texture.  Then I sprayed the area liberally with water using my spray mister bottle.  Dab the area to with a paper towel to absorb the excess water and paint, and then go back and lightly wipe to create more of a rubbed look.  What I was trying to avoid here was drips or a speckled look.  This step is the hardest to describe, so if you want to see me doing it, check out my Facebook Live video here.

French table side 2

Elegant Vintage Step 3

Step three, apply your transfers.  You can definitely use pieces of 1 transfer for this project, but here I used 2.  This technique is a great way to use up leftover bits of transfers you may have used on other projects.  I like to cut up my transfers, and use them on multiple pieces.  You get your own unique look with it, and they go much farther making them more budget friendly. 

French table drawer detail

This table had these built-in framed areas, so that’s mainly where I put the transfers.  I also like to have little bits trail out of the framed area for a more organic look.

French table side 1

Applying transfers is pretty easy.  You cut out the section you’re using, peel off the white backing and stick it down where you want it.  Be careful once you’ve removed the backing because the clear plastic part containing the design will stick to anything it touches.  Using the little stick they provide with the transfer, burnish or rub over the design until it releases from the plastic backing and sticks to the piece of furniture.

You can peel back slowly and if you notice any areas where the design hasn’t transferred to the piece, just lay it back down and rub some more.  If any bits don’t transfer, no worries!  It just adds to the vintage look of the piece.  On my table, I used Midnight Floral for those beautiful flowers and Lovely Ledger for the script.

French table top

Elegant Vintage Step 4

Step four, wax.  To seal the transfer, I used Easy Peasy spray wax.  You just spray it on, and immediately wipe it lightly to spread it and remove any excess.  Wax or a clear coat are recommended over a transfer to protect it.  I’ve used both, but you can’t really beat the ease of the wax.

Then I used brown wax in random areas to create more depth.  I’ll usually go heavier in the cracks and crevices and around the edges, leaving a brighter highlight in the middle of the design.  I apply the wax with a chip brush, and rub it in with my husband’s old sock.

French table leg detail

French table front detail

Other Combinations

Remember, with this 4-step formula, you can switch out the base color, metallic colors and transfers to achieve a million different looks.  I haven’t found a combination that isn’t gorgeous yet!  On this tray I used Putty for the base coat, Steel Magnolias for the metallic and Imperial Garden for my transfer.

serving tray

For my jewelry box, I used Savannah Mist for the base, Gold Digger and Steel Magnolias for the metallics and Dans La Vie and Imperial Garden for the transfers.

jewelry box after

Here are the products I used.

Resource List:

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If you like this elegant vintage end table makeover, you might like these as well:

Old World Dining Table 

Antique Deconstructed Chair

Leave me a Comment and let me know if you like learning a “formula” like this you can use to achieve different looks.

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French table pinterest

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24 thoughts on “Elegant Vintage Table”

  1. This table is beautiful and I love the way you used the transfers. Thank you for joining the Waste not Wednesday link party, your beautiful post has been featured. Such a great job!

  2. What a beautiful transformation! You really gave this piece a fabulous new look. There’s just something so cool about adding script to furniture. Gives it a beautiful classic look.

    Thank you so much for sharing your gorgeous project with us over at Waste Not Wednesday!


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