Romantic Shabby Chic Side Tables


If you’ve ever wondered how to paint furniture shabby chic, today I’m answering that question!  Aren’t these little side tables charming?  Their petite size and curvy shape caught my eye, so I snapped them up from Facebook Marketplace a few weeks ago.

shabby chic side tables before

If you’d like to see me painting one of these tables, I did a Facebook Live video here.  Unlike like last week’s project, this one was pretty simple and would be great for a beginner.  Here is the short list of the products I used.


(Note: These are affiliate links from which I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.)

By the way, if you want a handy reference tool for all of Dixie Belle’s products (dry times, application methods, top coats, etc.), you can download my free guide by clicking the picture here:

Painting Manatee Gray

After I cleaned the tables thoroughly with a TSP-based cleaner (Dixie Belle has one called White Lightning), I rinsed them and let them dry. 

The key to making this paint job easy was the brush.  Typically, I prefer a synthetic paint brush for most projects, but since these tables have so many nooks and crannies, the French tip was perfect.  It has a pointed shape and gets the paint down in all the grooves easily.  I applied 2 coats, allowing about 30-40 minutes of drying time between coats.

shabby chic single side table

Adding Shabby Chic Furniture Transfers

If you haven’t tried a furniture transfer yet, what are you waiting for?!  They are so easy to work with, and give a huge impact.  There are also tons of ways to use them.  I almost always cut them up and use little bits on a piece, making one transfer stretch over 8-10 projects.  You can also layer them, like I did on this yellow table.

yellow accent table center drawer

You can even place them vertically like I did on the side of my jewelry box project.  I also like combining images with script like I did here.

jewelry box side

Or you can use them as intended as one big piece of art across the front of your piece.  Transfers really make anyone look like an artist, which I love since I don’t hand paint designs.  The one I used on this project is my absolute favorite with those pops of red and gold – “Midnight Floral”.

White Waxing

After paint and before any top coat, I like to give a quick scuff sand with a 220-grit sanding pad.  This will make the surfaces buttery smooth and ready for wax or liquid top coat.  One time, I forgot this step until after I had added Satin Clear Coat.  I went ahead and sanded after sealer, and it worked like a charm and smoothed the finish perfectly.

I also sanded right over the transfer to give it more of an aged vintage-y look.  I like it to look as incorporated as possible, not like something just stuck on top.

Using a big round wax brush, I applied white wax over the whole piece working in sections.  I wiped each section back with a shop towel before moving on to the next section.

side table bottoms

After I had waxed, I decided I really wanted to distress the tables a bit too to add a little more depth and dimension.  Normally, I would have done that step first, but since I had already waxed I just went for it.  It didn’t seem to cause any issues, so distressing after wax is an option.

And that’s how to shabby chic furniture with chalk paint!

shabby chic side tables
shabby chic side tables before and after

If you like shabby chic style, you may enjoy these projects as well!

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15 thoughts on “Romantic Shabby Chic Side Tables”

  1. Great makeover, congrats on using a transfer on such an elaborate piece of furniture. It went really well together.

    1. Shannon says:

      Thanks, Leanna! I loved your feature of Maria’s little nests this week!

  2. Your side tables are lovely! The decals are so pretty! So glad to have you at Tuesday Turn About!

    1. Shannon says:

      Thanks,Julie! They had such great bones they only needed a little color and floral to make them lovely.

  3. I am in love with tables like these — such detail and so French-y! Love your color choice and those pretty decals. I’ll have to look into white wax. . . . . thanks for sharing at Vintage Charm! xo Kathleen

    1. Shannon says:

      I know, I can’t resist that French detail either! Thanks, Kathleen!

  4. Sandi Magle says:

    Very interested in the process for the gold table. Very creative. I’m working on an old trunk right now—need to figure out how to add some vintage lettering inside, may try the old modge podge transfer technique, since I will be super sealing the inside anyway.

    1. Shannon says:

      Sounds like a cool project! Vintage lettering is a favorite of mine too. Thanks for reading, Sandi!

  5. These are so pretty! I love the furniture transfer. I didn’t even know that was a thing!

    1. Shannon says:

      Wow! Well, now you know 😉

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