Gate Leg Table (Before & After)

As you all know, I really love to paint furniture.  So when a friend asked if I would help her with several pieces, I jumped at the chance.  She said that this one piece was great, but had been sitting in the garage since she picked it up at a yard sale…4 years earlier.


I really love chippy, shabby chic furniture, but this black gate leg table was a bit of a chippy mess.  The elements had gotten at it and it was all bare wood on top.  But I like a good challenge:


And here, with some ASCP magic and lots of elbow grease, she is now:

Before I even got the paint out, I spent a while cleaning this beauty.  I started washing down the wood with mineral spirits and then the denatured alcohol.  Then rinsed her with warm water.  There was so much dust, grime and chipping paint.  Once the wood was dry, I did two coats of clear shellac by Zinsser to prevent any of the wood from bleeding through. Then I did one coat of ASCP in Graphite.  I did this coat very rough with a rustic finish as I wanted it to mimic years of paint:
Coat of ASCP in Graphite

The next step was Paris Grey.  A really beautiful soft gray that my friend loved! I did a little light distressing with some fine grit sandpaper.

Then I got my clear wax on my wet brush to do another distressing technique:
I learned the wet brush with wax method from Nancy at the Sea Rose Cottage.  This washes away the top color paint to show through the base coat (in this case black).  Here you can see the subtleness of this technique.  It lets the paint shine though without going to the bare wood:
I added two coats of clear wax and then dark wax to add to the distressed nature of the piece.  Inside the drawer is a surprise of Emperor’s Silk.  Just the right punch of color for a dining room piece.
Here are some more images of the finished table.  I really fell in love with her and it was quite hard to give her back.
Top with dark wax and black paint shining through
Top & Side
Distressed legs

My friend was so happy with the new and improved table.  I’m honored that she trusted me with her furniture.  We are both so happy that this beautiful table will have a new home in the dining room and no longer in garage (I think her hubby is happy to get some space back in the garage too).

What do you all think of this makeover?
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  1. says

    I read this this morning but didn’t have time to comment and I love it! Good thing you put it on my comment luv thingy…it reminded me to come comment! :) That is such a cool color.

    • says

      Thanks, Desiree. With this technique you just need to make sure you get a bit of wax over the area you are doing and then slowly wash away the paint.

    • says

      Thanks, Erika! Emperor’s Silk paired with grey – kind of like a red bra under a white button down oxford, right?

  2. says

    Great job. I love the wet wax technique. Did you then go over the piece with wax without the water for the next coat of clear?
    ~ ~Ahrisha~~

    • says

      Hi Ahrisha, Yes, you want to wet your brush and get a glob on the tip and wipe that all around the area. Then adding more water and rubbing with the brush work away the paint that you want worn down. Then wipe with a paper towel. Once your done distressing do a second coat of clear wax then dark wax (if desired). If working with dark wax you can always use the clear wax to erase any areas you don’t dark wax. Hope that helps!

  3. says

    I’m drooling over this gorgeous table. great makeover and thanks for the step-by-step tutorial.

    • says

      Thanks, Pernilla! I know chippy look is lovely too. But was a bit too much for our liking and for my friend’s home.

  4. says

    What a fabulous transformation! The table has great “bones” to work with & you brought out it’s inner beauty.

  5. says

    thankyou for the info on the distressing with wax on the brush. I get so excited when I get more techniques and tricks for distressing pieces of furniture. Thanks for sharing and I am you newest follower.

  6. says

    Such a beautiful table! You brought out her true beauty!
    THanks for linking up!
    Stacey of Embracing Change

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