Console Table with Castors Makeover: Chalk Paint, Wax and Rub 'n Buff
I found this cute little console table at my local Mercato Usato recently; it was €20 and buried under a lot of other random stuff so I almost missed it. I've had a space in my hallway upstairs for a few years now which I've been meaning to fill when I found the right piece of furniture. I loved the cute little castors and the shape of the drawer; it's mostly veneer so a great candidate for covering that up with some chalk paint and wax!
Step 1: I cleaned the table with a grease remover to make sure that the paint would stick to the actual piece of furniture rather than the dirt and dust.
To prepare for painting, usually I would remove all the hardware such as the handles and castors, but I couldn't remove these on this piece of furniture. The handle is tacked on with some nails and the castors glued on. I was worried I would damage them if I tried to get them off so I decided that masking tape and a steady hand for painting were the way to go!
Step 2: I wanted to work on the castors first, and for this I used Rub and Buff in antique gold. It comes in a small tube but a very little goes a long way! You can apply this using a rag or just your finger (preferably a gloved one!). I used a rag to dab a little over the area I wanted to cover as I find this helps distribute it thinly and creates a more antique effect. Then you can 'buff' it over with a clean part of the rag.
For an antique look, I think it works better to not work it into the crevices too much.
Step 3: Chalk paint is expensive and virtually unavailable here in Italy, but is so great for updating tired furniture. I am looking for suppliers online and at options such as making my own chalk paint, so for this console table the paint was mixed using a coloured chalk powder by Chalk2Chic in Adriatic Blue which I added to a general white emulsion. When mixing your own chalk paint it's important to mix the powder with a tiny bit of paint at a time until you have a paste you can then mix into a larger batch; it will be less lumpy this way. I've had this batch in a jar for a few weeks and it's still fine to use. It dries with visible brush strokes and you need to do a few coats depending on the coverage you want but this is common for most chalk paint, next time I might try a roller on the flatter areas to compare the end result. As I'm distressing and sanding this piece, brush strokes are less of an issue for me.
I'm using a good quality angled brush to get into the corners and curves of the legs, and a tiny brush to edge around the handle that I couldn't remove. With this paint, try to use long smooth brush strokes in the same direction and watch for drips that dry quickly. The paint sticks quite well but needs at least 2 coats if not 3 to get full coverage. I made sure to paint the undersides that may be visible, and if you are painting drawers and runners you need to be careful not to overload with paint and risk that the drawer will not slide back in smoothly once the paint is dry. I masked the castors off and hoped that this would not peel off the rub and buff, turned out this wasn't a problem! I left this to dry over night outside - mostly because my son became far too interested in what I was doing for me to carry on!
Step 4: I enjoy sanding more than I enjoy painting! I used two different sanding blocks to sand and distress this piece simply labelled 'fine' and 'medium' in the store. I'd say they were a grit 300 for the fine and 180 for the medium. I used the fine block to smooth the paint finish and begin distressing and the rougher block to distress the corners and edges where the piece would normally have the most wear and tear.
I often find I need to be brave and distress more - I need to stand at a distance to see if the distressing really 'pops' at me!
Step 4: I used a basic clear wax to seal this piece which I applied with a rag in a circular motion initially followed by long smooth strokes. It's easy to end up feeling like you've messed up a newly painted piece of furniture after waxing as it can end up blotchy if you apply too much wax and don't apply it evenly. I find working quickly and with very little wax helps, or you can try a wax brush as this helps with a thin even coat. If you do end up with a blotchy piece, you can buff it with a clean cloth and apply another thin, even coat and leave to dry. I only applied one coat of wax as this table isn't going to get a lot of heavy use. The wax really brings out the colour of the paint and highlights distressed areas. A good buff later and we're done!