6 Nov 2012

Hexagon End Tables

Remember the 2 little end tables that I picked up at an estate sale a few weeks ago?  They were not in the best shape and were screaming to be pulled out of the 70s and into the modern age.

These little seemingly innocent tables became my new arch nemesis over the past couple of weeks.  Do you ever have a project that you think will be great, and then something goes awry and the wheels just fall off?  Ya, that's what happened here.  You'll have to forgive me because I have no 'in-progress' pics for you.  The space I had to work in the garage was minuscule to say the least, and it was cold, and honestly I just got so frustrated with these tables that I couldn't even think about taking pictures. 

I had mentioned in that earlier post that I thought I'd try out chalk paint on them.  I was going to go buy chalk paint, but then decided I'd try and make my own first (frugal to a fault).  I searched and searched Google and finally settled on using a recipe that was 1/3 baking soda to 2/3 flat latex paint.  I mixed it up (with some paint I  had left over from our basement) and it all seemed good.  The baking soda didn't clump, but it did make the paint incredibly thick.  Too thick to use a roller.  I proceeded anyway and used a brush to apply the first coat of paint.  I didn't sand or prime - apparently that's one of the bonuses of chalk paint...no sanding or priming needed.  All I did before I stared painting was fill some of the cracks on the bottom molding using wood filler. Once the first coat was dry I noticed that the finish was really gritty.  Like give me goose bumps gritty.  I just ignored it and gave the tables another coat the next night.  The night after that I then went about sanding down all of the grittiness.  Ok, the bumps did sand down pretty easily, but to get a nice smooth finish took some serious time and arm power.  I think I was in the garage for way over an hour just sanding down the already painted tables to try and make them smooth.  I could just cancel my gym membership if I sanded like that every night.  At this point I was wishing I had just used regular paint.  

After I sanded to smooth, and then distressed a bit, I just wasn't loving it.  The tables just looked blah. Big blah grey blobs.  And what do I do when something is blah?  Add to it of course!  So, out came the glaze.  I didn't have black paint, so I mixed the glaze with black stain.  I am almost 100% positive that glaze is not intended to mix with stain, but I just crossed my fingers and started smooshing the glaze mixture on.  It worked.  It provided the bit of depth that I was looking for.   

After letting the tables dry for yet another night, they were still looking a little too blah to me.  Meh.  Solution?  Add more!  I added some liquid silver leaf to some of the edges....and let it dry overnight again.  The next day I resanded everything to distress a bit more and to blend the silver leafing.  Better.  They were finally looking a little less blah.   I finished everything off with a clear wax. 

Here's what I ended up with after my million layers of paint.

I debated adding new hardware, but after looking at a few places I couldn't find anything that seemed substantial enough.  Instead of replacing, I just spray painted the existing hardware.  I love how chunky the handles are

Here are the details in case you are interested, although I think recreating this madness could prove difficult: 
Paint - Benjamin Moore Trout Gray colour matched to Sherwin Williams Duration flat
Glaze - Benjamin Moore glaze mixed with Ikea stain in black (not sure if I'd recommend this - use black paint if you have it instead)
Liquid Silver Leaf
Minwax clear paste wax

I have to admit, they didn't turn out at all how I envisioned, but I do think they look a lot better than they did.  I'm glad I gave the DIY chalk paint a try, but I am not sure I'd do it again.  Honestly, I think I am more of a fan of just plain old latex paint.  

I have these guys up for sale now, and I'll see if they go (I don't have a lot of hope).  If they don't, I might just see how they look in our master bedroom.

Have you ever tried DIY chalk paint?  If so, do you have any tips/tricks?  I know a lot of people seem to like the Plaster of Paris recipe, but I had baking soda on hand already so that's the one I went with. 


  1. Hi Kelly!

    I think these turned out really well. You have a lot more patience than me.

    Im not sure I would have stuck with it after the initial result with the first coat of paint - especially with the sanding after. Not a fan of sanding.

    But you did - and look how impressive it turned out in the end! I particularly like the fact that you used the liquid silver leaf - it really does help to define and make those edges pop.

    -Erica F

    1. Thanks Erica. I have to be honest, they just about went in the garbage multiple times. I started to wonder if the $20 I paid for them was worth it. I like the silver leaf too - it just adds a little something different. Quite the learning curve to work with that stuff though...it is NOT forgiving. Thankfully sanding sponges can fix almost anything in the world.

  2. that color could not be more perfect on those tables!

  3. I use homemade chalk paint all the time, but my recipe is the Plaster of Paris one. The paint seems to harden alot more than latex, hence the extra sanding. My recommendation? Buy a palm sander. The chalk paint is extremely easy to use, and durable...and if you get the electric sander, than thats easy too. You may actually enjoy this process more..I think my electric sander has become my favourite power tool...lol.
    Great job on the tables..just did one like it...and am pretty happy with the results. :)

    1. Thanks for the tips. I did use a palm sander on these in some parts, but hand to use my sanding blocks for all of the grooves, which is where it seemed to still be a bit gritty. I might give it another try one day....with less baking soda!

  4. The tables look great! Despite all the work, haha. Im loving your blog too. Your description of yourself sounds a lot like me- jumping around from project to project and taking on way too much. But it keeps things exciting! Ill definitely be checking in on you from now on to see what youre jumping around to too. :)

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by!

  5. Love these tables Kelly! They look amazing - your hard work sure paid off! And I love the original pull, so glad you kept them!

  6. Hi Kelly, I think they look great. Im just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris

    1. Thanks for your kind words Chris. Off to check out your blog....

  7. I didnt know that sanding and priming can be avoided with just by using chalk paint. Thank you for the info. Anyways, I actually liked the wood look of the tables, but theyre definitely better after you painted them. Good job!

    COFsouth.com - dealer of new and used office furniture in Miami


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