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Upcycling an Auction Find

Many of the auctioneers in our area went to online auctions during the pandemic. Live auctions are back in full force, but there are still a plethora of online auctions. Sometimes I get a little more than I bargained for. One such instance was a small side table at a local auction. I had been bidding on some wooden book racks. I didn't realize they came with the table that was partially shown in the photo (it only showed the top of the table). It was a little rough and wobbly, but I knew I could upcycle it with some chalk paint!

Small side table with wood clamp

Auctions are treasure troves of unique and eclectic furniture, and this one had a lot of potential. It appeared to be a hand crafted piece. The bottom legs had separated from the middle piece, but a little glue would fix that in no time.

Materials Needed:

Below are some links to products I used in this project. Disclaimer: Junk is My Life is a participant in the WalMart Creator Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

Let's Get Started!

Prepare the Surface: Begin by cleaning the surface to remove all dirt and dust. Lightly sand the surface of the table to remove any existing finish and create a smooth base for the chalk paint. This step ensures better paint adherence and a polished final result.

Stabilize the Table: The brace between the legs was loose I applied wood glue to each end and reattached to the legs. I clamped the piece with wood clamps and let it cure for 24 hours.

Apply Chalk Paint: Select a high-quality chalk paint in the color of your choice. Chalk paint is known for its matte finish and excellent coverage. Apply the first coat evenly, allowing it to dry completely before adding additional coats. Depending on the desired opacity, 2-3 coats may be necessary. I used two coats on this table.

small side table painted with Waverly Moss Chalk Paint

Add Distressing (Optional): For a vintage or shabby-chic look, consider distressing the edges and corners of the table. Lightly sand these areas after the final coat of chalk paint has dried, exposing the wood beneath. I used a 60 grit sandpaper to achieve this level of distressing.

Protect with Polyurethane: Once the paint is fully dry, protect the surface with a polyurethane finish. I used Varathane Crystal Clear Poly with a satin finish on this piece. This step not only seals the paint but also adds a subtle sheen to the piece.

Upcycling a small side table from an auction find into a stylish showpiece through chalk painting is a satisfying and creative endeavor. Embrace the beauty of imperfections, and let your artistic vision breathe new life into forgotten furniture.

small side table painted with Waverly Chalk Paint

The joy of witnessing the before-and-after of such a project is a testament to the transformative power of DIY home decor. Happy painting!

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link to shop products

Below is an image to pin to Pinterest if you would like to save this idea!

Pinterest link



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