Stenciled End Table

Hey friends!  I’ve got a great home decor piece to share with you today – the big reveal of the housewarming gift that I made for my sister!  I stenciled the top of it with a dictionary definition of the word “home” – to always welcome her home.  I considered going with a more traditional phrase or blessing, but we are both *huge* word-nerds, so the idea of just really embracing the word itself appealed to me.

This project was my first garage sale purchase, believe it or not (I’m not counting tagging along with my mom or my grandma as a kid – this is the first purchase since I’ve been out and on my own for *mumble* years).  I found this beauty for $5… I hear that’s a steal.  I was happy with it, anyway!

Okay, she’s not so beautiful… she has weird knobs, and that gold can only have come from the 70’s.  But it was a really solid piece and I was so happy to finally rescue a piece of furniture and transform it.

There were a lot of ways I could have made it over.  I originally wanted to go with a mossy green – but my sister’s style is really conservative, and because it was for her, I toned it down.  I made up my own chalk paint and I have to say – I see what everyone is raving about!!  This stuff is just awesome.  I can’t compare it to the brand-name stuff because it’s the first time I ever worked with it, but I was very happy with the coverage and the finish, and I never had to prime this piece.

Homemade chalk paint recipe:
1 part plaster of paris, dissolved into 1 part warm water.  Add this to 3 parts latex paint.  Mix very well.  It goes a long way!

See that sample of the light brown color (it’s called au lait ole – fun, right)?  That’s just a $3 sample size.  I only used about half of it for the base coat and the stencil too – mixed with the plaster of paris you can see in that cup.  So you don’t need to buy much at all.  Even if you do, what you have will last for plenty of future projects, too.

When you work with chalk paint, you will also need to pick up furniture wax, and even if you’re not planning to distress the piece, probably sandpaper too to smooth out the finish.  I found that my brush strokes didn’t show much, but a light sanding did even it out really well.  I went with a lightly distressed style, using a darker base color than my main color.

First: remove all your hardware and cover your work surfaces (yes, I know that sounds like a no-brainer, but I’ve had so many projects where I thought I’d just be careful, and it ended up being far more work that just covering things up to begin with).  You want to take the doors off/drawers out for this.  Do wipe your piece down to get any dirt off.  I also filled the holes, because I wanted to use knobs, but these were clearly drilled as handles, originally.

Paint your piece the base color.  This is the color you want it to show only on the distressed part.

This next step I didn’t photograph because it doesn’t show up well, but once your base coat is dry, think about what areas you’re going to want to distress.  Corners, edges – anything that might get worn over time.  Get a rag (we have junk towels from the dollar store we use for stuff like this) and put a little furniture wax on it.  I understand you can also just use a white candle like a big crayon, but I didn’t have a candle so I used what I had – and it worked beautifully.

Now, just paint your main color over the top of your base.  The color I used was called cameo white, and fortunately I had already discovered from the sample size how far it goes, so I mixed up just a small quantity of chalk paint in that color. I did find there were a few spots that needed a second coat, so I painted two coats of the white.

Finally – I ordered a custom stencil from my real-life friend who has an Etsy shop at Streamline Design.  It worked fabulously!  But the vinyl is clear, and I was starting to lose my light for the evening, so hopefully you can still see how the stencil lays out with a temporary tack to the top of the table:

Then, I painted a light coat of my accent color on over the stencil.  I was uneven about it on purpose – I wanted it to look slightly aged and worn.  I let it dry, and peeled off the stencil.  Then, I had to pick all the little “islands” out of the centers of my letters.  It looks a little smudgy in a few places, but that’s just where I peeled too fast and more vinyl stuck.  I was able to get all the little pieces off with a pin.

Then, I sanded the top down, and did a little distressing to the edges.  Then, I rubbed the whole thing down with a good coat of furniture wax.

I drilled new holes and added new knobs.  I found some gorgeous crackled brown glass knobs – for $8.50 each!!  But I just couldn’t stomach the idea of spending $40 on hardware, when I had less than that into the whole project at that point (the total ended up being $42, and I have plenty of paint, plaster of paris, and wax for lots of makeover projects to come).  So I settled for the basic knobs for $1.49 instead.  As lovely a touch as they would have made, I couldn’t see doubling my cost over hardware, haha.

Here’s how some of the details turned out:

And the fabulous top!

Overall – I am really happy with the way it turned out, and it sounds like my sister is happy too!  First thing she did when she got it home was snap a photo and post it to Facebook. ;)  I was happy not only to give her something she liked, but also to have made it personal and one-of-a-kind.


  1. Jenny Yarbrough says

    I love it, Adrianne!! The stencil is just perfect and the “recipe” for homemade chalk paint is great… way less expensive than Annie Sloan!!! I'm pinning this and I'll head over and vote for you. XO

  2. Full Circle Creations says

    Love the way it turned out. You did a great job and it does sound like your sister is happy too. A labor of love! Thanks so much for sharing it at the All Star Block Party!


  3. Amber says

    That looks so awesome! After just finishing my very first furniture project myself, I can say with some authority that it looks fantastic! I also know the pain of the process and that makes it look even better!

  4. Kathe says

    Wait just one minute! This is your FIRST furniture redo? No way! This is a lovely piece. I would be thrilled to have this in my home! Thank you for sharing this at the party this week! Once the voting is working I will be sure to vote for you!

  5. Meg says

    This turned out really nice. I really love it. Very well done!

    Thanks for sharing it on the All Star Block Party.

  6. Nicole Buckingham says


    Visiting ya from the hop. If you'd like we're linking up with friends today in the most simply easy way. Come join us. =)


  7. Kadie says

    I can't wait to try out the homemade chalk paint!! You know how much I love it, truly an amazing transformation!:)

  8. Jessi W says

    Congrats on winning One Crafty Contest! I love this table and you totally deserve it; you're so crafty!

  9. Shelby says

    Congrats on winning One Crafty Contest!! I love the thought put into this housewarming gift. It must have been hard to part with it!

  10. Jessi W says

    For serious, congrats again! I'm so thrilled you linked this up at The Fun In Functional; it's great!

  11. Carri says

    This is simply gorgeous…. I just love it…
    Thank you so much for sharing it with the ALL STARS BLOCK PARTY!!!


  12. Erika Marsh says

    Oh I love it!! It looks sooo good! :) I love redoing furniture it's so much more fun than buying new.

  13. Megan says

    Wow! I look great! I'm thinking of doing and end table redo myself, but I'm still wishy washy about it. Thanks for sharing. Now following you through GFC. Love from Whimsically Homemade!

  14. Diane says

    That is just beautiful! Thanks for sharing this week at The Gathering Spot. Have a great week.

  15. LP aka A Crafty Southern Chick says

    You absolutely did get an amazing deal on that table, and I just LOVE how it turned out! I think I may be the last blogger/crafter to have never used chalk paint :( Oops.

  16. Magi says

    I love it when I come across AWESOME ideas like this one. I have a coffee table that I have been wanting to redo for ages and think this is the perfect thing to do. You have inspired me. I LOVE the stencil.

  17. The Paper Princess says


    I can always count on you to share something fabulous at Inspire Monday – this week's DIY project was over the top!

    It's my delight to feature you once more at

    Create With Joy

  18. loudowning54 says

    well, I just found your blog via pinterest via craftgawkers. This is an amazing project. Thanks so much for all the painting tips. I have wanted to try making chalk paint and you have inspired to try it. Thanks again.

  19. Discount Living Room Furniture says

    Greetings! I’ve been following your blog for some time now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from Texas. Just wanted to tell you keep up the fantastic work!

  20. polly plum says

    This tablelooks wonderful!But even more helpful is introducing us to this stencil company- for us newbies:) Can you send them any text- a poem, quote- something original- and they’ll make a stencil?

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