A few months ago, one of my fellow antique vendors at Morgantown Market was leaving and he had a massive sale going on in his booth. I spied a gorgeous octagonal table with one drawer and sweet curved legs.
It had a dark stained factory finish on it and was super smooth to the touch. The only weird thing about it was that there were faux knobs along every other panel along the apron/skirt of the table. Only one of them was a “real” knob that opened up a sweet little drawer.
The table was marked 90% off, so I bought it without hesitating. I can’t sayexactly how much I paid for it since I’m reselling it, but I definitely did a happy dance! (Well, it was a partial happy dance because the discount was the result of a vendor leaving, which is kind of sad. But it was a good move for him and where he is in life, so that was a bright spot. So yeah…happy dance!)
Once I got it home, it sat in my “to do” pile for a little bit. Because it had a factory finished surface, I didn’t want to use Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint on it. The prep work would have been a bit too much. Now I’m not hating on MMS Milk Paint at all. Quite the opposite actually! I think it’s wise to have realistic expectations for such a simple paint product, and using it to achieve a full-coverage non-chippy look on a factory finished piece is asking a bit much.
I’ve been working with MMS Milk Paint long enough to know when it’s not the right product to use for a furniture makeover project. My super cheap octagonal table with all the unnecessary knobs definitely fell into that category. (Now that’s cheap in price…not quality!)
Instead, I turned to the General Finishes Milk Paint line. Specifically, I landed on Seagull Gray.
It’s a really lovely light gray with a slight blue/lavender cast.
I picked this color because I wanted to lighten the overall appearance of the table. It seemed a bit heavy in a dark wood stain, so Seagull Gray was a great choice. Plus, grays are big sellers in my area, so it was a win-win!
The table’s makeover began with removing the extra knobs and sealing the holes with wood filler. I sanded the areas smooth and then began surface prep.
General Finishes is a strong advocate of a two step preparation process – cleaning and sanding. It’s super easy to do and it doesn’t take much time at all. Plus, it ensures that you’ll have a clean surface to paint on and is essentially your insurance policy for a successful finish. (Take note that issues may still arise in your furniture makeover despite following proper preparation, but it will eliminate oils, grease, dust, and other surface contaminants from your piece!)
Here’s the process I followed:
Once my piece was cleaned, scuffed and dusted off, I painted on three coats of Seagull Gray, sanding gently with a 220 grit sanding pad in between each layer. If you don’t have a sanding pad, use 400 grit sandpaper. While GF Milk Paint is self-leveling, sanding in between each layer of paint results in an ultra smooth finish.
The GF Milk Paint adhered like a champ, which is why it’s ideal to use on smooth surfaces. It has superior adhesive properties and it’s definitely my go-to paint when I need a product that’s predictable. It’s also my top choice when I want a full-coverage look with consistent color. (If I want chippy and old world, then I’ll go with Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint!) To learn more about how these two products are different from one another, you can read this blog post.
My table required three coats of paint to get full coverage. I probably could have gotten away with two coats, but there were some areas that looked a little sparse and I didn’t want to see any of the dark stain underneath due to a lack of paint.
I wasn’t planning on distressing the piece, but as I stepped back and looked at the table, its shape kind of got lost. To add some contrast and to draw the eye to its angles and curves, I gently sanded back all of the edges to reveal some of the dark wood underneath.
Sometimes furniture projects are touch and go in that way. You start off with an idea in mind and need to adjust as you progress through the process.
I sealed the piece with two coats of High Performance Topcoat in Satin. This product is a water-based topcoat that is formulated to work with GF Milk Paint. The paint is self-sealing and you don’t need a topcoat on pieces that will receive low to medium use. Because my piece is a table that will most likely have items placed on and off of the top, I wanted extra protection.
The satin finish is lovely. It has just a little bit of shine so it’s not super glossy, but it’s a bit more durable than a flat finish. Because of the matting agents that need to be added to finishes with a flat shine level, there is a decreased amount of protection, clarity, and durability in flat finishes. I’ll do a post a little later about how to achieve a durable finish if you want to use flat products. For now, let’s stay focused on my table!
I picked up this sweet little clock and flower arrangement from Painted Table Designs. The owner, Brenda, has lots of sweet small pieces and gorgeous upholstered furniture. If you haven’t visited her shop, you totally should!
I polished the table off with a cute knob from Hobby Lobby. It’s girly and sweet. Ideally, I wanted a crystal knob, but this is what I had in my stash, and I like how the rose and gold tones play with Seagull Gray.
The table will be coming with me to the Spring Barn Market at Pheasant Run Antiques on Saturday, April 28th from 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM. It measures 24″ deep, 24″ wide, and 29″ tall. It will be available for $135 if you are interested. While my pieces for the Spring Barn Market are not for sale yet, you can put items on hold if you wish. My policy is that you can place items on hold by sending me an email or contacting me through my social media feeds. I’ll hold your item from 10 AM until 12 noon on the day of the event. If you haven’t come to pick it up by then, I’ll put a price tag on it and it will be available for purchase.
This little table would make a lovely addition to your home.
And it now has a sensible amount of knobs!
If you like the look of this table and you want to replicate it, you can shop for all of the General Finishes products I used in my booth at Morgantown Market. The rest can be purchased at your local hardware store. Here’s a list!
- General Finishes Milk Paint in Seagull Gray
- General Finishes High Performance Topcoat in Satin
- Cling On! Paint Brush
- Denatured Alcohol
- Scotch Brite Pad
- 220 Sanding Pad
- 400 Grit Sandpaper
- Knob of your choice