On the Side: How to Paint a “Distressed” End Table

I know it’s fall now, but have I told you yet how much I love our community’s Spring Clean-Up days? I love them for two reasons:

1) It is the one time a year when we can conveniently get rid of all of our “random” trash. Old fence posts the previous owner left behind, piles of boxes, destroyed furniture… it all goes right in front of our house, and then it magically disappears! And then our house feels so airy and clean and spacious for a few minutes… until we go shopping to fill up the emptiness.

2) It is also the one time a year when our neighbors put perfectly good toys, furniture, clothes, etc. on the curb. “Pickers” drive around with their pick-up trucks, trailers, and U-Hauls grabbing all the scrap metal and re-sellable items they can find. I wouldn’t call myself a “picker”, but I do keep my eyes open when I’m driving around town! I’ve been known to come home with a rocking chair, kids’ picnic table, and even a name brand purse or two.

During the Clean-Up days this past spring, one of our neighbors set out this old wooden set of drawers. It may have been used under a desk at some point, but it looked to me like it could make a perfect side table to go next to my favorite chair in the living room. So I snagged it, dragged it across the street to my garage, wiped it down, and got out some leftover paint. (Mind you, that may sound simple, but it did not all happen in one day. Things happen sssllloooowwwwlllyyyy when you also have girls and baby and husband and laundry and dishes and cooking and cleaning and grocery shopping and church and volunteering and working and sleeping to do!)

Here it is, with dark green paint and a big unfinished spot on top:

I did two coats of a really light blue color (it looks white in the picture) to make sure the green was totally covered. Once that dried, I barely dipped an old, stiff brush into some darker blue paint, and then tried to give it a distressed look by letting the brush marks show.

I didn’t like the strong contrast between the light blue and dark blue, so I ended up painting a lot more of the darker blue color, and just letting a little of the lighter blue show through. It was a fun paint job. I could slap the paint around as much as I wanted, and it just added to the effect!

 My favorite reading spot is now complete with drawers for magazines, books, and pens!

 I am dedicating this Give the Difference to Make a Difference project to my good friends Adam & Lora Willard, who are missionaries in Madagascar. The money I saved by doing this project myself (rather than buying it retail) is going into a care package for them. Find out more about their exciting work here: http://www.madmissions.com, and consider making your own donation to them!

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