Aqua-White Side Table

Aqua Side Table Before Photo    aqua-white side table

I found this little side table through  It started out with a shabby chic look but I wanted to convert it with a splash of colour!

So the first thing to do was remove the old paint. It looked like a single layer only, without primer beneath, which can often be a stripping problem when paint seeps into wood. However, because the side wood and top veneer was hardwood, it slid off fairly easily. I wonder if chalk paint had been used because I’ve found that when I strip this type of paint, it bubbles quickly and peels off with a soft rubbery feel to it.  Plus, dare I say, whenever I come across furniture done in the shabby chic way, it’s highly likely it’s been done with chalk paint.

Aqua Side Table paint removal started

The photo below shows the detailing of the legs.  I hadn’t noticed it initially, but once I stripped the piece, it was evident that the legs had been added later.  The wood was different, and when I stood back and looked at the whole thing, the styling was different too. The squarish “box” on top was more the common look of old bedside tables. And when I turned it over, the addition was obvious. I’m quite impressed with the carpenter’s skill.

Aqua Side Table after stripping leg detailOnce all of the paint was removed, I could certainly see why someone had painted this piece.  There were several stains, repairs and wood bleaching. It had been “repurposed” once already.

Aqua Side Table after strippingIn fact, if you look closely in this zoomed section, you can see the layer of veneer, and you can see how old varnish had been removed/reduced from the side and sanded during the initial upgrade. This is a huge part of why I find this hobby so interesting!Aqua Side Table zoomed when strippedAfter coarse hand sanding, the main box frame was primed, painted, and varathaned according to my routine, which is:

  1. One coat of BIN shellac-based primer, two if there are knots or stains, then left to cure for one full week.
  2. Two coats of eggshell latex paint, more if necessary for coverage, then left to cure for one full month.
  3. Three coats of Diamond Wood Finish Varathane.

Aqua Side Table after primer      aqua-white side table back

Next… the drawer.  At first sight, it looks like there are two drawers.  But there’s only one, with a sneaky faux edge cut down the middle. The outside stripped easily.  The inside had been stained in a translucent orange-red which was impossible to remove, immediately leading me to choose a coral red to cover. Otherwise, even with primer, you often fight red bleed-through. It’s simply not worth the trouble in this instance.  But I still put two coats of primer on!

Aqua Side Table unfinished drawer interior Aqua Side Table drawer 1st layer primer Aqua Side Table drawer 2nd layer primer  aqua-white side table drawer interior

Aqua Side Table hardware before finishing Aqua Side Table finished hardwareWhen stripped, the little handles displayed their metallic core, which were hand-sanded, primed and painted to match the cabinet.

It was a pleasure finishing this little cabinet.

aqua-white side table aqua-white side table back


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