How to Paint and Wax Furniture (coffee table)

I had chalk paint powder and wax for a long time before trying it. Why? Because I had never painted with chalk paint or used wax on anything before. I was so intimidated to try it. One day I just decided to jump in and get this small table painted. In this post I’m going to be sharing my tips on How to Paint and Wax Furniture. I love how it turned out and can’t wait to paint more pieces.

How to Paint and Wax Furiture

Let’s start with the supplies you’ll need to Paint and Wax Furniture. This isn’t an add for this brand of chalk paint powder but it is what I used and I’m very pleased with how it turned out.

Chalk Paint Powder
Soft Wax
Paint and Wax Brushes
Container for mixing
Paint Stick

paint supplies

Here’s the before shot of the table. I’m sure you’ve seen it in many of my old photos, but probably never this close because it’s so beat up. It was my husband’s grandfather’s table and is at least 50 years old. Because it is so beat up it is the perfect table to bring back to life with paint.

Coffee Table before

For some reason chalk paint has always made me nervous to work with. I also don’t like a lot of distressing and that’s what I associate chalk paint with. It doesn’t have to be that way though.

The first step is to mix the chalk paint powder with water. Measure 2 heaping tablespoons of chalk paint powder and 1 – 1 1/2 tablespoons of water and whisk together in a container. You want the texture to be similar to donut glaze. Make sure it is mixed well.

furniture chalk paint mix

Add 8 ounces of paint to the chalk paint mixture. Mix well to incorporate the chalk paint mixture throughout the paint. I used Gravity by Valspar. Sample paints are a great size for small pieces of furniture. I only used about 4 ounces of paint on this table.

Coffee Table chalk paint

Brush on the first coat of paint. I used a special brush made for chalk paint. It was a little more expensive but I think it’s worth it. The first coat of paint gives pretty good coverage and I was impressed. I also noticed it filled in a lot of the scratches on the surface. It has a chalky feel and dries rather quickly. I only waited about 15 minutes before applying the second coat.

furniture first coat of paint

Brush on the second coat of paint. This filled in all the uneven places and where the wood was still showing a little. The brush strokes also disappeared as the paint dried. I am so impressed with the quick and even coverage. I let the second coat dry longer, about 45 minutes.

furniture 2nd coat of paint

Now it’s time to apply the wax. I was so nervous to apply wax to the table but it was super simple. Use the back of a plastic spoon to dig out a little wax (the texture is similar to Crisco) then smear it on a paper plate. I also used a special wax brush for this process. It made it easy to get the wax in the small and detailed spaces.

furniture wax

Load a little wax onto the brush. See the photo below.

furniture wax on brush

Find a clean place on the paper plate and rub off the excess in a circular motion.

adding wax

Apply the wax to the table in a circular motion. Work on a small area at a time. I divided the table into 4 sections to apply the wax. Even though the wax is clear you can still tell where you’ve applied it.

applying wax

Wipe off and buff the excess wax. Use a clean cloth to wipe off the excess wax and to buff the remaining wax. Wipe down the sections, then the whole piece a few times just to guarantee you’ve gotten all the excess wax. Adding a little pressure buffs the piece really nice.

wiping wax

I didn’t distress this piece but there was a little natural distressing that happened while I was waxing it. Add 2 coats of wax to the table top for extra protection. The rest of the table received one coat of wax. The detail on the feet of the table is so beautiful.

Coffee Table leg details

I let the table dry over night once it was waxed. I’m not sure how long it took to dry but I didn’t want to place the table on the rug until it was completely dry. The finish looks great and it has the perfect amount of shine.

Coffee Table base

It was a simple process and I’m so glad I finally tried it. I see many more chalk paint furniture pieces in my future.

furniture top details

Now that we’ve moved into our new house I’m trying to decide what to paint next. Let me know if you use chalk paint and tell me what you think about it.

furniture paint and wax facebook

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wax and paint furniture pinterest

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{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Holly May 8, 2016, 11:13 am

    I can’t believe this is your first chalk paint project! It looks fab! Love the room too…. that rug! Holly

  • Anjanette April 13, 2022, 11:55 am

    I love it!

  • leanneja April 14, 2022, 10:18 am

    Thank you so much!

  • Sally May 15, 2022, 5:40 am

    50 years old table brought back to life. Wow. That is fantastic. thanks for this tutorial. It was very easy to follow. Will be trying this on one of my own old table too.

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