This is a crazy before and after, right? Someone gave me these end tables right before I left for college. Do you see all of the scratches on the left one? I’ve moved these to a different apartment or house 9 times. Now, a decade later, I still have them and they’re in need of a makeover.
I scoured Pinterest for refinishing ideas, but I didn’t want to spend a lot of time on them. These tables are over 10 years old and friends were encouraging me to buy new ones. That’s funny, right? They know I’m going to try to rehab them first.
So finally, I settled on spray paint and contact paper. I’m serious! That’s how I took the beat up end table to the left, to the farmhouse style end table on the right. I’m so excited about it!
I brought it back inside and my husband was like, “did you decide to buy new ones?” That’s when you know you’ve done a good job!
If you want to makeover your end tables, grab the supply list below and get started.
Painted end table supplies
- X-Acto Knife
- old side tables
- sandpaper (general purpose)
- reclaimed wood contact paper
- Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch Spray Paint
- Optional: Clear spray paint
- Optional: old cardboard to lay for spray painting
- optional: ruler, book (something portable with an edge)
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Step 1: sand your end tables
Sand your end table everywhere but the top. You don’t need to go all out here. Just a light sanding will do.
The purpose of this step is to create a textured surface so the spray paint will stick.
Step 2: spray paint the end tables
Lay down your cardboard and place the end table on it top down. Then spray paint your first layer. Make it a light layer.
After it dries, paint another light layer. Make sure you get into all of the nooks and crannies.
Let that dry.
You can also get clear spray paint to use as a sealant if you’re worried about the paint chipping.
Step 3: apply the contact paper
If you’ve never worked with contact paper, it can be a mess because it’s super sticky, so do this in steps.
- Measure your contact paper to match the dimensions of the end table top.
- Peel the back off of a small portion of the contact paper so the ends are exposed.
- Align the ends of the paper with the end table corners.
- Double check the last step to make sure it’s perfectly aligned.
- Slowly pull away the rest of the contact paper backing and smooth the paper with your fingers as you go.
Step 4: smooth the contact paper
Get something portable with an edge like a book, ruler, or credit card, and begin smoothing the contact paper. Make sure you get all of the bubbles out. If you lined up your edges well, this will be a quick process.
Step 5: clean up your edges
Get an X-Acto knife and run it around the edges of your end table to remove any excess.
That’s it! Not bad for $20, right?
I hope this helped you decide to paint your old end tables instead of buy new ones. I hope you love the process as much as I did!