From flat and drab to Farmhouse Fab!

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Farmhouse decorating is all the rage right now.  Shiplap walls, vintage finds and lots of white/gray décor.  I’m not going to lie, I’m on board.  So, when I recently got a chance to refinish a client’s table in a farmhouse style, I was pumped.

The table was PERFECT for the look they chose.  It had great lines and amazing texture.  She sent me some inspiration photos and I was off and running. Here is the blank canvas I had to work with! 

farmhouse 4.jpg


First, I cleaned the table with TSP and a sander/deglosser, then I primed the legs.  When painting light colors if you don’t prime, you run the risk of the natural wood tannins “bleeding” through your paint – no matter how many coats of paint you apply.  So, after multiple lessons learned in my own home, trust me when I tell you this! I did not prime the top, because I was painting it with multiple layers of darker colors for depth.

I painted three coats of General Finishes Antique White Milk paint on the legs of the table. Once those were dry, I lightly distressed the edges of the table legs and apron. I then top coated with General Finishes High Performance Top Coat in a satin finish.  I added 3 coats of the top coat. I typically always paint with a 2” chip brush – it’s what I am comfortable with.  They are inexpensive and clean up well with water. Both the milk paint and top coat are water based products so they clean up with mild soap and water.

Here’s a list of the products I used on this project and affiliate links for easy sourcing for you! The only thing not listed is the Amy Howard "Glazed Over" product that I used to mix on step 2 below.  You can find a list of Amy Howard retailers at this link:

Now onto the top of the table – the fun part!

Here are the steps I followed to create this look:

1.       Two coats of gray-wash comprised of General Finishes Driftwood Gray and water at a 1:1 ratio.

2.       One coat of light brown glaze.  Glaze components were Amy Howard Glazed Over mixed with General Finishes Van Dyke Brown Glaze. For the glaze application, I brushed the glaze on with a chip brush, then lightly wiped back off.  When removing your glaze, you will have a little time to work, and you can remove to the extent that you achieve the desired look.

3.       One coat of dark brown glaze.  For this coat, I just used the GF Van Dyke Brown glaze without thinning with any other product.

4.       Lightly sand with 400 grit sandpaper.

5.       Top Coat (3 coats) of GF High Performance Satin finish.

This is the stage where you can really flex your creativity and style to get the exact look you want.  If you don’t have the depth of color and layering you want, add more!  I initially planned on adding a gray glaze layer as well as a white glaze layer, however, I liked it after the above-mentioned steps so I left it be! Voltaire once said, “Better is the enemy of good” – and boy if that isn’t the truth! Don’t let your quest for perfection lead you astray!

Needless to say, I am thrilled with the results – as was my client, which is the true reward for why I do this!  Here’s a few shots of the end product and a time-lapse video that illustrate the steps! Enjoy!


From our Nest to yours,