A Shabby Table Makeover with White Paint

Wed 16th, Oct, 2013

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This a funny little odd sized thrifted table.   It’s always been a bit of a sad table under the house.


Recently it nearly got a heck of a lot sadder as we had a huge and I mean HUGE clear-out of the garage and under this old cottage…you have never seen this place as de-cluttered, it’s positively mind-cleansing….anyway, the table, well it’s never really fitted in anywhere so I never did much to it or with it and I was either going to offer it to lovely Beach Cottage newsletter readers who could come and pick it up and rescue it (not that I think readers like sad things of course ;-) ) or take it to Vinnies and hope that someone else would get some use from it.

However I decided it could be handy to have a table like this around, it’s small and folds up easily…


I’m not sure whether to keep it or not now..it’s sporting a new shade of antique ocean white, shabbied and distressed with these fair hands… I’m thinking I could pop it with some colour, the blue of our front door sprung to mind and I think I have some of that left somewhere, or perhaps chalk paint, or some yellow?

Or perhaps I’ll just give it to St Vincent.  I reckon he might be in need of a little side table for his nightcap.


And do you even know what it is for?  …the oddest little shape and height but then again the more I look at it the more I like that.  A bit unique.

I’m rambling.  There are teenagers to be fed, husbands to water and pups to cuddle.



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32 Responses to “A Shabby Table Makeover with White Paint”

  1. Kris says:

    HI Sarah, I have two of these fold up tables shabbied up just like yours :) , we call ours the TV dinner table, but they have been used for : side tables, home work desks, out door table ( for the bits and bobs , condements and such that do not fit on the dinner table ) and they have even come camping with us., games table the list goes on… When not in use ( not often) they are folded up behind the bedroom door. I am sure the beach cottage crew will find lots of uses for your table but I think it looks lovely just where it is.

    • sarah says:

      thank Kris, oh you’ve given me an idea to take it camping and on our road trip, I didn’t think of that! x

  2. Jane says:

    Hi Sarah
    I also have a similar little table and it’s so useful on the front verandah. Mine is just plain (cheap) brown, but I have some chalk paint in a lovely pale green and I think it would look lovely painted and a little distressed. I think yours would like nice with a pop of blue. Is your front door pale blue? I definitely wouldn’t give it to St Vincent! We also had a huge clean out of the garage and under the house. Doesn’t it feel great. I hated it when all our stuff was out on the verge waiting for the pick-up, but once it was gone I felt like a great weight had been lifted. I’m planning to paint my (very brown) house and I love a beachy-house – so I’m planning all white – several different shades – with pale pops of colour (love all the soft chalk paint colours). I’m drawing inspiration from your lovely house. So, many, many thanks xx

    • sarah says:

      good luck with your house, not sure if you’ve thought about the outside being white though -it’s very very bright if you are in Australia, I went white with some bits and on the North facing it can actually hurt the eyes a bit so you might want to think about that :-) !!

      yes the clean up was painful but soooo much better now, all my lovely stuff under the house is now accessible and I have got lots of projects to work on! xx

      • Jane says:

        Hi Sarah
        The outside of my house is brick and weatherboard. The bricks are really lovely – multi-coloured ala 1971 Ken Woolley architect-designed. The weatherboards are almost black now and I love them. The windows and verandah rail and decking are western red cedar. My plan is to leave it all as it is because it all looks really good – perhaps just oil the weatherboards and windows. The inside, however, is also very ‘brown’ lots of timber and ‘mission brown’ and it’s not so nice. I think if I paint the inside white – with a few pops of colour, perhaps a bit of wallpaper here and there – it will balance the dark outside. What do you think?

  3. merilyn says:

    absolutely love that table sarah! …I can’t have enough tables, especially small fold up ones.
    perfect for anything and everything … very useful and attractive, it looks great white but could look good in French blue and your photos of those roses are superb! always gorgeous … m:)x

  4. Keep it!! It’s lovely!! Any good for bedside table? Out on the deck rest-your-pimms on table?? Drag around the house as you need type table?!? Being so small maybe it would be a good piece to use for a pop of colour….I say go for it!! x

  5. Emma says:

    Oh I also have such a table, though mine isn’t yet white, I scored mine out of a skip bin! Picture children ducked down and hiding in back seat of car :-) Ah, the things we do!

  6. Emma says:

    Sarah I have been looking for a little table like this for ages! Im imagining mine with a little tray on top containing cocktail glasses and all things boozy!

  7. Michelle says:

    Sarah I love your style and just recently found you. I love the table but also i was wondering if that is a radio on top? I have a vintage trailer and have been looking for a pretty vintage radio. Can you tell me about it? Thanks for your time.

    • sarah says:

      yes it is a Roberts radio, you can find them online, it’s battery or mains and looks old but these new ones are digital….perfect for a van xx

  8. Jan Witsoe says:

    Your table was originally in a set of 4 that fold up to be held in a frame and tucked away until needed for eating in front of the television. Extremely useful in so many ways.

  9. shar y says:

    I do have the set of 4 of these. I will now paint them as I love the way this looks. I use one all the time to drag around whenever I need some extra surface. Great for projects, reading material or whatever. Then you just stash away when you are done! Yours looks too cute!

    • sarah says:

      yes very easy to put up and down and I’m thinking now this would be good for camping and our road trip x

  10. Hi Sarah,

    Our oldies always had a nest of tables which this would be the more modern casual take on – I would keep it white have on ethe deck for a drinks table and pop a succulent on it. I tried doing my little holiday cabin www,skipperscabin.com over in colours and still can’t rest since with it, I am soooo used to white on white. I’m on your team.



  11. alison says:


    Keep this table. It will have endless uses and I imagine it is very easy to fold and store. What a woman having that masssive clear out. It is so cleansing. I bet Mr BC had a satisfied smile on his face.

    I continue to give one item to Vinnies/Salvos every time I buy an item to keep my clutter situation under control. I occasionally assess the cupboards and drawers as we can become “blind” to accumulated stuff. We all have so much stuff and it bothers me sometimes when I look at it from a broader perspective.

    Here endeths the sermon.


  12. lisa says:

    Hi Sarah…WOW !
    I painted one exactly the same for my daughter.
    She uses it for a sidetable next to the lounge with some pretties on it.
    would love to send you a pic if i knew how to ! lol ;)
    I have another one still to paint.
    Love it xx

  13. Ellen, A French Apartment says:

    Sarah, I will preface my comment with a few lovely notes I have grown to love about your blog and learned all about on the course, sweet blogging. I believe your blog presentation to be the most beauiful page on the internet. I love the white space, the beautiful greyish type and the soft colored photos. I might add, I love your blogging, your voice and the beautiful and amusing soul which makes my day. But I am so disappointed to see the glaring, blinking red added to the bottom of the screen. I would love to see your return to the beautiful blog which defies the sell out to commercialism, if that is a word. A final note; if we had rented a Kia for our upcoming flea market trip to Provence, I would be more than relieved to lose some money and rent a different car. Their add does not make it for me.

    • sarah says:

      Hi Ellen

      Thanks for your sweet comment and the blog love, so kind of you to say.

      Ummm the ‘sell out to commercialism’ however I find particularly offensive and I don’t reply to you with that in a nasty way – the one and only ad box on this blog (other blogs are awash with them but I don’t want a sidebar full of ads and affiliate links) doesn’t even cover my costs to host the server for the traffic to this blog to keep it on the internet – not quite anywhere near a sell out to commercialism that is for sure. Just a note too, where I come from it’s not quite the done thing to discuss financial matters in this manner and certainly not in the comments section of my blog! Perhaps when giving me advice on how I run my blog next time you could use my email address and contact me privately, thanks so much :-)

      I am a little unsure what you mean about renting a car, but how amazingly lucky of you to get a trip to Provence to flea market, I wish I had the means to go on a similar trip, wouldn’t that be just absolutely fabulous! I cannot even stand to think about how wonderful it would be to walk the brocante walk again as I did when I lived in England. Oh so divine!

      Thanks so much for your feedback and I wish you a most beautifully happy day :-)

  14. Mimi says:

    It looks like a tv tray table so you can eat in front of the television or on the side of the bed if you’re sick.

  15. Lassiegirl says:

    Looks like what we in America call, a TV tray. Rather than sitting down at the dining table, you get your own little table to set your food on so you can watch the TV while you eat. Usually comes in a set of 4 and has a structure that holds them all together when not in use. Very useful for doing homework or other projects while on the couch watching TV, too.

    • sarah says:

      hello, long time no see :-) hope you are well

      thanks I never knew these tables but yes it makes sense now x

  16. Petra says:

    Definitely keep it :-) And the idea of taking it camping is wonderful – we are about to increase our camping supplies (a folding cabinet to hold groceries is on my much-wanted list!). I like the colour you’ve painted it – goes with everything!

  17. Ashley says:

    What a lovely idea! I am excited about the new possibilities for my small tables. A little paint goes a long way! Your blog is beautiful; so glad I found!

  18. Lisa Mckenzie says:

    I think this table might come in very handy you could use it anywhere you need to,inside or on the deck or just as a little side table for you cup of tea it is very pretty.

  19. Theresa says:

    Hi Sarah, Love this little table. Don’t know if I missed it or not what did you end up doing with the table for your deck, paint it or stain it ? Also how is your Ikea wooden benchtop holding up, and would you recommend them, looking at installing tem as a cheap kitchen makeover.
    Kind regards,

    • sarah says:

      hmmmm the benchtop has been excellent however the drawers on the kitchen have peeled, soooo not happy about that – it was always a cheapie temporary thing for us going the IKEA route for the kitchen but it worked out that it’s still here (I’m hoping for a new kitchen soon) but it really irritates me that the drawers have peeled – just not acceptable and a huge job to try and fix, I love a good trip to IKEA and love the accessories but time and again have been let down by the quality of things like furniture and now this, so I think it depends on whether you are prepared to take a chance on shoddy quality/workmanship compared to the savings you will definitely make (just been quoted nearly $40,000!!!! here for a kitchen)….. the solid worktop though is as good as new, in fact it’s better as it has aged…hope that helps, but really I don’t think I can recommend IKEA kitchens for the long haul and gosh I think that a kitchen must last a while for the whole aggro to be worth it x