Monday, March 17, 2014

Lime Wash Table DIY

Hello, friends!  This corner has always been a challenge for me, originally a small square end table was here but it felt out of place and really small compared to the couch. So I'd been hunting for the perfect end table to take its place.  After weeks of looking on CL I found this round end table and knew right away she'd be the perfect fit.

 Unfortunately, when I went to pick her up...she smelled of cigarette smoke. Bleh! I totally hate when that happens...but at $35, it was too good to pass up, and the size was substantial enough for the corner space.  I wanted her bad.  So like any good diy'er, I decided I could fix the smelly problem with a little elbow grease.  

When I got home, I thought I'd try a few "Pinterest" ideas that included baking soda and orange oil.  Suffice it to say, I knew these things would only be a temporary fix. And  I wanted my end table like, now.  After getting a close look at the finish on the table, I knew I'd need to sand her down to the bare bones any who.  The stain was terribly done and who ever did it, seemed to be uninformed on how to properly stain furniture. So like any terrible blogger, I totally forgot to take a "before" photo of where we started, but take my word for it; it was dark and terrible.  And after about 3 days of sanding, she was looking pretty good.  Yep, that's right...three days. It's a pain, but the result will be worth it.

At this point, I still wasn't 100% sure how I wanted her to look.  We have a good mix of furniture in the living room: a white credenza, a dark walnut console table, and a new metal bookcase. But I couldn't imagine painting her. So I decided to do a lime wash finish. This technique can be done using a certain wax, or the inexpensive version I used: stain, white paint, and water.  

So to begin, I stained her with a fresh coat of Varathane, Early American.  

Using an inexpensive brush, I painted one coat of stain, following the grain of the wood.  

Once you are finished with a coat of stain, leave it on for approximately 10-15 minutes.

Now this is where the previous owner went wrong.  They did not wipe the excess stain off.  So using any clean cloth, wipe the excess stain off of your piece of furniture.  

The great thing about this stain is that it dries in an hour. Woohoo! Isn't she looking pretty? Now, if I wanted I could add another layer of stain, but because I'm doing the faux lime wash, one coat was all I needed.  

Now to begin the faux lime wash, all you need is white paint and a separate container for water.  For this project I used Annie Sloan's Pure White chalk paint.  

1.  Dip your brush into your paint.  And no need to dip the entire brush into the paint, I would dip just the tip of your brush.
2.  Immediately dip your brush into your water.  
3.  Allow your paint to dry onto the piece.  
4.  Using a sand block, either medium grade of fine, sand your piece down until you've acquired the look you want. 

TIP:  This part of the process really is your preference.  If you like a more finished and refined look like Restoration Hardware, then sand your piece really good.  If you like the more roughed up look, don't worry so much about the imperfections, it's what makes the piece more unique.

After I let my piece dry for the day, I put two coats of Minwax Paste Finishing wax.  And finito!  I'm pretty much in love with her.  I'm glad I decided to go with this finish, it's forgivable and not too stuffy for us. I'm thinking my other end table needs a good lime washing.   

Have a good week loves!


Sharing with:
The Sunday Showcase by StephanieLynn
The Girl Creative: Sunday Best
The Winthrop Chronicles: Share it Link Party
Liz Marie Blog: Inspire Me Linky Party
MMS: Furniture Feature Friday
Best of the Nest
Be Different Act Normal


  1. You did a great job on the table, it's perfect! I love the lamp too!

    1. Thank you! It's definitely a mix of all my favorite things :)

  2. Sara, the finish on your table is gorgeous! That little lady has some very cool lines - I would have snatched her up too! So glad to have found your tutorial because I have a table that I needs a little love and this will be perfect. Thanks so much for linking up to Best of the Nest!

  3. I love it Sara! I love the look of whitewashed wood so this is an excellent tutorial for me. I can't wait to try it for myself!

    1. Thank you Jennifer! This project was almost too easy, if that's even possible, and the results exceeded my expectations :)

  4. it really goes well with your other furniture, its not over powering. It blends right in. Great job on the diy.

    1. I agree, it was one of the reasons behind using this finish.

  5. Just wanted to let you know that we loved your lime wash table DIY so much that we are featuring it as one of our favorite links from the Best of the Nest party ( and have pinned it to our Pinterest board ( Thanks for linking up! (And just as an FYI, I would have sent this to you by email but your "contact" button doesn't seem to be working.)

    1. Thank you so much Kris, what an honor! And I'll make sure to fix that contact button, thanks love! xo~