queen anne table makeover thumb1

Queen Anne style furniture was first developed in the 1700s. It is characterized by curvy legs and often includes carved shell and scroll motifs. I certainly didn’t pick these pieces of furniture because of that but rather because they were free.

queen anne table makeover

In order to stay within a really tight budget for this Operation Restoration: Home Edition project I relied on the donation of my local friends. 

I got one of these tables from my friend Carissa and then about three weeks later my neighbor gave me the other one. How perfect! 

Even though they were different types of wood they were the same shape and once painted they would look like they were part of a set.

queen anne end table

The first thing I did was put a couple of thick coats of paint stripper on the tabletops to remove the finish. 

Then I sanded them down with 50 grit, then 100, then 150, and then 220.

You can really tell the different wood grains now but once stained the have a really cohesive look.

stripped table top

After I stripped both tables I stained the tabletops with Minwax’s English Chestnut. I absolutely love this stain color. It is a rich brown color and doesn’t have red in it.

After sanding the oak table I realized only the top of the table was wood and the side of the top was particle board. Crap!

Particle board wouldn’t stain well. So I ended up only staining the very top of it and the sides I painted.

stained wood top

After the stain was completely dry I taped off the top and painted the bottom of the tables.

On the cherry wood I ended up hand painting four coats of the CeCe Caldwell’s vintage white paint. I had ordered a few samples of CeCe Caldwell’s chalk paint as well as the light and dark wax. 

I felt like I was the only creative blogger in America who had yet to try this “miracle paint.” 

Unfortunately one sample only covered one of the tables.  I remember reading all over blogland how far this paint stretches. I am guessing some of the darker chalk paints have better coverage or maybe the Annie Sloan paint has better coverage?? What do you think?

Since I ran out of the chalk paint I picked up a can of spray paint that was a close enough of a color match for the oak table. GASP!

Now I still have a few more samples of the chalk paint to try so this is just my initial review but so far I think I would rather use latex or spray paint.  The part I liked about the chalk paint was how well it sanded off. 

If you are going for an old world or french country look it does have a nice creamy appearance. However, I feel like you have to spend a lot of time with your piece.  Maybe I have never owned a really valuable piece of furniture that I wanted to get that perfect look.  I don’t know. 

The chalk paint also feels nice to the touch whereas a spray paint can have a rougher texture. But again I am not caressing my furniture so this doesn’t matter to me either. 

Also with as pricey as this paint is I feel like you have to hand paint it to get the most bang for your buck. With latex paint I can always load it into my paint sprayer and spray away. I will say that I really did love the CeCe Calwell waxes. 

I actually waxed both the chalk painted piece and the spray painted piece with both the clear and dark wax. I loved how easy the wax is to use and the hand buffed look it gives each piece.

Okay back to the tables. Once painted and dry I took a sanding sponge and sanded it to give it more of an old world look. 

Denise loves rustic so I definitely took more of the finish off than I would had it gone in my home. 

After wiping it clean I rubbed a clear coat of wax with a soft cloth on the entire piece including the table top.

waxing furniture

I let that dry for about 2 hours and then buffed it with a soft cloth. Then I put another coat of clear wax on the top. I also used a wax brush to add a teeny amount of dark wax in certain areas to give it a worn look. I followed that up with another clear coat of wax. 

After dry I gave it a final buffing.

stained table top painted bottom

I ended up leaving the tarnished brass handle on them because they matched the Goodwill lamps that I purchased for the room.

CeCe Caldwell Vintage White Table with Stained Top

cece caldwell vintage white paint

Spray Painted Antique White Table with Stained Top

spray painted table stained top

Can you tell the difference between the two paints?? Well hang tight all you chalk paint lovers I still have some more experience to get under my belt before I can make a decision of whether chalk paint is worth it in my book.

Do you love the two toned look? 

Here are a few other pieces I did with a similar finish.

French Provincial Nightstand


 Mid Century Modern Table


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  1. Beckie, what a great pair of tables and they look perfect together! Love the finish you put on them. Never tried chalk paint before, but now want to try it. Great job!

  2. Yes I do; I do love the two-toned look. Those pieces look great. I also have yet to try chalk paint, and I hesitate to jump on that bandwagon because frankly, I don’t think that look is particularly “me.”

  3. I have painted dozens of pieces with Annie Slaon chalk paint, am not a dealer. I tried CeCe’s and I have to say I am not a fan. It’s much thinner and the way it dries is kinda weird. But I do love their wax! With Annie, it does go a long way especially if you use her brushes. I didn’t at first and was surprised in the difference they make. With Annie’s paint you can finish a piece really quickly and there is no waiting between coats. I wouldn’t use any paint that takes four coats, just saying.
    That’s my two cents…

  4. Thanks for your two cents Lindy! I have a sample of the AS stuff but it is bright green. I have to find just the right piece to do that bright on 😉

  5. Becky,

    The tables turned out fantastic! Thanks for sharing the color of the stain you used. I will have to try it. Sometime, I find walnut too dark. This looks to be a bit lighter, but still brown. 🙂

    So glad to see you used the paint. Sounds like you had a bit of a challenge! Sorry to hear that. I haven’t ever had to use 4 coats….not sure why that was the case this time. I know sometimes a brush can make all the difference (looks like someone else pointed that out). I know I have my favorite brushes! None the less, I have used both AS and CeCe. In my opinion, the coverage is very equal for CeCe and AS. Neither one covers better than the other. I would agree that CeCe Paints are thinner, but that is one aspect that I really happen to like. I think it paints on more like latex. For me, I found AS to be a bit more challenging, especially with the second coat. There seemed to be a lot of drag, but that’s my opinion. CeCe’s works best to use one coat and let dry completely, then apply a second coat. For me, 2 coats has always been more than enough.

    However, it sounds like you had great success with the wax and really liked it! I have used multiple brands of wax and I would say that CeCe’s is the easiest by far to use! Plus as someone else pointed out, NO HEADACHES! Very nice advantage. Not to mention…for my long term health…especially since I paint regularly, I feel like I am removing a major health hazard by using the CeCe waxes.

    Thanks for the honest post and if you have any questions or concerns, I would be happy to chat with you. 🙂 If you email me, I would be happy to supply you with my cell number. I know Chantelle reached out to you answered a lot already, but feel free to ask if you have anymore!

    Kellie 🙂

  6. You are not alone. I have not tried either AS or CeCe. The price is what stops me. I have made my own chalk paint and used it on a couple of small projects for chalkboard use. I might have to buy some of the wax though. I’ve tried Briwax and it is very stinky!

    I love how your tables turned out! I want to use this technique on our dining room table, then do something special on the stained top. Thanks for sharing your honest opinion. Have a lovely week!


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