Craig’s List Transformation

Good Morning and welcome to my first tutorial!

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Today I am writing about a Craig’s List transformation. I have been looking for a round table to use as a work table in my office and recently found this one on Craig’s list. It was pretty beat up and needed some TLC. Here is what I did…


After a light sanding on the table top to remove the gunk from the previous owner,  I mixed up a batch of my favorite paint recipe which I adapted from Martha Stewart’s chalkboard paint recipe.


1 cup of latex flat paint


2 rounded tablespoons non-sanded grout


1/4 cup water


Pour paint into a plastic container. Gradually add the grout, stirring until well blended. I usually do this about 1 teaspoon at a time. (You can add it all at once for a chunkier paint, which actually gives your painted piece more character because the clumps of grout add some texture and when sanded they pop through and look like a light layer of paint is underneath.) Add about 1/4 cup of water and stir. Continue adding water while you paint as the mixture will thicken.


I really like this recipe for so many reasons. I am able to paint without priming or sanding because the paint really grabs the furniture. The clean up is much easier and the paint glides right on in a nice thick coat. The finish is a velvety matte look that works well with a casually comfortable home.




Next I began painting the table starting with the base. I used a brush to paint the detail areas. Before I turned the table right side up, I used a hair dryer to speed up the drying process so that I could add more paint to any thin areas before I painted the top.




These are the tools I used to apply my paint. As I mentioned, I used the brush for the detailed areas and used this nifty little disposable roller set to paint the flat areas. It came with a lid so I just covered up the leftover paint and will use it a little later.




Next I sanded the edges and the decorative areas to bring out the detail.  Sanding also added character and age. To give the top a smooth surface I sanded it too.


And here are the results!


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Here it is in my office. Much better! Typically I like things pretty classic and simple but I may add some hand painted details later. I will let you know if I do.

Furniture Feature FridaysYou can also see this post featured at No Minimalist Here.

25 thoughts on “Craig’s List Transformation

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  10. I am interested in your paint recipe as I repaint a lot of furniture,etc. for resell. Most of my regular customers like a primitive finish which I do by several progressive paint layers and sandings until I get to a smooth matte finish. Can you feel the grout on the surface or is it completely absorbed into the paint? Can use it on any material other than wood? Most important – does save time?

    • Hi Donna, It does give a nice primitive finish. The finish is the best matte finish I have used and can be sanded nice and smooth, according to my criteria. I usually have grout bumps in my paint because I am too impatient to let the paint set long enough for the grout to dissolve completely! If you will mix your paint up, wile adding the grout gradually, and then let it set for 24 hours, while stirring occasionally, it will become smooth. I have done this for some pieces that have required a more polished appearance. With out knowing exactly what your standards are, it is hard for me to say whether or not you will be completely happy with the end result. As far as saving time goes, I am happy with the time savings, so much so that I won’t go back to using straight latex paint. Don’t forget to add water as you paint so that it continues to glide on easily. I have used this paint recipe on wood, metal, and pottery successfully. I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have anymore questions and I wish you the best in your creative mission!!!

  11. This looks really fabulous! Did you seal the paint afterwards? My Sister has used a similar paint recipe for her table but we wondered how you could seal it – one coffee cup stain and it would be a disaster! Could you use a spray varnish? Mod Podge? We’d love your advice…

    • Quirky, I would use a matte polyurethane to finish it, so that the velvety matte finish is not overpowered. I definitely think you could use Mod Podge too, but I think it will leave a bit of brush stroke texture to the finish. A spray would work as well. I have not sealed any of mine yet. the only problem I have had, is with a piece that sits in front of a window, which has received some claw marks from my dog. I plan to give it another coat of paint and seal it with matte polyurethane, using either a brush or a roller to apply it.

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  14. Thanks for the idea. I am going to try this. I have a can of yellow paint that I love but it is satin. Do you think I could add the grout to a satin? I wonder if it would turn out ok?

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  17. I LOVE this look. I am looking to re-paint my ugly ikea dining room table that I cant quite seem to get rid of (sentimental attachment I suppose). This is going to be my first time doing anything like this, so I had a few questions. First, do you recommend getting a small power hand sander, or should I just buy a piece of sand paper and do it manually? Second, how long should I let the paint dry in between coats? Third, I live in DC where its pretty humid, and am planning on embarking on this project outside- do you think the humidity will mess up the paint/the process?

    • Hi Desiree, I understand your not wanting to get rid of your table. I too am sentimentally attached to my pieces. Since I have been using grout in my paint, I have not been sanding before painting and the paint is sticking just fine. However, a couple of friends have said that they have experienced some scratches in their paint here and there. If you feel the surface needs to be roughed up before painting then give it a little sanding. Using a hand held electric sander would make the job go quicker for sure, but I think you could use a plain sheet as well. That would be the cheeper option. I let my paint dry to the touch in between coats. It has been my experience that humidity slows down the drying process but doesn’t mess up the paint. If your surface will be getting lots of use, I recommend sealing it with a finish such as a wax or acrylic finish. Good Luck! ~Kristie

  18. Will this work on cabinets? Like kitchen or bathroom cupboards? If used in the bathroom, do you know if it holds up well to humidity?

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