Butterfly Leaf Table

I had never seen a table that had a leaf stored in the table. In fact, I didn’t even know what to google when I was looking up ideas for refinishing it. I think I typed something like “what kind of table has its leaf stored underneath it.” Lol.

This table came into my possession as an afterthought. I was picking up an antique dresser from someone on Facebook Marketplace and she mentioned she had it. At first, I wasn’t sure what to make of it but there was something intriguing about it.


  • Annie Sloan chalk paint in French Linen
  • Annie Sloan clear wax
  • General Finishes Java gel stain
  • General Finishes gel top coat

For a list of basic chalk painting supplies needed, click here.

For a list of basic gel staining supplies needed, click here.



  1. Wash down both pieces using blue Dawn dish soap and warm water.
  2. Turn the table upside down so that you can paint the bottom edge at the same time you’re painting the base. This just makes things easier.
  3. Tape the edge on the underside of the table to keep your edges clean. It also keeps the edge of the table from getting paint all over it.
  1. Start painting. With it being a darker wood, it will take 2-3 coats. This piece took me 3 coats.
  1. Apply the wax. For a step by step guide on how to apply the wax, click here.
  2. Turn the table right side up and remove the tape.
  1. Before beginning to stain the top, tape the edge under the top lip of the table. This will prevent the stain from getting onto your freshly painted area. I also opened up the butterfly leaf and kept a little space between to allow the edges to have stain applied to them.
  2. After taping the table, lightly run a sanding block over the areas you will be staining. Remember to go along the grain of the wood.
  3. Using a blue shop towel (or another lint-free cloth), wipe off the dust from sanding.
  1. Put your gloves on! Stain is the WORST for getting off your skin.
  2. Remove the lid and give the stain a good stir. You want to get all the good stuff that has settled on the bottom.
  3. Using your foam brush, take off the stain from the paint stir stick and apply gel stain using long strokes along the grain.
  4. After completing one section, remove the excess using a blue shop towel (or another lint-free type of cloth). No need to press really hard, just lightly run the cloth over to make sure that there is no excess.
  5. Repeat until all sections are complete.
  6. If you need to apply additional coats of stain, wait 24 hours between coats. You also need to do a light sanding between coats.
Coat #1
Coat #2
  1. When you’re satisfied with the colour of your stain, it’s time to apply your top coat. This seals the stain and protects your piece. Remember to stir to ensure everything is mixed properly. Use a new foam brush to apply this light coat. Remove the excess.
    • **NOTE: You could also use a shop towel to apply the top coat.
After application of the top coat.
  1. Wait 12-24 hours to apply your second coat. After that, attach the top to the base and you’re done.

Here’s the finished piece!

One thought on “Butterfly Leaf Table

  1. I just got one. I think these are 40s art dexo, Mines canadian made. Caster wheels. Cant find info on this table style tho.


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