Old-fashioned Coffee Table & Pentagon End Tables

I love a challenge. I love learning how to do something new and having it actually work out!

This coffee table and pentagon shaped end tables were in great need of an update. They had great bones- they were solid wood and in good shape. However, the hardware, the decorative wooden pieces on the doors, the colour, all needed to be changed.

My sister-in-law’s aunt picked the colours and what a difference! These pieces went from being old-fashioned to modern.


  • Zinsser Cover Primer
  • Annie Sloan Original white chalk paint
  • Annie Sloan white wax
  • General Finishes Georgian Cherry gel stain
  • General Finishes Antique Walnut gel stain
  • General Finishes gel top coat

For a list of basic chalk paint supplies I typically use, click here.

How I refinished this piece:

  1. Using my orbital sander, I sanded down the tops of the coffee table and pentagon end tables to the bare wood. To ensure they were smooth, I started with a 60 grit disc, moved to a 120 grit and then finished with a 220 grit.
  1. I applied the first coat of the Georgian Cherry stain. This wood grain is gorgeous!
  1. While that is drying, I removed the wooden decorative pieces. Using a putty knife to loosen the raised pieces from the doors, I discovered that they were attached with both glue and nails. Not ideal!
  1. I had to fill the gouged wood with wood filler and then sand. I repeated this process twice and got a (mainly) smooth finish. I could have sworn I took pictures of this process but for the life of me, I just can’t find them. Moving on…
  2. I applied a couple more coats of the Georgian Cherry.
  1. The tops were looking a little red so to tone it down a bit, I applied two coats of the antique walnut gel stain. This definitely did the trick.
  1. To seal the colour and to make the tops durable, I used the gel top coat. This holds up so well. I use it on all my staining pieces.
  1. I like to do the staining and then the painting. I find that when I stain, it’s typically more messy to avoid the possibility of getting the stain on the paint. I also tape the edges to make sure I don’t mess up the new stain. Especially with white and to avoid the possibility of bleed through, I always do two coats of Zinsser’s cover primer.
  1. When you use the primer, it reduces the amount of paint you need. This piece only required two coats of Annie Sloan’s Original White chalk paint.
  1. To seal the paint, I used Annie Sloan’s white wax. It’s durable and definitely holds up in the long run.
  2. I found handles that suited the doors. Once I installed them and then the doors on the piece, the project was complete. Old fashioned pieces updated to a modern time 🙂

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