Mum saves £700 transforming table with genius ‘paint technique’

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One of the best ways to save money when upgrading your property is by upgrading old pieces of furniture yourself. Buying new pieces of furniture, especially if they’re solid wood, can be very expensive. However, one savvy DIYer has proven it’s possible to completely transform a table and chairs for just £65, saving over £700 in the process.

Mum-of-four Kerry Green, 49 from Hull told money-saving community how she managed to completely transform her old IKEA table using the power of paint.

Kerry bought her table 10 years ago in an IKEA clearance sale for just £100.

Four years ago, the savvy DIYer decided to paint the top of the table black, however, she decided recently that she wanted a change.

She looked online for new tables and discovered that on average they cost around £800.

Undeterred, she decided to browse DIY groups on Facebook for inspiration instead and came across a great “wood effect” paint brush technique someone had used on their radiator cover using Frenchic paints.

She decided to give the hack a go, figuring that if it didn’t look good she wouldn’t have lost anything as the table was old and a bargain at the time she bought it.

The supplies she bought for the project were much cheaper than buying a brand new table.

She used two tins of Frenchic paint from the Alfresco range in the shade ‘Blackjack’ which cost £19.95 each.

For the table legs, the backs of the chairs, the tabletop and centre of the backs of the chairs, she used a small tin of Frenchic Al Fresco paint in the shade ‘Cool Beans’ which cost £9.95.

To create the finishing effect she used layers of a browning wax from the same brand.

She explained: “For the finishing effect, I used the browning wax from Frenchic which is brushed lightly onto the dried paint and left to dry.

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“Then you add another coat of the wax brushed in and it creates a wonderful wood effect. It took three light coats of Frenchic browning wax in total.

“I paid £15.95 for one tin of wax, and I have plenty of paint and wax left over now the project is done.

“Initially I had thought browning wax could only go on wood, but I decided to just give it a go with this MDF table top. It wipes down fab after letting it settle for nearly two weeks, hardening and curing.

“After seeing some similar projects online, I understood how much wax to use. I learned that you’re not meant to buff it or rub it while applying as this will ruin the effect. Instead, you almost have to go against your instinct and just brush it on.”

To tackle the chairs, she unscrewed the seats and removed them before painting. She then lightly sanded them and cleaned them with sugar soap.

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The paint dried very quickly so she only needed to wait one hour between each coat.

She used a similar process for the tabletop where she lightly sanded it by hand before cleaning it with sugar soap.

She then applied three light coats of paint for full coverage, allowing an hour of drying between coats. The wax was later added once the tabletop was completely dry.

To get the desired “wood effect”, Kerry used two different brushes and went in the same direction for each coat, before then going over it really lightly with a dry brush.

She added: “I left the brush marks as they were, and even though it looks odd at first, you can see the wood effect pattern taking shape by the time the second coat is done. Then you just leave it to dry.

“I knew this method would work as I actually learned the hard way. I did my wardrobes in the past and rubbed the brush marks in. By making this mistake, the finished effect doesn’t look anything like wood.

“This project really wasn’t difficult to do – the hardest part was the fact you have to let the paint and wax cure so I couldn’t use the table and chairs for about two weeks, just to allow the finish to harden.

“Now I get plenty of compliments from people who think I have bought a new table – they are always amazed when I reveal I created the wood effect myself.”

Tom Church, co-founder of said the painting technique is “genius” for those wanting to create a wood-effect feel for their furniture, without splashing out on the real thing.

He added: “By allowing the right amount of time for drying and curing, as well as following the technique carefully, Kerry has proven that anyone can save £100s and upgrade their homes on a budget.”

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