Painted and Distressed Gate Leg Table

This painted and distressed gate leg table has caused me so much headache and stress but I am not a quitter. This story is a bit long, a bit  humorous and may have some anger at times but in the end I finished my project…a bit late but it is done!

I pushed through the drama, mishaps and heartache because the Inspired Makers have thrown down a challenge on the last day of August to show our readers how paint changes everything.

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August Challenge: Paint Changes Everything, with your hosts:

Lisa @ The Purple Hydrangea | Sarah @ 1915 House | Kim @ Farmhouse Made
Ann @ Duct Tape and Denim | Kimm @ Reinvented | Janice @ Sawdust Sisters | Toni @ Small Home Soul
Denise @ My Thrifty House | Suzanne @ Shop at Blu | Susie @ The Chelsea Project | Susanne @ Pearl Street Designs

Painted and Distressed Gate Leg Table

I found this adorable gate leg table at the flea market 2 years ago and I paid $5 for it. As you can see, it was very beat up, scratched and the top was cracked.

Gate Leg Table Before Paint and Distressing

I had intended on removing the top and cutting it in half to make a wall mounted drop leaf desk for my teen girl bedroom makeover. Well that never happened and then I discovered it was the perfect size to use in our glamper. With the sides folded down it’s the perfect end table that fits between two chairs in the glamper living room. When it’s time to eat we can pull it out, put the sides up and have a meal in the living room/dining room/kitchen.

I started the project with a wipe down, sanding and another wipe down of the table. Easy and stress free.

I decided that I wanted to use my homemade chalky paint so I could get a nice distressed finish on the end table. I mixed up a batch and decided to pull out my Homeright Max Finish Sprayer {affiliate link} because it cuts down on the painting time drastically. If I could paint an ugly dresser in less than an hour I figured this table would be a 10 minute job. Wrong!

Painting Gate Leg Table

It suddenly got a little breezy outside so I broke out my small Homeright spray shelter {affiliate link} to keep the over spray contained and my husband hates when I paint on the grass so I was being thoughtful by using my spray shelter. Also I was in a hurry and didn’t want to put up the large spray shelter {affiliate link} which was my first mistake on this project.

I flipped the gate leg table over and put it in the small spray shelter to start painting the underside of the table. It was a tight fit but I made it work. (Another mistake.) I wasn’t able to do the whole underside at once so I had to wait for half of it to dry before I could turn it around and paint the other half.

Once the table was painted on the underside I noticed that I could see spots where the table stain was bleeding through the paint. (Another mistake.) I wasn’t too worried at this point because I thought another coat of paint and some distressing would take care of the bleeding.

Then it was time to spray the top of the table and after one quick pass with the sprayer I ran out of paint. Nooooooo! It was a custom mix and I would never be able to perfectly match the color. (Another mistake.)

So I made another batch of chalky paint and pulled that table right out of the spray shelter and put it right in the middle of my backyard. At this point I didn’t care how much paint got on the grass because this gate leg table was starting to piss me off.

After some deep breaths and positive thoughts I gave the entire table another coat of paint and walked away to let it dry. (Another mistake, yes really another one.) In my haste there were drips of paint but I had planned to do some distressing and would sand them off.

As I sipped my coffee and calmed down Mother Nature decided now would be a good time to let the leaves and buds fall out of the tress and onto my end table that was covered in wet paint. By this time I was pretty much ready to chop this damn table and it’s lovely drop leaf sides into toothpicks.

buds stuck to gate leg table wet paint

Deep breaths. I had high hopes that my distressing skills would come through and save the day but first I sanded the top and removed all the glued on leaves and buds from the table top. I grabbed my paint sprayer and got into the rhythm of spraying a nice event layer of paint. I stood back and admired my work and then…..I heard the roar of lawnmowers as the landscapers starting cutting my neighbors grass. Noooooo not again!

By this time my husband had come home and scolded me for painting the grass. I begged him to please carry my end table into the garage and quickly close the door because I was pretty sure killer bees were on their way at this point. What else could possibly go wrong?

At this time I have literally spent 3 hours on this stupid gate leg table and I am pretty sure we are no longer friends. I don’t think it’s cute anymore. I don’t care how great it looks in the glamper. I don’t care how it’s the perfect size and height. I said a lot of nasty words to this piece of furniture, turned the lights off and left that gate leg table to suffer in the darkness of the garage and think about being a better friend. Yes, at this point I had pretty much lost my mind and I was talking to a piece of furniture. I sent myself to bed early for an attitude adjustment.

In the morning I awoke with a clear head and decided to get back to making this the most beautiful painted and distressed gate leg table. I know, that’s a stretch of the imagination but I really wanted to get this project done and back into the glamper.

After some light sanding (and apologizing), I was able to pull off the miracle of all miracles and produced a table free of bleeding, leaves and drips. Yes, the DIY Gods were looking down upon me and letting me know I wasn’t as crazy as I appeared the day before.

after gate leg table painted and distressed

For a split second I thought about adding a stenciled graphic to the table top but I didn’t want to tempt fate one more time. For now, this little painted and distressed gate leg table is going to stay naked until another day.

Now that you have lived through that drama with me, make sure you scroll down and take a peek at what my friends have done with paint and be inspired to make some changes at your house.

This project has been shared at the following link parties: Thrifty Thursday | We Are Pinnable | Dishing It and Digging It | Waste Not Wednesday| Raven Would |Wow Us Wednesdays | Home Matters | Vintage Charm| Create and Celebrate

Painted & Distressed Gate Leg Table


  1. Sue at Blu says:

    Denise we’ve all had those projects. You were right to fear the killer bees. A good night’s sleep clears away the stress. It’s a beautiful table. Enjoy it in the glamper!

  2. Susie says:

    Wow. Despite all the heartache, you surely ended up with a great little table. The color is perfect and the size makes me want one —minus the drama. LOL.. Congrats on a great makeover. Susie from The Chelsea Project

  3. Lisa says:

    Oh girl, we’ve all been there! I love the way it turned. Don’t worry your contempt will wear off. Trust me.

    Your sister in paint,

  4. Toni | Small Home Soul says:

    Ok, I’ll admit, I laughed a little. But not at you, with you, or no, that’s not right. Well, anyway, I’ve had the same experience. Bugs love white paint and we had this problem when we painted our murphy bed in the front yard.

    I’m glad you persevered, it turned out lovely. Even if you did have to put it in a timeout, in the dark garage, overnight. Who would blame you?

  5. Kimm at Reinvented says:

    Oh my goodness, Denise, you had quite a battle with that little beauty! I’m so glad that you persevered, it’s so pretty. Hopefully you’ll forgive her and let her move in to the glamper. 🙂

  6. Sarah says:

    Oh my goodness! THis little beauty gave you a serious run for your money, Denise!! But she turned out beautifully!! Proud of you for sticking with it!??

  7. Susanne says:

    Oh my goodness!! That sounds like my luck when I try to paint outside. She turned into quite a beauty and I can’t believe you got her for $5!!

  8. Leanna says:

    I’m sorry Denise but I laughed at the part where you hauled it outside grass be damned. I have so been there.

    In the end you did a great job and the table looks really good.

  9. Pamela says:

    Oh boy, I did not know there was a large spray shelter. THere is a table on discount at Target that would be perfect for my food photography but it is not white. I need white. I could make it white with paint! duh. lol

  10. Kathleen says:

    Oh my gosh Denise you are too funny! I’m sorry you had such trouble but it’s nice to know I’m not the only one who has done the project from hell! At least it turned out great in the end:) Thanks for sharing at Vintage Charm!
    xo Kathleen|Our Hopeful Home

  11. Kippi says:

    I am still laughing about the wet paint and mother-nature dropping buds, etc. I have table I painted this past summer and everything went wrong. I was old of my mind to keep going. I finished it and it looks fabulous. Your gate-leg table is a beauty. Great look!

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