50 Shades of Grey Coffee Table

Ok, ok so there are not quite 50 shades of grey on this coffee table. But there are several shades of grey, red, white and brown.

I was inspired by the layers on my door table to try to do another heavily distressed piece.

I forgot to take a true before picture, but here it is with just a tiny bit of paint on it:


Notice I did not prime this time. I have grown more fond of using homemade chalk paint lately. It really is such a time saver when you have multiple pieces to finish. I just mix (roughly) half a cup of baking soda into my choice of Behr Ultra with Primer latex paint. I use an old electric mixer attachment in my drill to mix it up really well. It goes on with great coverage and sticks without sanding or priming. Plus it’s super cheap and you probably have baking soda in your kitchen already.

I painted on some red, then some white, then painted the whole thing with dark gray- all homemade chalk paint.


Then I went to town on it with my electric sander. If you use an electric sander for heavy distressing, make sure sure you keep the sander constantly moving, or else you get these annoying little tell-tale circles. Also make sure to keep your sand paper relatively fresh. If you have old paint stuck on your sand paper it will just start to chew up your new paint, instead of lightly wearing it down.

To get past the gray to the red, white or even the wood I just had to keep passing over that spot- maybe adding some slight pressure.

Here is it is with the vintage school chairs that I have for sale:

coffee table with school chairs

grey distressed coffee table

Part of the story behind this piece is actually really heartbreaking, but it should be told- and I am hoping to turn my part of the story into something good. In July my next door neighbor was killed in a car accident with a drunk driver. He was only 26 years old and his son has just turned 1. His son and his girlfriend had to move out of the house and the sale closed last week. While the family was moving out the last of the furniture we were offered this coffee table and 2 end tables. They didn’t have any place for them anymore and they knew that I liked to work on furniture. I felt terrible benefiting at all from their tragic situation, but they insisted that it would help them for me to take them off their hands. I gratefully accepted them but made a deal with myself that whatever money I make selling them, I will donate to the trust fund that they have set up for their baby boy. I wish I could do more. Please never drink and drive and be just as hard on your friends when they have been drinking. These tragedies just don’t have to happen. We miss you Matt!

2 thoughts on “50 Shades of Grey Coffee Table

  1. Pingback: Vintage Labels, Cute Tables! | Figuring Out Fabulous

  2. Pingback: Trashy to Classy Vol. 9- Antique School Desk | Figuring Out Fabulous

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