Furniture Makeovers

Little Girl’s Play Table Makeover: Whimsical and Rustic

After sharing so many fabulous furniture redos by so many awesome artists, I’m thinking it’s time for a 180.  Today, we are just going to have fun.  Good ole’ fantasy fun.  

Whimsy in pink | The Chelsea Project | So throw away any idea you may have about trying to copy a great furniture refinishing technique.  Today is all about letting go and seeing where color and imagination will take you.  IMG_5139To get this party started, find a really great piece.  This table was a $3.00 garage sale snag.  The perfect piece for playing in the paint.$3.00 garage sale find | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.comNext, go out into the wide open spaces and sand like there’s no tomorrow.  Don’t forget to wear protective gear …..and to turn the piece upside down to sand the belly. Then, putty up the holes and gaps.  And, then sand again.Sand and putty before paint | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.comTo seal the wood, brush on a couple of coats of chalk paint.  I wanted this piece to look like a polka dot tablecloth was tossed over the top and tied with a ribbon. .  🙂  So, the base coats include a taupe-colored painted bottom and a creamy white top.

Brown chalk pinted bottom and creamy white chalk painted top | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.comDots were added using this dreamy pink-colored paint and a stencil.Pink paint and a stencil to make the dots | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.comStenciling can be slow and boring, but the results are super fun….even if it is only dots.Pinks dots made with pink chalk paint and a stencil | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.comHonestly, I didn’t even worry that the stencil leaked.  This is going to be a whimsical piece for a little girl’s playroom.  It needs to look hand-drawn and water-colored.  Its goal is to stimulate the imagination of a child.  And, I truly believe that there is perfection in its imperfection.IMG_5147The way the sides are painted will likely delight some and horrify others, but art is art.  Some people will like it and others will not.  The side skirt is hand painted to look like a cloth overhang drawn with an aqua bow.  I didn’t use a stencil.  I just drew it free-handed and then used the stencil to make the dots.  The bow was also sketched free-handed and then painted.  Whimsical play table for a little girl | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.comAfter looking at it for a few days, I think that if I could go back and make one correction, I would use a softer touch with the sandpaper.  The distressing seems a bit overdone.  I’m hoping that maybe I can fix this without having to totally restencil the top.  The photo below shows the piece before it was distressed.  What do you think?  Like it better?

Whimsical table design before distressing | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.comThe stools are simple kitchen step stools chosen for their size and durability.  Lower than a chair, these are easier for toddlers and preschoolers to reach.  They are also more sturdy for moms, dads, and older children to use as a “chair” when playing at the table.  And, they can be used as a small table when the child is sitting on the floor.Step stools make good seats for toddlers and preschoolers | The chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.comOnce the set is sealed with polycoat and thoroughly dried, it’s time for your little darling to set the table for tea.

Have a best friend over for tea | The Chelsea Project |…..Or maybe have you read to her from one of her favorite books.Child's play table with storage | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.comThe important thing is let her imagine and play fantasy.  Let her enjoy color and motion and fun.  And, allow her to explore everything in the safety of her room with the innocent wonder that can only be found in a child.Whimsy in pink | The Chelsea Project |And, just in case a $3.00 distressed table with pink polka dots and an aqua bow isn’t your thing, how about this cute idea from a professional furniture artist?

Lucinda, of The Enchanted Forest, paints just about any kind of chair, but this is one of my favorites.

Painted child's chair by Lucinda of The Enchanted House | The Chelsea Project |

I also looked up whimsical painted furniture on Pinterest.  And, there are two things I noticed.  One, is that very few pieces are distressed, and two, my piece is pretty calm compared to most whimsical pieces.  LOL.. To browse the board, please, click here.

Well, friends.  What do you think?  Should I go back and remove the distressing?  I look forward to your comments, both pros and cons, in addition to other ideas you have to make it better.

As always, thanks so much for visiting.  It is such a pleasure to share projects with you.













  • Reply theenchantedhouseok February 14, 2016 at 4:03 pm

    THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR PUTTING “FRECKLES” IN YOUR POST! Now, I want to get some teddy bears and have a tea party. Wonder where I got THAT idea?

  • Reply Michelle Meyer February 15, 2016 at 5:08 pm

    Love how the table turned out. The matching stools make the perfect play set!

    • Reply theChelseaProject February 15, 2016 at 6:13 pm

      Thanks, Michelle. It’s quirky and fun…..just the way life should be. Lol. And, I agree about the stools. Even though the legs do not match the table legs, my choice was based on function for the children and the adults. A 200 pound Dad having tea should not have to squeeze into a chair that might collapse. Thanks again. I appreciate you stopping by and leaving a comment, too.

  • Reply 30 Fabulous Furniture Makeovers for Kids – The Chelsea Project March 1, 2016 at 7:34 am

    […] Little girl’s whimsical and rustic table […]

  • Reply How to Paint and Protect Outdoor Wood Furniture - The Chelsea Project February 1, 2017 at 5:24 pm

    […] Click here to see how this side table was prepped like this before the polka dots and bows paint was… […]

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