Ming Makeover


Chinoiserie decor works in all kinds of interiors. It instantly adds a global sophistication and a sense of history to a room. The Ming cocktail table with its clean lines and curved legs is one of the easiest chinoiserie pieces to integrate into any setting. The finish is the key to the feel. Often they are lacquered black with gold accents. This is a gorgeous, but formal look. A stained or washed finish is much less formal. I recently picked up one at my local thrift store and with a little effort transformed it into a lovely and versatile piece of furniture. I wanted this one to be fairly informal, so I chose a light neutral. Lately, I am partial to softer matte finishes. Not distressed and chippy, but ones with a worn patina and a “not too precious” feel.

The Before

As seen below, the lines are great, but the finish is worn and tired.


This is where the Annie Sloan chalk paint in Old Ochre comes to the rescue.

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The photo above shows what the table looked like after two coats of the chalk paint. It has a soft, beautiful and clean finish. Next, I go over the entire table with a coat of clear soft wax to add a very slight sheen, but mostly to protect the finish. Finally I use a little dark soft wax to highlight the table’s grooved detail.


The After

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This was a fun and easy project. Clearly, it was not very messy because I did it in the hall between my living room and dining room. This table is SOLID and hard to move. Now all that’s left is to move it and style it.


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A fresh take on a traditional Ming cocktail table. Recycling at it’s finest. Do you have a piece to make over? If you do I would love to see the results.