How To Make A Box Store Table Look Expensive

A lot of us have been there. You need an end table but you're on a tight budget so you head over to the big box store and grab one in a box for under $50. Such was the case with this dark espresso table after rearranging a room in our house several years ago. But what about instead of making due until the budget can accommodate a more expensive table, you make that cheap box store table look like you paid big bucks?

That's what I did when moving the table from the living room to the master bedroom. Too cheap to buy a more expensive one, I transformed that box store table with chalk paint, some scrapbook paper, and a little creativity and I'm going to show you how.

How To Make A Box Store Table Look Expensive

How To Make A Box Store Table Look Expensive

This post first appeared on The Interior Frugalista in June 2015. The post has been updated and reshared for those of you who missed it the first time.

Before we get into the makeover this is what the table looked like before...

Inexpensive Box Store Table Before

Remember the espresso rage a few years back? In my home staging days, this color was so popular and we used it often.

The height is perfect to use as a tall night table, especially for someone who likes to read and have the light cast down. The small drawer is very handy to have too.

Not one to do matchy-matchy, you can see what we used for a nightstand on the opposite side of the bed in my Small Mid-Century Modern Cabinet post. A legless relic that had seen it's better days but now looks amazing with its metallic grey finish and curvy legs.

Inexpensive Box Store Table After Makeover

Here's what we did to the inexpensive box store table

Before you begin

Before you begin putting paintbrush to paint you should read my tutorial on How To Prep Furniture For Chalk Paint first because you may or may not need to prime.

Step 1 - Fresh Paint

The entire table was painted with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint for a beautiful matte finish. The top painted Duck Egg Blue that plays well with the Benjamin Moore Wedgewood Gray HC-146 wall color.

Box Store Table Top Painted Duck Egg Blue

The base of the table was painted Pure White to play off the other white elements in the room like our DIY Master Bedroom Built-In Window Seat.

For a shabby chic finish, the table was lightly distressed along the edges and the paint is protected with clear wax and buffed to a matte sheen.

Inexpensive Box Store Table Makeover With Chalk Paint

Step 2 - Gold Dipped Legs

To add more visual interest and echo the gold in the French carte postale bedding, the legs were given a hand-dipped look with gold metallic gilding wax and delicate surface frog tape. Striving for a shabby chic finish, the gold was hand buffed to make the feet look worn.

Inexpensive Box Store Table Gold Dipped Legs

While I was at it I rubbed more gold gilding wax with my finger along the edge of the top, not being fussy about covering the duck egg blue.

Inexpensive Box Store Table Top Edge Gilded Gold

Step 3 - Stenciled Bottom Shelf

It's all about the details, right? A gold flower burst was stenciled in the center of the bottom shelf with the gold gilding wax. Yes, you can stencil with metallic wax but the trick is having very little wax on the stencil brush.

Inexpensive Box Store Table Stenciled Bottom Shelf

Step 4 - Make The Drawer Pretty Too

Don't forget to make the drawer pretty too! The inside of the drawer is painted duck egg blue and lined with pretty scrapbook paper that I had in my stash and decoupaged with Mod Podge.

Inexpensive Box Store Table Decoupaged Drawer

Step 5 - Replace The Knob

Replacing the hardware is like adding pretty jewelry to the little black dress. The original wood knob was replaced with this pretty white ceramic gold polka dot knob that echoes the petals on the stencil below.

Inexpensive Box Store Table New Ceramic Knob

I've included affiliate links below so you can see what products I used or recommend for this furniture makeover. See my disclosure policy.

Big difference, right between the before and after? If you were to purchase a shabby chic table like this retail you would expect to pay at least $150.

I hope this makeover has inspired you to transform those inexpensive furniture pieces that came in a box. Like my table, it may not have fancy dovetail joints and be made of solid wood BUT it's a very functional table and looks pretty darn cute after given a fresh new look.

Whenever I share photos of our master bedroom I'm often asked about the wallpaper. Guess what? It isn't wallpaper! I stenciled the wall and you can see how I did it in my 12 Helpful Tips On How To Stencil A Wall post.

I'm also asked about the headboard. We built it from a salvaged 5-panel door and you can see how we made it in my How To Turn An Old Door Into A Headboard post.

Even the birdhouses sitting on the headboard are dollar store finds that I upcycled for the room. To see how I did it visit my Easy DIY Spring Vignette Birdhouses For Under $5 post.

How To Make A Box Store Table Look Expensive

If you have any questions about this makeover, please leave them in the comment section below or press the Contact Me button at the top of the blog to drop me an email. I love hearing from you!

I share my projects at these inspiring link parties.


  1. HUGE difference! I love everything about this Marie! The DIY master looks amazing! XO

    1. I know right! Goodbye espresso Hello shabby chic goodness 😏 Thanks Denise, I'm glad you like the room. I'm instantly relaxed when I walk into that space.

  2. OH goodness sweet furniture whisper you have done it again. This is such a great re love of this piece. Soooooo pretty. Love it. Happy Friday.

  3. Thank you Kris, this little table makes the perfect nightstand and now that is been all prettied up, I never want to get rid of it. Have a great weekend! The polar vortex you guys had is now here. brrrr

  4. Marie this here is a testament to your mastery of the craft. You have transformed a plain table to something fit for King Louis' Versailles. The hand buffed details and that pretty stencil, along with all the attention given to the knob make it really shine. Bravo Marie!!

    1. Well don't you know how to start a gal's week, Mary. Thank you so much for your sweet comments! Fit for King Louis' Versailles, I'll take it! LOL xo

  5. You are Marie. How I would love for you to come visit us here in South Africa and help me make over a few rooms with thrifty finds and paint. Everything in the room fits so beautifully together. I'm still so in love with the stencilled wall you did a while ago and have been dying to tackle one of our walls. I'm not the best stenciller in the world, I'm a little heavy handed when it comes to loading the brush before pouncing, so I'm holding back until I feel a bit more comfortable. But one day I'll get there my friend ;-)

  6. Girl, with your creativity, I bet your place looks amazing! I was scared stenciling the wall and it took me several days because I didn't trust myself to roll on the paint (which I highly recommend) and pounced that.entire.wall. Next time, roller come hell or high water! You Can Do It 💪🏻

  7. Marie, What a transformation to that night stand! I love, love it.
    I love that Duck Egg Blue on the White and the Gold add the elegant touch, oh can't forget the cute little knob on the drawer. You are one of most creative persons I know. Thanks for sharing. It is not easy to come up with new things so often. I do love the stencil in your bed room. For our sister in South Africa, try copying your stencil and piecing it together in long strips and spraying the
    back with temporary adhesive. Place it on the wall and use a narrow roller. Test on some cardboard first. It's amazing what you can do to make short cuts, if you really love something. I have done it with other things when I thought I couldn't live without the thing.
    Just a suggestion.
    Marie, stay warm. We have been having a lot of cold down in Colorado. One day this week it look like a Winter Wonder Land, ice and snow frozen on the trees and icy fog, what a yucky day it was. It was pretty, but the overcast and grey wears me out.
    I am grateful for your blog.

  8. Thank you, Leona 😊 I'm glad you like what I did with this box store table! I'll trade you for the overcast winter wonderland for our -40C temperatures? This cold is wearing me out.


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