Ethel’s Story

by | Furniture, Paint

Ethel has arrived at Hudson River Homesteaders and is available for purchase!

I purchased Ethel one rainy day this late winter at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Albany.  This beauty was looking rough but I could see her potential immediately.  I would guess that Ethel is an older end table, probably from a set.  But she also could have been a nightstand in her former life.  She has the old Ethan Allen insignia inside the drawer.  And, wait for it…. she had recently been marked down to only $5!  What a bargain!

Structurally this is a solid piece.  The biggest issue was lots of little dings and dents throughout. Also, the drawer hardware was quite ugly and one was missing.  The only other issue was the two trough-like lines running front to back along the top which must have been a style of the time, but I hate when I get furniture with these indents!  It is just the perfect crumb-collecting contraption, not to mention that it makes items look old and dated.

I gave this beauty a good cleaning, and she began to shine already!  I then did my best to fill the indents on the top with DAP Plastic Wood. It took a lot of sanding with my electric sander and a lot of refilling and fussing, and in the end you could still slightly see the indent area. Ugh – more on that later.  I also took off the ugly hardware and that went into my stash but honestly I do not expect to ever use it, I just don’t like it!

I then filled in the dents and dings all around on top and on the sides and legs.  Of course, I probably missed a couple but a small amount of “character” is a welcome addition to my makeovers.  After more sanding, I went to work with the paint.  I used Fusion Mineral Paint in Midnight Blue, and I absolutely love this color.  It was purchased from Hudson Valley Vintage, which to me is the best store for quality paints in the Hudson Valley area.  It is also my favorite local place to order my paint when I can.  

I then noticed that I still could kind of see the lines on top, which I did not particularly like, so I decided to use a stencil for a nice antique-y look (at least that is what I was going for)!  I found a pack of stencils at Lowes with a nice flower design.  I taped the stencil securely in each area with painting tape, then painted with FolkArt Home Decor Chalk Paint in White using stencil sponges.  I waited for each section to dry enough to move the stencil, and then I did it again trying to establish a consistent pattern as I went. 

The key here is that I wanted it subtle and not super showy, so I then entered a cycle of painting over it with watered down Fusion Mineral Paint and then some plain water, really hoping to get the stencil to shine through which also involved some strategic sanding. There was some trial and error here.  But eventually I got the look I wanted!  And it basically hides the lines as well as giving lots of character to the piece.

I used some wax to seal it all up and buffed to a slight shine. I then painted the drawers and distressed the tops with my sander and some more white chalk paint.  I completed the look with these awesome new Vintage Cut-Out Pendant Cabinet Pulls.

As a final touch, I put lovely Main Street Wall Creations Wallpaper in Indigo Diamonds in the drawers for an extra bit of fancy!  I bought this paper from Dollar Tree, so it was inexpensive but I absolutely love it and have used it in other projects as well.  It’s just super cool!

I think Ethel is a beauty, and she really was all along!  She just needed some tender love and care. Come see her in person at Hudson River Homesteaders in Germantown, NY!

What I used:


Please note that Flippaintly does not claim perfection on furniture makeovers!  Each one is an original as we make unwanted furniture special and beautiful again!  Minor flaws from a piece’s life journey and its revitalization are part of the unique beauty of the item.

OK so what’s next? It is so fun to have a project, and even better to enjoy the rewards of your hard work! Go back to Home and see some other fun ideas!

Recent Posts

New Signs are Now Available

New Signs are Now Available

At Flippantly, we're thrilled to unveil our latest addition to our handcrafted art collection—beautifully painted signs! These signs are perfect for adding a touch of charm and personality to any space. Whether you're looking to brighten up your home, office, or gift...

Wallace’s Story

Wallace’s Story

Wallace has arrived at Hudson River Homesteaders and is available for purchase! The images on this post take you through his story.  I don’t know what happened to him before he came into my life, but this once-handsome console table or desk was in rough shape. So...

Gary’s Story

Gary’s Story

Gary has arrived at Hudson River Homesteaders!  He is available for purchase and would love a great new home! Here is a picture journey of Gary's Story.  He was purchased at a yard sale in Clifton Park, NY just north of Albany - there were two tables that...

Furniture Renew, The Dining Table 2

Furniture Renew, The Dining Table 2

Back to my dining room table, which I can apparently not stop making over!  Well, here’s the deal on that.  There are only so many times I can sand the top down to bare wood and start again.  For one, it is exhausting and challenging to keep the top...