Creating a Happy, Colorful, Handmade Home & life on the shores of lake superior

March 10, 2015

How to Make Over a Vintage Metal Table with Rust-Oleum Pearl Paint

Do you remember that little metal table that used to reside in the townhouse guestroom? It was a wedding gift my Mummu received in the 1950s, and she gave it to me.  It was originally black but then, with her permission, I painted it mint green: 

I didn't fully love the colour - it was bordering on sage green - but it looked nice with the mint and aqua upholstered chair and so I left it as-is.

Once we moved to the lakehouse, and lost a guest bedroom, it migrated to our bedroom and it looked good until I added the teal back tab curtains.

The teal made the mint look super dull and drab - and its buddy, the Mingo chair, was displaced anyway.  The paint had also seen some wear in the move, so a fresh coat of paint was in order.  Because this little table will get the boot soon (our dresser dilemma has been solved!), I opted for a neutral colour so I can move it from room to room with ease.

I decided white would be perfect for such a transient little table but then, on impulse, I decided a pearlized white would be even better - Rustoleum Pearl Mist looked nice on the cap.  I hauled it over to the super awesome spray paint booth my in-laws have (winter spray painting!) and - ta da!

The pearlized paint is really pretty, but it seemed to take forever to achieve this coverage.

It went on really, really sheer and the green continued to peek through, coat after coat.  It still does, a little, but I don't mind that slight green tint.  If I wanted a true pearl white, a white base coat would definitely be necessary because this paint is like a clear finish with some metallic sparkles in it.  I Googled around, curious if the "mist" in the name indicates its sheerness and I'm just a total goof, but it seems other people have had issues with coverage too.  On the plus side, this could add a really pretty shimmer to furniture without masking the colour - or it could help tone down a too-bright paint job.  If you're tempted to try this paint, buy double what you would normally need for your project, or start with a white or cream base.

Even though it took a little extra spray paint huffing, I'm happy with the result.  This might end up a plant stand in the office, a side table if we turn the guesthouse into a proper bedroom...I'm not sure.  What I do know is that there are more bedroom changes happening soon.  But did I mention that I painted this table three months ago?   "Soon".  You keep using that word, but I don't think it means what you think it means. 

Product for this project was provided by the folks at Rustoleum, who have been kindly indulging many of my DIY project fantasies for awhile now.  Any comments, opinions and projects chosen are all my own! 


  1. i love that table! what a great shape and love its new look!

    1. Thanks Cassie! I have a feeling this little guy is going to get a makeover every few years as my mood and decor changes, but we're okay with that!

  2. I too love the new finish. It will go anywhere and blend in quite nicely.

    1. Thanks! I'm hoping it will be a versatile little piece. Makes me want to consider getting a plant and using it as a plant stand in the living room. But that's just cruel (for the plant).

  3. what a darling unique table. i like all the colors it has been over its lifetime. such a classic would look great any color!

    1. Thanks! I wonder how long it will be before I'm sharing it's new colour - or that it's gone back to black, lol. Still loving the pearl white for now :)


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