before & after: two dip-dyed side table redos

Dip-dyed legs are everywhere! It’s pretty cool to see so many awesome iterations of this super simple furniture treatment, and I have yet to come across a dip-dye job I don’t like. Different proportions, different colors — they all look amazing. I’d like to see a project where the dip-dye is so extreme that only a bit of the original surface remains at the top . . . maybe I’ll try that for a DIY. In the meantime, here are a couple awesome dip-dye side tables from Caroline and Meg.

Caroline’s formerly frumpy tray table now looks ultra modern, with a coat of white paint and a surprising pop of hot pink at the feet. Meg’s “before” table (shown after the jump) had an orange shellacked surface similar to Caroline’s piece, and she also decided wisely to freshen it up with a coat of white. She opted for gold paint, which suits the curved shape of the table legs beautifully. These are both quick fixes for inexpensive old tables, and they both look marvelous. Nice work, ladies! — Kate

Have a Before & After you’d like to share? Shoot me an email with your images right here! (Low res, under 500k per image, please.)

Time: 4 hours (not including curing)

Cost: $60

Basic Steps: I sanded the table by hand using medium-grade sandpaper. I applied four thin and even coats of white acrylic paint (the brand is called Raphaël but might only be available in France) using a small foam roller brush to avoid streaks, letting it cure for at least 30 minutes between each coat. Then I measured the legs and taped them off where I wanted the pink socks to start. It took four coats of neon pink acrylic paint (also Raphaël) to cover the white evenly. When everything was nice and dry, I removed the tape, heating it a little with a hairdryer before pulling it off to soften the glue and avoid damaging the paint.

My advice is: never skimp on paint quality and go for glossy whenever possible for a cleaner finish and easy maintenance. Also, don’t overdo it with neon: I liked the flash of pink so much that I initially wanted to add some to the tray using a stencil, but now I’m glad I didn’t. I love it just the way it is, and I can’t help but smile every time I look at it! — Caroline

See Meg’s dip-dyed side table project after the jump . . .

Time: one hour

Cost: $22

Basic Steps: First, I sanded the table. After discovering that the top was laminate, not wood, I primed it with acrylic paint and gave the legs a quick coat as well. I gave the whole table three light coats of white spray paint. This ended up being just under one can of spray paint.

Once the white spray paint had dried, I measured ten inches up on the legs, marking with a pencil. I applied the gold acrylic paint in three coats with a 1″ sponge brush. Once that was complete, I took a small paintbrush to the edges to make them all even and smooth, since trying to tape off the legs with painter’s tape was giving me uneven lines on the curved legs.

For people tackling a similar project, I would definitely recommend Lumiere by Jacquard paint, as it goes on much brighter, smoother and shinier than other gold paints I have found and takes very well to wood furniture. And as with any project, be flexible! I wasn’t prepared for a laminate top or for the painter’s tape to not curve to the legs, but not stressing about it made it easier to come up with alternative solutions. — Meg



I love this, especially the second table!


Both are lovely, but the second one I would have painted black with gold dip-dyed legs. It would have had more of an impact. Or and deep color. Just a preference.


LOVE this trend, although I’d love it with an ombre effect even more, I think!


this is such a great idea! I NEED to try this out at home. Thanks for this beautiful post! where did you purchase that coral color paint?


I love both–each so cute in slightly different ways, but wow, what a great rescue of Meg’s rather dated and dingy looking “before” table!


I love the second table and your blog Meg!


I might try using the second table’s technique with a larger table my wife uses for sewing. Since you made a good point about using tape on round legs, I might try using rubberbands and then taping over those… I just really don’t like painting by hand if I can help it! I don’t have the touch for it.


those are such sweet paint jobs! was thinking about doing this to an old table that is pretty ugly at the moment. simple update that can really make something old look fur-eh-shhhhh!


Nice! I love dip dyed clothes, but had never thought of doing it to furniture. I will definitely do this a table in my new apartment.


Very cool way of updating old furniture, instead of just going out and buying new. Love it!

Goldilocks Greenwood

This is a great idea, so original to see tables with socks on! I particularly adore Caroline’s beautifully fresh looking white table with those hot pink feet, it’s lovely!

Meg’s table is certainly much improved, personally though I would definitely have put black or a very dark colour with the gold feet!


I want to try this idea! I didn’t have much faith on the 2nd one and it ended up being my favorite :)


Great Idea – however I love beautiful timbers and I would have liked to save the top of the second table.


Have so many pieces of furniture I was going to get rid of but after seeing this I can’t decide which one to start with thanks for the great idea


Could this work with gold spray paint on the legs?