Looking vintage table ideas and inspiration? This is one of my favorites. This table has an amazing paint finish and a chippy distressed patina.


A long time ago in a big city far, far away this vintage table was the talk of the town.

It came from a yard sale.

It was painted blue and then it was painted black and then it was painted red and then I refinished the top and painted it white and distressed it.

And then time and all the little people of the house helped with the beautifully aged patina by giving it a good kick now and throwing the occasional dump truck into it.

All of this painting and dump truck throwing and kicking created a one-of-a-kind finish on this vintage table.

A wonderful finish.

The kind of finish looks like the table might have come over on the Mayflower with the pilgrims.

Distressed Table

People that lived in the really big city would stop by the house and comment on that Mayflower vintage table:

“That is some table.”

“That’s one mighty fine table.”

“They sure don’t make vintage ables like that anymore.”

Accolades poured in from far and wide.

Vintage Papers

In fact….there was so much liking and commenting and general hull-a-ba-loo about the table…..

….that I got the big head.


I thought that my vintage table and I were all that and a bag of chips.

I thought we were fancy.

Ready for our own reality show about tables and the people who love them.


Eventually we left that city and moved to the country….my vintage table and I.

And you know the rest of the story.

About our jump.

And the farmhouse.

And the twinkling stars in the night sky.

But the story of the table doesn’t end there.

Table Leg

You see….we bought a business when we jumped.

And on the day of the grand opening of our new venture…..I decided to bring my table.

I was going to be meeting new people and making new friends and I wanted to have my table along for moral support.

And I dreamed.

I dreamed about the splash my big city table and I were going to make in the country.

On the day of the grand opening my husband carried that vintage table down in the truck and then into the business.

And I set it up with cakes and punch and cookies and milk glass and silver.

And there it sat.

The main attraction.

Ready to meet its public.


Except at the last minute my husband added a table cloth.


A tablecloth?

I need to invite someone else to the house for dinner who appreciates a really good vintage table…..

….I wonder if the pilgrims are available for Thanksgiving 🙂

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  1. Image for Lynn @thevintagenest Lynn @thevintagenest

    ha! my Mom says the same thing. Growing up poor and living on a farm, she doesn't understand my fascination and love of old things......the very same things she could not wait to get rid of. :)

  2. Image for Laura Laura

    You have my heartfelt sympathy. Those country folks just don't know a good table when they see one. A tablecloth. HMPH!!! I certainly know a star of the show when I see one, and that table is definitely a star :) Hugs, Laura

  3. Image for Colleen Colleen

    That is a funny story! I love it...it reminds of the quote from Dirty Dancing....Nobody puts Baby in the corner....hahaha. My mom likes to cover up my lovely old table too. Love the frame over the table, did you make that too? Have a great one!

  4. Image for Lisa Lisa

    That is too funny! The grass is always greener….sometimes the city folk want the feel of the country, and sometimes the country folk want a bit of the bright lights, big city glamour. I adore that red/blue/white chippy patina and that beautiful top….it really is a star!

  5. Image for Aunt Lou Aunt Lou

    Eh, 'taint just country folks. I think it may have to do with the availability of Mayflower tables in proportion to the population. :) Plus some of us like shabby, some don't. We were at a cousin's house & my husband asked me if I thought they were in need. She was shabby before shabby was cool. He was totally unaware that it was deliberate. :)

  6. Image for Beth Beth

    THIS!! This delightful story is why I was certain you were the original author of that story about the "notes folder" you posted yesterday. You are truly a gift each morning as I sip my morning coffee.

  7. Image for Adrienne Adrienne

    I agree with Beth! You have the most charming and delightful personality! I so look forward to my email each morning! Have a wonderful day Karianne! Love the realit show idea :)

  8. Image for Trish @TheOldPostRoad Trish @TheOldPostRoad

    That is funny. KariAnne - you can certainly write! Always enjoy your blog! I have an old iron bed and a friend of mine who likes everything NEW told me to have it blasted and repainted by car painters so that it would look new. I like the chipping paint, myself. She would die if she were forced to live in my 1850's home! -Trish

  9. Image for shirley@housepitalitydesigns shirley@housepitalitydesigns

    Way back in the days of old...your furniture had to be "pristine"...no scratches, no smudges, always perfectly polished....then came Rachel Ashwell and i was so smitten by the whole Shabby Chic style...so love the Mayflower table story.....The Pilgrims would be proud!

  10. Image for Donnamae Donnamae

    Well, seems to me you owe your children a big Thank You for all that distressing! Your table has just the right amount of wear and tear and happy living! ;)

  11. Image for Leslie Stewart Leslie Stewart

    Too funny! That sounds like my husband. I can hear him say…"You're not going to leave it like that, are you?" UH, YES! Love your Mayflower table! I like my pieces to tell a story and yours always tell the best ones! Leslie

  12. Image for Rhonda~Ramblings of a Southern Girl Rhonda~Ramblings of a Southern Girl

    That is too funny!!! I carried my most FAVORITE piece I've redone to my booth last week. A precious little nightstand painted with Milk Paint. I worked so hard on it, and was so VERY proud of it. While I was in my booth, some couple came by and measured it, and the man said, " I like it, but not that egg looking stuff on the sides (my distressed paint ) ,,,maybe we can sandblast it off!" I was horrified! haha! He didn't buy it, but I was so wanting to refuse the sale if he did want it! haha! And who says that with the booth owner right there??? Rude, I say! Oh well, it takes all kinds! :)

  13. Image for Betsy(@coastal-colors) Betsy(@coastal-colors)

    Too funny! Country folks don't understand the fascination of the city slicker with things like this! Your table totally rocks and so do you! This is such a cute story!

  14. Image for Chris Chris

    As soon as I find Brad's buckle shoes and my apron we'll be there for Thanksgiving. And we will honor your table with JOY :-)

  15. Image for Kimberly from Serendipity Refined Kimberly from Serendipity Refined

    I believe that your kind, well intentioned, lady may be a friend or distant relative of mine. My lovely dad has (on more than one occasion) offered to help me paint (and/or strip and sand) several pieces of furniture that had worked very hard to achieve that well loved patina that only comes from time (and metal trucks). We've always done other projects instead...you know...things like painting baseboards...or going to lunch. I've got a side board in my living room that keeps a watchful eye on him when he visits, though. Your Mayflower table is thankful that it lives with you. I know this because I know that your table is going to write that to me...on engraved stationery....in response to the fan letter that I'm about to write to it. You'd better set up a P.O. Box for your table...cuz I'm starting the fan club this afternoon...right after I finish painting the windows in my basement! xo

  16. Image for Laura @ House Of Joyful Noise Laura @ House Of Joyful Noise

    Oh MY! Did that employee keep their job? Ha ha. I know they say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But I think some are just blind to beauty. Or have bad taste. Or somethin'! You got me all worked up for a bit there. I was frantic, wondering - If that table came over on the Mayflower, how the HECK did it escape out of my town - America's Hometown -before I snatched it up? But, I see it is being well-loved. And that really IS what is important. (Well, except by the employee, apparently. lol)

  17. Image for Marsha Marsha

    Neat post. I love the table and wouldn't change a thing about it. I love Pilgrims! My 13th great-grandfather was on the Mayflower (John Howland).

  18. Image for Leen Leen

    Poor little table, so unappreciated in the country! I think it's positivity lovely :) I didn't know that you started a business when you jumped. What kind of business is it?

  19. Image for Rita@thissortaoldlife Rita@thissortaoldlife

    After seeing the Christmasy things you've started sharing (in other places) I was so glad to see a Thanksgiving reference in your title. I'm not affiliated with a political party, but I'm a die-hard, extreme no-Christmas-before-Thanksgiving kinda person, and I was worried that we might be of seriously different holiday persuasions. But now that you've shared your Mayflower table, I'm pretty sure we can still be blog friends. ;-) (Love that table, btw, and we live with 3 kids who share your employee's sense of style and rightness. They're almost old enough to hold down a job. Let me know if you've got any openings!)

  20. Image for betsy betsy

    You should write children's books (that i could read to myself ;-)) You have such a wonderful, dear way of telling a story and imbuing life into inanimate objects. Love that table fierce!

  21. Image for Bliss Bliss

    No way.... someone didn't really say throw a tablecloth on it did they? Off with her head! Or no turkey for her. I have a project waiting for a post from my son's room using the identical marquee letters. I've been waiting till the whole room is done. Will you come finish it? Bliss

  22. Image for Pinky Pinky

    You delight me every morning when I open your posts. What a fabulous, creative mind you have. Not to mention a FABULOUS table! I LOOOOOVED this story. XO

  23. Image for Regina Regina

    LOL! Loved this! I've been into primitives, then swung into craftsman, and now I'm drawn to primitives again! There is a new antique store in Sturgis, KY that has LOTS of primitives, and I just drool every time I walk through. I LOVE YOUR TABLE! See, I want to live in a farmhouse with a great big kitchen with a Walton's-esque farmhouse table that everybody does EVERYTHING around. That's my goal. Your Mayflower table would fit right in. :) I'll bet the pilgrims would feel honored to sit at your table. Maybe you could cook them a roast? ;)

  24. Image for Erin Kaven Erin Kaven

    I remember when my grandma died and my parents brought me back, in a u haul they had to rent just for the occasion, the red bedroom furniture that my greadfather had purchased (used) for my grandmother in the 30s. It was probably chipped then. And one piece, a table that had been the bottom to a high boy, now seperated, was painted black. I was told by my mother that grandma would paint anything that stood still long enough. (So I guess I come by it naturally). Anyway, my Dad kept saying, the entire time he moved it into my then home, "Why do you want this old junk". "This is just beat up old furniture". etc. etc. To me it was the most exquisite furniture I had ever seen. My grandmother had places a tag on it many years before that I, number 23 of 25 grandchildren, would recieve the bedroom set in all it's loveliness. Truthfully I think I was the only one who saw the true beauty of the set at the time and/or had the kahoonas to ask for it. Who know, but it was mine. Pieces of it are now all around my house (the guest room it was in was taken over by a boy child who is not so much into red with vinegar grain painted top drawers embellished with flowers. And these pieces occupying my entry, my dining room, my daughters walk in closet and yes, still my sons bedroom (he couldn't escape it completely) are still commented on by my unseeing juveniles and an occasional visitor (whose only taste is in their mouth). They are even more "beat up" than when my Dad first passed judgement but to me they are magnificent reminders of gentility and love and family. To heck with the nay sayers!

  25. Image for Amy Amy

    new to your blog... I am trying to catch up... You had me at pringles and project runway. I think today I'll name my favorite "Mayflower" pieces.

  26. Image for Stacey Stacey

    That's great! I had a similar experience with delivery men who thought my distressed chest of drawers was all beaten up. They wanted to take it back. :) You are one funny girl!

  27. Image for Patty Patty

    Too funny! A tablecloth to hide all that rustic chippy beauty?! I had a table like that once, it got left behind in a divorce along with a lovely 1920's faded rug. I still miss them both, but not the partner ; ) Patty/BC

  28. Image for Jo-Anne Jo-Anne

    Congratulations, Bethanie how lucky are you........................….."do you want me to get you a tablecloth?” what can I say comments like this make us want to just shake our heads...............lol

  29. Image for Eva Eva

    Karianne...I am sitting here at my nasty kitchen table laughing at loud at your whacky sense of humor. You are hilarious...if living in Kentucky doesn't work out for you, you could write comedy. I can just see you there with those earrings, big smile, red lips...and old table! Thanks for a good laugh. it's been a fun afternoon here in Virginia. Went to see "Here Comes the Boom"...it was so funny. You should have a date night with your main squeeze and go see it.

  30. Image for Di@Cottage-wishes Di@Cottage-wishes

    Love that table...too cool. My dad said about something as profound after I worked so hard at shabbing my beloved dry sink. He said you know I could help you paint that...wow. I had only spent all day on it. Oh well, some people just don't get us. I certainly get your style...Love the table. Di

  31. Image for carol d carol d

    My all-time favorite piece of furniture, a wonderful cupboard with swoon worthy chippy original paint gets the same sad treatment from my mom. Every time she comes to my house, she mentions that it would look SO MUCH BETTER if I would paint it!

  32. Image for Miss Charming Miss Charming

    So funny, KariAnne. As someone who is really into thrifting, sometimes I forget that not everyone shares my love of the old and vintage. Last year I was painting a pair of nightstands I snagged from the thrift store and excitedly shared with my neighbor the great deal I made on the lovely furniture. She tried to "comfort" me by saying that she knew what it was like to have to shop at thrift stores when money was tight and good for me for making the best of it. I find it funny now but at the time I was rather speechless...

  33. Image for Suzanne @ Welcome to Willow House Suzanne @ Welcome to Willow House

    I giggled at the end. Several years ago, my daughter and I brought home a beautiful old nine-pane window from a front-yard estate sale, our $15 find. The white paint was worn and peeling down to the wood in places. It was wonderful. He took one look at it and said, "So, are you going to paint it, or what?" Such a Philistine. He knows better than to ask silly questions now, even if he thinks them.

  34. Image for Suzanne Suzanne

    I've enjoyed reading this post as well as many in your archives. I SO enjoy your voice! Not to mention your many talents and eye for design. Thank you for your lovely comment at Privet & Holly.... I'll be back! Happy Sunday, xo Suzanne

  35. Image for Kerryanne @ Shabby art Boutique Kerryanne @ Shabby art Boutique

    Oh nooooooo.... I can imagine how you felt, but look at it this way KariAnne... if everyone loved scuffed and chippy tables as much as we do there would be less side of the road treasure to be sought. So it is kind of a good thing!! Me, I love that table with the chippy red peeking out. Hope she pops up at Shabbilicous Friday :)

  36. Image for Carolynn "Chenille Cottage" Carolynn "Chenille Cottage"

    Oh....KariAnne! Your story just cracks me up. I feel your pain....My husband and I had a young couple for dinner in our home. The wife was from Ukraine and was perplexed as to why I wanted old junk for furniture. I, too, have a wonderful vintage farm table..She's practically a member of our family, afterall. If she had ears she would have been very offended at the well meaning comment from our darling houseguest. Please give my regards to your gorgeous old girl... Smiles and blessings, too! Carolynn xoxo

  37. Image for tara tara

    it's perfectly beautiful with all it's vintage, distressed charm. Have you told us about your business venture? Did I miss that? I'd love to know what you guys do...just budding my nose in your business. :)

  38. Image for Alicia@ eco friendly homemaking Alicia@ eco friendly homemaking

    I so agree you are really blessed with such an awesome writing talent! It is always so much fun to read your posts. I love that table and have a picture of one that kind of looks similar that I have been trying to get my husband to make for me. You have done a wonderful job on your.

  39. Image for Susan @ Afford Your Passions Susan @ Afford Your Passions

    I love the table! The lady who offered you the tablecloth sounds like my mother-in-law. I just read your story about the "jump" - how brave of you to make the move! My husband and I "jumped" from Australia to the US (he's American) twenty years ago, and then 3 years ago, we jumped from Chicago to suburban Fort Worth, which while not as cool as living in a farmhouse surrounded by acres was still a leap of faith; one that we've never regretted!

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