How to Make Farmhouse Charger Plates

Over the past several months I’ve been hunting for some ornate charger plates that don’t cost a fortune that would work well in my dining room.  After all, anyone who watches Fixer Upper on HGTV knows that Joanna Gaines always sets the table with charger plates, cloth napkins and a sprig of something earthy.  I have seen chargers on-line that are outrageously expensive and this thrifty girl knew there was an inexpensive way to get the look I was wanting.  These chargers from are $15 each!

I saw a Pinterest idea of  collecting silver-plated round trays and painting them to use as chargers so I started hunting for just them.  Unfortunately, I have only been able to find about three over the past several months hunting thrift stores and garage sales.

This morning while browsing around our local Goodwill store I came across these red plastic chargers.  There were six of them which is exactly what I needed.  They were only .99 each so I grabbed them knowing I had a project ahead to make them fit into any season, not just Christmas or Valentines Day.   I like to keep my dining room table “set” (staged) and I really needed some chargers to complete the look.  I liked the scalloped edges even though I really want something a little more ornate down the road.  I figured these would work at least as temporary chargers with a little work.  Ok, they don’t look very “farmhouse” or French country… YET!

After washing them, I put my drop cloth over my counter and stove and got some chalk paint out that I had used in a previous project.

The paint I used was sort of Paris gray/taupe color.  I just used a small paintbrush and started painting each one with a thin coat to cover the chargers.

This is how they looked while drying after one coat of chalk paint.

After a second coat was dry, here was the result.

I really wasn’t sure what I was going to do next but just decided to rub some lighter paint on the edges with my finger (see photo below).  Project FAIL!  I didn’t like the look.  It looked like a little kid had painted on the edges and it looked messy.  I had to repaint that one and come up with a new plan.

I always think that a dry-brushed paint job comes out the best.  It looks rustic, old and farmhouse chic.  Perfect!  I dry-brushed each charger and let them dry.  (Dry-brushing is when you dip the tip of the paint brush in the paint and then wipe off most of it with a damp rag before dragging is across whatever you are working on.  After that step, I put on two coats of Polycrylic to seal the paint because chalk paint always needs to be sealed to prevent the paint from chipping.

The whole project only cost me the $6 (for the chargers) because I already had the other supplies in my stash.


This was an easy project that only took a couple hours (because of drying time) to finish.

I’m loving the new addition to the table.  I guess I should put some flatware on it now but I feel like it is a Practically Palm Beach success story now.


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Creating Distressed Shabby Chic Treasures

Any piece of wood furniture can be painted and distressed into a gorgeous shabby chic treasure.  The more detail it has the better it will turn out.  I recently saw this solid wood table at our local Goodwill store for $39 plus tax.  I contemplated walking away as I knew I would have to take a paintbrush to it and turn it white.  The other thing was that I don’t have a place to put it in my house.  Painting something with all the other projects I have to do just didn’t seem like a good idea but I just couldn’t walk away without it.  It was just a treasure for $39.

So here it is getting a coat of Kilz primer.  I had to do most of this piece with a brush since it had so much detail.  I used a sponge roller on the top only.  

After the primer was dry, I ended up doing about 4 coats of white latex paint!  This dark brown wood is very hard to cover, but I was persistent and here it is all white.  The detailing on this piece is so beautiful and I love how the white freshens it up!

The next step is distressing.  Simply take a 100 grit piece of sandpaper and lightly sand until some of the paint starts coming off the embossed areas.  You can sand any area that sticks out and would show wear if it was actually an old piece.  This technique works perfect on a dark wood piece because the dark wood peeks through just like it is supposed to.




Last, I put on a coat of Polyacrylic with a brush to seal and protect the paint job.  What do you think?

This cute piece will go over to my my daughter-in-law and son’s place and will be perfect next to their front door.

Here is it pictured a house by the front door at their house.  SO CUTE!  It’s Practically Palm Beach!

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