Friday, November 12, 2010

A New Look for An Old Table

I painted some small furniture pieces for a local craft sale
and thought I'd share the process of some of the things as I finish them in the coming days.

(I've picked up used things at yard-sales, auctions, and second-hand stores to repaint for myself and to sell.
I've also found some great pieces beside the road that were being thrown out.
Better being re-used than filling the landfills of America,

 I started by sanding all the wooden pieces to remove the shiny polyerthane finish.
I use a palm sander and wear a mask so I don't breathe in the old polyerthane dust.

I then painted two coats of this green that I mixed together from a few colors I had.
I noticed this color seemed to be in a lot of the catalogs this season.

I keep a few files of different pictures I like.
Actually, it's a hanging file
in my basement where my "craft" room is.
(which I am working at fixing up this winter and plan to show the before and after pictures on here
when I get it all done)
 This file is just the underside of the stairway
where I've tacked pictures I like in different categories so I can find them when I need them.

This one stood out to me for this table.
It is a page from the December, 1994, Country Living magazine.

I liked the old papered box.
I decided to put this design on the table.

I started with a small flower...

and then added a bigger design.

It almost looks like a snowflake,
but perhaps also a wild flower.

I added these designs with a few variations all over the top of the table
(I do this while watching a movie or video, so it's more enjoyable).

I noticed that there were some animal teeth marks on the lower edge of the table.
I hoped that the paint would fill them in, since they were very minor,
but decided they showed up too much; so I smeared wood-filler over the marred wood
and let it dry.

Then I sanded it til it was perfectly flat
and painted it green again.
Two coats were painted to make sure it was completely covered.

I decided not to paint any details on the lower part of the table.
I thought it might look too busy.
I could have left it at this point and applied a coat or two of polyerthane to seal the paint-work,
but I decided to lightly stain this one.

I waited for about 2 days before I stained the whole thing.
I have found that if I don't wait at least a day so that the paint dries thoroughly,
when I stain,
the details can be wiped off.

That is so heart-breaking after spending all the time to paint something!

There are many varieties of stains,
but I just use brown paint that I like,
water it down,
paint it on,
and wipe it off.
This picture is the brown paint.  I then ad about a 1/2 cup of water to this.

When using paint, you need to work in sections:
one leg, wipe it down;
table top, wipe it down.

Paint dries very quickly, even when watered-down.
Stain is actually much easier to use and I do recommend it when you're first learning to stain;
watered down paint is just more tricky.

Also, once you stain an area, you cannot go back over it, or the new coat will just wipe it off and make it look funny.  If the stain is not dark enough, wait until the first coat is thoroughly dry before you do another coat.
This is essential also, because if you keep wiping and adding new coats without letting it dry,
the painted details may still be rubbed off.

I use watered down paint b/c I stain a lot of things all at once and I'm usually in the house doing the staining when everyone is sleeping.  The smell of regular stain is just too strong to do in the house.

After the stain is thoroughly dried (a few hours, at least),
I then polyerthaned the table.  I prefer using the satin or semi-gloss finish.

Applying two coats of polyerthane is a better choice;
it will protect the paintwork more than just one coat.
Wait a few hours to make sure the first coat is totally dry.
Waiting a day is even better.
(Before adding a second coat,
use a fine grit sand-paper to lightly rub the first coat.
This makes the second coat adhere better.)

 A new look for an old table.

This is the piece sitting on the table in the first photo.
I hope you enjoyed and are ready to go re-do something in your home that you'd like to try painting on for a fun change.


  1. There is lots here that could use a makeover ... but not likely to happen with the likes of me. I spray painted a consigned crib once, though. I got it for a super great price before I had my first baby ... AND we still have and use it today. If only I had the time and skill like you - you do lovely work!

  2. I saw your table at Grandma's. You did a great job! I didn't like it that they piled things on your Table so you wouldn't think it was for sale right away. You will do great at the craft sale--you always do.

  3. These are wonderful. The paint is fabulous. Thanks for stopping by "In His Grip" :o)

  4. Hi: So glad that you have decided to follow our blog. We are always pleased that anyone looks at it, and hopefully are touched by God's working in our lives. Was wondering how you came to find us..if you know someone we do? I looked at a few of your older posts and was really touched by your "sad tree" post. Things have been a little upside down around here lately, and it was a great reminder. Blessing. Bruce and Linda

  5. Love the hand painting detail! And I agree doing the bottom would have made it too busy. Nicely done!


I love your comments!