Coffee table tutorial (A Looong one)

This is my tutorial for the coffee table
It ended up taking a lot longer than planned.
I ended up re-painting it three times.
So, don't get discouraged if you don't like the first transformation of your piece.
I lived with each one for a day or so, then made my changes.  It's only paint!

I found this coffee table a few weeks ago at Goodwill.

Looked like someone used it for knife throwing practice!

Sanded quite a bit, then wiped with a tack cloth.  Applied a good coat of primer by brush and roller.
I wanted to do color blocking - so I taped off the top &
  painted the legs and top a green/blue color, that I mixed from "oopps" paints I had.
The white is just the primer, but it was my plan to keep it white in those spots

I think it would have been really "cute" as blocked colored, BUT, it was a little too cute for what I was looking for.  Plus, it seemed too busy as one of my main pieces.  I want my accessories to be what brings in color and diversity.  I want my basic pieces to be the foundation and more neutral, to a point!
I love color!

Anyhoo, I lightly sanded and re-primered back over the top, and painted the rest of the base all green.
First coat of green over primer
The left side has been filled in and the bottom had not yet - see the diff?
I ended up with three coats - letting each coat dry in between

Lesson learned: 
 I was having a heck of a time with the groove that ran along the top of the table. It was too deep and only getting globs of paint in it, and looked tacky.  I tried getting paint down in there with a tiny brush, spraying, and even gouging it out with a wood file - nothing worked to my liking.  Then it dawned on me to fill it in! Duh me!!  So, I grabbed my spackel and spread it into the groove, wiped excess off with a wet rag, and viola!  It worked!!

Time for adding character:
I debated between using a vintage French postage image, floral shop signage, and finally chose this image from The Graphics Fairy, of a part of a vintage invoice. 

I found the prefect image from The Graphics Fairy
I did some research and honestly, tried the chalk, pencil, wax paper, freezer paper, and newsprint methods to transfer the image onto the wood.  I ended up happy with the chalk and pencil rubbing methods.

Printed the image in poster mode, on multiple sheets.  Marked my centers and straight lines in chalk on the table top.Rubbed a colored chalk across the back of the lettering, giving it a pretty heavy coat.  Taped the papers in position on the table top

I switched from chalk to pencil rubbing for the rest of the image (it was darker and didn't smear into my paint).

Once I covered the back of the image with either chalk or pencil rubbings, I taped it in place and traced all the letters and designs with a ball point pen.

This was easy, but very time consuming.  Thank Heaven for NetFlix to have on while I did this.

I used a black paint pen I got from Walmart for $2.50.  and colored in the design.  Making sure to stay on the inside of the tracing, and watching my hand to not smear!

The markers are awesome!!
They come in lots of colors and metallics, so you could add shading, outlines, or multicolor, depending on your mood! 

Finishing up:
This was the 2nd paint job, antiqued and freezer paper transfer method.

After two other attempts,  I decided not to antiqued nor distressed the table, for now.  I had done this prior and it just wasn't what I was looking for.  Hence, why the table has three solid coats of paint!  (And I don't think I'm a perfectionist! Ha)

For the corners, I sprayed a stencil I had bought at HomeDepot of a scroll corner, with a light coat of spray adhesive and used black acrylic paint to stencil in.  I didn't measure or line up - just eyeballed it.

After letting everything dry for 24 hours, I applied a coat of Minwax Light finishing wax,and replaced the old wooden knob with a porcelain knob I had.

Love it!!

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  1. Can't wait to see the finished product! Looks 100x better Already

  2. Thank you!! I finally finished! What an experience - a good one!


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