Distressing - Vaseline(petroleum jelly or candle wax) to distress - Gives a very shabby/chipped paint look.How to heavy distress using vaseline or wax
 For now I'm linking you back to this original post, but I am going to take more photos and give more details as I discover tips from my own trial and errors.
The wax method I tried on this end table, only really made pretty solid small areas to be distressed.  For this table, I needed the chipped paint look.

Glazing basics - make your own cheap glaze, using it, tips and techniques.
I am a cheapskate, but finally broke down and bought a gallon of glaze from Home Depot, that will last me years probably!  BUT, I started using the Paint Easy, which I still think works just as well, other than no shine to it - yet, I didn't notice a shine to my glaze either.  hmmm  I think it's just untinted paint?!  Oh well, I'm learning along with you, and sharing my trials and errors here for you.  Glazing -

Transferring -  I tried this table 3 Three, yes, three ways, until I got the look I wanted!  Wasn't hard, just time consuming.  Well worth it in the end.
Transferring/Block painting/filling in cracks

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 for $14.

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 & 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. This turned out fantastic!! Love it!! Visiting from Debbiedoo's!

  2. What a great find for just $14.00. It looks like a million bucks now! Beautiful job! Now following! Hopped over from My Monday Muse. Would love to have you stop by for a visit. Love your style! Blessings ~ Judy

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words! Absolutely, I will hop over to you too!!

  3. This is beautiful--I love the colors your chose and the graphic is lovely! Well done.

  4. This is great--love the colors and the stencil!

  5. Hi Theresa, great tutorial. Loved how you told us what worked for you and what didn't!
    I'm featuring your lovely coffee table tonight at the Highlight Party. Thank you for sharing it at Project Queen Link Party last week.

  6. Wow! Thank you so much!! I'm flattered!! I super enjoy your blog too and will be following all the time!! Hugs!!

  7. I love the greenish color you picked! Gorgeous!

    1. THank you!! I mixed it up myself and just used oppps paint!!

  8. Just stopping by to invite you to My Wednesday Linky party. http://diycraftyprojects.com/2012/10/whatcha-work-up-wednesday-linky-party-6.html

  9. Very nice transformation!

  10. What an awesome makeover. I love the graphics too. Thanks for sharing at my party. I am not seeing my link or button anywhere...perhaps I just missed it.

    1. Thank you!! I will make sure I have your link and/or button on asap!!

  11. I saw you featured over at Debbie's. You did a fantastic job on the coffee table. I just love it. I would love for you to come and link it up at my Fall into Fall party that opens tomorrow night at 8pm EST. Hope to see you there.

    1. THank you!! So glad you came by!! I will check out your parties!!

  12. Love the final look ;) The color is so pretty and calm and the graphics look great. Gotta love the Graphics Fairy!!

    1. THank you!! I love the Graphics Fairy too!! Great stuff!

  13. Your perfectionism paid off...wonderful detail and finish.

  14. Fantastic Table! Thanks for sharing the details.

  15. Great transformation! Got the link to your blog through The Graphics Fairy and love the images that you can get there. Like you I've tried the different transfer methods and have just used a similar one to you (I used transfer paper instead of the chalk) and combined it with stencilling on a small table top. I used a paint brush and that meant that the lines on the letting were a little wobbly! What sort of paint pen did you use? I live in England so I suppose they may not be available over here. Just going to have a look at the rest of your blog and your lovely work!


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  17. Really very interesting and very valuable information about the DIY tutorials nice work.

    DIY tutorials


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