Sunday, May 15, 2011

Table Makeover Tutorial and Reveal!

Whew! This was a big project for me, but it was a lot of fun getting back to working with wood furniture.

This table was at the curb, unloved and ready for the landfill. It was weathered and chippy, but I thought it could be saved.

Here's a quick photo timeline of this project to bring you up to date or you can read about it in more detail here:

Yuk - it needed a good cleaning from being out in the weather
Check out this chip-tastic leg!

Taken apart to clean and sand

Sanded, cleaned with bleach, glued and clamped
At this point, the tabletop was put back together and was ready for its top treatment. I'm in love with the signs that are everywhere on the web, and thought one would be cute as a tabletop. I broke out the freezer paper as this was going to be a big stencil. 

Tools needed were rulers, exacto knives, a tape measure, pencil and tape. I don't know why I had the needle nose pliers out *shrugs*.

The freezer paper was taped onto the tabletop. The letters were drawn free-hand to get an idea of the scale.

If you don't like to sketch, and have access to a vinyl-cutting machine, this would be much easier. Letters in the desired font could be printed out on regular paper and then transferred using the pencilled-and-traced method. I liked the look of the letters, and went with the sketch as they were.

I was making this table to use in the basement, mostly as a place to play games or set out food if we're having a party. I wanted it to be personal to my husband - he's Frank, he's a cyclist, and he works on his bikes. I wanted it to look like an old sign that was re-used as a table top as there was no way to disguise the weathered look of this wood!

I cut the big letters out with the exacto knife, but scissors would work just as well. The free-hand bike didn't look old enough, so I got one from clip art that worked better.

Now that the stencil was sketched and cut out, I put it aside and it was time to paint the top. I hemmed and hawed a little a lot about the color, but red is the color in the bar area, and it seemed like red would be a color that an old sign would have been. Besides, it's only paint. If it didn't work, I can paint it again, right?

I didn't want a completely covered top and dry-brushed haphazardly (my favorite painting method). The red was a little bright and a little shiny and needed a good sanding.

This is after some sanding

The stencil got put back on and taped down. Now, the wood was pretty warped, and the stencil ended up being more of a guide than an actual stencil. I did find that by painting from the stencil onto the wood, instead of from the wood towards the edge of the stencil, it bled less underneath. I just held it down as the paint was going on.

As you can see, I was too lazy to cut out the 'Sales/Service' bit. With the stencil not being able to be stuck down, what was the point? I would just free-hand it (like the 'p' in 'shop').

Here you can see the difference after sanding the lettering down. I sanded this A LOT to get the look of a sign that had been out in the elements for a long time. It was all done with hand sanding so I could stop, take a look, go back over it, etc. More control = happy Jill (in 99% of my life experiences). Plus my arms were getting a great workout!

Started working on the table right out of the shower - no make up, in curlers. Just keeping it real :)

After painting and stenciling and still looked a little off somehow. I decided to use a mix of glaze and jacobean stain to take down the bright factor.

Glaze, stain, rags, paint pen, sandpaper and protection for my hand

Here, only one leaf was done. I brushed it on and quickly wiped it off with an old t-shirt. The wood soaked up the stain, and I like!

More glaze/staining, wiping off and giving the top some depth.

I still wanted to futz with it, so I took my silver paint pen and outlined the 'Sales/Service' and old time phone number. Which made it too shiny. Which means even more sanding.

My arms informed me they would mutiny if I outlined/sanded the larger letters, so this is where I stopped. Sometimes, I need to step away and let it sink in before making any more decisions. Turns out my arms were right and I love it!

 The legs got a coating of poly to keep them from chipping any more and to seal the bare wood.

This corner has been a dumping ground for awhile...

...and I won't lie and say all this stuff has found a permanent home, but it's a work in progress. 

Here's the table in that corner

I need chairs, stuff on the walls, etc. This is just the start :) Working on the chairs - a friend went pickin' and found a few for me to work on. Thanks Anne Marie!!

Sharing this project here:


  1. Looks great!! I had no idea which direction you would go with that little table! Too cute...

  2. That is awesome! I don't know which post I love more, the table or the girl in curlers! You did a great job. So creative. I have got to find a junky table and make it into something wonderful. I'm on the lookout.

  3. No Way!!! I love it! And you look fabulicious in those curlers girlie.
    I'm a happy new follower to your awesome blog. Pop over for a visit and be sure to enter my giveaway!

  4. Nice job! I really like how you made it personal. Stools would look cute with it too. Love the curlers too!

  5. You are a persistent young woman for sure. I love this little project. I have a great serving table I have been waiting for the right idea to gel. I just found this site and I am so glad I did. Great inspiration.

  6. Very nice!! You put a lot of work into that table! I love the paint can stacked up in your basement!

  7. Followed you sequence/directions on remaking your table with great interest. Shared the link with my husband because you took the entire table apart and rebuilt it. Love the finished product and found the process very helpful.

    - Joy

  8. The table looks soooo cool!!! Great tutorial too. Love the curlers pic! :)

  9. WOW...your table came out great! I love it.

  10. Hi Jill! I found you through Cassie's blog. I have a table like yours that is just plain antique white right now, I might have to try this idea - thanks for the inspiration :) Stop by if you get a chance!

  11. Great table! It definitely reminds me of Funky Junk's! Can't wait to see the chairs you do to go with it!

  12. love the table. great job. love vintage looking signs! great idea to do on tabletop

  13. Jill,
    Thanks so much for coming by my NTT party and sharing this "cool" looking FREE table with all of us.


  14. Thanks for sharing :) You look marvey in your curlers sometimes you have to keep it real.The table looks great keep those projects coming!

  15. I love it! And if I looked that great in curlers, I'd wear them all the time!

  16. Whew! You really put your heart into this. Very unique. I love it.

  17. Hi, friend! I'm admiring all your creative posts here so can you please share them with us at the Creative Bloggers' Party & Hop? Hope to see you there at the party :)

  18. Hi, friend! I'm admiring all your creative posts here so can you please share them with us at the Creative Bloggers' Party & Hop? Hope to see you there at the party :)

  19. very cute! And I love how you made your stencil! ...I'm gonna have to steal that idea one of these days! ;)

    Thanks for coming by my blog and commenting! The desk is a biggie, but I'm looking forward to it!
    Leanne @ because (I think) I can


Thanks for taking the time to leave your thoughts! I appreciate each and every one of you!

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