As I finish up the remaining few projects in my studio I thought I’d share with you one of my favorite makeovers to date. I finished this piece up a couple of months ago but have not been able to part with it yet. Maybe I can make room for her in the house here? If I kept every piece I fell in love with, well I’d live in a furniture store. It’s the sad truth, but anyone who refinishes furniture knows the feeling.
Before & After
This round coffee table was given to me by a friend and sat in our basement until I found the inspiration needed to make her beautiful. I’ve been loving the light airy feeling of blue lately and as I was working on our dining room chandelier one evening, decided to form the two together to make a truly unique table.
Very sad shape, but solid table
She had seen better days and there was a layer of vinyl peeling off her bottom, but she was a solid table & well built. I just peeled the vinyl from the base, gave it a thorough sanding and wiped it all down. I do not have pictures of some of these steps since it was before I started blogging, but it’s basic stuff. I tried to take as many pictures as possible since I had an inkling I was going to start one, but have realized since; when you have a blog take 30 pictures….then take 30 more just in case. No kidding.
There may be a few other projects in the near future I share with you that also may not have every single picture of every single step. Might not be great tutorial material, but if it provides any inspiration at all on your journey to refinishing a piece, sometimes that’s just as good.
I have sprayed quite a few pieces in the last several months but felt this piece needed a little more attitude & personality. I got out several different brush sizes and several different shades of blue paint. I began with painting a base coat of an oops light blue color in satin finish.
Yes, this is my living room. The rain moved in before I had a chance to finish it so I moved her indoors. It’s all right though, I have wood floors and there was plenty of protection down.
Sorry about the flash, it was night…..again, the color was just a bit deeper than it appears here.
I decided to go from the lighter blue that was the base coat and add a layer a shade or two deeper. To do this I just mixed the blue with a very small amount of black paint. If you do this, be careful. Black is a strong color so it won’t take much to deepen your color. If it does accidentally get too dark, you could always add in a little white and some more of the original color. Avoid that if at all possible though and just add a few drops at a time, it’s a lot easier than mixing all night.
When I dry brush a piece, I put just a very little bit of paint on the tips of the brush bristles and then dab it on a paper towel or paper plate. I find myself using paper plates a lot. If there’s not too much time lapsing between colors I have actually been able to rinse them off and re-use them.
Once dabbed, you just take your brush and go over the piece. There really isn’t a specific ‘technique’ to dry brushing other than using an almost dry brush and just going back and forth over the piece. You can apply more in one area, less in another, just hit up the edges, whatever. Just let the creativity flow and get to dry brushing that masterpiece.
It’s hard to pick it up with the camera, or at least my camera, but you can see I have different layers building up on the table now. There’s a nice almost blended feel to it without being completely blended in. I experimented with varying shades of blue and even added some dark grey to give it some depth.
The grey layer was the least blended of all layers
I blended the grey in very little compared to the other colors since I wanted it to give some “chunks” of depth to the table when it was all said and done. I had so much fun with this technique & just let my creativity go & experimented with several shades & tones of blue & grey. I was loving how it was coming along.
These pens come in different sized tip but I use fine most of the time
When I felt like the color & shading was where I wanted it, I gave her a little personality with a chandelier image. I found one on Google I liked and used my transfer technique to apply the image to the tabletop. Once it was applied I went over the graphite outline with my Elmer’s paint pens. I use these all the time. They are great for outlining, especially delicate lettering & intricate design work when a brush may be hard to handle. These are my opinions, as usual, as I just like to pass on information I think may be helpful to others.
Filling in the chandelier
Once it was filled in I went at it with sandpaper. I knew I wanted a pretty heavily distressed finish so I started with 80 grit then went up from there to 100, 150, & finally 220. Even with the finish being distressed so heavily; I like a smooth finish. I mixed up some black craft paint with a little bit of water to glaze the table & give it a more ‘antiqued’ finish. I could have also used a glaze but the craft paint was right there & I was being lazy.
With the glaze, you just brush or wipe it on and then wipe it off with a clean, dry cloth. Different mediums will allow you a different amount of work time. With the water/paint mixture, it dries fairly quick, so I pretty much wiped it on then off immediately
Once I had it to the depth I wanted it I let it sit for a couple of days. I like to give all my pieces a couple of days to cure time before I finish coat them. I can’t tell you for sure it makes a physical difference, but I feel like the topcoats adhere better on a completely dry surface.
On this table, I used Johnson’s paste finishing wax since I wanted a soft sheen but good protection. I love this wax! I’ve used it on numerous pieces with phenomenal results every time.
Here she is all finished
A huge improvement over where she started from. Sometimes you just have to let your mind go & see what happens.