Drafting Table Makeover

I have just the consolation project to share with you. This was one I happened to have just finished up right before Thanksgiving as a gift for my brother, and it tops out my 5 all-time faves.

It’s no secret to anyone who knows me that I love to check into Craigslist & Freecycle daily. If, for whatever reason, I happen to miss a day I feel like I’ve probably lost out on some super-amazing deal that I could have whipped into a masterpiece. Sad, but totally true story.

On this day I didn’t have to worry about that though, because I found exactly what I was looking for.
Almost a month after replying to an add on Freecycle about a drafting table up for grabs, I got a return e-mail.
I had all but forgotten about it and was so stoked to hear back from the guy offering it.

I personally didn’t need a drafting table, but my brother did. He is the real artist in the family, in the truest sense of the word. His sketches are absolutely mind-blowing in their detail. He had just purchased a new home and finally had the room for a real place to draw so I was on the hunt for a table for him. Fast forward a month and I was on my way to pick it up.

When I got home & unloaded it from the car here is what I had to work with. This is a very well built, solid table! It was heavy & awkward to get in & out of the car, thank goodness the man offering it was able to help deconstruct it & get it into the car for me.

This table had obviously been loved a great deal. I spent the better part of a weekend removing tape, scraping globs of paint, scrubbing, and removing more paint & glue. When all was said & done I had managed to get it extremely clean. The white for-mica type material on the front was pretty porous and the paint had stained it. Directly behind the white surface was solid wood & at one point I considered trying to remove & replace it. I realized that would entail a lot more work & skill than I had time for so I decided to paint it.

I gave everything a light sanding, cleaned it again and primed it with my Krylon spray primer. I used a white primer when I would have rather used grey, but we don’t carry that here in our little town so I used what I had on hand. After the primer dried I gave it a light sanding, wiped it down & hit it with 3 coats of Krylon’s satin black. It looks a little streaky in the photo below, but it was still drying.

First coat of black paint just starting to dry.

I knew I wanted to do something special for my brother and after some brain storming, I decided on a simple monogram. He’s a pretty simple guy’s-guy so I needed to tame my taste for fun design elements on this one. Once I picked out the font I like, I printed it out and transferred it to the table using my pencil method like I did on my pallet sign.

The only alteration I made was in using chalk as my medium rather than pencil since I was transferring to a dark surface.

The chalk works perfectly & all the dust wipes clean away

I wanted to do something besides white for the monogram. I needed to make sure this table didn’t end up in a back room of his new home so I had to keep it mellow but I also wanted something a little eye-catching. I decided on going chrome. I used Folk Art’s Metallic Silver and loved it! I needed to give it about four coats to get the coverage I wanted, but in the end all the time spent applying layers of paint was so worth it.

Yes, I sit on the floor to paint; doesn’t everyone? Seriously, the top of this desk weighed in at like 50 pounds!


Four coats of meticulous painting later…….

I also painted the base of the table black to make the entire piece more cohesive. There was a metal trim piece on the perimeter of the table top that I had taped over because I originally thought I was going to leave it like that. It was already silver-ish but once I had the silver paint on the monogram, it just looked dull. I had some liquid silver leaf, which I might have a slight crush on, so I used that to paint over all the trim. Once it was all painted I let it dry for two days just to be sure it was ready for finishing.

All finished!

Looking at this I think I could have made the center initial bigger

Not the best pics, but I love the finished table

I was super excited to try out the triple thick crystal clear glaze from Krylon I had purchased so I gave it a good coat and was expecting to be amazed. It truly hurts my heart to say this, but it was horrible. It went on just fine, but left horrible streaks (even after 2 coats) and completely yellowed the beautiful silver monogram I had worked so stinkin’ hard on. After I cleaned up my vocabulary & calmed down I knew there was no other choice but to try & sand it down a bit. I was taking a gamble I wouldn’t sand through my lettering, but really what choice did I have?

In the end it was fine. I sanded it back down with 220 grit sandpaper then finished it off with 0000 steel wool. I gave it 3 coats of poly, sanding between each coat. I will apologize in advance for the photos, but all I had access to was my phone.

I really need to get a camera that works all the time & not just when it feels like it. Bare with me, it’s coming. I was extremely happy with how this turned out and my brother loved it.

Continue Reading

Leave a Reply