Revamp coffee table with french poems

I dream in script. If I had it my way, I would have beautiful, scrawling script on everything in my home. There’s just something so elegant & graceful about it.

I’ve also been looking for more of a statement piece for my living room, something along the lines of a coffee table. I had been keeping an eye for just the right piece for months when I stumbled across it by accident.
I spotted this little gem last December. Okay, so ‘little’ is completely inappropriate as this beast is solid, chunky & heavy.

Heavy as in, I actually needed the check out guy to carry it to the car for me. Not a big deal you say? Ummmm ya, kind of.
I’m the crazy woman you’ve seen huffing & puffing some enormous piece of something or other to my vehicle refusing numerous offers of assistance.

I have this fear that goes something like this: I’ve just bought some amazingly epic piece of something or other & paid for it. Helpful salesperson or good citizen extends an offer to lug it to my car for me & I accept. On the way to my car, they trip or maybe they drop my beautiful piece from their sweaty hands or maybe, just maybe, they didn’t realize how heavy said item was & collapse halfway to the vehicle. There goes my already-paid-for-was-gonna-be-a-masterpiece-gem. I will say a few bad words, then I will cry, they will feel bad & offer an apology. An apology I won’t hear over my wailing sobs. I will crumple to the ground in an inconsolable heap as they walk away to call the men in the white coats. The men in the white coats will come & find me in said heap next to my broken piece of what was going to be an-awesome-yummy-piece-of-epic-furniture-goodness, mumbling incomprehensible words while I rock back & forth holding the shards of whats left. They’ll whisk me away never to be heard from again.
So you see, this is why I carry my own pieces to my vehicle. This is why it was a big deal to have this carried to my car for me. But the young man looked steady as I eyed him up & down and walked immediately next to him the entire way.
He might have wondered about my inability to understand the ‘personal space bubble’ as we made our way to the car, but he never said a word.
Here is what she looked like when I brought her home.

LOVE the plank-looking top & the cute curved legs.

Lovely little design on all 4 sides

I got a little excited & dug in before I remembered to grab the camera, but I did remember.
This table is solid and beautiful.
I might be a little in love with those beautiful little cuts on each side and the out-turned legs.
The planked top isn’t too hard on the eyes either.
I mixed up some white chalk paint for this table & gave it two coats.

This homemade chalk paint dries so quickly that I was able to apply the second coat in less than 30 minutes.
I sanded it down until it was smooth & gave it a good wipe down.
I had already decided on a french poem I fell in love with called ‘Sensation’ by Arthur Rimbaud.
It’s an absolutely beautiful poem about summer. The translation is below.


Of the blue summer eves, I’ll walk along the paths
Slashed by the wheat blades, trampling upon the fine grass,
Dreaming, I will smell the freshness at my feet
And I will let the wind bathe my uncovered head.
I’ll say nothing at all, nor will I think at all,
Yet this infinite love will rise to fill my soul.
Then I’ll go so far away, like a bohemian
Amidst nature, happy as if with a woman.
I love, love, love french typography on just about anything.
There’s something a little romantic & mysterious about not knowing exactly what that slanted scrawling script is saying.
It allows you to wonder and fill in the blanks to fit your mood.
I did the usual sizing, printing, cutting, & taping to get it ready for transfer.

Once it was all taped, I colored over the entire back with a pencil.

Why aren’t you an observant reader today?!
Yes, that is a different font in the first picture. I got it all printed, cut & taped when I realized I didn’t think that font would look right for what I was going for.
Ummm, yea, I guess I could have figured that out in the beginning, but what would be the fun in that? *Giggle*

I always use painters tape to secure any paper transfer to a painted furniture piece.

You don’t need any excessive pressure when doing this. Especially with lighter colors, the pencil lead will transfer to the wood nicely.

This is a horrible, late at night picture, but you get the idea.
Then I traced until my fingers fell off. Not really, but it felt like they would. I ended up having to spread it over 2 days because I just couldn’t hold a pencil any longer.

Once everything was transferred to the table I filled it in with a black sharpie.
I am here to tell you: it is absolutely okay to use a sharpie marker on your projects.
Here’s when I choose to use them instead of paint & a brush:
~ When the detailing/lettering is intricate & will take more time than I have.
I have used the small artists brushes on delicate designs, it rather relaxes me to sit & do it, but there are times when I just don’t have the time to spare.
~ When I’m going to distress anyway.
Distressing a piece always changes the composition of the top layer of paint, why go to the trouble of perfecting all the details when you’re just going to attack it with sandpaper?
~ When I’ve had too much caffeine.*wink*
Funny, but so true. There are days when I just don’t have the stability to wield a super tiny brush.
Usually all or at least 2 of the above need to be true for me to grab the nearest sharpie, but don’t stress over it. If it works for you then work the marker!!

Now that’s some pretty lettering.
I was going for the distressed look, you’re shocked aren’t you, so I sanded it back a bit.
I just used my handy palm sander and some 100 grit paper to rough it up. I smoothed it back with 150, 220, and finally 300.

Yep, it was still cold outside.

I went a little lighter on the distressing than I do on a lot of other pieces, but I still loved the end result.
Once I got it all distressed, I brought it back in the house, wiped it down & glazed away.

I just wiped it on with a brush & wiped it off almost immediately with a damp rag.
i finished it off with some Johnsons Paste Wax & buffed it to a nice sheen.

Again, I apologize for the poor picture quality. A new camera is a little way off yet & I’ve been too busy to do the pretty staging thing. But would you look at that shine! Love my Johnsons Wax.

Such pretty legs

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I love the shabby feel of this table & it has become quite the conversation piece in our home. I tried at one point to talk myself out of keeping it. It was highly unsuccessful, but that could have been due to the fact that it was a less than half-hearted attempt. I am on the lookout for some cute square baskets for the lower shelf to hold remotes, magazines & all the other crap that accumulates on coffee tables. Yes, I said crap, because that’s what accumulates on tables in my home… with teenage boys…..and a husband….and said teenage boys’ friends… and dogs. Yes, somehow dog toys end up on my coffee table. Don’t ask, I don’t know either.
All right, I’m off to finish up a few pieces so I can share them later this week.
Oh, and I’m embarking on a new upcycle project. I was about to say recycle, but a friend informed me it would be more correct to use the word upcycle. He may be right, it does sound more… trend-forward or something. Either way, I’m pumped & now that I have all my supplies I’m ready to rock it.
If all goes well I should have it ready to share by week’s end.

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