Shabby Chic Cottage Table Makeover

Lately I have found myself obsessed with flipping out of date furniture. The project I’m going to show you today started as an end table someone gave us a while ago. The top was heavily discolored but it made a good enough plant table for a while. When we moved into our townhouse it worked better as an entry way table to catch mail and such things, but the top was UGLY. Cue makeover!

What you need:

  • Medium grit sandpaper
  • Fine grit sand paper
  • Foam brushes
  • Wood glue
  • Vinegar and steel wool
  • Cedar boards (3/4×3) or anything you have handy
  • Saw to cut above mentioned boards
  • Polyurethane-Semi Gloss
  • Polycrylic-Satin
  • White paint

I started out by sanding the sucker down and slapping on two coats of white paint. I didn’t put a coat of primer underneath; I wanted some of the color from the stain underneath to bleed into the paint and cut down on that bright whiteness of the paint. Probably a good idea to use primer, we shall see how it holds up!

I was a little excited while doing this so I didn’t get any picture of the sanded table or what it looked like painted before the wood went on.

Here is the table after I cut the 3/4×3 cedar boards to fit onto the table and laid the boards in place.
I then took wood glue and simply put a line of glue on the bottom and then placed the boards on the table. I used clamps where I could for good measure. I also put dish clothes under the clamps to make sure there weren’t any marks left behind.
After all the boards were glued on, I took my sander with medium coarse 100 grit to the edges to smooth them out, then used a fine 220 grit for a final smooth finish.

Then I got my vinegar and steel wool stain ready, again. I seriously love using this stuff as a stain, easy to use and cheap, plus it gives a really neat weathered look. This is the only kind of stain I use, you can see more of how it looks here, when I used it on some crates to make a rustic looking bookshelf.

Sorry for the iffy quality of these picture, but here is the vinegar/steel wool solutions being brushed on and reacting immediately.
Here is a look at the wood before staining and 5 minutes after the solution was applied.
Here it is after it dried.
The picture below is after one coat, the color did seem to deepen with each addition coat, so you may want to keep that in mind. I also applied a single coat of polycrylic to the painted portion for some protection.
I  applied 3 coats  total of Minwax polyurethane semi gloss using a foam brush.
I was then left with a nice cottage looking table, that looks pretty spiffy if I do say so myself.

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