Refurbished side table with weathered paint and leather

I picked this table up at a garage sale last summer & since I’ve been on a table kick
lately, decided to get it out & get to work.

See how nicely that top’s trimmed out?
That was one of the main reasons I purchased it.
It just begged for an inlay of unique proportions.
I love her pretty detailing& she is solid!!!
Despite her dainty looks, she’s a beast!

Rather than sand this time since I was working in my dining room I decided to try a product I’ve heard a lot about.
I used the Klean-Strip brand liquid sander & followed the directions to a T.

It doesn’t remove the finish, but rather softens the old finish giving the paint something to adhere to.
I went ahead & painted after I used this & let everything dry overnight.
I did not paint the inlay on top since I had better plans for it, but I did go ahead & use the liquid sander to prep the surface anyway.

A lot of you are probably familiar with the awesome treatments done with brown flooring paper.
I absolutely <3 the look it gives & wanted the top of this piece to look like it had leather inlaid on it so I started ripping & crumbling.

Instead of using Mod Podge for this I chose to use wallpaper paste only because I thought it might be more durable.
I really wanted to make sure the top of this would hold up to anything.

Once I got the top completely covered I let it dry overnight.
You’ll notice I didn’t use straight pieces for the sides & instead let it overlap onto the edge.
I did this mostly because I knew I was going to distress the finished piece & I thought it would be easier to exacto it once dry rather than cut a bunch of edge pieces. Lazy? Maybe.
Good use of time management skills? I’d like to think so 😉

The next day when it was all dry I covered the paper in dark walnut stain.
I just used a rag & did a wipe on-wipe off method.
And of course forgot to get a picture of it with the stain applied.

I wanted to do some light distressing so I went at the table with sandpaper.

I wasn’t too far into the sanding when I realized much more was coming off than should have been. Like a lot in some areas!
It almost had more of a milk paint effect way it was chipping off.

This really doesn’t even show the worst of it.
I should have taken a picture of the sides.
I don’t think the liquid sander worked like I hoped it would.
I followed the directions precisely so I’m not sure what I could have done differently, but if anyone has any advice I would love to hear it.

I wiped away tears of frustration & decided I had worked too hard on it to just scrap it so I started sanding it all down to start over.
After sanding for over an hour I took a break & got some things done, but when I walked back in & saw it sitting there…………

I liked the look!
It looked weathered & slightly beaten up.
Like something you would find in an old farmhouse.
And yes, I should have taped paper over the top before sanding, but there was a good coat of past over the paper finish so I knew the dust would easily wipe up. This was an ‘experiment’ piece so I took some liberties 🙂

Since I was going for a ‘leather’ look for the top I got out my steel upholstery tacks & measured off the inlay to figure out how many
I needed & how far apart I wanted them.
Remember when I told you she was heavy & solid??
Well hammering those tacks in was almost impossible so I made pilot holes.

You’ll notice the mini post-it pad there was used to keep the distance between tacks equal.
It was better than re-measuring between each tack.
I also made little ‘notches’ on the pad to show how far out from the edge to drill the hole. Normally it’s not a big deal, but these specific tacks have a very long stem on them so it’s hard to tell where the head will end up once pounded all the way down. This worked perfectly!

I gave the top several coats of polycrylic, sanding lightly between coats.
The paper tends to leave a slightly bumpy surface & I wanted a super smooth finish so it took several rounds of layering clear coat & sanding to get that nice even surface I was looking for.

I waxed the entire table with Cece Caldwell clear wax & gave the hardware a coat of Pittsburgh Grey with a dry brushing of white then distressed & waxed them as well.

I tried to get a couple of good pictures of the top but it was harder than I thought without getting a glare in the picture.

The above picture really shows the texture under the clear coat.
I love that you can see it, but can’t feel it.
I think the grand total was 5 coats to get the smooth finish I wanted.

I apologize for the quality of the next photo, but it’s the only one I snapped of the inside of the drawer.
I stained it dark walnut to match the top of the table.

I absolutely love the finished look!
I’m glad I stepped away from it for a while so I could come back & see it in a ‘new light.’

I normally don’t gravitate towards pieces this heavily distressed, but I think it just works on this table.

Actually, I’ve finished seven pieces in the last month that all have a very similar look so I must have just be in a weathered kind of mood 🙂

Just one more because, well……..I like looking at her.
Plus in this one you can really see the shine from the top.

I hope you are all enjoying some good weather today.
I’m headed outside to finish stripping the top of a table in this beautiful 58 degree sunshiny weather!

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