Once upon a time we had this really cute country coffee table – complete with dusty pine surface and the oh-so infamous heart cutouts that were rabidly popular “back in the day”. It was still a useful coffee table, but it just wasn’t stylish anymore. A coffee table makeover was desperately needed. So we “upcycled” it into the much more stylin’ coffee table it is today!
We actually completed the makeover in a couple of stages, well over a year apart!
Stage One – Covering up the hearts and antique glazing
Since many blogger’s DIY instructions for antique glazing call for Ralph Lauren Glaze (which is unavailable in Canada), I mixed up my own glaze. When I originally did this project, I dug out some leftover Behr accent wall paint called Stepping Stones and bought a container of Behr’s Faux Glaze.
- Beadboard paneling
- No More Nails (glue)
- Tack cloth or lint free cloth
- Acrylic paint in a white color (I used Behr Swiss Coffee)
- Acrylic paint in a stone/taupe color (I used Behr Stepping Stones)
- Behr’s Faux Glaze
- measuring cup/spoon
- plastic cup
- paint brush
- baby wipes (optional)
- Cut beadboard paneling to fit all four sides of chest coffee table.
- Glue in place using No More Nails.
- Paint entire piece in a white (remember I used Behr Swiss Coffee).
- Distress any areas you’d like with fine sand paper. Wipe away the sawdust.
- Mix 2 parts water, 1 part paint, and 5 parts glaze in a plastic cup.
- Dip a clean brush (I used a Purdy) into the glaze mixture, wiping excess glaze off onto the sides of the container.
- Lightly brush glaze into grooves and depressions first and then onto flat surfaces. Only work in a small area at a time as the glaze dries very quickly.
- Using a clean lint free rag (I actually used paper towel type rags that are sold in the paint department) wipe away the excess glaze. Wipe until you get a look you like. If necessary add more glaze with the brush and wipe again.
- If you end up with more glaze that you’d like or you’d like to lighten a particular area, wipe with a baby wipe (totally awesome to have on hand even if you don’t have babies). This is my secret weapon. The wipes made the job much easier and stress free because they would wipe away even slightly dried on glaze.
- Repeat the steps above until you achieve the desired look and have completed your piece.
Stage Two – Adding the Union Jack
- coffee table
- paint: base colour, accent colour, white craft paint & black craft paint
- paint brush
- painter’s tape
- measuring tape
- Minwax Dark Finishing Paste Wax
- lint free cloth
- Using your ruler, mark out your Union Jack. The biggest tip I can give you here to place a straight edge from corner to corner and draw a line. Then measure out your diagonal strips from the center of that line.
- Using your painter’s tape, tape off your Union Jack. The painter’s tape covers where the base coat will show through.
- Add several drops of white paint to your accent color and paint the triangles of your Union Jack.
- Now add a couple of drops of black paint and paint the diagonal strips.
- Add a bit more black and paint the vertical and horizontal thick strips.
- While the paint is damp, peel off all of the painter’s tape. Let paint dry. You can help it along with the blow dryer if you like.
- Sand entire coffee table top with fine grit sandpaper. Be sure to sand with the grain for the best results.
- Using a lint free cloth rub dark wax into the wood over entire table top.
Our coffee table used to live in our combined living/family room in our Bungalow.
In our current house the coffee table lives in our main floor living room (which is still a work in progress!) and continues to provide plenty of storage (it currently holds sleeping bags, for which I’m sure I could find a better place!). And it has worn really well – even with three, kids, plenty of hot teacups and a move to a new city.
What do you think? Is it rockin’ its new look? Have you passed up any of these heart cut-out pine chests at garage sales or thrift stores? Would you give them a second look now that you know they can be such rockstars?
P.S. We originally posted about the antique glazing project in November 2010 and the Union Jack top in January 2012 – we’ve combined and re-written the two tutorials here with clearer instructions and better photos!