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Before & After:  End Table Makeover

Before & After: End Table Makeover

As some of you may know, I recently opened a small shop called RE:Treats, featuring new, vintage and repurposed furniture, home decor and gifts.  The opportunity came up rather suddenly, but I took a chance and ran with it!  So, for the past month, I have been finding, buying and refinishing furniture and home accessories.  I’ll be sharing my creations with you here, along with the technique I used to get the look. First up:  a basic table refinishing project.

I got this end table from a second-hand store, and I like the turned legs and general shape of the piece.  The stain color was pretty boring, and it had some scratches in the top.  The table has some nice details – raised panel drawer, turned legs, etc.  So, I thought a black painted finish with a bit of distressing would be just the ticket to highlight those details.

End table before

I had already removed the drawer hardware before I took the photo.  You will also notice that I’m repainting this piece of furniture in my kitchen.  An unheated garage + January in Wisconsin = refinishing furniture in the kitchen.  I’m thankful for a patient husband.  🙂

End table before detail

My first step in this project was to remove the drawer, remove the hardware and lightly sand the entire piece with fine-grit sandpaper.  The purpose was simply to rough up the surface a bit, to give the paint something to adhere to.  I chose not to use a primer on this piece, as I normally would, because I wanted the original stain color to come through in the distressing.  After sanding, I washed the surface with a damp rag.

Next, I applied a very thin coat of petroleum jelly to the edges of the drawer and other areas I wanted to highlight.  The jelly keeps the paint from sticking to the surface in those areas, making the distressing a bit easier.  It worked!  But, I think it gave me a little less control over my distressing, so I don’t think I’ll use the technique again.

end table after

I then painted the entire piece in black semi-gloss latex paint; I used three coats, letting it dry between them.  I let it dry overnight, then used fine sandpaper to bring out the highlights with just a little bit of distressing; if you like more, you can certainly add more – I went with just a touch of it on this piece.  Enough to highlight the details, but not so much as to make it look old and shabby.

End table detail

I also washed the surface with a bit of mild/soap and hot water to get rid of any residue of the petroleum jelly.  When it was dry, I reattached the hardware and voila!  A cute piece for someone’s home…

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