Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Peek-A-Boo Blue End Tables

Earlier this summer I had picked up a set of end tables at a yard sale for $5! That's TOTAL! The man that sold them to me told me that he built them himself and while the amateur job was obvious I couldn't pass up such a good deal. The tables are very thick cut solid wood and seemed pretty sturdy so despite the rough job I thought a face lift might make these a decent project for a flip.

sorry for the heavy shadows
Being an amateur job, there were A LOT of holes to fill. One of the end tables was nailed together and the other was screwed together. The screws were counter-sunk and so those all needed to be filled and one of them had screws just randomly sticking out the bottom front so after I took those out I had to fill those holes as well. The caps he placed over the screws in the very top of one of the tables were missing so I had to fill those big gaps too. Yay for sandable wood filler!

The original stain was pretty thin so I decided to be lazy and just hand sand the tables down before priming them with spray primer. That's what the guy must have done before staining them too because the wood is pretty rough in some places. Meh, there was no way I was going to make these things perfectly smooth without putting in more work than was worth it so I went with it hoping that the rough spots would just lend some rustic charm to the finished product. People like rustic, right?

I used the same spray paint that I used for my little end table that I did for my living room, a nice dark walnut with a satin finish. I got 2 coats out of the 2 cans plus a little extra from a previously used can for the damned bubbling that happened when I had to leave them in the sun to run off and get my 2 year old who woke up from nap freaking out. I clear coated the drawer fronts and the tops of each unit for extra shine and durability. I also repainted the drawer pulls with a metallic finish spray paint in rubbed bronze.
Primed- already an improvement

I wanted the back side of the front piece of the drawer to also be the dark walnut color so I carefully primed that as well.

I used a paper bowl and screwed the drawer pulls into it so that they would stick out enough to allow painting from all angles for complete coverage. It worked GREAT!
A close up

Of course, the real hero of this story is the pop of color on the interior of the drawers. I really wanted to do something a little fun with these plain jane end tables. I happen to have several shades of blue paint laying around so I painted the insides of the drawers with a nice light blue and put some of the black and white damask pattern contact paper on the bottoms of each drawer. I love the impact it has! With the drawers closed they're all business but open up the drawers for their wild and crazy side. Kind of like the sexy librarian of furniture :)

I painted the entire interior of the drawers blue except for the front piece and the bottom which I covered with the damask contact paper. I used some spray adhesive to give some extra sticking power to the contact paper. One of the drawers was particularly rough so the extra adhesive was necessary to stick the contact paper down.
Looks sharp!
 Here's the finished project!

Lessons Learned:

1). Its important to thoroughly clean the surface between sanding and priming. I wiped it down with a dry cloth but I think I should have cleaned it better. After applying the first coat of paint I found that in some places the paint was crackling up. My theory is that those areas weren't clean enough and created differences in the way the paint dried resulting in patches of "crackles".

2). Direct sun = bubbles! I already knew this but now I know that shadows move quicker than you'd think.

3). Calling imperfections "rustic" makes you feel better about them :)

These little end tables certainly aren't perfect but they do look a lot nicer with a slick new coat of paint!

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