Thursday, August 9, 2012


My mother would be the first to tell you that those words were my first words ever spoken.

I knew this table was a keeper the day that I spotted it in a yard sale. I initially went right to it because of the beautiful candlestick legs. The top of the table was veneer and was ruined from dampness and warped. It had a "not for sale" sign on it and the owner was using it to display her yard sale items.  One thing I have learned over the years is that, "It always pays to ask."

When I did, her reply to me was; "you don't want this old table, the top is ruined and the side part that folds up  is broken off the hinges and the hinges are gone. (you can see the where the hinges were on the left hand side) are missing.  She explained it was an antique table and when she moved, it fell out of the moving truck and was damaged. The right side top is folded down to make a longer table and the left side piece is still in tack but the hinges are no longer made for it so I can still fold it up and just lay that piece on top without being hinged.  My next question was, "will you sell it anyway".  She still could not believe that I wanted it. I got a fantastic deal and she was happy to see it go.

I have loved this table for years and have used it with the tops folded up (the left side just sitting on top, but never sure what to do with the ruined inside table top when you open it.

UNTIL:   I saw this table!

This table is a kit you can buy.  A very expensive kit. The table frame is metal and you can choose any selection of recycled wood boards that you want to fit into the frame of the table. I loved the idea of it.
Some projects stir me more than others, so this one went to the top of my list and I began brainstorming on how to add boards to the top of my table. If I added boards, then I could
no longer fold open or fold closed the table ends which I wanted to keep because it gave me options for a different size.

One evening I was making cards using WASHI tape at that table and a light bulb came on.
This is what I did to transform this table that was headed for the dump.

I stripped off all the warped veneer and sanded the top smooth. I left places of stain and nicks and chips to keep the character of the table. The plan was not to make it perfect. Then I taped off sections of the table that
would represent individual boards.

I selected my colors from acrylic paints that you can buy at any craft store. I thinned the paint with water to make a wash distressed look. Some places I made thicker and then wiped with a damp soft cloth. No worries with straight lines since you just paint right to the WASHI TAPE.

You can't make a mistake. I experimented with distressing the look by adding some black streaks and wiping it in with a damp soft cloth (see red board).  I used the same technique to thin areas on different places for more distressing (like the blue board). If you don't like it, you can wipe it off before it dries and re-do it. My table already had distress marks due to age, but feel free and experiment making your own. Take a chain and hammer marks into the wood. Use large nails for worm holes etc.

 After the sections are dry, just remove the tape and then re-tape on the lines inside the colored boards to fill in the areas where the tape was originally placed. The tape is easy to remove and does not remove the paint.

This is quick and easy, can be done inside, no smell, and you can do one board at a time.

After my boards were all painted I added some stenciling that had some personal meaning to me and realized that something still was needed. I needed to place a dark line between the colors so that they would actually look like individual boards. You can see the difference on the right side as compared to the left end.

This was also easy peasy.  I just took a post board, layed it down on the line of each color and took my black medium sharpie pen and drew a line between each board. You can make it as thin or thick as you like. You can even decide to make your boards thinner or alternate the thickness.

This is the completed table. I totally love it and now I love to leave it open and not folded up. It took me about two hours to complete it.

So next time you see a table that is damaged or ruined, take another look and think outside the box. This can be done to any wood table that has a ruined top or you can just add painted/distressed boards to the top of it.

My next project I will share when it is finished is the top of a buffet or china cabinet that was headed to GOOD WILL by a family member. I snagged that one quickly when I saw the potential it had. I already took off the doors to it and hinges and took out the drawers and drawer rungs. What's left is cubby holes. I am going to paint it and put rolling wheels on the bottom for a perfect pottery barn look book shelf unit for a price to LOVE.  When it is completed, I will be happy to share.

Get the attitude that you can do it yourself, because you know what? 


  1. Wow! love your makeover. What a great idea! My house is full of those type (needed) projects...but I love them just as they are.

  2. Kim this table is amazing and I love it!!!! What a great idea. I never would have thought of doing this. Another use for washi tape lol! Putting the black lines between the "boards" was sets each board off and makes them look real. A little trompe l'oeil! (did I spell that right?) Love the stenciling on the red board.

  3. table looks wonderful can wait to see the cubby hole thingie.EE

  4. this is so brilliant kim. Hey, you're an Amazon woman too!! Mom and I are do it yourself-ers. If something needs fixing, changing out or redoing we do it. Our landlord commented once, "sheesh, you guys are Amazon women" and it stuck! Welcome to the clan, meetings every other thursday! Hehehe.
    Hugs my friend,

  5. Oooohh...I love it! Very cleverly done, Kim. Makes me want to go find something to paint. The distressed colors are great!

  6. that is absolutely AMAZING Kim!!! woah!! i love it! hahaha ... i wonder what the lady would say if she saw the table now ;)
    Hope you are doing well my dear, ... take good care of yourself :)

  7. www.wishywashi.comAugust 11, 2012 at 2:30 PM

    Oh my...I am very impressed with what you did! That is a spectacular way to recycle!

  8. Oh Kim, you never cease to amaze me with your creative talents and inspiration! i too have a slightly defective antique table with those wonderful carved legs. Love love love your table, & truth be told, i like it better than the "expensive kit table"! So glad you are feeling better dear friend! XOXO


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