A Quick Fix

While charging ahead with our big living room makeover discussed first here and then here, I pulled out a pair of side tables that have been collecting dust since one had a little mishap involving super glue. As you can see, the finish was a bit wrecked in one spot smack in the middle after scraping off the glue. I bought these tables at Target for about $50 each maybe 5 years ago and they are in great shape otherwise (don’t mind the dust) so I was waiting to think of the right transformation that might camouflage the problem. I didn’t want to bring the large heavy wicker chest we had been using as our coffee table back into the living room after the redo because it was a bit bulky and dark. This pair of tables would work well because they take up a bit less visual space with their open construction. Plus, I liked the idea of bringing a little natural wood grain back into the living room since it was becoming a mostly painted and quite bright space. So it was time to attempt at a creative paint fix on these neglected tables.

We decided to paint a diamond on the tops for a relatively easy project (not yet knowing how well a paint job would work to solve the problem) which would cover over only the center of the tables where our little problem was. After sanding the damaged part a bit and cleaning it well, I measured off the half-way point of each side and used Frog tape (the green tape seen below) to mark a center square across each table. I used regular painters tape to attach some brown masking paper which we had from the flooring process (to protect the floors once they were totally sanded and stripped). Once these babies were expertly masked, which only took about 15 minutes…

Chad took them out to the yard with a plastic drape to spray down the middles with white spray paint (for some reason he has evolved as the official spray painter in the household). He did a few nice even light coats of the white.

After a couple of hours, we started removing all the coverings and carefully peeled back the Frog tape.

And we ended up with two crisp white diamonds on the tabletops. The paint went on smoothly and you would never know which one had the mark– success! I then coated these with a few coats of the water-based polyurethane that we used on the floors, also discussed here, to give the tables extra durability and protection from drinks and things. Over the white paint, even the water-based poly looks ever so slightly yellow, so a spray-on lighter product may have been better for these tables. A spray on sealant, usually intended for crafts, probably wouldn’t have the same durability, but since we always use coasters anyway and aren’t unreasonably hard on our furniture, it probably would have been sufficient, even if it needed to be resprayed every year or so. But the slight yellow tinge we got with the more serious polyurethane is not noticeable enough that I’m unhappy with the end product in the living room, so we’re sticking with it.

As you saw in the earlier living room post, this little pair now serves as a coffee table area. I like the flexibility that a pair of tables gives to the room instead of one large piece. But someday it will be fun to replace these with something like maybe a leucite/acrylic table for something that doesn’t take up any visual space (totally clear!) and stands up well to drinks and other household wear and tear. But for now, we have a functional good-looking pair of tables that we salvaged from the storage pile after the glue incident and transformed using just some tape and spray paint that we already had– and I like the price of that kind of project at $0!

Anybody else able to turn some furniture mishaps into furniture upgrades?

2 thoughts on “A Quick Fix

  1. Thanks, Jen. I really love your blog. I’m getting anxious for a DSLR after checking out your 31 days project! Thanks for subscribing- you’re on my reader now too 🙂

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