Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Making a Laminate Coffee Table BEAUTIFUL with Paint, Glaze, and Tacks.

Raise your hand if you believe I bought this coffee table as an ugly laminate top plain Jane for a dollar?  Oh, I see your hand waving frantically back there!  You must have been to this Korner before. You're right, I did.  You got some laminate furniture in your house in need of some fixin' up?  Of course you do.  We all do!  So how do you paint laminate furniture?  I'll tell you how I did this one.

The kids wanted to play outside two days ago and wouldn't go without Mommy so I pulled on my work boots and headed outdoors.  Little Mischief maker got stuck up in his fort in the corn crib and couldn't get down so I had to carry out a rescue mission which led me to find this coffee table I had stashed away in that building for a few years now.  It was FILTHY and I wasn't even sure it would be capable of beauty.  But it was just dirt, and of course it was gonna be beautiful!  Just took a little work...
He was eager to help. :)  
I primed it in pale yellow.  Why?  Because I bought it for a buck in the oops paint section!  Seriously people, griping about mistinted primer? Well, whatever.  I don't know the circumstance that led someone to abandon this paint - but I'm GLAD they did!  Heck yes, I'll take Zinsser Primer for one dollar!!
After reading Domestically Speaking's post about buying thumb tacks at the dollar store to dress up her nightstands (they're awesome!), I promptly went there and bought a pack myself.  Three hundred tacks for $1!  Woo hoo!  Didn't know what I'd use them for, but that only lasted a week or so.  They were just the thing for this coffee table!
I find it easiest to work on stuff when I set it on a bar stool.  Easier to paint, for sure!  Which I forgot to tell you about.  After priming, I dumped a bunch of Plaster of Paris into an off white mistint quart of paint and put on two coats, sanding lightly after each one.
This is what I used to measure between the tacks.  It worked better than any ruler ever could, yessirree Bob.  I'd tap in a tack, then draw a dot for the next one.
I used a needle nose pliers to hold the tacks in place and tapped them in with  a little hammer.
Then came the scary part.  Because I've never glazed furniture before.  And I'm not into following directions real well so I kind of "winged it".  Yes, I pulled that Glazing liquid out of a free box at a garage sale.  I think someone got really angry with how their project turned out and took the hammer to the can and then decided to get rid of at their yard sale a few months later rather than dealing with it! I wasn't sure it was going to be any good; the lid was all rusted on.  But it seemed fine, even though a little thick and chunky at the bottom. 

Using plastic spoons, I put one spoonful of the dark mahogony stain in a dish and several spoonfuls of glaze in with it and stirred it up.  Got myself a rag.  I used it dry.  I'm not sure if it would have been easier if it was damp...
I spooned some out onto the top of the coffee table, held my breath.....

And started rubbing.  And RUBBING.  I had to rub really hard, and really fast or it would dry.  Maybe that's where the damp cloth would have come into play?  Someone tell me?  I read that the glaze won't dry quickly so it makes it easy to get the look you want.  Well, mine dried quick and I literally scrubbed the daylights out of the top of the table to get the look I wanted.  
 Time to let my breath back out.  It worked!!  I love it!!!!  Aged to perfection in my book.  Not that I have a book.  But if I did, it'd be in there.  Before I called it done though, I have it one final coat of just plain glaze.  I'm hoping it seals it real good since I'm almost out of polyacrylic so I thought I'd see how this worked.  It sure feels nice and smooth!  And the kids, much to my chagrin have already banged on it a little and it hasn't shown one side of abuse.  Phew.
My first "nailhead trim" project!!  They aren't all the straightest, but I don't think anyone will notice.  I'm crossing my fingers anyway.....

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  1. After all that rubbing, it turned out beau-ti-ful!

  2. It looks great, I love the thumbtack nail heads! One question, why the plaster of paris?

  3. Wow, that is a great it!

  4. Awesome! What an amazing transformation :)

  5. What a great way to makeover a laminate table. I have to say it had a nice shape to it. I like those curvy legs. The glazing and tacks really add a depth to it that it wouldn't have had otherwise ~ making it special. So pretty!

  6. Seriously great makeover! I love the thumb tack idea.
    I'd love for you to come link this up to my *Get Creative* party this week
    Hope to see you there!

  7. Beautiful! I just bought 4 packs of the large square head tacks on sale for 97 cents a pack and was trying to think how I wanted to incorporate them into a project! Great idea.

  8. Ok, I know this post is about your table which by the way is too cute but I have to say I heart your rug!! I want it for my living room :)

  9. What a great idea for the nail heads! Charming!!

  10. i love the lettering on the wall in the background. great words :)

  11. Turned out super!
    p.s. you SHOULD have a book after whipping out trial and error projects like that one! :)

  12. If you hadn't said it, I would have never guessed it was laminate. It is spectacular. Great job girl.

  13. That is awesome! Do you use the plaster of paris with all your projects or is that only needed when working with a laminate surface? Saw you on Funky Junk linky party. Thanks for sharing!

  14. Wow, can't believe that whole thing cost $3 dollars! The table is beautiful and the glazing looks perfect.

  15. Great idea! I love inexpensive projects that make a huge difference.I love this table. ~ Megan

  16. fabulous idea adding the nail head trim!

  17. Wowzers!! Love the table!! I would love it if you linked up at my party going on now! (It's my very first one!!)


  18. The tacks are so unique. I love the glazed look!

  19. Looks beautiful!
    Hope you'll link up to my link party!
    Mauvin' Monday Link Party


  20. I love this! I have a piece of laminate furniture that I have been wanting to paint white for quite some time. Please come share this at my party.

  21. Very Impressive. Now I'm eager for Rummage Sale Season! Question: why the plaster of paris? I would have never thought of that.


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