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Domestic Imperfection: The Cutest Table I Ever Hated

Monday, March 5, 2012

The Cutest Table I Ever Hated

 I'm going to start this post off a little different than normal and show you the finished product first.
See this adorable little table?
It was a total pain in the butt. Projects going wrong before they go right seems to be a theme around here.

I bought the table back in January for $10 at a thrift store. I actually finished it during No Spend February
 but couldn't show it to you because it was part of the Every Creative Endeavor contest (it won first place in round two!).

Here is the before picture...
(In case your wondering where my crappy $5 table went, it now happily resides on the other side of the couch.)

So here's the process. It may seem like I did this in a matter of hours or a day or actually took about a week of being an in-progress mess on  my kitchen floor (aka my workshop). Just FYI.

First, the boys and I sanded,
and then removed all the hardware.
Next came the painting. This piece wasn't the easiest to paint...I was really wishing I had cheated and stocked up on white spray paint before February started. 
I wanted to do a design on the top, so I painted the octagon insert blue (left over from the toy box - which I had mixed from leftover kitchen paintResourceful, yes. Cheap, you bet!).
For this part I turned to my friend Katie from CRAPTASTIC, who did a tutorial for her zebra table.
First I taped off the outside..
then completely filled it with painters tape (This is frog tape).
I decided to copy the leaf pattern from a chair I have in the living room, so I tried to trace and transfer it using parchment paper. 
It wasn't working out all that well though, so I ditched that idea and decided to free hand it.
 Much easier.
Next I cut it out using an exacto knife...while wearing my painting uniform of course. I swear I wear regular clothes sometimes!
Then I gave it a quick coat with the base color again. The top is textured and I wanted to keep the lines crisp, this way the base coat fills all the cracks instead of the pattern color. I didn't let it dry all the way before applying the leaf color - which was the base color mixed with white. 
Then came the exciting part - taking the tape off to reveal my perfectly crisp leaf pattern. 

Except that's not even close to what happened. 

I caaaaaarefully peeled back the tape.....and when I was done, well, this is what I was left with. 

I did not freak out -at least not out loud. I hurried over to my pantry and grabbed a ginormo handful of chocolate chips and thought about how I was going to fix it. 
Now, if I wasn't entering it in a contest I would have painted it over in blue and called it a day. After four days of working on it I was pretty over this table. But I WAS entering it and I had to make it work. 
So yeah, I hand painted it. It took two more days worth of nap times... and along the way I really started to hate this table. 
Than goodness it turned out well!
The last step was to glaze it. You can't have a furniture piece with detail like this and not bring it out with glaze, right? I used the same process as I did with my experimental frame and used the base blue color.  
Glazing didn't really go as planned either, but when I compared the finished door with the plain one I had to keep going. 
Next I gave it some super light distressing, put the hardware back, on and was done...finally!
Here is the finished product again....and you know what? I. LOVE. IT. 
It's the cutest table I ever hated. 

I'm so glad I stuck it out...I love how unique it is. I also love that it only cost ten bucks and was made just for my living room!



At March 5, 2012 at 2:43 PM , Blogger Natalie said...

Ashley - that table is absolutely gorgeous! Im in love with it! And well done for winning round 2 - awesome. xx Nat

At March 5, 2012 at 3:31 PM , Blogger Kristin said...

The table came out amazing! I LOVE the shape and the details, so jealous of your $10 table. What brand of painters tape was that! I wouldn't want to use that again!

At March 5, 2012 at 4:30 PM , Blogger Allyson said...

That is adorable! I would have had an absolute fit if I had pulled off the tape and seen that! It turned out great though!


At March 5, 2012 at 5:45 PM , Blogger Katie said...

It turned out awesome Ashley!! congrats on the first place!! That stinks the frog tape didn't work, but you did an awesome job with the hand painting!

At March 5, 2012 at 9:04 PM , Blogger Devon said...

So awesome!

At March 6, 2012 at 8:00 AM , Blogger lauren said...

So Impressive! and what persistance.
Great Job

At March 6, 2012 at 3:36 PM , Blogger Be Sweetly Inspired! said...

Ashley, I love it! I too am a nap time crafter and an eff it up then fix it kinda gal! I absolutely adore how it turned out, you did an amazing job all the while practicing that important life skill of patience (it's soooo hard!). BTW, I keep a bag of chocolate chips in the pantry for the same reason ;)

Lauren D. @ Be Sweetly Inspired

At March 6, 2012 at 6:24 PM , Blogger Brittany said...

Oh my gosh!!! I love it!!! It's amazing!

At March 6, 2012 at 9:39 PM , Anonymous Dalia said...

I love that you did with that table, you gave it life! It turn out amazing, great job girl!

At March 7, 2012 at 8:56 AM , Blogger Hannah said...

This is such a great makeover, love the before and after shots!

I mentioned this makeover in my blog, I hope that's ok! check it out here:

You've def. inspired me to take a hard look at my little slate topped cabinet!

At March 7, 2012 at 9:04 AM , Blogger Hannah said...

I also X-posted to my blogger account at Thanks again for all the inspiration!

At March 7, 2012 at 12:19 PM , Blogger asdf said...

I love it! Looks wonderful! Sound like tons of work but the payoff was great! :)

At March 8, 2012 at 6:18 AM , Blogger Gennevia Porterfield said...

Totally worth it. Love the end result.

At March 8, 2012 at 8:59 PM , Blogger KB said...

hi there,

came across your blog from TDC...quick question, where did you get your shelves in your living room? I love them and the only other place I have seen them, my friend got them in europe. =( Anyhow, if you could email me that would be super. Cute blog and cute ideas! I am struggling with the brown issue too!

jkburke21 at earthlink dot net

At March 12, 2012 at 2:23 PM , Blogger Julie, RN said...

I tagged you in a game of Blog Tag. See the post and join in here:

At March 20, 2012 at 9:19 PM , Blogger Jill said...

Fellow "Egg" participant at It's Overflowing....SUPER CUTE egg idea! LOVED it! Smiles, cute table!


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