This is a fun, but slightly messy DIY project to add a little flair of personality to your place.
I’ve had this project done for a few months now and am just now getting around to posting about it. At the time my boyfriend and I were not yet living together and his apartment was very bare and needed some livening up. He was living in a beach condo and it had nautical stuff from the previous tenants. BORING! Not to say that nautical isn’t fun but how cliche? He has good taste but lets be real, I needed to step in and help him out. We both recently fell in love with the Bohemian/Moroccan theme so thats where the inspiration came from for this project. I also had some leftover fabric that had a neat red and blue pattern on it so that is where my color palette came from.
I’ve had these two tables that had been in storage that I was willing to spare and spruce up. I had actually previously panted both a white color with some gold accents to match my room at the time. The white actually came in handy and pretty much prepped and primed the surface for painting. I’ll lead you through the process below but please be patient with my awful pictures. I ran out of sunlight when doing it over a weekend and was determined to get it done quicker so I had to bring it inside which didn’t have great lighting. I also didn’t expect to have a blog so the photos may be uneven for each table.
If you want to tackle this kind of project here is what you’ll need:
[su_row][su_column size=”1/2″ center=”no” class=””]
[su_list icon=”icon: genderless”]
- Paint color
- Paint Brushes
- Paint Stick
- Modge Podge
- Hot Glue
[/su_column] [su_column size=”1/2″ center=”no” class=””]
[su_list icon=”icon: genderless”]
- Sand Paper
- Drop cloth/cardboard
- Screw Driver
As I said above, my tables already had a couple coats of white on them, which worked well for a “primer”. If yours are not already, you’ll want to sand it down to add some grit and get any kind of gloss off of the top layer. The finer the sandpaper the smoother it will be. I didn’t bother with an electric sander and just did this by hand because of how small they were. I DID still sand mine to add grit so the new paint could stick better.
Remember there is such a thing as oil based and water based paints!
Most people say to use an oil based primer and a water based color on top. To be honest you really don’t have to. Most water based paints will still stick to a sanded surface. What most people tend to forget is that you NEED TO PAINT ON A FINAL CLEAR COAT! When you paint and don’t add a final acrylic clear coat (whether glossy or flat) you can usually still scuff or scrape paint off. I always hear how people will paint furniture and when the paint scrapes off they’re scrutinized and told by others that, “you must not have used an oil base then”; wrong. They just didnt seal it.
If you couldn’t tell by the lengthy enough paragraph above with the repetitive theme, yes the final coat is very important.
Okay enough ranting and back to the DIY. The first step is to set up the area, whether thats outside on grass or a patio. If you do it inside just be sure to be in a ventilated area. Lay down your drop cloth and get all your supplies out and ready. Shake the paint good (not the polycrylic though) and get it all mixed. If you do need to sand the table down do that and then wipe the dust off with a damp cloth. Sanding between each painted layer will also add a smoothed finish and take out the bumps of the brush or any clumps of paint.
Of course before any painting you’ll want to remove the drawers and any screws/handles. I started painting the table first because it’s bigger and needs more time to dry so once it’s sanded down and wiped off go ahead and put on your first coat.
First layer is down! At this point I was loving this blue color. If I can find the paint code I’ll update this post to have it if anyone wants it. While I was waiting on the tables to dry I moved over to the drawers.
The handles on these were a bit hard to get out. I had to beat them out with a hammer and screw driver because mine were not held in by screws and instead with anchors. Hopefully yours will only have screws. One of the drawers also had a vintage bump-out which was only held in with small nails. So I pried it off with the screw driver.
If you want to paint your drawers you’ll want to sand them too. I’m using my fabric instead of paint to cover them but I still sanded my drawers anyways. The hammering and nails left a few raised pieces and I didn’t want those to show through the fabric.
Here is where the Modge Podge comes in handy. You might not need it but the “glue” is good for keeping the fabric in place until you add an acrylic layer. I measured my fabric to make sure I had enough to cover each drawer. When I cut them out I made sure to have enough to stretch and overlap the sides. You’ll want to do this so that you can staple it on from behind.
Onto the Modge Podge! One thing you’ll need to pay attention to is what kind of ‘finish’ you want. So, Modge tends to leave a glossy kind of sheen after it dries, much like Elmer’s glue. My finish was going to be a semi-gloss, so they were similar. I’d highly suggest testing the Modge on some fabric and then your acrylic afterwards to see if it gives you the right finish. If you’re going for a flat finish you may need a few coats to “drown out” the shininess.
I painted on a few spots of Modge Podge directly onto the drawer and then laid the fabric on top so the fabric wouldn’t slid around. Then I proceeded to brush on more Modge Podge. When it comes to the edges you’ll want to press them down onto the sides so that contact is made. You also want to push some of the fabric down in the screw holes so that you know where they are and can cut it out later.
Once the Modge is dried you can add a few coats of your acrylic sealer and then once that dries you can cut out the screw holes. Next step is adding your final clear coat of acrylic. Most people don’t really know what that is but its basically the opposite of a primer. The primer gets the surface ready where as the clear coat seals it all up. I use Polycrylic as my preferred brand. It’s water soluble for cleanup but when it is dried on a surface, it makes it water resistant (not for aquarium decor use however). Slap a few coats of your clear coat and let it dryyyyy.
I ran out of daylight at this point but luckily all of the painting itself was done. At this point I just needed to finish up the drawers. For the ones that were Modge Podged outside, I needed to staple the fabric down onto the backsides. So I flipped them over and proceeded to pull the fabric tight and staple it down, afterwards I cut off any excess fabric.
Once that was done I just screwed the handles back on and set them back in place in their little cubbies. The second table I had didn’t have drawers but instead had doors. I’m gonna speed you through that process.
This table had little sheet metal inserts in the doors that had a hunting pattern hammered in (one reason I was covering it up). They were held in by screws and were taken off before painting. I took hot glue and glued my fabric on, just onto the edges of the metal. I didnt use Modge here because I really wasn’t sure how it would turn out on the metal so I just wanted to let the hot glue do most of the work. once the glue dried I actually screwed the metal pieces back on with the excess fabric hanging out, so that it gave it some extra strength holding.
After they were screwed on I cut any excess fabric off. Lastly you just need to make sure all the handles are in place and then you’re good to go. I also advise giving at least 24 hrs before sitting anything on the tables to give that final coat of acrylic time to dry and harden. Below are two shots of where they ended up in my boyfriends place.
We’ve since moved in together and these now adorn our outside patio. Also just so you know, we recently had a hurricane come through the area and these tables made it through like champs. We are on the second floor and the patio does have a roof but during a hurricane water will get everywhere. The carpet was soaked for days but there was no sign of water damage and no paint missing from these tables! So the acrylic final coat DOES work and this is the proof.