Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Faux Finished Table Top

I bought an old table almost two years ago and began to refinish it. You can see how my first attempts flopped in this post.

This is the table top right after we started sanding it.

It is a veneered top, and had water damage which had swelled some of the particle board beneath the veneer. My first thought was to sand it flat and stain it. Some of the places were sanded so much that they barely had any veneer left. It didn't look bad before staining, but those places took the stain differently and it looked terrible.

Still trying to salvage the top, I tried a faux grain with gel stain. The first coat didn't look too bad, but the second coat looked horrible. So I gave up and stuck it in a corner of the garage until a few weeks ago.

In the meantime, we sold our trestle table and began using the breakfast table. But it was just too small, especially if we had company, so I pulled out the old table and started working on it again. I really didn't want to paint it, but that seemed to be the only choice.

I painted the base black and distressed the edges. I really liked the way it turned out, but the top was another story. Those rotten spots showed even through four coats of primer and paint.  Since the spots were going to show through a solid paint, I needed to go back to the idea of a faux grain to camouflage them.  So I sanded off the paint and primed it using BIN with a shellac base to seal those spots.

Then I put a gold base coat and mixed a medium brown with a glaze to faux finish a wood grain on it. I couldn't find my old wood graining tool, and made the mistake of buying a Martha Stewart graining tool at the local big box store. I should have read the reviews, and then I should have ordered a professional tool online, but I was impatient. The tool did such a bad job that I had to scrape it off and start over.

I repainted the gold and this time I grained it just with the comb and flogged grain marks into it.

I almost forgot to take pictures after the first graining and the second fill coat.

 It's not great, but will do until I can build a table top out of solid wood. When the sun hits it just right, those spots are still evident. I think the particle board must have absorbed some of the paint, raising those areas. I had just applied a finish coat to the middle section in the photo below.

Here's the top, finished.

And the whole table.

All in all, this $20 table has cost me dearly in the amount of time spent on it just to get it to a tolerable level, not to mention the cost of primer, special acrylic paint, glaze, and that useless tool kit. But it was a good learning experience with wood graining and I'm looking forward to doing a project with some good tools.

Next are the chairs!


Nancy said...

It looks very nice - add a nice runner or topper, and the spots won't even be noticeable.

Julie @ followyourheartwoodworking said...

Well it did turn out nice, but with all the problems I would have given up way before you got to that point!!

Marti said...

If I hadn't needed a bigger table so badly, it would have been at the curb a long time ago. lol

Marti said...

They're not really noticeable now with the wood grain look. I am keeping a table pad and cloth on it to prevent scratches though.

Lena said...

Wow but it looks amazing! And you are so patient :)

FlowerLady Lorraine said...

I think you did a fantastic job. A lot of time, it was a learning experience, you persevered and it is a job well done.


Marti said...

I probably should have stopped at the beginning, but I just hate to waste money, even $20.

Marti said...

Thank you. I can't agree on the well done part, but it was definitely a learning experience. Next time I'll do better.

Grandma K said...

You are so talented!! I think the table is quite lovely. For me it would be great. Then if something were to mar the top - it would like it belonged. You can tell things do get marred around here!

Deb @ Frugal Little Bungalow said...

OH so MUCH work but it all paid off in the end and yes it's all about learning and persevering sometimes...and trying not to dent the woodwork when we bang our head off the wall :)

Marti said...

LOL, yes. Luckily, my woodwork is harder than my head so it can take it.

Marti said...

Thank you. It will work for us, and hopefully no one will look at it closely. Things get marred around here too - we call it "interesting" and pretend it's intentional. I'm not sure how this will look with scratches though. Will probably expose the white primer. But we'll see.

BluMoon said...

Goodness what a lot of work went into that table, but it does look very nice in the photo and as a learning experience very valuable, time is never wasted learning is it! I do think you would have had quicker success with a solid wood top. You have great perseverance.

Marti said...

LOL, I think you are right although I've never made a round table top either.