This is not a DIY blog. The reason it’s not a DIY blog is because I have grand ideas (thanks, Pinterest) and very rarely actually implement them, usually because I’m lazy and never have all the materials on hand and don’t want to leave the house to go get them. However, an idea I had recently coincided with a grocery shopping trip, and since I was going to be out anyway I went ahead and went to Lowe’s and picked up the materials I needed.
So, last year, while we were living in California, I picked up a couple of very well-loved end tables off of a yard sale site for $8, intending to temporarily use them as nightstands until we could afford an actual, nice bedroom suit.
After I actually looked at prices of bedroom suits, and then just nightstands, I resigned myself to just using these for the rest of my life because holy crap that shit’s expensive. We don’t keep enough junk next to the bed to need drawers, anyway. Our bedroom, however, is done in black and white, and I was getting really tired of the clashing brown of the tables. So I took these out to the garage a couple of days ago, and sanded them down with fine grit sandpaper, just to get the shiny off, and wiped them down with Goof Off! wipes.
I set them up like so on top of one of those stupid plastic drop cloths. I hate those things; trying to lay one out flat is like fighting with a room-sized piece of saran wrap, up to and including tangling yourself up in it and almost suffocating. I wouldn’t have even used one — I mean, it’s a garage, not the dining room floor — but we rent and I have a feeling that come time to move out I would end up having to scrub paint off the concrete. So anyway, after a smoke break to calm my rage at the drop cloth, I gave them a good coat with a can of Rust-oleum Universal Paint and Primer in One in Gloss Black.
I got a little OCD painting the undersides, considering that no one sees that. I also didn’t need to paint the side panels, because I decided later that I wanted those white. So if I’d actually used the amount of paint I needed, I probably would have only used about a half a can instead of a full one and my garage probably wouldn’t smell so much like a chemical plant.
After a bit of drying time and a second coat, I moved them out of the way so Ben wouldn’t run them over with the car when he came home (I can only imagine the damage they would do to the Versa) and was done for the day to give the paint plenty of time to dry, since I’d be painting over it later.
The next day I brought them in and set them up on the dining room table, because I was tired of working in the garage. (Also because I was done with the spray paint, and my back was still complaining at me for bending over in weird ways to sand and paint them the day before.) Having decided at this point that I would be painting the side panels white, I taped off the bits I didn’t want white paint on.
– which needed a second coat but I decided that I kind of liked the stippling effect that you can’t really see in the photo anyway. (Also, I was getting impatient and ready to start on the top, which was where the whole idea had generated.)
The top of the tables was going to be done with Mod Podge and gift wrap. So after removing the painter’s tape, I cut my gift wrap down to size and marked where it would sit on the table with a sharpie pen.
I still kind of destroyed it. Apparently, when you put a sticky, glue-like substance on wrapping paper, it sort of comes to pieces and also will lose its color in places if you’re not careful. It will also wrinkle up and is very difficult to smooth back down, due to the aforementioned coming-apart-ness. It wasn’t so noticeable that I felt I had to do it over, though. Ironically, the second table actually ended up looking a lot worse than the first; because it had been kind of difficult to get the paper nice and smooth by doing the whole top at once, I decided that with the second table I would do it in sections. Unfortunately, my brain translated “sections” to mean “quarters” so by the time I was done with the second table there was a pretty good sized portion in the middle that didn’t have any Mod Podge under it because I couldn’t fit my applicator under there without tearing the paper. I was also at the point where to re-do it would mean tearing the paper up that was already down, letting it dry, sanding it again and starting over. So, needless to say, that table is on Ben’s side of the bed so I don’t have to look at it as much and I’ll do it over when it finally, inevitably tears.
So anyway, for the corners, I cut slits into the paper and pasted the little tab this created down with the Mod Podge, using my fingers to apply and get it as smooth as I could. I also apparently missed the corner of this leg with the spray paint, but as I had already used the whole can and was already half-way through the Mod Podge process I just decided I would put that leg against the wall.
Once I got the corners pasted down, I did the same with the sides, using my sponge applicator to slather Mod Podge on the edge and underside of the table top and then my fingers (with lots of Mod Podge on them) to smooth it down as best I could.
I then Mod Podged the top, getting my strokes as even as possible. Next time I do something like this, I think I’m going to try a roller, because I’m not a huge fan of the brushstroke look on furniture.
After giving the Mod Podge sufficient dry time (it took a couple of hours, I had it on there pretty thick), it was back out to the garage for spray enamel (Rust-oleum Crystal Clear Enamel):
Total cost, including the tables but not counting the materials I already had (sand paper, drop cloth, paintbrush): about $35.