The Ugly Duckling – A Table Makeover


August 21, 2010 045You remember this little fellow; don’t you?  I bought him at a Garage Sale for $1.00.

As he was sitting there in the car I offered myself a challenge and he became my personal DIY Test.

Today; I am ready for the reveal! 

August 23, 2010 003

As soon as this guy got home; I swept the dust, and yes spider webs, off!  (Really, really afraid of Australian spiders!)  August 23, 2010 005

I had to remove the faux wood that was cracked and peeling.  I used a wide blade scraper and began prying it up.  It came off easily in some spots.  In others, not so much.  Then much to my horror…. August 23, 2010 006I discovered the particle board table top had rotted on one side!

To be completely honest with myself; I had half expected this.  The table was obviously kept outside at it’s previous home.

No Worries!  This can be handled quite easily and inexpensively.

Since I was going to have to go buy a piece of MDF; I decided to glue the feet.August 21, 2010 052August 25, 2010 018I used wood glue and left it to dry overnight. August 25, 2010 019 I bought a piece of pressed board (as they call it at the hardware store) for about $4.00.  August 25, 2010 023 And very professionally, set my table top on the board and drew a line around it. (hehehe – okay, maybe not professionally,  but it works for me) August 25, 2010 024The next part is not for the faint of heart!  My favorite tool…a JIGSAW!!!!

I adore my jigsaw.  Love love love, heart heart heart. August 25, 2010 025 As hard as it is to believe; I even gave Mr. AmericKim a go on the jigsaw.  (he said “no pictures please”).  He’s gone off to look for some more things to jig. I think I’ve created a jigsaw addict.

So, the next step was to remove the frame holding the table to the pedestal.  I unscrewed it, but had to really pry it up. Once it was removed, I marked my new top where the screws would go.  Next I drilled starter holes where i had marked the new top.August 25, 2010 026Then I glued the frame piece to the new top and screwed it down (making sure the screws were long enough to hold it, but not long enough to put a hole through the other side).  I wiped away all of the excess glue.August 25, 2010 031  I put glue in the hole where the pedestal would fit.

August 25, 2010 027  I set the new top on the pedestal.

August 25, 2010 030

It wobbled.  No, that can’t be good.  At this point, Mr. AK suggested a screw through the table top to the middle of the pedestal.  Ah ha!  Yep, that will do it.

Nope, didn’t do it.  As a matter of fact, while putting that screw in, I noticed the feet started to pry loose again.  Mr. AK made a mad dash for the hardware store for a longer screw, and some small furniture nails.

Ok, back in business!  Small furniture nails on the feet to the side of the pedestal, and longer screw through the top. 

You notice that at this point in my tutorial; the pictures have stopped?  That’s because it didn’t work!  After a few hours of this, we both had to agree, the wood was too rotted and dry to hold anything together.  I was crushed!  I put the pedestal away and decided to deliberate on this project for a while.  Somewhere in the middle of the night I realized what I needed for this poor little mistreated table was GORILLA GLUE!

One problem I am in Australia and there is no such thing as gorilla glue here.  Never one to give up so easily I found an alternative, Vise Super Glue (you can read about the discovery here).

Ok, NOW back in business.

September 1, 2010 013September 1, 2010 016This stuff (the glue) is good!  I let the table dry for a few days to be on the safe side and off to the painting room.

september 7, 2010 003First a coat of primer.  

Now, I know most of you are shaking your heads right now.  “She didn’t sand it”.  I honestly considered it several times, but at this point, there was no way I was pushing my luck with this dry wood.  I chose to take my chances with the primer and paint covering the ugly stuff. 

september 7, 2010 015

It took several coats of primer.  I really wanted a smooth finish to paint. september 7, 2010 023 Since I was not willing to spend anymore money on a $1.00 table (I had spent about $10.00 already); I used some leftover glossy black spray paint I had.  The imperfections be gone!  The primer and paint worked!  september 7, 2010 016

When I realized I would have to use pressed board as the top; I decided to decoupage it with fabric.  The fabric I had in mind was a scrap piece from a set of pillows I had made.  It would look perfect on this table and with the black paint.


I measured the fabric, spread decoupage medium on the table top and pulled the fabric tight over the top.  I spread it and pressed gently to make sure it was exactly where I wanted it without any creases. Then I cut around the edges of the table to remove the excess fabric.  I  spread two layers of decoupage on top of the fabric (letting it dry in between). SL373596

Once dry, I used a black ribbon to trim the edge of the table top.  I hot glued it in place.  Then used the decoupage to stiffen the ribbon and make sure it is securely glued to the table.


I then mixed some water with black acrylic paint (to make it runny) and I sponged around the edges of the table top.  I made sure to blend the black sponging “out” toward the center.


Once completed, I sealed the table top with some generic sealer.

SL373621  I really love my table!  I think it turned out fantastic!

I have two beautiful chairs that I will be painting and reupholstering.  I envisioned this table nestled in between these two chairs and then they will be a set. 

And to think, I almost gave up!

I have not been compensated in anyway by any of the "tools” I used in this project (including the glues).  I simply wrote my post about how I repaired this table and my opinions on how different products work.

I linked this Before and After to:

6 Comments - Click Here! Love to Hear from You.:

Debbie said...

Your persistence and hard work sure paid off. It looks fantastic. I love the table top shape too. Thanks so much for joining me. I hope you enjoy a few other of the gals too.

Michelle said...

Cute table! You did a great job restoring it! :)

Cheryl said...

Fabulous save! What did you do with the top of the table???? I just love the edge on that table... I bought a table like that once, the legs were beyond repair.. so I made the table top into a tray. I love it, and I use it daily. You can actually repair the damage on that table top using paperclay. It air drys and you can sand it when it hardens. Then you just paint over it and its as good as new!

The Polka Dot Closet said...

It is gorgeous and truly one of a kind, that was a lot of work! I love it! Visiting from Debbiedoos.


Rebecca said...

Little tables are so fun to do-great job!

Shanarun said...

Glad you stuck with it! What fun reading about your adventure. :)
Lovely result.

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