Before & After – Union Jack End Table Re-do

End Table Makeover
End Table Makeover
Union Jack End Table Makeover

Hi again!  I’ve been looking forward to showing off this end table makeover, it’s definitely one of my favorites, even if the actual process was not only a learning curve but also, at times, so frustrating I wanted to scream!

I picked up this end table from a local yard sale site, I think I paid around $20 which in my eyes is a complete bargain, anyone else get super excited when picking up stuff like this on the cheap and begin imagining the transformation?? No? OK, maybe it’s just me 😉  Anyways….back to the end table, it did the obligatory term sat in the corner of my garage whilst I tried to make a decision on what to do with it, I was going back and forth between ideas and as it had to go in our living room, it needed to be something I could live with on a daily basis, and believe me, I’ve had more than one item that I’ve only been able to deal with for a few weeks before its re-consigned to the garage to await further inspiration.

Eventually, I decided I wanted something decidedly British to remind me of home.  With that settled I cracked on with the usual cleaning up and prep work.  With this table however, I decided to skip the sanding and use paint stripper to remove the varnish and stain.  My original idea was to do a Union Jack design in different stains on the top, BIG FAIL!!  I spent forever stripping and prepping, applied wood conditioner as I always do prior to staining, not considering that an oil based conditioner would stop the painters tape from sticking as you can see in the picture below…grrrrrr.  Finally, after lots of stress and swear words, I got the tape to kinda stick, and applied a test area of the lightest stain, BIGGER FAIL!!  The stain that I had was watery, and soaked into the wood, and under the tape, leaving a big splodge rather than a neat line.

End Table Makeover

At this point I gave up, I realized that I didn’t have the correct products to pull off the stain idea.  So, I went with paint.  I whacked a base coat of Rustoleum Chalked in Linen White all over the top of the table, this paint is pretty awesome as around thirty minutes later I could apply the second coat of white, not that I’m impatient or anything but I had just wasted two hours with the stain disaster.

When the white was dry I redid the painters tape in the Union Jack pattern and using some leftover grey chalk paint from Renaissance for the paler grey (more on this brand of paint in a later post, but it is pretty great!) and mixing in some black paint with the grey to get a darker shade, I had finally finished painting the flag…and then realized I had got the lines slightly wrong, as any decent, patriotic Brit will be sure to tell me, I feel like a traitor for not going back and redoing the lines but by this time I was done with painters tape and decided I could live with it, as long as my Granddad doesn’t see it all will be well.

I was now on the home stretch with this piece and was getting excited to see the final product, I removed the drawer and took off the hardware, painted the rest of the table and drawer front with the Linen White chalk paint and sprayed the hardware with trusty old Plastidip to match the other furniture pieces in my living room.

When everything was dry, I distressed the edges of the table with 220 grit sandpaper, and then using a 150 grit sanding block I scuffed the edges of the lines on the Union Jack, this works to not only age it slightly but also to blend the lines and cover any little mistakes from the paint bleeding under the tape  I applied two coats of Polycrylic to the top of the table for a bit of durability, and everything else got a coat of clear wax, the hardware went back on and it was finally ready to take pride of place in my living room.  I really love how this piece matches with the grey tones in our other furniture and I’m looking forward to starting on my coffee table, with the American flag on this one for the hubby.  I’ll keep you posted 🙂

I’m interested to know if anyone else has had a change around in plans midway through a project like this? How did it work out for you?  Let me know in the comments below.


3 Thoughts to “Before & After – Union Jack End Table Re-do”

  1. […] top is left with just bare stain as I love the soft feel of the nicely sanded natural wood.  My end table is also finished with a combination of clear wax on the bottom and Polycrylic on the top to help […]

  2. […] pieces that I snagged from Ross, I knew as soon as I saw these that they would look perfect on my Union Jack end table in the living room and I believe I was right on this […]

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