Updating An Early American Coffee Table
One of my favorite customers asked me about painting her coffee table. The answer was a quick “YES” because you always make time for your Mom when she wants something done. You might be surprised to know that my Mom wasn’t fully on board with me painting furniture when I first started painting. Her favorite era of furniture is Early American which is all wood tones with gallery rail on everything.
She is very much a fan of wood grain and the thought of covering it up with paint made her kinda sick to her stomach. A few years ago she came around and thought one of the pieces she had from her Aunt would look cute painted. She chose to have me paint it in the color Aviary by Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint and I painted the original hardware in oil rubbed bronze paint.
Aviary by Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint
She wanted her coffee table to coordinate with that existing color as well as compliment the other colors she has in the room. Mom decided on Raw Silk Fusion Mineral Paint for her color of choice for the table.
Raw Silk Fusion Mineral Paint
We also needed Chris’ help because she wanted to remove the gallery rail which is the wood fence around the edges and also to fix the split down the middle of the table.
This coffee table has been in our family since forever, my Mom bought it before she met my Dad back in the early 60’s when she graduated from nursing school in Santa Barbara. It has been moved all over the world, literally, from all the different places my Dad was stationed over the years being in the United States Air Force. This coffee table has lived through four kids growing up and putting their feet all over it, having a puzzle on it
as well as being the center for a birthday party when my siblings were little.
Giving this table a bit of TLC and some paint will be the update it so desperately deserves.
Chris’s first order of operation was to saw off the gallery rail on all the corners which only took a few minutes.
Then he removed the top from the legs by unscrewing the piece just so he could concentrate on the top, check out the split in the top.
He was able to separate where the table was already coming apart
and reglue it.
The interesting thing that I didn’t know until I started working on furniture is that I was under the impression that most pieces of solid wood furniture are just made out of one solid piece of wood. WRONG! It is actually multiple pieces of wood that are glued together to make the piece come together and look like one solid surface. Just like this coffee table top for example, there are multiple pieces of wood glued together to make one solid surface for the top. Once the glue was dry, Chris went about sanding the whole top until it was smooth and even.
He reassembled it for me so I could then work my magic.
When I started to prep this piece I thought I would only need to scuff sand so that my paint would stick. I then realized how the varnish and the stain were just coming off so easily in some places. I knew after that then I would need to sand it all down to bare wood and then prime it.
This table is solid maple which is wonderful because maple does not tend to bleed through but I still used a blocking primer because you can never be too sure about old furniture and the old stains that could potentially leach through the paint.
Once I had a few coats of primer on I was ready for Fusion!
I unfortunately didn’t get any pictures of the process of me painting the coffee table because I had to paint and poly in my garage. The weather was being particularly unfriendly to me by being windy and blowing dirt onto the top of the coffee table. Having a more controlled environment painting in my garage is helpful but not my favorite place to paint or poly because I don’t like to be enclosed in an area where the paint particulate stays in the air or all over me. I will be completely bundled up with my hood on as well as a ventilator mask and goggles, safety first!
Take a look at how it turned out!
This is what it looked like before...
Isn’t it just beautiful in her space?!
I noticed that once we added the white coffee table it made her room more bright and welcoming just by updating one piece of furniture!
I love how it compliments the first piece I painted for her in Aviary!
I am also so impressed by the fact you can't see where the holes were that had the gallery rail, it's like they completely disappeared!
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Thank you so much for reading!