Re-imagining Furniture – Giving New Life to a Table

I found a small Queen Anne leg table that at first glance was made from oak. Once I had it home and really looked it over, I noticed that the top had a wavy appearance.

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I was contemplating what I was going to do about that when I discovered the top was a glued down laminate. I began tugging at a corner and found it coming off in small pieces.  Ugh, this was either going to go okay or it was going to be a nightmare! I store away helpful hints and tips shared by my fellow American Paint Company retailers (which I LOVE because they are so friendly, supportive and willing to help) and one tip I recalled was how to loosen glue.  I found a blow dryer and went to work heating up areas and getting a scraper under the edge.  It took about 30 minutes of steady work and off it came!

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The glue left a sticky and thick, uneven residue. It either needed to be sanded down, scraped off and painted or covered up.  My vote was covered up!
I had been wanting to try my hand at decoupage after seeing some inspiring photos of completed pieces. I knew just what I wanted to try and found my newly acquired 1906 World Atlas that had wonderful colorful old maps of the US and other countries of that period. I know that there are old book collectors that may want to hit me over the head with a hammer, but in my defense, the book was falling apart. I did, however, offer up an acknowledgement to the antique ‘gods’ a thank you for it’s beauty and historical significance.  I completely understand that an old book does have a place in history.  I wanted to capture the essence of it’s beauty and it’s historical record on the top of this table.
I began with a good and thorough cleaning, as I always do on pieces I transform. As I pulled out the map I wanted to use, I turned to colors that would enhance and blend with it.  Amber Waves of Grain, a pretty golden yellow and Dollar Bill, a blue-gray, grabbed my attention as colors that could peek out from Sackcloth, an old world tan-brown. Once those decisions were made, it was time to get started!Picture 4
I painted the edges of the table with Amber Waves of Grain.  As it was drying, I took Dollar Bill and painted the areas that didn’t have AWG on them. As the table was drying I assessed what I was going to do with the drawers and the hardware. I have a small collection of pulls that have interested me and I decided an up-do, but not too blingy, was needed. Mercury glass pulls was it, they would be perfect for a man or a woman!
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The previous hardware holes were filled in and allowed to dry. Back to the painting process. American Paint Company chalk and clay paints are so much more than paints with chalk! The clay and minerals give them rich colors, tones and hues that change with whatever finishing effect you choose! A thin layer of Sackcloth was painted over the entire table. No need to be perfect—as I wanted some of the base colors to come through in the final piece.
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Next was placing the map, cut out photos, and other colorful pieces from around the world on the top of the table. It was a jigsaw puzzle, but eventually I figured it out. My home state of Kansas got the FEATURE placement. A few photos of Washburn University campus buildings of the period, along with a photo of the Kansas State Capitol, and the “Falls of the Kaw” waterfall area were included. I filled in with some historic text, other colorful pieces of international record from that time period and the process began.  I layered the decoupage material, allowed it to dry, sanded off the rough areas, applied more material until I got a smooth top that had plenty of layering to protect the paperwork.  A time-consuming process that does require attention to detail and focus, but if you take your time, the end results are STATEMENTS!!
In between the drying process of the table I focused on the drawers. Again I  layered colors on them, followed up with a thin coat of Sackcloth. I also water distressed both the table and the drawers. Moment of truth time finally appeared, it was waxing time!   American Paint Company wax has NO odor, NO chemicals, has ZERO VOC and NO petroleum— just pure natural oils. I call it ‘soft butta’ because it goes on smooth, gliding over my painted pieces. I allow the wax to soak in and get down through those layers before I buff it out. Why waste the wax or your time? Let the wax do its job and penetrate the paint and then seal the deal! As the paint was absorbing the wax, I moved to drilling new holes for the drawers and finishing up the top getting it to lay flat and closely watching for any trapped air bubbles in my decoupage.
When I get to the end of a project and it has gone as I had planned, (some don’t always go as planned and they make you go another direction), I get so excited to see the “final, final”.  I buffed all of the painted areas, loosely applied the new hardware and left it alone all night!  Of course, I HAVE to go check to see if it turned out the way I ‘think’ it did, so out to the garage to inspect several times during the evening and  the morning after. Yep, I still like it!
I’m naming this table, some get names and some don’t. But this one screams a name at me, “1906 Kansas Queen”.
I made a decision to retail American Paint Company paints and products and to bring them to NE Kansas because I feel the people in my area deserve to have access to the BEST clay/chalk paint in America. It’s a decision that I do not regret. I have found friendly, helpful, supportive and encouraging people from the TOP of the company, to my distributors and across the USA with others who are retailing these products.
“You had me at AMERICAN….then I fell in love with your paint. Now you have my full heart!”
Post courtesy of Karen


  1. Thank you American Paint Company! It’s a beautiful table and gives me opportunity to teach others many painting and other techniques.

  2. Karen your table and you are beautiful, inside and out!

  3. Bernadette says

    This piece is beautiful and seeing it , has really inspired me x I have a similar shaped piece which is an old gramophone table and was struggling with ideas on how to beautify it x I now have more ideas and ready to crack on with it x only down side is u don’t ship your beautiful paints to the UK !! Is this something u will consider for the future
    Many thanks

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