DIY: Lessons From A Coffee Table Reno

Hmmm…I’m not too sure about this one.  This is my second project with milk paint, actually, with painting furniture at all, and I used just about every product in the milk paint arsenal on this DIY project.  I might have gone too far!  But I definitely learned some lessons with this reno, and that was the whole point when hubby brought this free table home to me.

Before: diy milk paint coffee table

It belonged to someone we know who had gotten it years ago at a yard sale, I think.  She got years of use from it, and now wanted it hauled away.  Hubby brought it home to me to practice on, since I am learning the ropes of painting and distressing furniture.  It had its share of nicks and water marks.

diy milk paint coffee tableThe Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint tutorials say that no sanding or prep work is required, so I added the bonding agent to the Ironstone (white) paint mixture and went to work.  This table had a HIGHLY glossy finish, and did resist the paint a bit, which I now realize, having worked with it some, was because I had the paint WAY TOO THIN.

If you decide to give milk paint a try, I highly recommend measuring the mix and the water when mixing up your paint.  I don’t recommend eyeballing it!  I started off eyeballing it, and was basically painting with white water.  Here is where we were after the first coat.  diy milk paint coffee tableUmmmmm, yeah.  While waiting for this to dry, which takes 12 hours with the bonding agent added in, I began working on another table that I finished already, and wrote about last week.  I LOVED how it turned out!  If you missed it, take a quick look and then come back, I’ll wait for you. 🙂

Then I changed my mind about the color, and painted the bottom of the table Typewriter. diy milk paint coffee tableI ended up with three coats of Ironstone on the top and two coats of Typewriter on the bottom.

While the table was hanging out in my living room, waiting for me to finish a zillion other things I had in process, Dear Daughter #2 that I love and adore and had told not to take any food or drink anywhere near this table splattered PINK kool-aid on the white top!  EEEKKKK!

Okay…what to do?  I figured I had two options.  Put coat #4, that’s FOUR, of paint on the top and hope it covered the pink (which soaked right in and couldn’t be wiped off, by the way,) or sand the pink spots out and call it distressing.  diy milk paint coffee tableGuess which option I went with?  Well, this paint isn’t exactly cheap ya’ know! And I was going to distress it anyway, though the top wasn’t part of the plan, but sometimes a plan just evolves.  DD#2 is an artist, and a very good one, and what do you know? Her pink accident inspired an artistic flourish for this milk paint coffee tableI also wish I had listened to her opinion and NOT distressed the knees of the Queen Anne legs.  Not loving them.  Oh well.  What’s done is done.  diy milk paint coffee tableAfter distressing the fool out of the table with sandpaper, I rubbed the entire thing down with the Furniture Wax and polished it.  I really love that wax, it gives a nice sheen but not a shiny shine.  Then I just had to try the Antiquing Wax, because I hadn’t played with that toy yet.  I put just a little on the edges of the top first, and liked it so much, I rubbed a little here and there across the whole top, going for a beachy-white-washed look.

Here is one last look at the table before:  diy milk paint coffee tableAnd Afterdiy milk paint coffee table

Lessons learned:

  • Pay better attention to the tutorials – after a second view, it DOES suggest using a deglosser for high gloss finishes. Oh, yeah, that might have helped!  
  • Don’t keep works in progress where people can spill things on it, because surely, the next time, it will be ME.
  • It’s okay to change my mind. I am woman. It’s my prerogative!
  • Relax, let it evolve, and if you don’t love it, it’s okay.  Maybe someone else will. 

Thanks for checking out my coffee table learning project.  Stick around a while and come back on Monday, when I’ll be sharing a month’s worth of Junkin’ Finds!   Take care, y’all — Dawn

Sharing with Furniture Feature Friday and Thrifty Groove and Between Naps On The Porch.  Also, Funky Junk.

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4 thoughts on “DIY: Lessons From A Coffee Table Reno

  1. Oh, it’s so darn cute! Glad you made the most of it. Being easy going makes for much more enjoyable projects (Heaven knows I should remember that myself). I just love the color combination!

  2. Hello!! Thanks so much for stopping by and for your sweet words!! I am now following you wherever I can!! LOL!! And I added your blog to my blog rolls too.
    LOVE how this table came out!! It is stunning!! I had planned on refinishing my bedroom furniture this summer but with the major remodel coming up in September, i decided to table it until next year. I am getting all new laminate floors downstairs, new kitchen countertops and sink and new medicine cabinet and lighting in our Powder room. I have to pack up and move everything out of 3 rooms downstairs!! Yikes!!


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