"" Rendition Road: Weathered & Leathered Side Table

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Friday, March 29, 2013

Weathered & Leathered Side Table

Hello friends!!
I'm back & feeling so much better! I think I slept enough
in the last few days to be caught up for quite a while.
I'm still working on getting caught up on e-mail so bare with me please :)

I thought I would show you a project I recently finished that I almost scrapped.
This was one of those projects where I knew from the moment I laid eyes on it
exactly what colors, finish & techniques I wanted to do.
Everything was good too...........
until I realized I new product I had tried failed in an epic way.
Could have been user error for all I know...either way, 
I believe after a little tweaking I can call it a 'save.'
I picked this table up at a garage sale last summer & since I've been on a table kick
lately, decided to get it out & get to work.
See how nicely that top's trimmed out?
That was one of the main reasons I purchased it.
It just begged for an inlay of unique proportions. 
I love her pretty detailing& she is solid!!!
 Despite her dainty looks, she's a beast!
Rather than sand this time since I was working in my dining room
I decided to try a product I've heard a lot about.
I used the Klean-Strip brand liquid sander & followed the directions to a T.
 It doesn't remove the finish, but rather softens the old finish giving
the paint something to adhere to. 
I went ahead & painted after I used this & let everything dry overnight.
I did not paint the inlay on top since I had better plans for it, 
but I did go ahead & use the liquid sander to prep the surface anyway. 

A lot of you are probably familiar with the
awesome treatments done with brown flooring paper. 
I absolutely <3 the look it gives & wanted the top of this piece
to look like it had leather inlaid on it so I started ripping & crumbling.
Instead of using Mod Podge for this I chose to use wallpaper paste
only because I thought it might be more durable. 
I really wanted to make sure the top of this would hold up to anything.

Once I got the top completely covered I let it dry overnight.
You'll notice I didn't use straight pieces for the sides & instead let it overlap onto the edge.
I did this mostly because I knew I was going to distress the finished piece
& I thought it would be easier to exacto it once dry rather than
cut a bunch of edge pieces. Lazy? Maybe. 
Good use of time management skills? I'd like to think so ;)
The next day when it was all dry I covered the paper in dark walnut stain.
I just used a rag & did a wipe on-wipe off method.
And of course forgot to get a picture of it with the stain applied. 

I wanted to do some light distressing so I went at the table with sandpaper.

I wasn't too far into the sanding when I realized much more was coming
off than should have been. Like a lot in some areas!
It almost had more of a milk paint effect way it was chipping off. 
This really doesn't even show the worst of it. 
I should have taken a picture of the sides. 
I don't think the liquid sander worked like I hoped it would.
I followed the directions precisely so I'm not sure what I could have done differently, 
but if anyone has any advice I would love to hear it.

I wiped away tears of frustration & decided I had worked too hard on it
to just scrap it so I started sanding it all down to start over. 
After sanding for over an hour I took a break & got some things done, 
but when I walked back in & saw it sitting there............
I liked the look!
It looked weathered & slightly beaten up.
Like something you would find in an old farmhouse. 
And yes, I should have taped paper over the top before sanding, 
but there was a good coat of past over the paper finish so I knew the dust
would easily wipe up. This was an 'experiment' piece so I took some liberties :)

Since I was going for a 'leather' look for the top I got out my
steel upholstery tacks & measured off the inlay to figure out how many
I needed & how far apart I wanted them. 
Remember when I told you she was heavy & solid??
Well hammering those tacks in was almost impossible so I made pilot holes.
You'll notice the mini post-it pad there was used to keep the distance between tacks equal. 
It was better than re-measuring between each tack.
I also made little 'notches' on the pad to show how far out from the
edge to drill the hole. Normally it's not a big deal, but these specific tacks have a 
very long stem on them so it's hard to tell where the head will end up once
pounded all the way down. This worked perfectly!

I gave the top several coats of polycrylic, sanding lightly between coats. 
The paper tends to leave a slightly bumpy surface & I wanted a 
super smooth finish so it took several rounds of layering clear coat
& sanding to get that nice even surface I was looking for. 
I waxed the entire table with Cece Caldwell clear wax & gave the 
hardware a coat of Pittsburgh Grey with a dry brushing of white
then distressed & waxed them as well.
I tried to get a couple of good pictures of the top but it was harder than
I thought without getting a glare in the picture.

The above picture really shows the texture under the clear coat.
I love that you can see it, but can't feel it.
I think the grand total was 5 coats to get the smooth finish I wanted. 
I apologize for the quality of the next photo, but it's the only
one I snapped of the inside of the drawer.
I stained it dark walnut to match the top of the table.
I absolutely love the finished look!
I'm glad I stepped away from it for a while so I could come back & see it in a 'new light.'

I normally don't gravitate towards pieces this heavily distressed, but I think 
it just works on this table.
 Actually, I've finished seven pieces in the last month that all 
have a very similar look so I must have just be in a weathered kind of mood :)

Just one more because, well........I like looking at her.
Plus in this one you can really see the shine from the top.
I hope you are all enjoying some good weather today.
I'm headed outside to finish stripping the top of a table in this beautiful
58 degree sunshiny weather!

 I have another little post I will be popping in to do today so I can really
be caught up. So until then......
Have a beautiful day friends!


  1. I love it! So glad you didn't scrap it. I have to walk away and breathe sometimes, too.

    1. Thank you Sara & me too! I have learned sometimes you really do have to take a step back in order to really 'see' it. So glad to know I'm not the only one :) Have a wonderful day.

  2. I think it looks great! I love what you did with the tip and the tacks were a great addition.

  3. It turned out great even though it was a lot more "weathered" looking than you planned on. Great job with the leather-look top, too, Stacey- xo Diana

  4. I Like it! Sometimes you just need to let it grow on you. Nice job, Dee from My Painted Stuff

    Thanks again, im glad i finally got your email

  6. I absolutely love the 'leathered' top! I might have to look at the 'weathered' body more to have it grow on me, though. A bit too much distressed for my taste, but who cares...I'm in the minority! lol :)
    Glad you're feeling better!

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