i should be mopping the floor: My Craigslist Coffee Table & Distressing Tutorial

Saturday, April 16, 2011

My Craigslist Coffee Table & Distressing Tutorial

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I love distressing furniture...probably a bit too much, but that's okay. Nobody's perfect. I'm always humbled when I'm asked for my method...because it's almost too simple. I did it years ago with the china cabinet in our breakfast room (pictured in a couple of photos in this post). And on a few other pieces for our home and friends' homes, too.

I thought I'd try it again...but with a twist. 
I've been looking for a coffee table for....forevahhhhhh. We've used an ottoman that has slowly becoming a diving board platform between our couch and love seat for our kids. Mama not too pleased. Plus, our home is not open-concept, our kitchen is on its own. So, when kids wanted to draw or do a simple project, they were booted to the isolation of the kitchen table. Now, they have a spot to do those things. (Although, homework is still isolated to the kitchen!!)

Found this table on Craigslist for $20. Actually paid her $25 since she helped me haul the thing from her apartment to my truck on the other side of the parking lot. And it's real wood, so it was HEAVY!
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We started with a major sanding. Truth be told, it was similar to sanding a large cigarette.
 It apparently *did* come from a smoking home. Grrr. And bringing it into my non-smoking home, it needed some serious TLC.
Here's the hubs banging out a random piece of wood that made the middle part into a cubby. Wasn't a big fan of that.
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Get ready to shake your finger at me. I brought it inside to paint. It's already in the 90s here, and I knew this would be a bit time-consuming. Don't judge me, please. ; )
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I painted it pure white. Not antique white....plain old white-white. Once it dried, I measured off 5-inch stripes across the area within the groove detail of this table. I taped them off with painter's tape. If they look uneven, that's the taping procedure. You're taping the outside of the stripe, so the other stripe will appear smaller as it's taped. It'll all even out when the tape is gone.
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THE TRICK!!
I seal off my tape when doing any kind of pattern, to avoid bleeds and create very crisp, clean lines (even though I go and distress 'em & mess 'em up later). This is fool proof. I've done it on a nursery wall of harlequin diamonds, a dining room of stripes and many other patterns. I LOVE this technique with wild passion!
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Compete the sealing on each piece of tape....it doesn't take too long.
After the sealed tape dried, I painted the black paint inside the stripes.
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Yes, I then hauled the thing back out to the garage for distressing (my priorities are kinda messed up sometimes....I honestly just wanted to watch Friends while I painted. And not sweat.)
Now, the FUN begins. Take your sander and mess the thing up! (Some people may not LOVE this look, so it's okay to skip if you really want to). I like to sand the edges and leave some fun marks on the main areas, too.
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When done sanding, use a tack cloth and thoroughly wipe the dust off. 
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This is all you'll need to antique the distress. I do this instead of glazing. Seems a bit easier and cheaper. Takes a little longer to dry, though.
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Add your stain in smallish areas....like pictured below. It won't stay on long and you don't want it to dry before you can remove it. (Sounds weird, but it works).
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Now, remove the majority of the stain with your paper towels. Don't be shy...just make peace with the fact that you're going to use lots of paper towels. The stain will leave behind a lovely glazed finish and some of it will remain on the bare, sanded wood. I adore that look!!
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Here's what the first section looked like when done. Proceed with the rest just the same.
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After all the staining and wiping. And wiping. Seal the table with polyurethene. Use non-glossy...unless you like the wet look. And there you have her!
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And meet the functional side that she introduced into our lives....no more leaving laptops on couches for little people to sit on. No more books all over the living room. Remotes....controlled!
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Come back next week for a quick tutorial on the wine crate pictured above.
(It helps to have an older brother who sells wine. And has boxes. Or maybe you can hit up the liquor store.)

Happy Distressing!





32 comments:

  1. Wow! This looks amazing :) You did a fantastic job! I am a brand new follower. I found your blog through your link up on WhipperBerry.

    www.theelephantstrunk42.blogspot.com

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  2. Great job, looks really good! Thanks for sharing

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  3. So cute!! A great new life for that table

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  4. Wow! I love the redo of your coffee table!!
    I am hosting my first linky party today and would love for you to link up! :) {nifty thrifty sunday}
    xoxo,
    Vanessa

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  5. I love, love, love that! Aged to perfection!

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  6. Great job, Kristi!! That is EXACTLY the shape of coffee table I am on the lookout for. I need something with storage underneath like yours. :)

    Thanks for joining my Weekend Bloggy Reading party. Hope you'll visit me at Serenity Now again soon. :)

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  7. It's so funky and fun! Great makeover! I can't resist a good 'ole distressing job! It always keeps my stress levels down trying to be perfect, knowing I'm going to beat it up afterwards! =) It looks awesome in your living room!

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  8. SUPERB! LOVE IT! great job! winks-jen

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  9. Hi, friend! You've got a lot of informative & creative posts so why
    not show them off at the Creative Bloggers' Party & Hop? My co-host
    this week is Tammy from Amber from Lucky Lees To Be.

    This is a combination of linky party (where we can show off our
    creations) and of blog hop (where we can follow as many excellent
    bloggers as we like), hence the name Creative Bloggers' Party & Hop.
    It's a great way to meet awesome creative bloggers like you and
    increase your followers in the process.

    All you have to do is 1) link up whatever creative post you'd like to
    share - can be a DIY project, decor, photography, crafts, recipes,
    poem, thrift finds, tips, or that informative syndicated post that can
    make us laugh, or cry - in short, whatever you're proud of! 2) Then
    follow as many blogs as your heart desires, preferably starting first
    with the one before you and after you, and leave a comment to them
    that you're doing so.

    You’re not required to include the party button – you read that right
    – not required to include the party button but if you’re so inclined
    to display it in your blog or your post, you’re very much welcome to
    do so :)

    See you at http://www.homemakeronadime.com/2011/04/creative-bloggers-party-hop-041711.html

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  10. Wow! It looks great!
    I am a new follower from the Homemaker on a Dime Party.

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  11. What a great project!! I think I need to find something to distress!!!

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  12. Visiting from Homemaker on a Dime. Nice tutorial. Very thorough; I like that. I see you just started your blog. I am a new follower and look forward to seeing exciting things from you. I hope you have a chance to visit my blog a follow back.

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  13. Thanks for such a great, detailed tutorial! I'm bookmarking this because I have several pieces of furniture that need a face lift and I love how you did yours!

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  14. Wow, that is SO cool! I love the stripes--what an awesome idea!

    Rachel @ Maybe Matilda

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  15. Okay this is AMAZING! I love the strips and how the distressing makes the piece look like a time worn prized family treasure! This is so cool!

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  16. Are you kidding me??? This is one of the best redos i have seen. The before and after look nothing alike. I'm looking for a coffee table to redo to go w/ my happy new family room set. Love, love, love yours!

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  17. This looks great. Actually been thinking of striping something...perfect timing and great tut! Thanks for sharing.

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  18. great job. Visiting from Tip Junkie

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  19. LOVE it!!!! I am on the great perfect coffee table hunt myself. I'm visiting from DIYHSH.

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  20. Awesome! I love it! I'll have to try using stain instead of glaze when I run out!

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  21. You came to the party! Thank you :) Love how your coffee table turned out. Thank you so much for sharing this with us at the Creative Bloggers' Party & Hop :)

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  22. Totally love this - I too use the stain approach to antiquing! thanks for sharing this at Fantastic Friday. I hope that you will join us again this week!

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  23. Thanks for linking this up to Check me out Saturday. I am featuring it this week. Thanks again
    http://iamonly1woman.blogspot.com

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  24. What a really funky table....thanks so much for the tutorial. I am brand new to distressing furniture. I appreciate it!! :-)

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  25. This looks awesome! Great job!

    Megan
    www.CutTheCraft.com

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  26. so great! looks beautiful! i'm always wondering how to distress funriture; thanks for the tutorial! thanks for visiting my blog... i'm your newest follower too ;) it's so encouraging to find other wives/mamas on here that are striving to follow the lord... and fun to see everyone's creative ideas! looking forward to your other posts!

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  27. Gorgeous! I love that you shared the sealing off the painters tape trick--didn't know that one! Thanks for the kind words about my fabric flowers. I sure have fun making them. : )

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  28. Wow! It looks amazing!!! I'm so glad shared the trick to sealing off the painters tape! Thanks so much for your sweet comments at my blog! I love the name of your blog! I can't wait to look around and see all I've missed! I'm so glad you linked this up at Week 1 of Inspire Me Monday at Homemaker in Heels! :)I'm your newest follower, too, btw! Have a great day!
    Crysta
    www.homemakerinheels.com

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  29. Hey Kristi...I LOVE your coffee table! Soo gorgeous..I'm an avid lover of all things distressed, especially if it's white! I am now a follower :) I'd love it if you'd send me the mothrs/fathers day printable thingy whatsit...I also LOVE your modpodge idea for that ...you are very inspiring!
    (ooh I love the psalm one too...so y'know...if you're sharing...jus sayin'..;))
    thanks for sharing your gifts and talents :)
    your new 'friend' ;)
    jessie, nelson, new zealand

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  30. Kristi, just found this table. LOVE it! What a great job you did! :)
    Also, read your story about being sick. I'm so thankful you're well now! God is good my friend! :)
    Melody

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  31. I love this table! Really love how you added the stripes to it, looks so good!

    I wanted to stop by and let you know that I'm featuring it on Friday's Fabulous Furniture Finds today! If you have a minute please stop by and check it out!
    http://chase-thestar.blogspot.com/2012/05/fridays-fabulous-furniture-finds-4.html

    Blessings! Barbara @ Chase the Star

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