Upcycling an old (or old looking) tabletop can be just the thing for your new homemade table. How do you achieve this older look? First, you can make a tabletop from an old door or wood originally intended for another purpose that is already distressed. Older pieces of wood are often painted and through time they have worn as they were used. An old tabletop may be distressed around the corners for example; a former door may show signs of wear where hands rubbed opened and shut it through time. But if this is the look you want and you don’t have access to and older piece of wood, you can do it yourself.
For a painted look with wood showing through simply paint a new coat of pain onto the plain wood (a quick sanding beforehand will help the paint adhere better). Once the paint has thoroughly dried begin sanding it until the wood starts to show through and stop at the point that suits you. For a paint-over-paint look, paint the first coat and once thoroughly dry put a second color on top. Sand this coat down until the desired amount of the undercoat shows through. You can mix and match the colors and amounts of paint to suit your needs. The classic look of metal legs matches the old style of distressed wood perfectly. Whether using old wood or doing the distressing yourself, you can leave it the way it is or cover it with an additional clear coat on top of the point for added protection. Just keep in mind that if you are using an older painted surface there may be substances in the paint you should handle with care, so make sure you work outdoors with proper protective equipment and clean up thoroughly when you’re done.
Of course if you aren’t ready to take on the challenge of painting and distressing your own tabletop, there are artisans doing the painting and building to order. The images for this post were shared with us by Scott, who hand paints and builds furniture in Portland, OR. If you live in the area, keep an eye out for his pieces which he sells direct on Craigslist. Whichever way you choose to get a colorful new piece of hairpin leg furniture into your home, have fun and send us a picture when you’re done!