Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Pinterest Challenge: Flower Table

I was inspired by this post I saw on a Young House Love Reader Redesign called "The Stain Game" where another blogger couple, Beth & Nick from Sawdust & Embryos, (the post from their blog can be found here) transformed an old dresser into a beautiful work of art using stain.  I subsequently pinned this image below to my Pinterest DIY board.  Well, the Springtime Pinterest Challenge just rolled around, sponsored by Sherry, Katie, Emily, and Renee, so it seemed like the perfect time to tackle this project.

I thought when I read their post how cool it would look to do a stained flower on a round table.  I had an old side table that someone had given us, and while I liked the form of the table, it was in really bad shape and needed some TLC.  It was the perfect candidate for this kind of a project.

As you can see, the finish was horribly scratched and marred, and the base had lost a foot.

First off, I had to sand off that awful finish on the top of the table to prep it for staining.  I used Daniel's palm sander to sand off the entire finish down to the bare wood.  This took me about 2 hours total.  It seems like it would be easy, but you really have to put your back into it and my arms were actually pretty sore afterward.  I had to be careful not to sand down too far because then you end up sanding through the veneer.

The next step was fixing the broken foot.  I had also broken another one of its legs when I was sanding the top from all the pressure I was putting on it, but luckily it was a clean break and fairly easy to repair.  Some wood glue and clamps was all it needed for the breaks to disappear.

I then used some leftover paint that I had purchased for the bathroom to paint the bottom portion of the table.  I unscrewed the drawer pull and gave it a couple light coats with a brush so that the design in the legs would show up and contrast with the light color paint I used.  Once the paint was dry, I just reattached the drawer pull and got to work on the stain.  

The only materials I needed for the stain design was stain (duh), a pencil and eraser (for mapping out your design), paintbrushes, and a rag for blending.  I found a flower I liked on Google Images.  Daniel helped me to find the center of the table (I'm no good at math and drew a total blank when he said, "do you know how to find the center of a circle?"  uhh.... apparently "eyeball it" wasn't the correct answer...)  Anyway, once we had found the center, I sketched my flower on the table and got to work staining.  Well, almost... first I opened the stain, which EXPLODED open and got stain all over me, my favorite pj's, my dining room table, my hardwood floors, my dining room chairs, my art box, etc.  (Sorry, no pics of the stain massacre.)  So after cleaning all that up, I started with the center and worked my way out to keep smudging to a minimum.  Stain a little, blend a little, etc. till the design was finished.


After my initial design was finished, it had to be sealed with some type of polyurethane.  We had some wipe on poly leftover from some other projects that I was going to use, but Daniel told me to wait and buy the spray-on kind so I didn't wipe off my design.  I should have listened.  [Daniel, if you're reading this, I am NOT admitting to being wrong, as I am NEVER wrong, ever.]  Anyway, I tried the wipe on poly and while it didn't completely take off the design, it did make it soak in so you could no longer see hardly any of the details-- BOO.  Anyway, short story long, I had to go back over my design with more stain and darken it up so you could see it again. This time I waited and purchased spray on poly.  After 5 coats of semi-gloss, the design is sealed.  I think I might want it to be higher gloss, so I may end up buying more.  But for now, I love my table and it works great in my newly finished music room (pics coming soon).  


  1. This is incredible... LOVE the detail in the center of the flower!! I'm so honored that you were in inspired by my work. You should be so proud... it turned out AWESOME!

    1. Thanks so much Beth! My mind is spinning with ideas for things to try this on--hardwood floors, outdoor furniture, etc. Such a great way to repurpose and reinvent a tired piece of furniture!

  2. I never thought of using stain as paint. That is SO great an idea! And gorgeous!