I recently bought a coffee table at St Vinnie’s with the hope of it being some what of an ugly duckling. Through love and time I had dreams of it evolving into a beautiful swan.

Besides being immediately ugly to the eye, it did have some redeeming qualities; it was timber… it was round… it was crossed at the legs and it possessed a shiny glass circular top. With a $10 price tag it was also well worth the risk.

It was however, almost overlooked due to it’s hideous ‘nonna-esque’ brown stain.  A stain that would be hell bent on holding on no matter how hard I tried. ’40 grade’ sandpaper sheets (to which even the Bunnings guy questioned whether it’s coarseness would be appropriate) and a few spare hours of back breaking sanding and I had the base to evolve from.

(Firstly, before I launch into the coffee table revamp I have included a few images to showcase where I wanted to head with the restoration. Modern Scandinavian with a touch of bling.)
Below is the original coffee table and the beginning of the sanding and staining process:

Once the major sanding work was complete I coated it with a White Lime wash for the main body of the table and for the internal facades of the legs I applied 3 coats of the ‘Dulux’ Metallic range in colour ‘Moving Image’. It took a few coats to remove the visible brush strokes with the copper/gold and for the lime wash it required some manual sanding to remove the extreme whiteness. At this stage I think the copper/gold still requires a few more coats to make it really pop.

Overall, I feel it is an improvement on the table I started with. I think once the trauma of all that sanding has warn off I will begin to love it.

Image Credits: Hopper Boxes, Atelier Sano, Iona Cheval Mirror by Pinch, Petra Bindel, ‘Solo’ Series by Nitzan Cohen of Mattiazzi, Studio Juju, image from annaleenashem.blogspot.com, unknown, Block7 Mini House, Thomas Bentzen ‘Around’ Coffee Table, Naoto Fukasawa, Image from: Lovenordic.blogspot.com. 

* All other images by Thebowernest (Caitlin Perry) please credit and link back to site if used. 




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  1. Rachel #
    May 1, 2012

    Love it! Replica stores sell similar style ones for heaps. What a good buy and great refurbishment.

    • May 1, 2012

      Thanks Rachel! I’m always out for a bargain, even if the time taken to restore far out weighs the money I actually saved! 🙂

  2. May 1, 2012

    Nice grassy thing. What is it? xzx

    • May 1, 2012

      I’m not sure what they are called Milly – I will find out though because I love them. I stole it from a wedding I went to a month ago. It was part of the table decoration and with no attention from me at all it keeps on living.

  3. May 1, 2012

    It looks great, I love what you’ve done with it. What a bargain at $10 too!

    • May 1, 2012

      Thanks Jo! It was a nice little weekly project to keep me entertained… The house is getting very full now though… 🙂

  4. Matthew Deasy #
    May 1, 2012

    Nice job Caitlin! Your place is looking really great, looking forward to more photos of in and out of the house

    • May 1, 2012

      Thanks Matt, however nothing compares to your house!

      You’ll have to check it out for yourself next time you and Sarah are in Melbourne. We are definitely the ugliest house on the street from the front but have been working hard to make it the nicest on the inside. 🙂

  5. Jacinta #
    May 1, 2012

    Love it! Clever thing you are. You and Anna are putting your big sister to shame with all your DIY. Am hoping it will rub off on me eventually xo

    • May 1, 2012

      Haha thanks! Yeah I still need to feature Annas project! Thanks for reminding me 🙂 we learnt from the best… Cx

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