Painting and Antiquing a Unique Coffee Table

I have always yearned for great studio space – but forever and a day I had to deal with little scraps of space to do my finishing and artwork.  First I had a basement (dreary and light starved), then my studio was in my garage (better space – but still light was at a minimum)… then finally I was able to take over the space that was formerly our family room.  It was a bit dark (northern exposure), so I put in 3 skylights and that helped a lot.  But still, I made the space as light as possible by having just about everything in it be a creamy shade of pale yellow – the floors, the ceiling, the sofa and the furniture had to be a light buttery hue so that the room felt more light filled and spacious.  My walls were treated with a fabulous authentic Venetian Plaster – and the shine from that helps to illuminate the room. To read about that finish (Venetian Plaster in general), go here.

But I had this great, spacious coffee table that I had found (and lucky for me it was on sale!!) and I always used it to spread out ideas for myself and clients. It’s a great size – at 51 inches long and 39 1/4 inches wide. But it was Dark – with a capital D.

a revamped coffee table during the transformation

Here’s the coffee table during the transformation!

I fell in love with it at first sight.  It was an old Tibetan door that was transformed into a coffee table. I used it in my new great room for quite a while until I found something that suited that space better. Then the table was ushered in to my “new” studio space in the family room.

Primer being out on the coffee table

Coffee table during the primer stage

With its dark finish, you really couldn’t see the great carvings – the scrolls and the birds –  in the metal inlays.  And, in my usual style, I had books and a vase of flowers on it at all times – so who knew it had this great character?

Coffee table primed and painted in an off white

My coffee table primed and painted in off white

So, in keeping with the pale color scheme of my new studio, I kept going with the priming and painting.

  • I used Benjamin Moore All Purpose Primer
  • Then 2 coats of Aqua Finishing Solutions Off White Setcoat as the base paint.
  • For the decorative metal parts of the coffee table inlays I used a smooth texture product called StucoLux Metallic in Pale Gold. I put in on with a chip brush and let dry.  Then I rubbed back with some fine sandpaper to expose some of the dark color underneath to antique it.
A close up of the finished coffee table with the StucoLux Pale Gold

Closeup of the coffee table inlay with the StucoLux Pale Gold

  •  Next, I antiqued the entire piece with a brown and gold glaze just to dirty up the finish.
  • For a protective coat, I used Benjamin Moore’s All Clear Polyurethane as the final coat.
Antiqued coffee table with project table in my art studio

How my studio looks today with the antiqued coffee table

I had a little trepidation showing my raw space where everything happens.  I am just not as neat and perfect as some ofthe other DIY design blogs – but I can only show you the reality (and this is on a good day!!!) of what my space looks like!

But – I love how the coffee table blends with everything in my studio (can you see how the project table above, which was white, now blends with the Venetian Plaster wall color?) I painted and antiqued everything with a similar baseboat and glaze. To read about how I antiqued the bookcase with faux leather inserts – that you can see in the mirror, go here. And, of course, that mirror was once black and I lightened, gilded and antiqued it!

The coffee table and the decor of the office work for me – right now.  Though I have my eye on doing some more transformations to the space – so stay tuned!  I don’t know why I am like this…but it’s in my blood to change things!

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Miss Mustardseed

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12 Responses to Painting and Antiquing a Unique Coffee Table

  1. I love how you finish that table. I’m new to your blog, but am having a great time looking at your past posts.

  2. Janet W. says:

    Love the transformation! Your great new look inspires me to try my hand at giving my old table new life. Thand you.

    • Linda says:

      Thanks Jan…I had some trepidation painting it – but I’m glad I did. It goes much better with the tones in my studio. Let me know if you start painting your table!

  3. Scribbler says:

    What a fantastic table! Never in a million years would we ever find something like a Tibetan door in this neck of the woods. You have done a masterful job on the finish — true artistry.

  4. You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be really something that I think I would never understand. It seems too complicated and very broad for me. I’m looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to get the hang of it!

  5. madeleine says:

    I’m just hoping this wasn’t really an antique Tibetan door, but a a 60s mediterranean carved piece.

    • Linda says:

      Hi – I don’t think it was a Mediterranean piece from the 60s. But I do know it wasn’t a precious antique – or else I would have had to pay a lot more for it than I did. It was on sale at a reputable furniture dealer that I know – and he never would give away an antique for as little as I got it. But – it was old. Just so you know – I have an aversion to repainting and antiquing antiques that are beautiful representations of an era. There’s something that stops me from doing it – even if the wood species isn’t popular anymore. I look for old furniture that needs my help! Thanks for writing.

  6. Andrea says:

    Hi! I’m new to your blog and read in another blog that you’re in Long Island! I was so excited that I decided to search for your blog. It’s soooo hard to find bloggers in the New York area, or that I know of…I’m trying to find bloggers in Long Island, just in case there’s ever an event or antiques show, that way I can attend; kind of what other bloggers are doing at Bella Rustica! Lucky them huh?!
    I hope I can get to meet a few bloggers in the Long Island area very soon!

    • Linda says:

      Hi! Are you on Long Island? Let me know where you are located. I would love to see if I could get some local bloggers together as well.

  7. usm haller says:

    Coffee table is a very important furniture in our room. But this type of coffee tables are really awesome. I am very happy to see this.

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