Introducing Ashlea Wheeler, a designer with some serious flair who is going to show you how to do a diy upcycle table with style!
If you’re anything like me, you get a deep satisfaction when you get something great for free or cheap. This is what I refer to as a ‘side-of-the-road’ table. In other words, I found it while walking home one night and carried it back to my place. The next day I went to my local hardware store for supplies and and began my upcycling adventure!
- Old table/desk
- Ruler (preferably a really long one)
- Masking tape
- Paint, 4 colours of your choosing (or mix the colours yourself)
- Paint brushes
- Gloss varnish (available in art supplies store or hardware store)
Step 1 – Draw up your pattern
Give the table a good clean before you start. I also used sandpaper to tidy up some rough edges.
My table was 100cm x 60cm, so I marked every 10cm along the long edge, and once at 30cm (half way) along the short edge. Use your ruler to draw lines between the long edge marks. Each line should go to the mark NOT directly opposite, but next to it.
Step 2 – Draw up your paint-by-numbers!
Remember those paint-by-numbers you used to do as a kid? Well, now you have permission to do them as an adult. I used Adobe InDesign to do a mock up of my table colours. Use a pencil to mark which section will be painted which colour according to the diagrams above.
Step 3 – Get painting, 1 colour at a time
If you like, use a paint primer on the entire table first to help the paint stick. Choose which colour you would like to paint first, then arrange masking tape around the edges of the triangles with the corresponding number. This will prevent the paint from escaping into other triangles. It’s almost as if we’re cheating at paint-by-numbers. Shhh…
Remember to place your tape over the table edges and legs as well. I painted the legs 2 colours so placed some tape about a third of the way up each leg.
Do one coat and leave it to dry for a few hours. If you used cheap craft paint as I did, you’ll probably need to do a second and maybe a third coat. Once it’s all dry, remove your masking tape.
Step 4 – Repeat the process
It’s important to let your last layer of paint completely dry before repeating the process with the next colour. If the paint is still wet, it might stick to the masking tape. About 6 hours should be plenty of time to let each colour dry before starting the next one.
Step 5 - Varnish
Once you’ve finished all your colours, you will need to varnish the entire table. Use varnish as per instructions on the packaging. My varnish needed 3 coats and a few days drying time before it was ready to use.
The makeover cost a total of $30 for supplies. The fabulous vintage chair I got at an antique store down the road for $45, so for a thrifty $75 I managed to create this awesome table/desk, and I’m pretty damn pleased with the end result. It took a few hours of work and a fair bit of drying time, but it was totally worth it!