Mid Century Modern has unique styles of furniture doesn’t it? When I happened upon a pair tables I thought it would be fun to take a step out of my normal style and do a MCM table redo!
The tables were a mahogany and mixture of woods, and had lots of furniture polish on them. Furniture polish is a resist to paint, so needed to be removed.
It’s frequently asked if you can just sand the wax off. The answer is no! Sanding a piece with wax on it actually can grind the wax into the grain of the wood causing an ingrained resist.
Always, clean, remove wax, reclean then sand.
I first washed the MCM tables with diluted TSP Alternative, then scrubbed with Odorless Solvent to remove the wax. As it started to dissolve, I wiped it off with paper towels replacing the towels until they were clean. (odorless solvent is a solvent… it can self ignite in a crumpled mess of paper towels etc. I always follow the disposal directions immediately after using to be sure I don’t forget!)
I followed up by rewashing with TSP Alternative to remove any odorless solvent residue.
Finally I scuff sanded the tables. That is just a matter of lightly wiping the surface all over to put tiny scratches in the existing finish creating a ‘tooth’ for the new finish to stick to.
Because the tables were mahogany and stained in a red stain that kept leaching out when I was washing them I primed with with Bin shellac based primer. (It has to be the ‘shellac based’ version to properly seal off tannin bleed through!)
Here’s a tip…
When contemplating a design, I find it helpful to take a picture of it and print it out in a faded black and white copy. That way I can hand color my design thoughts on the paper version to see how it looks before wasting a bunch of time and paint on the actual piece of furniture and not like it!
Pressed Fern was too green, Ash was too black… a mix of both was just right.
Here’s another tip…
When making a custom mix, like I did with Pressed Fern and Ash, be sure to mix up a little more than you think you’ll need. You really don’t want to run out part way through…
The short handle Staalmeester One Series brush is perfect for these tight areas!
Two coats of the green and 2 coats of the Goddess Ashwagandha, (which is a retired color and now gone, so I have a replacement color option in the shopping list for you).
I overloaded each space then used a spackling knife of sorts, (I actually found the transfer tool work best! It’s linked in the shopping list) to smooth and scrape back all the excess.
The embossing paste takes a few hours to harden completely.
Some of the embossing paste smeared under the stencil, so I sanded it smooth.
If you’re not familiar with Fusion Embossing Paste, it’s not much like joint compound. Embossing paste is much smoother and dries much harder/tougher. It is totally sealed and ready to go, (if you stenciled it on and didn’t mess up like I did here).
I used a stick and style stencil, perfect for a raised stencil application. They slightly adhere to the surface, so the paste won’t bleed under as easily!
After the bumps were sanded smooth, I painted over the entire surface with the custom mix preparing it for the finished stenciled color.
It was easy to color the diamond raised stencils with a contrasting color using the stencil over the top! Here is the video post showing my stencil tips, including the biggest tip of all… don’t overload your brush!
After the Ash paint on the diamonds was dry, I dry brushed just a tiny touch of Bronze highlights.
This one package of Lemon Transfers from the Frame and Frills shop is enough to do both tables!
I arranged the transfers so that one table some what mirrored the other.
For more detail on applying transfers, here is a post where I explain more about them. They are super easy, as long as you keep in mind a few tips.
Here is a short video showing me putting on a transfer on a different project:
The final step for this MCM table redo was to top coat the transfers. Fusion Mineral Paint has a built-in sealer, but the transfers need a water based sealer over them. I like to use our Fusion Tough Coat for sealing transfers.
Here is a video post showing the technique I use to apply Tough Coat for a streak free finish! Tip is, don’t brush it on, goes on too thick… instead wipe it on with a damp applicator pad.
I love the fun play off the original MCM table using the unexpected lemon transfers.
What do you think?
Have questions? Please contact me, I’d love to help you be successful with your project!
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