Finished Side Table 8

This week I transformed a small, nondescript oak side table into a prize suitable for a daring buccaneer.

Unpainted Side Table 1

Unfinished Side Table 2

This project let me test out a new technique: transferring a printed image onto a painted surface. The Graphics Fairy’s website is a wondrous place, where I’ve read about miraculous things created by a variety of techniques. Maison Decor, however, walked me through a project using Transfer Gel by Artisan Enhancements. It sounded straight forward and easy to use, something that appealed to me greatly. Confident in my decision, I ordered a jar of Transfer Gel from Robyn Story Designs.

After a bit of searching I found a promising picture online and used the Block Posters app on my Mac to enlarge it. Four 8″ x 10.5″ pages would fit my table, with a little room to spare. Before printing the picture to transfer, make sure you’ve set the control to mirror image mode. I used 100 lb. card stock, but in retrospect, I think that’s a little too heavy. I’ll try the 67 lb. stock next time.

I wanted to use two Annie Sloan paint colors for distressing later on. Of the colors on hand, Old Ochre would be the primary color. I chose Scandinavian Pink for underneath because it matched a subtle hue in the image. Apparently I’m the only one in my house who could see that.

Painted Side Table 3

I cut the white edges off the prints and taped the four pages together to form a single, large image. Using a chip brush, I applied the transfer gel both on the table and on the printed image. Press and smooth. I found a clean paint mixing stick admirable for the task of smoothing. Then let it sit overnight. I knew the oozing gel would cause a halo around the image, but a little paint would easily correct that.

Painted Side Table 4

There’s a learning curve to removing the paper from the image. In my case, it was steep. I think the thick paper was the source of my problems. Using a spray bottle, I spritzed a quarter of the image and began gently rubbing the paper away. Whenever I began to feel good about my efforts, I’d accidently tear a piece away. I became frustrated and cautious. And tried again. I’d make a little more progress, feel encouraged, and endure another tear. How like life.

Image Transfer 5

David would walk by and reassure me by saying things like, “We can just sand the whole thing down and try again, you know.” Grrrrrr. I walked away but came back throughout the day. David took a crack at it and seemed to have a better technique. My learning curve remained steep, while his quickly flattened. Once we finished the table, it looked pretty spotty. Literally. Visible holes stared back at us.

Map 6

But we’re talking about a picture of an old map. They’re supposed to be dirty and holey. I could live with the holes if I handled this next part successfully. Annie Sloan’s Dark Wax would be the key.

I covered the entire table with Annie Sloan’s Clear Wax and then picked up the Dark Wax. If this didn’t work, I’d be forced to sand the image off and start over. I slathered the dark wax all over the top of the table, especially in the holes. I worked hard on this step, knowing it would make or break this effort. The result was outstanding. The wax gave the map a weathered look and turned my holey mistakes into interesting features.  When I presented the table to David and Michael, my son and fiercest critic, they nodded appreciatively. On to the legs.

Dark Waxed Side Table

I made a few attempts at distressing down to the Scandinavian Pink but quickly decided against it. This table needed to stay masculine. I think it will be perfect for a young boy — or an adventurous girl — to use as a play table. It will also work quite nicely as a grown swashbuckler’s side table.

Our best,

Ann Marie and David

Featured at:

DIY Vintage Chic

Participating in:

DIY Show Off Suburbsmama Three Mango Seeds Mod Vintage Life Dwellings-The Heart of Your Home Monday Funday  Elizabeth and Co.  My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia Embracing Change Tickled Pink at 504 Main Life on Lakeshore Drive The Shabby Nest   Ivy and Elephants Rooted In Thyme We Call It Junkin furniture-feature-fridays-copy-300x133

Knick of Time Tuesday

11 Comments on Buccaneer’s Table

  1. Cindy
    March 19, 2014 at 9:06 am (8 years ago)

    Wow, what a transformation! Love the graphic you chose, the candle looks so neat! Thanks so much for sharing at Amaze Me Monday…

    • irisabbey
      March 20, 2014 at 2:14 am (8 years ago)

      Thanks, Cindy. It is always a joy to visit your page.

  2. Magali@TheLittleWhiteHouse
    March 19, 2014 at 3:36 pm (8 years ago)

    I went through several of your posts as I was discovering your blog and the way you transform furniture is absolutely amazing. That serpentine chest was the hell of a job, but turned out so nice, as did that little table.

    • irisabbey
      March 19, 2014 at 11:54 pm (8 years ago)

      Thanks so much for your kind words. Your encouragement means a lot. Ann Marie @ Iris Abbey

  3. LeeLee W
    March 20, 2014 at 2:47 am (8 years ago)

    Ann Marie, great job! You went through the mud and got through to the other side….success! I was laughing at your comment regarding David saying you could just sand it and start over…lol That sounds like something my hubby would say. Only he’d mean to actually do it …right then and there…don’t go further. lol
    Great job and perseverance!
    Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting! See you soon!
    leelee @ paperbagstyling

  4. Sette Design
    March 20, 2014 at 8:10 am (8 years ago)

    Anne Marie
    I’m thrilled to have found your site too now. What lovely work both do. I have worked on paintings in the past with a similar transfer method as your little table. The process is not perfect and patience is key. Sometimes you have to take a layer of paper off and then once it’s dried go back to take off more. On the big paintings we would then paint the image back in with oil colors. I think your way with the dark wax looks great!
    Cheers, Natalie

  5. Dawn @ We Call It
    March 20, 2014 at 2:28 pm (8 years ago)

    This is just an incredible transformation on this table! It looks so three dimensional. You’ve done a very unique makeover, great job! Thanks for visiting me. If you’re ever looking for a new link party to join, I host one Tue-Fri, History & Home, you’re most welcome! -Dawn @ We Call It

    • irisabbey
      March 20, 2014 at 8:27 pm (8 years ago)

      Dawn, thanks for commenting on the Buccaneer table. It turned out better than I hoped when I was in the middle of it. Thanks, too, for your suggestion to post it at your Link Party. I just did that. Have a lovely First Day of Spring. Ann Marie @ Iris Abbey

      • Dawn @ We Call It
        March 23, 2014 at 11:46 am (8 years ago)

        Thank you so much for joining the History & Home link party this week, I hope you’ll join again on Tuesday! -Dawn @ We Call It

  6. Lavender Dreams
    March 21, 2014 at 1:42 am (8 years ago)

    This is absolutely inspired! I love old maps and what a difference this makes! Great job! You are very talented can creative!

    • irisabbey
      March 21, 2014 at 2:08 am (8 years ago)

      Thanks so much for your kind words about the little table and pet bed. I just checked your blog and remembered you from the other day — you took those beautiful photos and Waterlogued them. I just asked my husband how I can get that wondrous app. Happy First Day of Spring, Ann Marie @ Iris Abbey


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