April 19, 2012

[Restoration Hardware Hack] Faux Zinc MDF Table Makeover

If this piece of furniture {Baker's Rack Open Shelving} and this piece {Zinc Open Nightstand} fell crazy in love and had a little furniture baby, then it could look something like my side table makeover! Can you see it?

But let's start at the beginning- this is the 3rd update for our "Spring into Action" challenge. Remember my before pic- this side table in need of TLC. I almost tossed'em or yard saled the pair- since they were only 60 bucks brand spankin new and aren't even made of real wood! BUT the size and shape could work, and I needed the little drawers for living room storage- so I stayed with it. 
  Last week I let your know I had painted the tables black- using a DIY chalk paint formula. I used chalk paint so I could skip the prime step and skip right to the paint. And for the record chalk paint does have great adhesion to MDF, I was very pleased with it. 
What I didn't show you- I took off the top of the table, to be replaced with some real wood!

To create a metallic look I started off using Jamie's {Freckled Laundry} tutorial-it's about the best tutorial I've ever seen. Jamie is so super duper talented.
 I happen to have the right paint on hand to follow through her directions. I probably shouldn't have taken a pic with the freezer paper- it's really just a trick I use to keep the paint from soaking into the paper plate. So you can disregard it when/if you buy supplies.
Following the tutorial, you use a rag to blend three shades of silver, creating a slightly varied finish in color. Buuuut, I followed all 14 steps and wasn't that happy with my version-{*super sad face.} Though this was at no fault of the tute. More like I'm still working on my glazing skills. So I backtracked to step 5.
You can see from the pic- it's silvery and shiny from the paint. But I wanted a more reflective surface.

Then I used my old friend, Rub n Buff, to apply another level of sheen. I also used this to create imperfections in the finish and create depth. Look at how the furniture reflects light. I took this pic n an overcast day with the curtains closed, and still you can see the shine!
Here's a few close up shots so you can see the finish. I applied the Rub n Buff with a toothbrush, like I explain here. I used it in spots, making it thicker and thinner in areas to help recreate the look of metal.
I used cheap-ish preassembled pine wood and had it cut it to size. I decided to cut them the same size as the base, trying to modernize the traditional tables a bit. The wood cost me 20 bucks and would have been cheaper if I had decided to make my own with planks- probably costing $12-13. This time easy won, though!

Then I used a homemade stain made from vinegar and steel wool to age and stain the wood. {I describe it in depth at the bottom of this post.} The wood is warm with gray tones in it. It is a little more yellow than I'd like- but that's due to the polyurethane, not the stain. 
I can't belive how many projects I've done in this room now! Things are finally starting to wind down in here a little bit. Looking around the room from left to right I made:
Last but not least- Z Gallerie Subway Art Knock Off  {on the left of the next pic}
 I think things are starting to come together. Although I removed the previous {fake} medium brown wood tone side tables- there's still lots of dark wood in the room. You'll find ebony wood on- the feet of the couch, picture frames, and for the entertainment center. You can see the corner of it poking out on the left side of the pic. 
And on the other side of the room, more dark wood found in the {yet-to-be-recovered}chair and mirror. It feels a lot calmer and cleaner to have just two-ish looks to the room. Of course the West Elm knock off tree stump table I made isn't an exact match for the new tabletops, since they're different woods- but since I used the same homemade stain, it is pretty similar.
That pretty much sums up the challenge- I can say I'm at peace with how the tables turned out. For about 25 bucks I don't have to stare at that red-toned "wood" ever again! Not bad for a 60 dollar Target table, huh?
I cannot wait to see how the other 11 participants fared in the challenge! Check'em out when you get a sec!