Introduction: Bronze Leaf Table Makeover

About: I enjoy repurposing and restoring old furniture and making woodwork projects that are not seen every day. I make most of my projects using wood that is either, recycled,reclaimed and love to repurpose and rest…

I had this little coffee table given to me, I loved the shape and wanted to try and come up with something different. Because the veneer was damaged and had to be removed I knew I would have to paint it. I had recently ordered some bronze leaf and when it arrived there was loads of it. That's when I came up with the idea of adding a bronze leaf mandala on the tabletop and shelf. I had no idea if it would work, but it was a free table so I was happy to take a chance.


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Step 1: Remove the Old Veneer

The shape on this table is what attracted me to it in the first place. I would usually restore lovely tables like this but the veneer was too damaged. I removed all the old veneers using an old butter knife just pushed under the veneer and it just lifted off. Veneer does not always come off this easy but this table was so dried out. For stubborn veneer heating it up with a heat gun will release the glue and you should be able to remove it the same way.

Step 2: Sand the Surface to Remove the Old Stain and Varnish

I sanded the shelves and the legs using an orbital sander. The top shelf was sanded to remove the shiny surface so the paint has something to grab onto to. The bottom shelf needed more sanding to remove the rough surface left by the veneer.

Step 3: Paint the Surface

Because the removal on the veneer left the surface porous I had to use a primer first. I used black because it was what I had at home and I did want the table black. I felt the bronze leaf against the black would stand out better. After 2 coats the surface looked really good so I decided to not paint and just use the black primer. This can be done when using black or white as long as you seal the surface. To seal the primer I used 4 coats of spray polyurethane. I would normally use paint on polyurethane but in the cold weather thin coats of the spray dry quicker.

Step 4: Find or Make a Vinyl Decal

I chose a mandala wall decal for this project which was centered on the 2 shelves. This method could possibly work using a stencil if you added the adhesive carefully. I made my decal using a Cricut vinyl cutter and cut it out on adhesive vinyl.

Step 5: How to Add the Vinyl Decal

Once the vinyl decal has been cut you need to weed the design which is removing the excess vinyl so you are left with just the design. Using transfer tape over the top of the design will lift the vinyl off the backing paper ready for transfer. Place the Mandala design in the centre of the table and rub with a felt scraper, this will make the vinyl decal stick to the table. Then remove the transfer tape.

Step 6: Add Size Adhesive

To add the bronze leaf you will need the size leafing adhesive. You will also need a soft brush to smooth out the bronze leaf. Add a thin layer of the size adhesive to the inside of the mandala. I used the small brush at first then smoothed it out with a credit card. The size adhesive needs to be left for about 20 minutes to become tacky as per instructions on the bottle.

Step 7: How to Add the Bronze Leaf

Start adding the sheets of the bronze leaf to the size adhesive. Cover all the areas and then smooth down with a soft brush to push the bronze leaf into the adhesive. I left mine to dry overnight because I had no idea if this would work. Using the soft brush again brush away the excess bronze leaf and remove the decal slowly.

Step 8: Seal the Surface

Once the decal was removed I added another 4 coats of spray polyurethane. 2 coats of brush on polyurethane should be enough. When I did some reading up on the bronze leaf it said as long as it was sealed it will stay the same colour and not tarnish. And that was my bronze leaf makeover complete.

Step 9: More Great Projects for You

These cute photo planters are made from recycled PVC pipe and a photo was added using an image transfer technique. Or this unique headboard made from old kitchen cupboard doors and recycled wood.

Please feel free to leave a comment and pop over to my website to see loads of great projects made from recycled materials. Unique Creations By Anita

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