Introduction: Refurbished Shadow Box End-Table

I liked the shapes of the table when I saw it came up on one of the estate sale auction. I bid $5.00 and won.

Even before I bought this item, I knew the faux wood blind slats on the top and the side from this end table had to go.

It is an old antique piece, but without the original top and its poor condition, there is no value to any collectors. But this is a perfect piece for my "recycle, upcycle and repurpose" project. Besides, what can possibly go wrong with $5.00?

Step 1: Tools and Materials

· Old End Table

· Glass Table Top

· Decorative Insert Piece (any item that fits space will work)

· Hammer

· Box Knife

· Cardboard - Large enough to cover the table top

· Matboard - Large enough to cover the table top

· Tissue Paper - Newspaper or Magazine can be used also.

· Leather Strips - Faux Leather or Real leather

· Furniture Finishing Nails - Optional (For Visual purpose only)

· White Paint - I used water based Paint

· Plaster of Paris

· Dish for mixing paint

· Dark Brown Paint - I used Rust-Oleum Metallic Accents water base paint

· Foam Brushes - for painting and applying glue for decoupage

· Masking tape

· Ruler

· Pen or Pencil

· Sand Paper/Sanding Block

· White Glue for decoupage - Diluted with water: Ratio (5 (glue) + 1 (water))

· E6000 Glue for gluing the leather strip

· Spray Glue to put 2 pcs of cardboard (Optional) - the white glue will work also.

Step 2: Beginning to End

I didn't know what kind of issues I will face once I pulled those faux blind slats out from the end table. Luckily, this table is in good condition and it is a good piece for my recycle project.

I had so much fun refurbishing this end table. It seems like lots of work involved at first, but I actually spend much more time coming up with an idea how I want the end table to looks in the end than actual work itself.

The power point presentation shows quick steps that involved transforming this, not so pretty end table, to something unique, pretty and an interesting conversation piece.

Step 3: An Old, Not So Attractive End Table

This is where it all began.

Step 4: ​Removing the Top and the Side Pieces

The faux wood blind slats were attached to the table with staples and glue. So, it wasn't hard to remove them. I didn't even have to use any tools.

However, it took a little time to remove all those staples from the table.

Step 5: Initial Sanding

Before I start working on the table, I had to sand off some rough areas.

My plan for the table wasn't to expose the wood, rather it will be painted, but still needed a good sanding overall.

Step 6: ​Preparing Paint: Chalk Paint

I am a big fan of "Chalk Painting" and Chalk-Paint will adhere to most of the surface without the primer a just couple of application at the most, i.e. Oil paint surface, Polyurethane surface, Epoxy resin surface.

However, Chalk Paint isn't cheap and not many colors are available to purchase at the local paint shop. But, there is always the DIY method. I am not sure what is the ingredients in the commercial Chalk Paints. but just adding "Plaster of Paris" to any water based paint works just as well. In my opinion, it actually works better than the commercial brand of Chalk Paint.

The ratio of 3 (paint) to 1 (plaster of Paris) is what I used.

Note: - Chalk Paint does require light sanding between the application. I use sanding block and quick hand sand the surface

- Chalk Paint pieces can be protected with pasted wax (not spray kind). Just use the old rag and rub wax all over the furniture. It will give "Satin" finish effect.

Step 7: ​Painting and Sanding.

Since the lower part of the end table will be visible, I also paint inside of the leg as well as the bottom shelf of the table.

Note: Leftover Chalk Paint can be stored in the jar with tight lid for a few days.

Step 8: ​Making a Shadow Box

Rather than cutting the wood and inserted into the table top and be done with it, I wanted to make it a little more unique. So, I came up with an idea to make a shadow box end table.

However, I didn't want to add unnecessary weight to the table. Just sturdy enough to hold a few items that I can display.

For creating the table top shadow box, I used the cardboard box and the mat board. The cardboard box I used for this project is a heavy duty box. This cardboard box came with a tool chest that I ordered, so it is pretty sturdy cardboard.

Put the table top upside down on the cardboard and trace the opening of the table. This will be the bottom of the shadow box.

Cut out the circle. Repeat the process and make 2 circle pieces and glue them. - Doubled the thickness.

Step 9: ​Dry Fitting and Trimming

To make sure the circle piece that I just cut fits the opening, I dry fit the piece and check for fitting. If necessary, cut off the excess cardboard.

Step 10: Building the Wall of the Shadow Box.

This wall serves to contain the item that will be in place of the shadow box, I decide to use the mat board. Just thick enough and hard enough to give stability and keep the shape.

Since the wall piece will go around the circle, I needed to measure the circumference of the opening of the table, which is the circle cardboard that I just cut out Also, I need the height of the shadow box. I wanted this shadow box to a little bit smaller than the side of the table so that the shadow box does not show when it is installed.

The measurement that I needed is 56.52 inches x 1.5 inches. I also need the circle piece add to the edge of the shadow box so that the shadow box can hang over the table.

when all pieces are cut, I attach all pieces to the cardboard circle piece using the masking tape.

(Ref to the picture for these steps)

Step 11: ​Final Treatment of the End Table

By adding the strips of leather and nailing the decorative furniture tacks.

I used E6000 glue to attach the leather strips to the wood first.

Once it is dried, I add the furniture tacks.

Step 12: Finished Shadow Box End Table

It's finished, but empty shadow box.

Step 13: ​Samples/ideas for Shadow Box

You can add anything to display in the shadow box as long as it fits shadow box space.

I made crepe paper flower petal piece to display. I can switch out with different color flower petals as the season changes.

** I will do the 'instructable" on how to create crepe paper flowers in near future.

Step 14: ​Introducing My Refurbished Shadow Box End Table

It didn't take long at all to refurbished this old end table and I love my new shadow box end table.

It was a fun project and as always, it is so satisfying to know I recycle, upcycle and repurpose another item.

Before and After Contest 2017

Participated in the
Before and After Contest 2017