Turning an Old Table Into Zelda Glow Art

About: Storyteller, Maker, Storymaker. I produce Geek-Dad-DIY videos on YouTube - It’s basically nostalgia with power tools

Refinishing old furniture can be a fun process of bringing life back into something that is old and worn down. I tried my hand at restoring an old baker's table, and adding that geeky flair to it (like I do) I made some Legend of Zelda scroll saw art and glow in the dark epoxy to give this old table a new look.

Here's how I did it:

Step 1: Materials

Materials

- an old table
- Pine board (if replacing the inside piece of the table like I did)
- Walnut wood (at least 1/4" thick)
- Cedar wood (at least 1/4" thick)
- Maple wood (at least 1/4" thick)
- Adobe Illustrator (or Inkscape - it's free if you don't have an Adobe subscription)
- Painters tape
- Wood stains (I used Minwax Ebony and Early American)
- Wood finish (I used Maker Brand Co simple wood finish)
- Epoxy
- Glow powder (I used Art N Glow aqua glow)
- Watercolor paint (the disc kind - I got mine at the dollar store)
- a piece of 1x4 (to stabilize the legs)
- Knife (exacto or similar to straighten lines from routing)

Tools

- Orbital sander (with several grits of sandpaper)
- Chisel
- Bandsaw (or scroll saw)
- Mjolnir mallet (or standard mallet or hammer)
- Router (I used a 1/8" straight router bit, and a 45 degree chamfer bit)
- Hand plane
- Clamps

Step 2: Disassembly and Reassembly

The first thing I did with the table was to take it all apart. I wanted to be able to clean up the old finish evenly off of all parts of the table, and get everything smooth and ready for a new look. Once I took all the pieces apart, I sanded all the pieces down with heavy grit sandpaper till they were all even and smooth.

I started by putting the legs and sides back together. The table was made with old mortise and tenon joints, so reassembling the bottom of the table was fairly easy. To help stabilize the base, I used my chisel to edge out the inside corners of the legs and screw a piece of 1x4 to secure the legs to the side walls.

Step 3: Adding Glyphs to the Top Frame

After putting the outside frame pieces together, I went into Illustrator (you can also do this in Inkscape) copied a picture of the glyphs from Breath of the Wild, and started tracing out the letters. I created an outline box to approximate the size of my tabletop frame, then fit the characters evenly around the frame.

I printed my drawing out, cut out the shape of each of the glyphs, and then taped it to the tabletop. I traced each of the characters onto the wood with a pencil.

I took my 1/8" straight bit and routed out all the characters down 1/4". I used a knife and cut all the corners that the router wasn't able to fit in, and straightened up some of the lines.

I added some pieces of 3/4" trim to serve as a shelf inside the frame for the scroll saw piece to rest on. This isn't necessary, I just did it to help myself later.

The last part was to add a 45 degree chamfer on the outside edge. I thought the angled edge would help give the tabletop the same look as the glyphs

Step 4: Prepping the Inside of the Tabletop

Using the same process as the glyphs, I brought a piece of Breath of the Wild art that I liked into Illustrator and traced out each pieces I was going to route out. To add variety to the piece, I broke the main picture into 3 sections that I would cut out of 3 different species of wood.

I printed out my drawing, then cut out the main shapes that was for the base\background of the scroll saw art. I traced the shapes onto a pine board, then routed the shapes out going 1/4" down.

I took a knife and my chisel and straightened up some of the lines and cut out the corners that needed it. I then glued the board into the tabletop frame.

Step 5: Adding the Scroll Saw Art

I had 8/4 walnut and maple, so I cut it down to 1/4" thick. I then traced my inside pieces that I cut out, and fit each of the sections on the different types of wood. I chose the walnut for the top section, cedar for the middle, and maple for the bottom.

Using a bandsaw and a scroll saw, I cut out each of the pieces and fit them inside the routed parts of the tabletop. Once everything fit together nicely, I planed the tabletop down so that all the boards were flat and even.

Step 6: Making the Glow Epoxy

I mixed up 1L of epoxy, then added in 120g of glow powder. I took the aqua blue disc from the watercolor paint set, ground it up, then added it to the epoxy for pigment.

I added the epoxy to all the routed out sections of the tabletop, then let it set.

Starting with heavy grit sandpaper and moving up, I sanded the tabletop down till everything was nice and smooth.

Step 7: Adding Stain and Finish

Using painters tape, I sectioned off the outside of the tabletop and filled in the center of the table with Ebony wood stain. Once that was dry and sectioned off the inside of the table and used the Early America wood stain to color the outside frame of the tabletop.

Once those were all dry, I used some wood finish to bring out the rich colors and variety of the table, and then it was done!

Step 8: Enjoy

The last thing to do was to turn out the lights, and see the table glow in all of it's glowy goodness.

I have more geeky projects you can check out here on Instructables, or you can watch more of my project videos here

You can also follow me on Instagram @onceuponaworkbench

Make it Glow Contest 2018

This is an entry in the
Make it Glow Contest 2018

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    6 Discussions

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    instructodad_

    25 days ago

    Really cool project - my kids would love this! Great work and Happy Zelda month :-)

    1 reply
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    jessyratfink

    26 days ago

    It turned out so so pretty! I've been loving the process shots and the finished table doesn't disappoint :D

    1 reply
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    audreyobscura

    26 days ago

    Yay! You finally posted this project! I was so impressed to follow along with this build on Instagram. The finished shapes and routed-epoxy-filled-bits are awesome!

    1 reply

    I know, it took waaaay longer to get done that I thought it would. Glad it is finally done though