Reducing waste through upcycling, repurposing, refashioning and reloving.

Refab: Mod Podge table makeover


A couple of weeks ago, an early morning run resulted in found treasure ... this little table. If the sun hadn't been hitting the stainless steel in a blindingly bright way, I might not have noticed it. But I did. And it took about 30 seconds to establish the important things about it: the top is solid wood, the frame is in perfect condition and it's balanced. So I grabbed it. The makeover was fun and easy!


First challenge: clean the cherry red paint off the stainless steel. Guess what did it? Acetone. Ordinary nail polish remover. I was done in about 10 minutes. No scratches... just a lot of shiny steel.


I wanted to use the table in my "eclectic" living room. That is, a very colorful room that's not quite sure of its "style". When I saw this Nepalese paper, it felt right. I loved the obvious natural fibers and pops of red and orange. And I knew I wanted to use paper, because the last time I redid a table this way, the result was great!

Because it's a light paper, I needed to cover the red paint on the table. This took a couple of coats of white acrylic. 


Now for the fun part! I cut the paper and had some fun with Mod Podge. If you haven't done this before, it's simple. Put down a layer of Mod Podge then lay the paper down. Take the time to gently smooth out air bubbles. And be careful if you're using porous paper like this ... it quickly absorbs the Mod Podge and will tear if you aren't gentle. Let it sit for a while before you apply the first top layer. After that, the number of coats you apply is really about aesthetic and purpose. I want this table to be usable so I want a durable top. I applied two coats of gloss.  


I know the light isn't great in this picture, but I wanted to try to show you the resulting texture. Naturally textured paper plus glossy Mod Podge = what you see above. I had to do a little more work with nail polish remover to get the Mod Podge off the steel rim. And then it was good to go. 


And there it is. A new end table for the cost of the paper ($8 ... yes, expensive paper).  :)