Upcycling – Silver Cork Table

I’ve been fascinated with refinishing and repurposing furniture since I was a teenager, some 40 years ago. I can’t say I’ve become an expert, but the fascination remains and I’ve been continually inspired by the amazing makeovers showcased on designer blogs and websites. Encouraged, I’ve decided to post some of my attempts here in the hope they will provide additional inspiration for redesigning everyday objects and reclaiming flea market finds. And of course, paper will be a key element of the redesign.

gilded cork and silver console table

This old vanity was found in a junk shop in Lancaster County, PA. It was missing it’s mirror and chunks of the bird’s eye maple veneer, but I fell in love with the graceful lines of the cabriole legs and the slightly bowed front. The missing top parts made refinishing the veneer a bit challenging, so it sat in the barn gathering dust for years until the silver washed cork paper landed on my desk and I started yearning for a makeover to showcase it’s amazing texture. Using the cork paper to cover the damaged veneer was a quick fix and spray painting the legs and trim sterling silver seemed like it would pull the look together with a minimum of fuss.

old vanity before refinishing

The original condition of the table included peeling veneer and surface stains but the structure was sturdy.

patching the veneer with wood putty

I re-glued the loose veneer with wood glue and patched the gaps with wood putty. When the putty dries and is sanded, the surfaces will be flat and smooth. Spring clamps keep the veneer tight to the wood under it until it dries.

Table sprayed with sterling silver spray paint

Once the gaps were filled and the surface was smooth, I wiped the table with a tack cloth (or lightly dampened towel), sprayed a coat of gray primer, then a few coats of Krylon Sterling Silver allowing the paint to dry well between coats. The surface is starting to show a soft silver glow. – not too shiny.

applying the silver washed cork

Once the table was painted, it was time to apply the cork paper. I cut the pieces slightly oversized with a mat knife.  Before I glued the pieces in place with wood glue, I carefully roughed up the paint surface to be covered by the cork paper with sandpaper for a better bond.  Once the paper was in position, I covered the cork with pieces of acrylic glazing and added the clamps. The acrylic glaze does not stick to any oozing glue, helps apply even pressure and allows a clear view of what’s going on. (Thanks to my husband, Jon, for that tip). When the glue is dry, the acrylic glazing is removed and the excess cork paper can be cut away with a mat knife.

Detail of finished silver table

Ultimately, the patching on the table top was not covered well by the silver paint, so back to the drawing board. I sanded it heavily and brush painted it with semi gloss bronze paint. I like the way the bronze reinforces the hint of warmth from the brown cork that peaks out from under the silver wash.

- Shelly

Tagged with:

Leave a Reply

This blog is kept spam free by WP-SpamFree.