Paula Tisch
Paula Tisch
  • Hometalker
  • Huntsville, AL

Peony Coffee Table

6 Materials
10 Hours

Recently I picked up an old solid oak dining table. I really liked the round shape and thought I could create a unique coffee table out of it - so I snatched up for $50. Woot Woot!

I scrapped the base as it was just a pedestal and kind of nasty, and just saved the top for my project. At first, I was thinking I might sand it down, stain it, then apply the graphic.

*** spoiler alert - I tried 3 different ways to transfer this image and this was most successful. If you are interested in my epic failures you can see them on my blog.
peony coffee table
Step 1: Sanding
As you can see, even tho this table is solid oak, it was not pretty at all.  The wood was VERY dry and it did not smooth out well.  There were also several visible stains throughout the tabletop.
peony coffee table
Step 2: Paint
Paint it is!  So off to get some paint I went.  I'm not sure why, but I was very indecisive about every step of this DIY project, including the paint choices.  So I bought two very different colors.

peony coffee table
Step 3:  Graphic
Next, I found a couple of peony graphics online at one of those free sites and printed it out on transparency paper on my printer.

peony coffee table
Step 4:  Shine On

Cast the image onto your piece using an overhead projector.

Step 5:  Pencil the design

I use a pencil while transferring the design.  That way if I make a mistake it can be fixed.  Plus sometimes the shadows from getting in front of the light of the overhead cause a few problems.

Step 6:  Paint the design

I used a small brush and some acrylic black paint.  I really really really wish I had a picture of this process.  I am NOT an artist!  I followed the lines as best I could with a small brush.  My painting had lumps and bumps, I went out of the lines, sometimes I had to just wing it because the graphic was just too detailed for me to paint.  And still, it turned out!

When I had finished painting the graphic, approximately a week later, this one was not for the faint of heart, it was not pretty.  I would not have put it in the living room like that.  Trust me.

peony coffee table
Step 7:  Sand with the finest of sand paper

This is where the magic happens!  Buy the finest sand paper you can find.  I used a super fine 320 grit paper.  Sanding with the grain, gently sand the piece.

Honestly, it is like magic.  The image comes alive.  It looks like it was meant to be on your piece and it has been there forever!
peony coffee table
Shocking, right?  Not bad for not an artist!

I honestly couldn't believe it.  It is gorgeous!  It looks just like a peony and has so much texture.  It adds a simple bit of surprise to the living room.  I love it.
peony coffee table
peony coffee table
So there you have it!  Another successful DIY adventure.  I bet you thought we would never get here, but yeah me!  And thanks to all those who post great tutorials on the web.  Without you, I might have given up and been lost!
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Paula Tisch

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 questions
  • Sunny
    on Apr 29, 2018

    Hi, it is beautifu!! Did you put any protective coating on it?

  • Martha
    on Apr 30, 2018

    That Peony is Awesome!!! Where did you find the pattern and what is the size, I have an oak claw foot table in my breakfast room. I would love to be able to put a beautiful peony on it but would have to probably use two.

  • Karen
    on Apr 30, 2018

    If you scrapped the original table base, could you elaborate on what you did/used

    • Paula Tisch
      on Jun 12, 2018

      The lip that you see was part of the original table top. All I did was add legs.

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