End Table Coastal Makeover

9 Materials
4 Hours

We’ve had this end table (and the matching coffee table) for YEARS. They used to be a chocolate brown color. When we moved into our new house 3 years ago, the color just didn’t look right with the coastal vibe I was going for, so I chalk painted them both white. The paint was starting to look a little dingy and I wanted to spruce them up a bit and add some interest. Today I am focusing on the end table only. Here is what I did to change it’s look.

Since this table had already been painted white, using chalk paint, it just needed some touching up. The first thing I did was bring the table outside to my ‘workshop’, aka my yard. I used a whole can of this spray paint with a built in primer.

Ta daaaaa…..Here it is after I spray painted it.

I purchased some Bahamas nautical map wrapping paper on Amazon to apply to the top of the table. It came with 5 sheets of paper. It is a nice thick quality, and I plan to use the left over for other projects. To adhere it to the top of the table, I cut a piece down to size, and used spray adhesive to glue it to the top. I flipped the paper over, layed it on my tarp, and sprayed the top 1/4 of the paper. 

Then I lined it up on the table, and glued it down using a smoothing tool to get rid of any bubbles.

Then I continued flipping the remaining paper up, spraying a little at a time, until the whole piece was glued to the table. Afterwards, I continued using the smoothing tool to make sure all the bubbles were gone from the piece and then I left it to dry overnight. It looked awesome!

The next morning lots of bubbles appeared and it looked pretty bad! I applied 3 coats of Mod Podge to the top and keep smoothing out the bubbles as best I could in between coats. I used a rolling pin, and a smoothing tool. I even popped a few with a pin. Some of them were stubborn! I kept thinking, OMG what did I do, this looks terrible. Anyway, after it sat and dried, most of the bubbles magically disappeared! Phew!!! It is not perfect, but it looks WAY better.

Here it is after smoothing out the bubbles. Not perfect, but much better.

To complete the nautical look I added a rope around the edge of the map. I used elmers all purpose glue to adhere the rope to the table. After I put the glue on, I held it in place while my husband nailed in some Brad Nails to make sure it was really secure.

Lastly, I applied 2 coats of this  MinWax polyuerthane to the entire piece to protect the surface.

Annnnnnddddd, here is the finished product.

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Frequently asked questions
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  3 questions
  • Have you thought about ironing your paper before mod podge? I did a map project for a friend and AAA gave them to me for free. They are folded and I ironed them with a dry iron under my threadbare linen pressing cloth. Helps get the creases out and goes on a tad bit easier. I am old school and iron my clothes every morning. Even my jeans!

  • Joanie Joanie on Apr 01, 2019

    Sharp! I really like this........maybe a plane or ship,  boat.......train, bus....some form of old antique transportation which give it a touch of character???????

  • Connie Connie on May 15, 2019

    When we moved to Florida 25 years ago. I wanted to take a cruise. We did go on a small cruise. We went to the Caribbean, the place I liked the most. I would like to do this on an end table that needs to be re finished. This would be cool. Can this be covered with Glass or Plexiglas??

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4 of 52 comments
  • Binky65 Binky65 on May 22, 2019

    Very nice & such a cute table!

  • Pam Pam on Jul 14, 2019

    I don't have a question, but wanted to say I think this is ADORABLE. I love it. My daughter was a geography major and she loves all map things. I think I might try and do this for her for Christmas!

    • The House house The House house on Jul 14, 2019

      Nice! It’s pretty easy. I have also done a tray with a map that would make a good gift too.