Coffee Table Fix With Faux Wood Grain

Scarlett Butler
by Scarlett Butler
2 Materials
3 Hours
I found another treasure in our farmhouse basement! A solid oak coffee table, heavy as heck, that had some damage to the table top. I think my husband’s late grandfather may have built it in the early 1900s.

We are living in my husband’s ancestral home, and I was given permission to restore anything I found in the basement. Can life on earth get any better?
Here is my blank slate. A beautiful solid oak coffee table.
This picture doesn’t show the detail very well, but there were dark circle stains on the table that couldn’t be removed, no matter how hard I sanded them. They were very deep.
I decided to cover the surface of the table with a stain and paint combination to cover the dark circles.

After the sanding and applying some oak stain (and allowing to dry), I used this nifty little tool to create some faux wood grain. You just paint a strip of acrylic paint (I mixed black and brown together), and before it dries, you run the tool down the strip, rocking it as you go.

You you all need to get one of these!!
Here’s a closeup of the cool detail you can get using this tool.
After inspecting the final product, I decided to add some interest and contrast by using some lighter paint to imitate a few planks of oak and birch to the darker mahogany look.

But it you know what? I didn’t like it. Up close it kinda looked fake. What to do now??
I decided to distress the paint with my rotary sander which added some nice swirls and dings. I sanded especially along the edges to bring out that beautiful curved wood. Then I went over it with more oak stain to tone down the colors.

I think staining over over paint has become one of my favorite techniques!
Not a great picture, but here it is in place. I like the contrast with our oak flooring. I think I may do the legs with white chalk paint and then do something with that end table! Also, I have some decorative nails on order that I’m going to add to the individual “planks.”

Stand by! More to come!

A final pose for the cameras!
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