Side Table: Add a Touch of Elegance with Stencils

This side table was manufactured circa mid-century. I wouldn't label it as "Mid-century Modern", but it's from the mid-century era. I loved the clean simple lines of the piece, so I snatched it up.

Vintage mid-century side table
Vintage mid-century side table

It was in good structural shape, but the bolts on the legs needed tightening (easy fix). The finish on the top was badly scratched.




Before: Damaged surface on top of table
Before: Damaged surface on top of table

I cleaned the table with a bit of soap and water. The photo below was actually taken on the second cleaning, and although the water looks dirty, the darkness is actually coming from the tannin in the wood as the original finish had been worn away. That's a big clue that the tannin will bleed through the paint.

Tannin from wood when washed
Tannin from wood

So I applied two thorough coats of shellac to prevent bleed through problems.

Apply two thorough coats of shellac to prevent bleed through
Apply two thorough coats of shellac to prevent bleed through

I painted the base in French Linen and the top and bottom shelf in Old White. I applied a stenciled border to the top in French Linen. I used a square ruler to tape off an angle at the corner.

Use a square ruler to tape off the corner turn for the stencil
Use a square ruler to tape off the corner turn for the stencil

To turn the corner for the stencil, I lined up a second piece of tape, and then removed the first.

Apply another strip of tape to the outer edge of the first piece. Remove the first piece of tape and continue stenciling.
Apply another strip of tape to the outer edge of the first piece.
Remove the first piece of tape and continue stenciling.

I continued the stencil around the edge in Old white.

Use painter's tape to hold the stencil in place.
Use painter's tape to hold the stencil in place.


After

I lightly sanded the entire piece to give it a time-worn look. I sealed the paint with soft clear wax. It still has the clean lines, but I think the new color scheme and stencils adds a little elegance to the piece.

After: French Linen and Old White with contrasting stencils.
After: French Linen and Old White with contrasting stencils.

Here's a close up of the stencils and distressing.

Bordered stencil with light distressing.
Bordered stencil with light distressing.

Finally here's a side-by-side of the before and after:

Vintage mid-century side table: before and after.
Vintage mid-century side table: before and after.

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Supply List

Below are the supplies I used for this project. Some (not all) links are affiliate links which  means I earn a (very) small commission (ha ha) if you make a purchase. It doesn't cost you extra, but it helps support the time and effort of maintaining the blog. Thank you for your support and understanding!

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