The Oh-So-Dainty Tea Table!

This gorgeous tea table came to me courtesy of The School of Hard Knocks. Seriously, I made so many bad business decisions on this project from start to finish. On the bright side I hope I learned some valuable lessons. Let me explain:

1. I bought it sight unseen.(Only saw a photo.)
2. I paid too much. (I need to resell for a profit.)
3. The glass was badly scratched and required replacement. ($)

So the only thing I could do at this point to save the project was a super quick re-do to minimize the time involved (labor expenses) and hope to make a small profit . . . 

4. I fell in love and couldn't stop at a quick re-do and kept working until I had it just right.


It's a lovely antique tea table with a removable glass tray. The shape of the legs are so dainty! The front two legs and center are adorned with brass decorations. I think the back originally had the same decorations, but they are now missing.

Repairs in process. I took the photo!

Overall it was in decent condition except for being a little wobbly due to a loose leg. My husband helped me re-secure the leg (he did the work and I took a picture of him). And the veneer on top was loose and a little warped. And the glass tray was badly scratched. OK, so maybe it wasn't in such great shape.

I had a local glass company, Sam Smith and Son, Inc., replace the glass. Initially they were a little hesitant if it was do-able due to the old time construction underneath the tray. But they were amazing and figured it out. It looks wonderful now and the glass is nice and secure. They also took care of replacing a mirror for me on an upcoming project.


As I mentioned before, I planned on a quick re-do:  Paint, lightly sand, wax, and take it to the booth.

After: Paris Grey and Old White.

I chose a color combination of Paris Grey and Old White (Annie Sloan Chalk Paint). Because of the lighter paint colors and the older wood I knew before I got started that the tannin would bleed through, so I went ahead and gave it a coat of shellac before I got started. Unfortunately, there was still some bleed through after the first coat of paint. So I gave it another layer of shellac. And then another just to be sure. That did the trick! 

I applied 2 more coats of paint and sanded between coats. Next I planned to salvage the time/labor quotient by giving it a quick and lightly distressed finish, but as I was sanding I thought how pretty it would be with heavier distressing. I took a break and came back to it the next day. At this point I figured I will never get my money out of the table, so I went all-in and just kept working with the sand paper until it had the look I wanted. After waxing the entire piece, I decided to add hints of dark wax to further age the piece. The dark wax was applied all over except for the top portion that is protected by the glass tray.

I will take it to the booth and mark it for sale, but I will have to price it a little higher than I normally would for a side table. On the other hand, this is a unique and one-of-a-kind table. But if it doesn't sell then I will use it for my very own. Yeah me!

So many lessons learned. Well sort of -- I've got some new bids out there now for some other items. . . 

Front view without the tray.

Back view without the tray.


Popular Posts