Just Junking | Makeovers | Painting | Trash to Treasure

1940s Child’s Table-Restyled

April 28, 2015

1940s Child’s Table-Restyled

This is the ugly duckling this table started out as. I picked it up a few weeks ago at a yard sale. The owners told me it had been the children’s art table in their grandmother’s house. It had been in the family since the 1940’s. Yep, it showed. Most people would not and did not give this pitiful piece of furniture a second look. That’s probably why I got it for a steal, although I am pretty sure the previous owners were laughing hilariously as I drove away with it. That’s okay…I’m kinda used to that reaction. 🙂

After I got it home I did have second, third and fifty-leven thoughts on whether I could actually restyle it into something fabulous.

The taped legs were a dead give away that they had huge problems.

The table-top was covered with a piece of linoleum (also probably from the 40s). Another issue was the large knot-hole.

I started by removing the linoleum. Sounds simple, right? Uh, no. This took me about three days working on it off and on. I don’t know what was used to glue the linoleum down, but it did not want to give it up. I finally got the linoleum removed and then I used a belt sander to remove the old petrified glue.

Then there was that big knot-hole. I attached a thin piece of wood to the underside of the table to cover the hole. That gave the hole a “floor”. I had a pile of sawdust that I hadn’t cleaned up from a previous woodworking project and it became the inspiration for my hole filler. I mixed the sawdust with wood glue and packed it into the hole.

After it dried I re-sanded the table-top to blend.

When the tape came off of the legs it was apparent they were too old and rickety to salvage. Replacing them was the only option.

Taking the old ones off was no easy feat. This is the bowl of nails, screws and bolts that I pulled out of the legs.

Incredible! I don’t think any of them was a match to another.

The castors did not look original to the table and they were a bit of a pain. I felt like I was constantly chasing the table as I was working on it. I cut the new legs long enough to compensate for the removed casters.

There were so many holes (from the removed nails and such) and scars on this table that I wasn’t quite sure what kind of finish would look best. I liked the flaws and I wanted to retain the history of the table. I began with a fresh coat of red paint over the entire thing. After closing one eye and squinting the other I had a light bulb moment.


One side at a time, I applied white glue and white paint to crackle.

Working off and on, it took me two days. I think it was worth it.

I added a handle to the drawer to complete the project.


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