DIY: $25 Goodwill Table Upcycle



Acquired this nice table Goodwill for $25, I have been doing this (selectively) over the past few months. Our basement remodel has been underway for some time, but it is slowly coming together one piece at a time. As for a finish…I really had no idea what I was going to do with it, so we simply lived with it “as is” in the morning room for while.

{I will never complain about paying extra for a piece I find at Goodwill or Salvation Army. I, too, have noticed that prices have increased a bit, however, the sale from these stores are a funding source to provide job services for people with disabilities, so I know that the extra I might pay is going towards a good cause. My future daughter in law worked there after college as a job placement coordinator. She helped numerous people find work, including people who lost their sight due to diabetes, people with autism, and people with Downs Syndrome. The fact is…the economy has been hard on everyone, but it is even tougher on people that rely on the support from these services, and for some, it’s their lifeline}.

Decided to start sanding the surface, there were a few chips in the veneer, and I knew I wanted to embellish it with a transfer or an image of some sort.

Up close of the wood, I was surprised at how light the wood was underneath the old veneer.
Cleaning out the gunk from years of use. Using a wood cleaner is always a good idea.
Putting on a first layer of primer.
Already looking more like my style, even with primer.
Before I discovered chalk paint, I was trying different techniques with other types of paint. This was originally going to be a silvery-bronze finish. I changed my mind about this piece before I applied the final finish coat…I wasn’t loving the greenish tint.
My stockist recommended Annie Sloan Old Violet. I loved how it really looked like a vintage blue with the darker wax applied in her samples…so I gave it a try.
Old Violet goes on very light at first…and I didn’t need to prime again because ASCP is a bonding paint. The finish was already smooth and the finish looked great.
Going on nicely.
…see why? Mod Podge is NOT like wallpaper paste, I have learned. All you need is a thin layer to apply the image. So I scraped this off, and started over.

(The poster is from the craft store, and I decided to cut the poster to size to give it a more novelty finish look).
…luckily I had plenty of extra and tried the Mod Podge again, this time I brushed it on in a light layer (like a primer) and applied the poster with perfect results.
So after the poster was secured, I applied a thin but quick coat of Mod Podge to seal it.  But then as time went on, I sold this piece, and realized that multiple layers would make sense for normal wear. So in the end, I probably applied 6 thin coats of Mod Podge overtop of the poster in a cross hatch pattern to give it an interesting texture.

Back to the wood…a light sanding, followed by light and dark wax and this was the result. Love the vintage-blue color.

Finally! This was the look that I was going for.
Final result!


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    1. Thank you Sherri for stopping by and all of your comments :)

    1. Thanks Jennifer, great to meet you as well. Thanks so much for stopping by, and I hope you will often. take care!

  1. I must do this to a similar table I have.

  2. elaine simmons says:

    That is Soooooooooo professional looking. I made the same mistake with Mod Podge. It had been awhile since I used it and forgot how!

    1. Elaine sorry for my late reply. Mod podge is TRICKY! but in the end it worked out…lesson learned. It wouldn’t be me unless I have at least one “oops” every DIY project that i attempt. thank you for finding my blog and stopping by :)

  3. What is the wax you refer to?

    1. Deb it is the Annie Sloan Clear Wax and the Dark Wax.

  4. After the poster went on did you use a top coat of mod podge as well? Which mod podge do you use?

    1. I had a matte mod podge that I reluctantly put on the top…2 Coats. Reluctant–only because this was really my first “big” mod podge project and you can see my first attempt was a bit of a disaster. This paper didn’t behave quite like other, smaller mod podge projects. If I do more layers, I would probably trust the finish more…and would definitely do a matte finish to match the finish of the wood / paint. We talk about putting a glass top on this to retain the poster/photo so it won’t wear away over time.

        1. Melia, at the time I did this project I was a Mod Podge beginner…now I realize there were better versions of MP that I could have used. Please let me know how your project turns out!!! :)

    1. Thanks Tami, great idea for a link party! I will have to drive around my neighborhood to go curb shopping more often!

  5. One of the best furniture upcyclings I’ve ever seen. Well done!

    1. Wow! thank you! And it might end up being for sale very soon….funny how it’s not one of my favorite projects, but it turned out to be the most popular project on my entire blog ;)

  6. Tami Toppen says:

    Very nice! Love the poster and the wax as well as the entire color! Looks very pro! Thank you for advise about the Mod- Podge!

    1. Thanks Tami for stopping by and for the compliments! Lots of lessons learned on this project :)

    1. I’m so sorry for the delay, it would be wonderful if you’d like to feature this table…thank you so much for stopping by!

  7. Did you put a finish over the poster to protect it from damage (like water)? Or did you leave it as is? Looks FAB! :)

    1. Clara, yes I used Mod Podge overtop. Many layers. Thank you so much and for stopping by!

      1. lsarantos says:

        I think I just had my question answered! My bad – I didn’t read all the comments!

        1. No problem, yes many layers of Mod Podge is what it ended up taking. Be very careful if using a poster print however. The image (once it starts getting tacky) can tear off. So my suggetion is to keep a spray bottle of water nearby or dip your brush into water to keep it wet while you’re working with the image.

          Hope this helps! I love mod podge but it can be a pain!

  8. Dawn Thompson says:

    Love love love the Goodwill table renovation. It is beautiful!

    1. Thanks so much Dawn!

  9. lsarantos says:

    I really love this!!! Did you put anything over the poster after the mod-podge? I want to do something similar to a piece I have but the top needs to be durable – very durable! So some people have put poly or shellac etc. on the top. Any ideas??? Thanks and I love your blog!

    1. I am so sorry for the delayed response, I haven’t read this post in a long time and just saw all of the comments and wanted to reply to you directly, I also see some edits I should make to make it more concise. Definitely —- multiple layers of mod podge on the poster. I probably put about 6 coats in a cross hatch pattern just to give it an interesting texture. :) I’m doing a much better job of commenting now as I was in a blogging learning curve back during the time I posted this.

  10. Great job Jeanette! Love the dual wax finish! It gives it that extra touch!

    1. Thanks so much Debi!

  11. Hi. Love this DIY. Have a similar table or two and have been searching for something like this. So firstly, thanks for doing it and posting it!! Second, having never used ASCP products, does the clear and dark wax seal the project? and with the modge podge, which I haven’t used since elementary school many moons ago, does that seal as well or is a polyurethane sealer needed. Thanks in advance!

    1. Thanks Eileen. So I treated the top differently than I treated the rest of the piece. The poster required MULTIPLE layers of Mod Podge. I kept doing it just to protect it, and in the end, probably about 6 coats of matte MP. Then, yes, the ASCP required only the wax to finish. As for poly, I’ve only done this type of DIY twice, and both times used MP so I haven’t been tempted to switch as of yet :)

  12. I love this piece, but I really don’t understand how it goes from old violet to green?

    1. The last photos are accurate. The middle photos were taken at night with interior lighting casting a yellow tint. That’s why I often tell people to only shoot in natural lighting.