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How to do Faux Leather Tops for End Tables

Written By petite karinne on Wednesday, February 5, 2014 | 3:40 PM

I picked up these two topless end tables at a thrift shop that obviously had glass as original tops. I liked the style of them and they were built solid, and no repairs were needed. All I had to do was add my room style and tops. That meant black and tan colors and wrought iron blend in. I thought of wrapping leather around wood for the tops, but if there are ever any spills, it would stain and cleaning would be a chore. So I decided to do "faux aged leather" from brown craft paper by decoupage. After several coats of clear coat, spills wouldn't be a problem. I also had to use a thin wood such as plywood lauan. The ledge where the original glass was, is just too narrow for the lauan and paper wrapping,  so I went with Plexiglas.

First step: Cleaning the tables. Rubbing alcohol, soap & water. Wipe dry. 

Paint color of choice: Flat black. 

Spraying the entire table and not allowing to dry, just as I got to the end of the painting...

I started "streaking" the wet paint with a rough bath towel. (Recycled old towels cut into sections just for shop purposes.) 

I'm streaking! It looks blurry like an old TV station, but it's just wet. 

One of the legs. 

Bottom platform shelf to streak. 

Different than the first side, but I like it.  

After the paint dried, I clear coated with lacquer. 

I had a piece of Plexiglas large enough to cut two pieces for the tops of the tables. I measured and cut to size. 

After cutting the tops out of Plexiglas, I scuffed them up with rough grit sand paper on both sides. 

Anxious to see the depth and fit... all is good. 

Now to cover the Plexiglas. Homemade mod podge and a roll of brown craft paper. (Brown paper bags work too.)

I pulled off enough paper to cover each top then tore them up into odd rips. 

Then crumpled them up as tight as I could. 

The only time in my life I want tons of wrinkles.  The more the better. 

Glue solution painted on the Plexiglas. 

Dipping the crumpled pieces one by one into a bowl of glue solution and painting them onto the Plexiglas. 

Small pieces like this makes it easy to avoid air bubbles. I smoothed each out with my fingers. 

I turned over the paper covered side onto a cardboard box smaller than the top but high enough to work on the other side. It's messy, so I used a large plastic garbage bag under the work. 

After the paper and glue solution dried thoroughly, I lightly stained the top surface with wood stain. 

After the stain dried, I lacquered the top with 4 coats, drying in between each. 

Last coat and getting excited. 

Decorative tack nails added around the edges of the faux leather. (Goes with the sofa and recliners, all studded up.) 

Just as I imagined. I'm satisfied. 

That is what I was after ... all streaky and old looking. 

I need taller lamps 

Later, there will be a glass of water and a game controller and a nine year old boy all sitting there ;) 

Kind of a "treasure map" look, so I added a signed art piece "treasure box/book" I bought 30 years ago. 

Ready for weekly dust bunnies. 

Well, now I need to change the old mirror. 

Second end table in place and the mirror became "aged". It's coming together. 

The mirror now compliments the end tables. 

You can see why I need taller lamps, ey?  Coming soon. 

My wrought accents are starting to work into all of the re-done furniture. 

Lamps? Yes. We have trees in our woods that up rooted from Hurricane Irene. In the "pine family", they aren't safe for wood burning stoves... so I can use them for other things.
I cut the trunks with the partial roots on purpose. 

Peeling off bark and removing earth around the roots took longer than I expected.  Some of it was really packed with years of growth. Digging and cutting with knives and chisels worked. 

All bark and dirt removed and started sanding. 

It had a bath and is drying out. (I didn't want to bring any insects inside)  The rest of the project is on hold for a few days. Then the remainder of the sanding and shaping with rat tail files, etc. will get this where I want it. 

Now I see a wall sculpture for above the mirror and wall sconces  ;) 

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