Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Zinc Table Tutorial

Today I want to share a project I have wanted to try for a while. I love the look of zinc tables and old industrial furniture, like shop tables, workbenches, etc. They are cool, but SO expensive. I recently saw a zinc dining room table at Anthropologie and I seriously did not even dare to look at the price. I can sure imagine though! I also love these aluminum pieces from Restoration Hardware. Again, don’t even look at the price. You will need medical attention if you do.

You looked, didn't you?

There have been a couple great tutorials on making Anthro’s zinc letters, so I used those principles to try on a larger scale. We bought this console table at Target about 4 years ago. It’s got an espresso finish, which I do like, but I wanted something more vintage looking.

To this project you will need some inexpensive tools.

Table (or whatever you want to zinc-ize)

Modge Podge

Craft paint (I used Martha Stewart’s metallic silver and black and Golden’s Micaceous Iron Oxide)

Cheap brushes, foam ones will work too



Heavy Duty Aluminum Foil (it must be heavy duty; you will thank me when your project doesn’t rip)

The instructions are simple: Coat the piece with Modge Podge. Work in manageable sections so it doesn’t dry out before you stick the foil to it. I started with the legs and wrapped the foil around them. Keep in mind that as you overlap sections, hide the serrated edge that is created when you tear the foil off the roll. You would never see an edge like that on a table like this. Also when you are overlapping on the legs, make sure a piece higher up on the leg overlaps the lower section.


Put the foil shiny side down dull side up. You will forget this a million times and have to pull off the foil and start over. Or maybe you won’t. But I did. Have the dull side up gives you a good start to the zinc look.

Okay, back to the table. When you get to the table top, kind of make like hospital corners when you wrap around a corner and edge.

Then mix your paints with water. I can’t give you an exact formula because what shade you want depends on you, but don’t leave it too thick or it won’t spread and streak properly. Don’t make it too thin or you will still see too much of the foil underneath. You can always go over thin layers to get the right shade.

When your piece is dry, pound in some small nails wherever makes sense to you. I did at the corners, seams, and every 8” or so around the top of the table. Then I used my finger to apply some Micaceous Iron Oxide paint around each nail head for a more worn look. You can add some wherever some weathering makes sense to you.

See? No big deal! Easy peasy.

The knobs came from Hobby Lobby and were about $3 each. (They have 50% off sales ALL the time. I hardly ever pay full price for anything there.)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A Small Christmas Tour

Our house is smaller, so our decorations are downscaled a bit. But that's okay because I got it all up before Thanksgiving and we had an early Christmas with the in-laws. I'm getting ready to take it down, but before I do, here's a little tour.

We had a fake tree from Target, but one section of lights crapped out last year. I just made-do and strung some lights across it. It was good enough. So this year I started to put it up, but when I checked the lights, all but *one* little strip at the bottom of the tree were out!

So, I the next morning I went to ... (duh, duh, duuuuuh) Mallwart. Yes, I did. I was on a serious budget and I needed something right then. I browsed the trees online at Mallwart, Target, and Hob Lob. Mallwart had a cute flocked tree for cheap, so there you go. I hate that store. Hate it. But in these times, I'm sorry, but budget wins out.

And it's a pretty gorgeous tree, I must say.

And guess what? There one damn spot where the lights crapped out! One evening the Hubby noticed they were exceptionally bright, and when we turned it on the next morning, they were dead. You get what you pay for, and that's what I get for shopping at Mallwart. Next year that spot will go to the back (provided no other lights go out), and then we will get something else after that. Jeez.

(There's a little preview up there of the kitchen. There are these weird folding doors with sheer fabric panels. Those ugly babies will be out of here as soon as the tree is down. That cabinet behind the chairs is gone, and there is a whole wall of new cabinets in its place.)

This is the bookcase on the other side of the wall unit. That "believe" is all red, glittery goodness. I bought the flag at The Elephant's Trunk Flea Market the fall before we left Connecticut. It might be hard to see, but the round silver tray is collaged with a picture of my sweet grandmother in her garden, photo by my cousin Jon.

This is the bookcase below the TV. Those little silver cups are (I think) antique ice cream or sherbet dishes from someplace called Snow's. It has the name on them in a font that has snow on top of each letter. They are so cute. I coveted them at my favorite store, Taken for Granite, but they were a little pricey. I went back a little after Christmas and they were in the sale shed for 50% off!

My poor husband got worked to death over the Christmas break. We had a whole kitchen's worth of new cabinets from Ikea that we never used. Out of those cabinets I got pantry storage in the laundry room, an 11' wall of kitchen storage, a craft room, and a workshop for Hubby. Over the break, he built all that (except the laundry room one) and we made the family room/teen cave in the basement.

I'll post pics as soon as I can. They might be a little crummy as I broke my camera and have had to use my phone. Phooey!

Update: I called WalMart yesterday and went around and around with an assistant manager who said I couldn't return the tree, not even for a store credit, because it was a seasonal item and I didn't have the receipt. I argued that while that is true, it is still defective and didn't even last through the season it was intended for! And once I plugged the tree in and everything was fine, why would I have kept the receipt? Because I should have expected the lights would die on it so soon?! I offered to bring the tree in and plug it in for him so he could see I wasn't just "renting" it for Christmas and then trying to return it.

So last night I wrote a nasty-gram to WalMart on their site, and got a call today from a different assistant manager than the one I spoke to yesterday. She said to bring the tree in tomorrow and she is going to give me a store credit for the full price. I would rather get my money back so I could get a tree elsewhere next year, but that's okay. I know that if I returned anything there without a receipt that's what I would get in return. So, I'll use this to get another tree next year, and I will keep the receipt FOREVER! So, the squeaky wheel gets the grease -- or the persistently complaining customer gets the store credit. :-) Just wanted to give credit where credit was due.