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.)


  1. LOVE how it turned out!! I have been wanting to try it and now I definatley will! By the way I also love the box under the table!!! Came over from It's Overflowing.. can't wait to see more creative projects!

  2. This turned out GREAT!!! Looks SO good!!! Thanks LOTS for sharing at Overflowing with Creativity!

    XO, Aimee

    PS Did you sign up for my giveaway yet!?!
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