Dictionary Coffee Table

This is the project that I was working on last week.
I am so excited to have it done.
(Well, mostly done.  I’m going to cover the top with glass to protect it better.)
Every time I look at it, I smile.

I was inspired by Elsie’s (of A Beautiful Mess) Lace Patterned Coffee Table.
However, I wanted to make it more me.

My table was a nasty mess.
It had spots all over it from the girls spilling the acetone we use to remove nail polish.  I have no idea where that reddish spot came from.
It was ugly and I wanted something cute.

I started by sanding.

I didn’t sand all of the varnish off, I just wanted to take it down to the point that it wasn’t shiny anymore because the plan was to cover it all up anyway.

I tore a bunch of random dictionary pages out and laid them out on the table to see how I liked the layout.  I tried it a couple different ways and found that I like the random placement of pages best.

I tried writing some words and little drawings on some of the pages and liked it.
I decided to go without though because I liked the cleaner look better.

I am impatient sometimes.
I have admitted this before and I am admitting it again.
I was not going to wait until Spring, or even Summer, for the temps to rise enough for me to paint outside.
So I lined my living room floor with newspaper and turned the coffee table upside down.

I tried to remove the drawer but those little blocks there were not about to come off peacefully so I worked around it.

I started by spraying a couple coats of primer to cover all the green paint.

Just so you don’t worry about my health too much, I took a picture for proof that I was letting some fresh air in while I worked.
It was cold but I could breathe.

The following day, I painted two coats of this pretty turquoise-y paint.
The color’s real name, if you’re interested, is Cozumel.
I love it!

The following day I got out the Mod Podge.
I used it to glue the pages to the top.
The corners had me worried but I figured it out.
Let me show you real quick:

First, cut four rectangles about 3” x 2” (one for each corner in case you were wondering where I got that number).
Second, paint the back of the rectangle with some Mod Podge.

Attach to the edge.
Push the top  of the paper flat against the table.

Add a dab more of the glue to the flaps left over and press them down along the edge.

Don’t worry about the creases, they’ll be covered later.

Repeat with the bottom of the paper.

Do you see that corner?
No folds showing and the corner is fully covered.
Easy peasy.

I wrapped pages in random directions all around the edge before I covered the middle of the table.

The pages that I pulled out were random.
I did flip some of them over to include/exclude depending on whether I really liked them or not.
Like the treble clef shown above.

Then I very carefully covered the drawer knob.
I thought the definition of dictionary was appropriate.
I traced the size of the knob around the definition on the page, cut it out, and glued it on as smoothly as I could.
(I painted the rest of the knob because it was so much easier.)

My guy said that the last step would be particularly messy.

I am still not sure I agree, but I covered all of the surrounding surfaces with paper or plastic.

The paper was necessary around the base of the table because I didn’t want the paint to have the same kind of finish.

I used an outdoor clear gloss formula for extra protection.
(Obviously this was needed.  See the second picture in this post.)

I put five coats on.
I worked on reorganizing a couple areas of the house between coats.

It was ready the next day.
I am so beyond happy with how it turned out.

It’s not quite done yet though.
I’m going to put a piece of glass on top for even more protection.
I figure I could also put some pictures under the glass too if I wanted to.

Let me know what you think.



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