When an old bedside table needed a face-lift, it was the perfect reason to create this chart-topped tabletop.
By Dashiell Masland and Kathryn Dunn
1 small table
100 grit sand paper
220 grit sand paper
1 ½ inch paintbrush
1 disposable foam brush
1 quart primer paint, white
1 quart creamy white paint or a color of your choosing, semi-gloss finish
1 old nautical chart
acrylic gloss medium
1-quart clear wood varnish, semi-gloss finish
Sand all surfaces (photo 1) of the table with 100 grit sand paper followed by 220 grit. Use the tack cloth to wipe down the table, removing all the wood dust.
Prime the whole table (photo 2), except the top. If there is a drawer, be sure to only paint the front so as to not affect the movement of the drawer. Let dry. Paint the whole table, except the top. Let dry and apply second coat. Let dry. Replace old hardware with new knob.
Place the chart on the top of the table in desired location. Fold and crease the chart with your fingers around the edges of the table to indicate placement. Rough cut around the crease to remove excess chart, but be sure to leave a generous amount to wrap underneath the tabletop.
With the disposal brush, apply a generous amount of the acrylic gloss medium (photo 3). Place the chart on the tabletop and line up the creases that you made with the edges of the table. Press and smooth the chart, working out any air bubbles. Coat the top of the chart with the acrylic gloss medium. Let dry for thirty minutes or so. Note: Don’t fret about some small air bubbles. They should settle out overnight.
To make a neatly folded corner, you will need to cut out a portion of the chart at all four corners (photo 4). Starting on a corner on one side of the table, you will make one cut in line with the front edge of the table until you hit the corner.
Repeat for back edge of side and for the other side of table. You will now need to make a second cut at each corner. This cut will be made 45 degrees to the corner of the table, creating a 45 degree section cutout. Repeat until all four corners are cut. The front and back edge of the chart will be wrapped around the table first and there will be a little flap that gets tucked onto the side of the table, sort of like wrapping a present. Then, you will wrap the table sides with the chart (photo 5). At this point, you can trim excess chart from underneath the tabletop.
Once the chart is cut and ready, generously apply the acrylic gloss medium around the edges and the underside of the tabletop. Fold and smooth the chart around the edges as described above, front and back first, followed by sides. Coat the top of the chart with the acrylic gloss medium and let dry for at least two hours.
With a clean brush, apply a thin layer of clear wood varnish over the entire chart; top, sides, and underneath (photo 6). Let dry for recommended time, lightly sand with 220 grit sand paper, and repeat this process until you have six coats of varnish.