Well, this chevron wood table top project turned out to be a real time-consuming pain in the neck, folks. And the interest thing is that the actual building of the table top was the easiest part of the whole thing! I mean, cutting all of those wood pieces was a breeze since there was no measuring involved, and then gluing and nailing them to the MDF was simple and went fairly quickly.
Getting the finish to look like I wanted was a real challenge, though. I wanted to give up, but I powered through, and finally finished painting at about 11:30 last night.
So when I left off yesterday, I had a bit wood filler mess. But that was a planned mess, so it was okay.
The next thing I did was add a “frame” around the table top to cover up the edges of the wood and the MDF. I used strips of 1″ x 2″ lumber for this, mitered at a 45-degree angle on the ends, and then attached with wood glue and nail gun.
Then I used more wood filler to fill in the cracks where the frame met the tabletop. When everything was dry and sanded, this is what I had…
So far, so good. Then tragedy struck.
I thought I wanted a stained look under the paint, so I used Minwax in Special Walnut, and it just turned out ugly. I mean, yellow and orange wood grain streaks galore! I just looked like yucky cheap wood.
I sanded it down some and got it to a color that I thought I could live with. After all, the top was mostly going to be painted.
So I moved on to the next step. I taped off one of the zig zag rows. The plan was to paint the row, let it dry, and then sand it to give it a distressed look (hopefully like old weathered wood).
But when I sanded, I realized my plan wansn’t really going to work. There really wasn’t a way to keep the sanding marks contained within each piece of wood. See how they overlap the next pieces here?
I felt like there was no way to make that look like naturally weathered, distressed wood. If I kept on, it would look completely contrived and ridiculous.
But I did have a happy accident, which sparked a new idea. See this last painted strip? I decided to try a dry brush technique on that one, and it actually looked more like I had envisioned.
So, I decided to have a fresh start. I sanded the entire top down completely and started over.
This time, I decided to do the vinegar/steel wool stain. That was a problem, too. I think my mixture has been sitting for far too long, because this is what it looked like immediately after I brushed it on.
And then after it was dry, the entire thing was the color of rust. It was dark, and almost completely opaque. I couldn’t see any wood grain at all!!
So, I grabbed the sander…again. And I sanded the entire top…again. But after sanding off that rust colored finish, I noticed that the wood underneath did have a slightly weathered look, so rather than mess with another stain, I decided to go with more natural look.
And then I taped off each piece of wood, and dry brushed them one by one.
I know it sounds tedious, but in reality, this method went a lot faster than my original method because the taping was really easy. All straight lines, all blunt tears. The other way, I was having to be sure the tape formed perfect 90-degree angles. Talk about tedious! This way was just rip and tape, rip and tape, rip and tape. It really did go by very fast.
And because I was dry brushing, the paint dried very quickly. I just continued painting piece after piece, row after row. After I finished each row, I sanded it with 150-grit sandpaper to remove any paint build up, and to be sure that enough of the wood grain was showing through. (I did NOT want to cover up too much wood grain, or all of that piecing together would have been for nothing!)
Here’s a close up of how the paint looked after it was sanded.
And the whole finished table. I left the “frame” the natural color.
And here’s a close up view of the distressed finish.
And one more close up view with the natural color edge.
So that’s the story of my chevron wood table top. I almost gave up, but I’m glad I powered through.
This project was for my condo breakfast room makeover. Click here to see the whole before and after of the breakfast room makeover.
Or click on the thumbnails below to see other DIY projects that I did for my condo breakfast room makeover.