Original TableI found this end table a few houses up from mine out for the trash. My wonderful boyfriend amused me by helping me to carry it back to my house as I had visions of "trash to treasure" when I laid eyes on it. It was pretty beat up and I didn't notice the hideous leather circle on top until we got it in the house under the light. The first thing I did was was take a pry bar and hammer and get the leather circle off. Then the table sat in my basement for a few weeks not only until I found time to work on it but mostly because I was clueless about how to salvage and refinish the table with the indented circle on top.
Eventually I just had to tell myself it was free so I should experiment all I wanted and the worse thing that would happen is that I put it out on the curb for garbage. So I went to town using materials I already had (the paint, sand paper, crackle finish, vaseline, etc...). I tried some techniques I found online and had wanted to try such as using vaseline to create a distressed look. This didn't look good but I found where the vaseline didn't get wiped away completely it helped to turn things yellowish and helped it to look aged. I ended up using many techniques, sanding worn areas, the vaseline distressed look and a crackle effect. It ended up looking pretty aged in the end.
The circle I of course let blank until it was the last thing to work on so I started by painting it a beige color. Then I took old sheets of music (which I'm sure someone out there would throw a fit about) and ripped them up and decoupaged them to the top. Then I took some images that I had printed out and traced the body of a bird on them, cut them out and placed them on the top. I used a permanent black marker to draw a telephone type of line on the top and to create the birds legs. I used permanent marker to write the Dr. Seuss quote around the birds. The quote reads "Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you."
I took watered down acrylic brown paint and washed over the circle and then put a clear satin polyurethane over the entire piece. I did many coats on the top and finished it off by pouring a lot of polyurethane onto the edges of the circle were it was indented. The goal was to fill the indention up to create a flat surface and to help make sure the paper would be securely locked into place. A bonus was the edges of the circle became a darker brown than the rest of the circle where there was more polyurethane which helped to aid in the aged/weathered look.
Overall it turned out pretty good and was a positive challenge. By using almost all materials I had around the house I was able to complete the entire project for $5. Purchased materials were drawer knob on clearance and having to buy more crackle finish.