a pair of union jack tables.

I’m still working with the pile of freebies that my friend Terri sent my way when her uncle passed away.  This pair of end tables was among the items she gave me.

british-tables-before

They are very traditional and they have that 80’s sort of finish.  Just check out those shiny tops!

I kept passing them over in favor of other projects, mainly because I just wasn’t all that inspired by them.  I debated painting them a bright color, or just painting them black.  But in the end I couldn’t help wanting to give them each a union jack.

union-jack-side-tables

I’ve done a few union jack pieces in the past.  Every time I do one I’m reminded of how much measuring and taping there is, and how many steps it takes.  Paint a base color, wait for it to dry.  Tape and paint the white layer, wait for it to dry.  Tape and paint the 3rd layer, wait for it to dry.  You get the idea.  It’s a great project for evenings after work though because each step doesn’t take long, but you need that drying time in between.  I painted these over the course of last week.

But every time I do one of these, I’m also reminded of how much I love them.  I’m not even the tiniest bit British (well, maybe a tiny bit, I think my maternal grandfather had some ancestors that came from England), but there is just something about the design of the union jack that appeals to me.

As you can see, I chose to forgo the traditional red, white and blue in favor of shades of grey.  It tones down the design a little, and it will be easier for the future potential buyer to work neutral shades into their existing space. The base color is one of Fusion’s new colors called Putty.  The white layer is their new Raw Silk.  The 3rd color is a combination of Putty and another Fusion white called Champlain.

british-table-corner

I like to use the Fusion paint when working with taped lines and multiple colors on one surface for two reasons.  First of all, Fusion paint won’t pull off with the tape like milk paint will (as long as your surface is prepped with some sanding/cleaning and you are sure to wait for the paint to be fully dry before taping over it).  And second, you don’t have to add wax with Fusion.  With chalk paint, I find that adding the wax topcoat tends to drag the other colors into the white.  This wouldn’t have been as big a problem with these grey tones, but if you’re using red it is definitely an issue.

I included the magazine with crisp whites and greys in this next photo to help you see that the Fusion colors I used are warmer versions of white and grey.

british-table-top-2

By the way, looking at how shiny those tops were, you might be wondering how well the paint did adhere as I was using the tape.  I debated using a coat of Fusion’s Ultra Grip on just the tops, but in the end I didn’t.  Instead I sanded them really well to rough them up.  I also gave each paint color a full 24 hours or so to dry before using tape on it.  I used the yellow Frog tape (for delicate and freshly painted surfaces) and I had absolutely no issues with paint pulling off on the tape.

After I made the decision to add the union jack to the table tops, I realized that I had the perfect replacement knobs.  It’s hard to see in the photos, but these knobs say “Regent Clockworks London” on them.

british-table-knobs

Unfortunately I only had two of them.  I had purchased them at World Market so I checked on line to see if I could buy two more, no dice.  Then I went to my local World Market to look for them, again, denied.  Argh.

I’m going to have to come up with two similar, but not matching knobs for the second table.

It seemed appropriate to stage my photos with my Perfect English Farmhouse book and an English ironstone tea set.

british-table

english-ironstone

I think a paint job was exactly what these tables needed to give them a little more personality.

union-jack-table-in-fall

What do you think?

a-pair-ofunion-jack-tables-2

These tables are for sale.  For more info, be sure to check out my ‘available for local sale’ tab.

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21 thoughts on “a pair of union jack tables.

  1. These turned out great! FRom old and worn out to beautifully chic and totally updated! You done good!!! Amazing what a little paint and imagination can do!

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  2. AMAZING perfection! Curious what the name of the book is on the bottom of your stack and if it’s the same book that is opened in an earlier picture. It looks like an awesome book……TIA !

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    1. The book is Vintage by Nina – Among Vintage and Friends (Amazon link included for your convenience, I am not affiliated). The magazine that is pictured open is Jeanne d ‘Arc Living (this link takes you to Rose Mille where you can order copies of the magazine). They both have a very similar French Nordic style. I highly recommend both. Neither is inexpensive, and if you’ve read my blog for a while you know I’m pretty frugal. But both of these publications are well worth the price. I’m putting Nina Hartmann’s newest book on my Christmas list this year, hope Santa brings me one 😉

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  3. There has to be two more of those knobs out there somewhere. I see two were sold on Etsy. Can you write to the manufacturer directly? I’ve done several Union Jacks mostly in the traditional colors and feel your pain about the measuring and taping. I’ve also had to repaint when the tape took off too much on a peel. I will take your suggestion on using the yellow frog tape. I like your approach in using a monotone translation and have just the piece in mind for it. Once, I did a dresser and had the three drawers out while I painted. Apparently, they got switched around without noticing. When I put them back all I had was stripes and angles-the drawers were slightly off and only fit in one location. Lesson learned. Nice work, Linda.

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    1. Ha! That sounds exactly like something I would do! Definitely one of those lessons learned the hard way 😉 As for the knobs, I can’t find the manufacturer listed anywhere. The World Market site says ‘manufactured in India’, and ‘World Market exclusive’. So I’m not optimistic.

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  4. These are fabulous and the knobs really are the perfect touch! I can vouch for the Sculpey clay idea. I’ve made a cast of something to create a mold, which I baked and then used to duplicate the original. Not easy with something detailed, though.

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  5. These tables have been taken from ho-hum to hot! I like how the union jack pattern will add texture to a room without overwhelming or competing with anything else in the room. The colors are like cozy slippers – so easy to relax with!

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  6. Hi I love your tables. By the way I have two knobs youre looking for. They are on a dresser that im repainting for my daughter. They were already on the dresser when i got it. Painted tgem solid white, then put some gold leaf on them

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