it’s good to have a plan b…or e

remember this table i bought at the randolph street market?

stool{just realized this picture does the stool too much justice. it was not white and gross.}

i had a vision for it and totally thought it would be easy. not so much. this is a long post, but i wanted to document the process of having an idea, not having it go your way, and figuring out how to make it work (ala tim gunn).

plan a: remove gross faux leather fabric and batting, then apply gold leaf to the existing wood top for a lovely gold, glamorous tabletop.

step 1: remove the top. be disgusted.


step 2: remove the staples (with a screwdriver or pliers), fabric and batting.

remove staples

another layer of staples{a second layer of staples. and more grossness. sanitize yourself afterwards.}

step 3: fill the mysterious center hole with wood filler.

wood filler

step 4: sand (with 50 grit to even it out, then 100 grit to smooth).


step 5: brush on gold leaf adhesive.

step 6: apply gold leaf. sticks in some places but not others.

gold leaf{per package instructions, using wax paper helps}

step 7: realize the glue seeped into the very porous wood and is not so much at the surface anymore.

step 8: wish you had primed the wood first. too late now.

step 9: try to use spray adhesive. works better but still not great.

spray adhesive

step 10: forge ahead applying gold leaf, knowing you can come back to non-gold leafed spots and fill them in.

step 11: try to fill in spots. keep applying adhesive. gold leaf. adhesive. gold leaf.

gold leaf on eye{gold leaf is messy}

step who knows: dislike the gold leafed top (it was bit too…dimensional. and just did not look as glam as i had imagined).

gold top


gold top

plan b: sand the gold leaf off and paint the wood the turquoise color of the kitchen island dresser (for a fun pop of color and to bring in artwork colors from the adjoining dining room).

step 1: sand with hand sander and remove gold leaf.

step 2: realize there’s a layer of glue in some spots. sand some more.

sanded top{dark spots = glue}

step 3: sand.

step 4: more glue?! swear. leave it alone for the night.

step 5: try to remove glue with nail polish remover (per google). it starts to work!

nail polish remover

step 6: celebration is short lived. under the layer of glue is more. glue. continue to soak with acetone, sand, soak, sand.

step who knows: decide the glue will never. come. off.

plan c: still paint it turquoise, but use the other side of the wood, though it is covered with staple holes and other disfigurements.

step 1: fill lots of holes and blemishes with wood filler

step 2: sand.

step 3: see that it’s not even. sand more.

step 4: continue to sand.

step 5: why the f isn’t this getting smooth?!

plan d: make new table top. buy wood and have lumber store cut it, then prime and paint it.

plan d version 2: lumber stores only do straight cuts, so buy a pre-cut tabletop wood circle and paint.

step 1: buy tabletop, even though it seems a bit thick and too rounded.

step 2: hate it.

too thick top

step 3: return it.

plan e: back to the original tabletop. cover with fabric, and also with a vinyl to protect fabric (since this is to be used to set drinks on, and you don’t want to go through this process again after it gets dirty and gross).

step 1: joann fabrics. they have thin, clear vinyl! for only $2.99/yard! buy a 1/2 yard.


step 2: center the chosen fabric over the circle.

center fabric{i finally used this fabric–my favorite–for the first time since i bought it in march}

step 3: carefully flip it over and staple in the center of one side. pull it tight and smooth  (peek on the other side to be sure) and staple on the opposite side.


step 4: repeat, but on the other opposite sides, so you will have staples at 12, 3, 6, and 9 o’clock (again making sure it’s smooth before stapling). trim.

four staples

step 5: staple between each staple, doing opposites first (pulling tight and smoothing, of course).

step 6: to work the curves, pull fabric tight, fold over slightly and staple (may take a couple tries to figure out which way to pull the fabric tight and fold to get it smooth on the edge).

fold and staple

step 7: continue around the circle.

fabric done

step 8: follow the same process as the fabric for the vinyl. trim excess off.

vinyl on{vinyl’s on! two rows of staples}

step whatever: flip over, place on the table base and rejoice because you are done!

table top

and you love. it.

table done

you want to marry. it.


and realize that maybe plan a…


plan b…

living room

plan c


and plan d didn’t work out

table at home

because plan e was meant to be.


have a great and safe labor day weekend!

linking up to between naps on the porch, primitive & proper and thrifty decor chick


9 thoughts on “it’s good to have a plan b…or e

  1. Hilarious! I often go through plans A through E, F, and sometimes G. 😉 But I’m also notorious for leaving something unfinished if it gives me grief! Sooner of later it all gets done. Thanks for visiting my blog! I’m your newest follower!

  2. Pingback: envelope pillow cover {how to} | you're so martha

  3. I love that fabric! And the final outcome.

    I am a little disappointed that you gave up on removing the glue. I gold-leafed 2 miniature furniture pieces for a dollhouse that I am decorating but it is really hard to do it consistently for a glamourous look. I am trying to remove it so that I can paint another color. I was thinking paint stripper? or maybe goo begone. I don’t know. Any suggestions?

    • thanks! sorry i gave up – wish i could have found a solution for you. gold leafed furniture for a dollhouse would be amazing! but i know how hard it is to get it consistent. if you still want a gold look, i recommend rub ‘n buff – it works amazingly well and has a great gold finish. as for removing the gold leaf, i was having luck with the nail polish remover, but because my wood so porous, and a big size, i had to give up. i don’t think it hurts to try nail polish remover, or either of the two you mentioned. but it will definitely get stinky, so ventilate well!

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