How to do Faux Leather Tops for End Tables | Redo It Yourself Inspirations : How to do Faux Leather Tops for End Tables

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

How to do Faux Leather Tops for End Tables







I picked up these two topless end tables at a thrift shop that obviously had glass as original tops. I liked the style of them and they were built solid, and no repairs were needed. All I had to do was add my room style and tops. That meant black and tan colors and wrought iron blend in. I thought of wrapping leather around wood for the tops, but if there are ever any spills, it would stain and cleaning would be a chore. So I decided to do "faux aged leather" from brown craft paper by decoupage. After several coats of clear coat, spills wouldn't be a problem. I also had to use a thin wood such as plywood lauan. The ledge where the original glass was, is just too narrow for the lauan and paper wrapping,  so I went with Plexiglas.


First step: Cleaning the tables. Rubbing alcohol, soap & water. Wipe dry. 

Paint color of choice: Flat black. 

Spraying the entire table and not allowing to dry, just as I got to the end of the painting...

I started "streaking" the wet paint with a rough bath towel. (Recycled old towels cut into sections just for shop purposes.) 

I'm streaking! It looks blurry like an old TV station, but it's just wet. 

One of the legs. 

Bottom platform shelf to streak. 

Different than the first side, but I like it.  

After the paint dried, I clear coated with lacquer. 

I had a piece of Plexiglas large enough to cut two pieces for the tops of the tables. I measured and cut to size. 

After cutting the tops out of Plexiglas, I scuffed them up with rough grit sand paper on both sides. 

Anxious to see the depth and fit... all is good. 

Now to cover the Plexiglas with homemade decoupage solution and a roll of brown craft paper. (Brown paper bags work too.)

I pulled off enough paper to cover each top then tore them up into odd rips. 

Then crumpled them up as tight as I could. 

The only time in my life I want tons of wrinkles.  The more the better. 

Glue solution painted on the Plexiglas. 

Dipping the crumpled pieces one by one into a bowl of glue solution and painting them onto the Plexiglas. 

Small pieces like this makes it easy to avoid air bubbles. I smoothed each out with my fingers. 

I turned over the paper covered side onto a cardboard box smaller than the top but high enough to work on the other side. It's messy, so I used a large plastic garbage bag under the work. 

After the paper and glue solution dried thoroughly, I lightly stained the top surface with wood stain. 

After the stain dried, I lacquered the top with 4 coats, drying in between each. 

Last coat and getting excited. 

Decorative tack nails added around the edges of the faux leather. (Goes with the sofa and recliners, all studded up.) 

Just as I imagined. I'm satisfied. 

That is what I was after ... all streaky and old looking. 

I need taller lamps 

Later, there will be a glass of water and a game controller and a nine year old boy all sitting there ;) 

Kind of a "treasure map" look, so I added a signed art piece "treasure box/book" I bought 30 years ago. 

Ready for weekly dust bunnies. 




Well, now I need to change the old mirror. 

Second end table in place and the mirror became "aged". It's coming together. 

The mirror now compliments the end tables. 

You can see why I need taller lamps, ey?  Coming soon. 

My wrought accents are starting to work into all of the re-done furniture. 



Lamps? Yes. We have trees in our woods that up rooted from Hurricane Irene. In the "pine family", they aren't safe for wood burning stoves... so I can use them for other things.
I cut the trunks with the partial roots on purpose. 

Peeling off bark and removing earth around the roots took longer than I expected.  Some of it was really packed with years of growth. Digging and cutting with knives and chisels worked. 

All bark and dirt removed and started sanding. 

It had a bath and is drying out. (I didn't want to bring any insects inside)  The rest of the project is on hold for a few days. Then the remainder of the sanding and shaping with rat tail files, etc. will get this where I want it. 


Now I see a wall sculpture for above the mirror and wall sconces  ;) 

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What? You gotta go? I'm so happy you stopped by! Say "see ya later" and give me a hug first!  I'll just squeeze ya back! 

105 comments:

  1. Patty at Home and Lifestyle DeFebruary 6, 2014 at 6:06 PM

    Your side table looks great - that seems like a lot of work but obviously worth it. Great Job!

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  2. Thank you, Patty! I seem to get myself into multi-step projects that grow into whole room redo's. :) You're right; it's worth it. I'm so glad you stopped by.

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  3. Carrie @ Kenarry: Ideas for thFebruary 6, 2014 at 9:50 PM

    Wow. That turned out really cool. I had no idea you could do that with craft paper.

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  4. Awesome! Just found you through the Fantastic Fridays linkup- will definitely be trying this!

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  5. Thanks, Carrie! Oh yes, and can you believe you can do floors with this technique? Using polyurethane to seal the floor and larger pieces of brown paper makes a fascinating look. Thank you for visiting :)

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  6. Thanks, Lindsay! This technique can be used for a number of projects. Floors, walls, backdrops for paintings, wall hangings, headboards... it's endless. I hope you enjoy doing it.

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  7. Angela @ Life in VelvetFebruary 9, 2014 at 12:50 PM

    Very cool! I love the decoupage! Thanks so much for linking up at Thursday STYLE!

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  8. You did such a lovely job on the end tables. The faux leather looks great and was the perfect solution. Thanks for sharing at Inspire Us Thursday on Organized 31.

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  9. I LOVE this idea! Does the decoupage solution really work as well as ModPodge or similar brands?

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  10. Wow, you really made a huge transformation! I am the world's worst at stuff like this, but you made it (almost) look easy. Enjoy your comment love today! #SITSblogging

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  11. great blog! i found you from the SITS girls!

    www.modernsuburbanites.blogspot.com

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  12. This looks great! I never have the patience for DIY projects, but you have got it down!

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  13. Awesome! I have several glass tabletops--that I'm always having to clean smudges and kid fingerprints from. I wonder how well this would work for those?!!

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  14. Quite the process, but it looks like it was all worth the effort!

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  15. That looks awesome! I have a table (a big one) that I need to refinish, but I want it to warm up outside before I can!

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  16. What an awesome redo on the table! Love it!

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  17. This is a beautiful project! Never thought of doing this with leather - very classy!

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  18. great ideas and very innovative. thanks for sharing

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  19. Popping in from SITS. Wonderful re-do! I like the faux leather idea. Clever. And, I had a chuckle at the lamp height. I have the same issue in my family room. Just struggling to find what I want to replace the short ones with. Stalking my local thrift stores. Have a great week! :)

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  20. What a great job on those tables, never thought brown craft paper could look so convincingly like leather!

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  21. I love a makeover, a redo...you name it. These look really, really nice. I liked the way you made it look like your own. This is motivating me to go and finish my bench besides the bed. I took it apart to redo and haven't gotten around to it yet. #SITSBlogging

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  22. Love it! I wish I I had the vision to do something like that! #SITSBlogging

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  23. Great idea, and looks fantastic! I have neglected all my favorite DIY activities this last year, so you have inspired me to go down to the thrift store and find a "project" #SITSBlogging

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  24. Fabulous projects! I love how you made the faux leather tops - and re purposed old items to make something unique and perfect for yourself :) Rhondda #SITSBlogging

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  25. Great project. I need to fix a dresser in my home right now and I'm kind of freaking out about it. haha. I admire people that can do stuff like this. Nice post! #SITSBlogging

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  26. Wow...turned out very nice!!

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  27. Your end tables turned out so good! I wish I could do something like that. Our living room needs a makeover and a few new pieces. I'm gonna have to rummage for something to redo- Thanks for the inspiration!
    Stopping by from SITS
    -Stacey
    GluedToMyCraftsBlog.com

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  28. Beautiful transformation!! DIY is always the best cause you know it was done right ;)


    #SITSblogging

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  29. Simply beautiful! I love to DIY things!

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  30. Love DIY projects! One persons trash is another person (with vision)'s treasure ;-) Happy to find you via #SITSBlogging!

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  31. Ah, so true! I'm so glad you stopped by Stephanie.

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  32. Thank you! I'll view yours as well! I love to see transformations.

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  33. You're so right! And adding your own style makes it perfect. Thank you, Sara.

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  34. You can do it! I would like to see it. Thank you!

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  35. Please do! Even though it is a little work, it's a lot worth it!
    Thank you, Sabra :)

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  36. Thanks, Sue! I bet you do; you just need the confidence to go for it! The next time you see something you like... but it's not quite all that... make it all that for yourself.

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  37. I hope you post the bench! I admit, some of my projects have been put aside but once I got started; I couldn't stop. Now I have one for each week for a few months to come. I just make a schedule to do them and it's been working so far. I would love to see your finished project :)

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  38. Thank you! It is amazing in appearance and wipe-able. Perfect for table tops.

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  39. Thank you, Sarah! The lamps used to work for us with tall and narrow media cabinets on each side but now with a normal end table... well the lamp is more... toddler height. You should be able to reach over and up just slightly. Not reach down and under and knock the lamp over like I did! (laughing hard!) The log lamps I'm working on are 22" high to accommodate the sofa seating height.


    I'm glad you stopped by.

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  40. I'm glad you like it and stopped by Renee! Thank you!

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  41. I hope you post it when you finish it! Look forward to seeing it.
    Thank you for viewing :)

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  42. Thank you, Shauna. The tables went quickly, but the paper gluing, staining and coating was a bit long. You're right; it's worth it.

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  43. Decoupage does work well on glass! I only used the Plexiglas because I had it. I originally thought of replacing the empty tops with glass, but as you said, constant smudges and cleaning is endless. If using the decorative nail tacks, you can get them anywhere in sewing areas of Michaels, Hobby Lobby and Walmart. If you do this, I hope you post it. Good luck and have fun!

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  44. I won't lie. Sometimes it is not easy. But it does get easier as you do it more.
    Thank you, Sarah!

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  45. Yes it does, Renee! It's the same type of ingredients but without labels. I'm actually going to do more with it and look for white glue by the gallon.
    Thank you for visiting!

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  46. Hi Susan! Thank you so much! It was the right touch. I decided not use glass where it originally was because of smudging; then thought of leather. That could be a chore and expensive, so the brown paper was best. If anything should ever happen to this, it's easy and inexpensive to redo. But so far, it's holding up fantastic with a busy-snacker-gamer 9 year old boy and with two water spills throughout the week.

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  47. Thank you, Angela! So glad you stopped by :)

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  48. Yes! Seriously! I saw it before and had to find the link for you. Here, Ashley of Domestic Imperfection, posted on Hometalk her floor and it was fabulous! Check her tutorial out. It's amazing.

    --> http://www.domesticimperfection.com/2013/03/paper-bag-floors-a-tutorial/

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  49. You are so welcome! I hope you do and post them! It's a rewarding project.
    Thank you so much, Stacey. I'm glad you stopped by. :)

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  50. Thank you, Rhondda! I'm happy to see you here.

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  51. looks great however i am so not a DIY person. Thanx for stopping by my blog From the SITS tribe Have a GREAT week!!

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  52. Thank you! Hey, we share the love of NY Cheesecake... right ?! :) Thank you for visiting. Have a fabulous week~

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  53. This looks great! I loved the tutorial!

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  54. This looks like a very creative diy project, great job!

    #SITSBlogging
    http://beautybardaily.blogspot.com/

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  55. The table looks great! Love it! Stopping by from #SITSblogging
    Sandra
    The Adored Home

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  56. Carrie @ Kenarry: Ideas for thFebruary 10, 2014 at 9:26 PM

    Wow. That is SOOO cool! Thank you for looking up the link for me. Ashley's floor looks incredible.

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  57. Thank you for viewing and stopping, Sandra :)

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  58. You are welcome! :) She used it on a bedroom floor. I saw another blogger recently that used it on a bathroom floor but I can't find it. And her post wasn't about the floor but about her wall. Sorry I can't link that one for you.

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  59. Carrie @ Kenarry: Ideas for thFebruary 10, 2014 at 10:12 PM

    No problem. I appreciate that you even looked. Thank you so much for sharing about this technique!

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  60. Well done on the table! I know that feeling of changing one thing in the room and watching to change a bunch of other things afterwards!

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  61. You are a genius with that crumpled paper technique!!
    Thank you for networking
    with us on the CLIMB!
    Angie
    http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/2014/01/february-chain-linky-climb-and-giveaway.html

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  62. Suzanne Rudge (MapleMouseMama)February 11, 2014 at 12:36 AM

    What a fabulous project and they both turned out beautifully! Nice work!

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  63. That table is beautiful Great job!

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  64. That's amazing! I'm going to have to try this. Thanks.

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  65. wowwww that is SO freaking creative!!!! Looks amazing. I can't believe you made that, I would have NEVER known from looking at it!!! I need to try your projects.

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  66. Really cool. I'd have never thought to do that on a table. And those trees look amazing!

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  67. Thanks I like this. Beautiful designs.

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  68. Robin, you had me at the power tools. The finished project is lovely! You have a lot of talent. I look forward to more of your creations. Well done! :)

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  69. That is amazing!!! What a transformation!!!!

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  70. So true, Roaen! It is a ripple affect.

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  71. Thank you :) So glad you stopped by.

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  72. Awesome! I would like to see how it works for you!

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  73. Sometimes the best creative ideas can come from the craziest possibilities. And sometimes they fail. I've been there too.


    I hope you try some and have fun!

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  74. Hi Rosey! I'm glad you stopped by! Thank you :)

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  75. Thank you, Sarah. I do have a lot more lined up and will post them as I get them finished. I'm glad you visited :)

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  76. Thank you, Sonia. I'm glad you stopped by.

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  77. You are welcome and I will come again. Thanks.

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  78. Wow - these are so cool! You did a great job! Thanks for sharing. #SITSBlogging

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  79. Thank you! I'm glad you stopped by!
    :)

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  80. Holy cow, Robin! This is amazing. I'm so glad you shared this at Every Room In The House. Really great transformation and tutorial. Thank you. ~ Nancy

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  81. Thank you, Nancy! I was glad to be a part of Every Room in the House and enjoyed the posts. :)

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  82. Hi Robin. I'm featuring your very cool tables at Every Room In The House. Here's the link: http://www.ajoyfulcottage.com/2014/03/every-room-in-house-party-3.html
    I'm so glad you shared with us. Do stop by to pick up a Featured button, and I hope you'll share something for the Master Bedroom at this month's party. xx ~ Nancy @ A Joyful Cottage.

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  83. Hello, Nancy! Thank you so much for featuring the tables! I do have a Master Bedroom makeover currently happening, but it's also a renovation (ripping out the floor and replacing joists, sub-flooring and new floor install). I may not be able to post all of it in time. Parts of it, such as the headboard and armoire may be finished and I look forward to sharing them. Thank you for hosting and sharing!

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  84. Brittnei WashingtonMarch 9, 2014 at 8:53 PM

    Wow this is amazing! You are a DIY genius! No wonder you made this your blog focus! So excited that we had you co-hosting this week for Countdown in Style! xo

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  85. April @ 100lbcountdownMarch 10, 2014 at 4:15 PM

    I will have to check this out again as I find pieces that I want to transform for the house. These are so creative and good. Thanks for co-hosting with us over here at Countdown in Style.

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  86. Hi April! I'll have many more crazy ideas, so when you're ready, check back. If you want me to come up with any for you, I will :) Thank you for having me.

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  87. My husband is a huge proponent for me to go out and buy everything that I want, so diy crafts are my go to now. One thing that I have really been needing is a nice little end table. Now I know how to get an old one and refinish it, thank you.
    Cynthia | | http://www.tucawaytables.com/shop/small-end-table.html

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  88. I love it when we can go out to nature (and especially after a destructive part of nature), and find something that inspires us to create something new-a commemoration of that part of nature. I have a stump that took myself and a friend many hours to cut with a handsaw. I loved the root formation, and a part of it had a place that held a plant pot.

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  89. Just beautiful work! I love the lamp.

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  90. Nature does provide us with so many beautiful works of art. I'm glad you share the same idea! Thank you for visiting!

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  91. I'm pleased that you have been inspired! Thank you, Cynthia!

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  92. You are very welcome! One of our granddaughters is an artist. She paints plants. The living parts as well as the end of their life and then the start up again. She's into roots and scrub brush. Very unusual things. She will lie upon the ground and sketch plants from underneath their blooms, (dead or alive,) then take her sketches to the studio to transfer onto canvas. She would love to see these pictures of the stump. She has the artist's eye and can see things where I can't until it's pointed out to me. I was telling my husband about your lamp. He'd never undertake such a long and involved project, but I would give it a try. Maybe after we move I'll have more time. I am redoing our end tables with the faux leather tops. I've used white copy paper and will paint over it with white paint. The rest of the tables are already white. Have one just about ready to be painted. I'm anxious to see the outcome and if it will turn out the way I have it pictured in my mind. LOL - I know, that rarely happens. Well, you have a great day. Again I just love your work.

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  93. Oh wow! I love your idea to paint it white! It's going to look amazing! I hope you come back and show me; I'm anxious how it turns out!

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