Thursday, January 29, 2015

It's All About the Legs

     I have been looking for months and months for the perfect coffee table for the living room. I love Mid Century Modern patterns and colors but I'm not completely in love with all the furniture. I could see in my head, sort of what I wanted, but couldn't find it anywhere.

     I saw a table in a magazine that someone made that was soooooo close - and I decided, what the heck.... how hard can it be? The idea was simple, I would make and paint the top and purchase hairpin legs. I started smurfing around the internet for the legs and came across these...
     Are you serious? These came from Spiral Cone Legs - a husband and wife company. Each leg is custom made from welded steel and powder coated. It's the only place in the world that you can get them. I was immediately in love - and had ordered mine in about thirty seconds.

     Next step was to get the rest of my supplies which were pretty simple. I bought a half sheet (4'x4') of 3\4" plywood. I didn't get the top quality because I was going to paint the table and put a glossy finish over the paint. I used a big sheet of cardboard to make a template, once I had the size and shape worked out, I traced it onto the plywood and used a jigsaw to cut it out.

So far, so good! I spent the rest of the afternoon sanding the edges, mostly because I'm really not great with the jig saw and the edges were crazy crooked! I didn't want the edge to be straight, I wanted it to angle back from the top to the underside. I got a router bit and stood nervously by while my husband routed the edge. Maybe I'll be brave enough to rout the next project!

Then it was back to the sander....... I sanded the routed edge and the top of the table, filled in a couple of places with wood filler that were too deep to sand smooth and tried to get the top edge just slightly softened.

Now we get to the scary part... paint and putting on the design. Up to this point, I could pretty much sand out any mistakes - the paint was going to be harder to fix if I hated it.

I knew I wasn't going to need that much paint so I got a Valspar sample - $2.98 at Lowes - it only took one little tub to put three coats on the table top. The color is called Sea Mist - I painted the edge and the underside several shades darker. I played around with the colors and shapes for the design on paper until I was happy. There are hundreds of pattern references on the internet for Mid Century Modern designs. I wanted something clean, simple and sort of Sputnik looking.

I penciled the circles very lightly onto the table top and painted them using craft acrylics.

The black line work is done using a Sharpie brand permanent marker.

The legs were really easy to attach, they have tabs with holes for the screws. One of the tabs is longer then the others so that you can get the legs positioned correctly. The long tab should point outward. You can get these legs either straight or angled, mine are obviously the angled style. Thanks to the Spiral Leg guys for thinking of the details!

The legs are attached with a washer and 3\4" wood screws.

Final step was to put a finish on the table. I wanted it to be very glossy. I used a Valspar spray on varnish. It worked great and dried in about 15 minutes, but because it was an acetone based product I had to spray it in the garage with the doors open.

I love it when an idea works! Now I'm gonna try to figure out how to re-upholster that ugly little ottoman in the background!