Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Family Picture Collage Coffee Table

As soon as I saw this coffee table at a yard sale a couple of years ago, I knew it would be PERFECT for the project I had in mind. When I was growing up, one of our neighbors had a coffee table with a collage of their family pictures. I LOVED it and I'd always wanted to do one. The design of this coffee table is just right for putting pictures and glass on top.

It took me a year before I got around to the project, and that was thanks to my hubby who got the glass ordered for mother's day last year. I've since redone the pictures twice. The first time because I was cleaning the table with the vacuum (sucking out crumbs and dust that get in the cracks) and whoosh, the vacuum sucked some of the pictures out of place. Darn! So tip #1: be sure to stick the pictures down with something (I used those scrapbooking sticky square thingies.) And the second time was because I was inspired to paint the table by All Things Thrifty. Thanks, Brooke!!

So the table itself looks awesome--so much better than the orange-ish wood finish that was there before. I used Krylon Ivory (gloss) spray paint, and then I glazed it with a brown glaze. I love how the glaze brings out all the lines and crevices. I followed the tips from the above mentioned blog for painting and glazing.

But here is the really neat, fun part of the table. The family photos:

My kids and their friends, and let's face it--just about every visitor to our home--LOVE to look at each of the pictures and find themselves. It reminds us of fun times, brings back good memories. Our 2 year old, Skyler, is always pointing to different pictures and telling us who it is of, or asking questions like, "Why does daddy have a spider on his nose?" (It's not a spider, it's a lizard).

It's just SO MUCH FUN to look at! And now, even more, because of the paint job. The only sad part of this post is that I have a really pretty wool rug that goes under this table, but I just sent it to be cleaned and won't get it back for a couple of weeks. So you have to look at my dusty, scratched up wood floor. (Sorry!)

Okay, so about the same time that I acquired the coffee table, I also bought two side tables that were the same color. I got them at DI and I don't remember how much, but I do remember feeling as though I was overpaying. (The Provo DI really does overcharge!) But, we didn't have KSL back then, or at least I didn't know about it yet. Anyway, I decided to give them a makeover along with the coffee table. Here's what they looked like before:

Same ugly orange stain as the coffee table.

Painted with Krylon's Ivory gloss spray paint, and then treated to some brown glaze. MUCH better!

I put one on either side of my couch. If only I had that rug! Oh well, I'll just have to repost when I get the rug back. :)

I bought new hardward from Hobby Lobby--50% off--so they were just $2 each. Gotta love that!

Here's a final look at the befores and afters of the side tables and coffee table.

How about a preview of my next project? I'll be able to get to it as soon as it stops raining! My dresser. I have never loved it or even liked it very much. BUT, it was a hand-me-down (in other words, FREE) from my sister, who got it from my grandma, who got it from I have no idea. Mismatched hardware, ugly color. But spending money on a nice, new dresser has not been a priority. Plus, I have been DYING to paint something colorful. Everything I've done so far (talking furniture) has been very neutral because of the space it was going in. My room is pretty neutral already, so I think we're going COLORFUL this time. Woo-hoo!


  1. Good memories! Love that coffee table Natalie! I need to make one of my own.
    I need you to be my personal garage sale shopper, you find some awesome stuff!

  2. I absolutely LOVE that coffee table! Don't be surprised if you find one in my house soon. ;) Great job on all your projects...mine are taking FOREVER because Jed is a Nazi and won't let me paint them myself. They are all primed though. :)

  3. As if Nate has a choice! (Or any time for that matter).

  4. Do you have any problems with the photos sticking to the glass? Or they professionally developed pictures or simply printed from an ink jet printer? Thanks in advance. We are making a built in homework station/desk that I was going to do the same sort of thing with.

  5. Hey! This is neat... if you would happen to spill something on the table, would it go under the glass and wreck the pictures?

  6. I ended up doing a similar thing. Couple of things to note. Laser mice (for computers) don't work if you are doing it on a 'desk' surface. And yes, if you spill it does ruin the pictures. I've been too lazy to replace them yet, but it does happen.