I have a fun makeover to share with you all today . . .

Along with a brand new color and new wood technique!

Say hello to this lovely orange pine coffee table I picked up at my local thrift store.

This solid wood table is sturdy and the perfect size–nothing wrong with it except it’s that terrible orange pine!  It was the perfect candidate for a makeover, and I knew I wanted to try and take it more in the Farmhouse-Style direction.

My plan was to paint the base and re-work the wood of the top. Picking the right paint color was an easy choice, the right technique for the wood top . . . not quite so much!  More on that later though.

Fusion Mineral Paint in Putty, an addition this past fall to the Designer Color Collection, has that perfect, farmhouse-neutral feel. It’s not white, but not quite gray or beige–somewhere in between all 3 of those colors. I knew many other merchants have tried it and loved it, so it was an easy choice for the base of the table.

You know the drill . . . give the table a quick wipedown with a degreaser, then maybe a very light sanding to smooth out any rough spots (although I didn’t sand this table base at all), then on goes the paint. The natural bristle round-brush lays the paint down so nice and smooth, and works wonders on the curved legs. Putty has fantastic coverage, and took only one solid coat, plus a second touch-up in certain spots.

With the base painted, I set to work on the top.

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To be completely honest, I wasn’t sure what my plan was when I started on it! But I knew the varnish had to go, so I started taking it off with my orbital sander.  The wood on the top had a lot of scratches along with some dings and wormholes, so I decided to keep that rustic character by going with a new staining technique I read about.

The wood on the top had a lot of scratches along with some dings and wormholes, so I decided to work with them rather than trying to smooth them all out. I read recently about a new wood aging technique that can create that weathered, barn-wood look on new wood, so that became the plan.

I sanded the top all the way down until the pine was back to being raw.  Then it was time to age the wood using an oxidizing solution.

I did not invent this technique, so don’t be too impressed 🙂  I read about it on several other sites, including here and here.   This process is some science, some art . . . So there is a little leeway in exactly how you go about it.  I will walk you through my steps though and you can check out the other posts also to see their techniques.


To make your oxidizing solution you will need:

  • White vinegar
  • Steel wool
  • Glass mason jar with lid
  • Black tea (optional)
  • Foam brush and rag

You will pour the white vinegar into the mason jar until it is about half full, then drop in 2-3 pieces of steel wool.  Push them down into the vinegar, then put the lid on the jar (LOOSELY) and let sit overnight or for several days.

You will start to see bubbles popping up inside the jar as the 2 ingredients react to each other (which is why you leave the top loose . . . you don’t want an exploding jar!).  The longer you let it sit the more potent it will become.  Mine sat for just about 24 hours though and worked great.

Before I brushed the solution onto the table though, I brewed some black tea (it has to be black, green won’t work) and poured a little of the brewed tea into the mixture as well. This is an optional step–it may make your stain a little darker, and I decided to go for it.

Once your solution is all ready, just brush it on your surface, let it set for a minute or two, then wipe off the excess.  At first, it won’t look like it’s doing much . . . but don’t worry! Over time, the appearance of your wood will begin to change as the solution works to oxidize the wood.

This is what the top looked like about 5 minutes after applying the solution.  It changed the look of the top a little, but wasn’t drastic.

NOTE– when using this technique, be patient with your wood! It really will darken more over the course of 30 minutes to a few hours, so don’t be hasty in applying too much solution because you don’t think it’s working. And, if you’re a little worried about the end product, be sure to test the solution on a scrap piece of wood (same type preferably) or on a hidden place of your piece. How the solution will play out with your specific wood can be a little unpredictable!

By the time I staged the table and had it ready to photograph, the top had darkened up a good bit.  It started to develop that great, gray tone of old barn wood and was looking fantastic!

I wanted to keep the rustic look on the top as much as possible, so I just rubbed on a light coat of Beeswax Finish, rather than a coat of Tough Coat, to give the wood a little protection.

With the painted Putty base and the new oxidized top, that perfect farmhouse look was pulled together!

Can you believe that is the same, orange-pine wood??

I am in love with Putty and with this new wood technique!! I have another project waiting in my garage that I plan on giving the same treatment.

The new design of the table must have been a home run, because it sold in a day with multiple buyers interested,  even before I could get it into my booth space! Isn’t it nice when that happens?

If you try out either Putty of the oxidizing solution, I would love to hear what you think.

Thanks for coming along with me for this makeover!

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