These tables, made between 1900 and 1950, were purchased for a song at the local Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Denver. The end tables sported leather tops with gold embossing on the edge and the leather was in very rough condition. The leather was gouged, scratched, faded and snake-bit. The solid wood legs, drawers, shelves and top edge were in better shape but scratched and sporting a faded dark finish that did nothing for the wood.
We stripped the drawer fronts and top edge of the tables using Citristrip. We found beautiful, gorgeous inlay work with multiple hardwoods to play with.
What to do with the table tops, the most damaged part of these tables? We sanded the leather to even the surface out, then primed with BIN primer. 3 coats please. A trip to the best local art supply shop was next where we found a beautiful and unique art paper featuring a bright yellow and cream chrysanthemum pattern. The paper was decoupage to the table tops and we rubbed the paper gently as we glued it, to pick up some of the texture of the leather underneath. This created an antiquing effect on the paper that we loved. We then ordered 3mm ebony black beads to make the transition from the papered top to the wood trim seamless. We did carve out the junction between the paper and wood trim on top of the table a bit to allow the bead to sit flat and look expertly finished. Voilà! Success.