Coffee Table Using Dark Wax

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I have had this “toy box” for almost 17 years. Can you believe it? My son’s grandmother made it for him when he was only a few months old. At that time, it was the nicest piece of furniture I had.  When my son was 4 or 5 years old, he and his best buddy, Aiden, spent the afternoon covering it with stickers. My husband allowed them to do this! I was very upset and he said “Just think of it like a guitar case. He has personalized it as his own now.” Sure. I tried. Through all of our moves and furniture purges over the years, I held on to this one. Because of the stickers, this piece has been in the closet or the corner of a playroom for years. I have had lots of visions for it, but just couldn’t pull the trigger. I came up with an idea a few months ago and thanks to the 20 inches of snow that dumped on us last week, I  finally got to work on it.

I ordered the “lion head” a few months ago. I found lots of very expensive ones out thrift/vintage shopping. I found this one on Ebay for $20 and did not hesitate to purchase it. It exceeded my expectations. Very heavy and great quality. It’s obviously a door knocker, but I wanted to use it as an accent to my future coffee table. I tried everything to get those darn stickers off. Goo-gone, scraping them, scrubbing them and then finally sanding them. I finally commissioned the guy that originally stuck them on to get out the old electric sander and get them off!


Thanks son!

We gave it a good sanding and then washed it warm soapy water. I let it dry then started painting.


Those are just sticker battle wounds.

I wanted this table to be turquoise for my orange, gold and brown room. I try to be very careful about adding to many “antiqued” or “distressed” pieces in one room. I think if you have too many, your room looks more shabby than chic. The room I am putting it in has a lot of contemporary furniture in it. I chose a very bold color and planned to antique it with a dark wax. I used two small sample jars of the “Annie Sloan Chalk Paint” in “Florence” to fully paint the chest. I painted a solid coat and then a second touch up coat.  I let that dry.


This paint dries fairly quickly. I went back and applied the “Annie Sloan Clear Wax” all over. I then buffed and buffed and buffed with cotton t-shirt. YOU HAVE TO APPLY THE CLEAR WAX BEFORE THE DARK WAX OR IT WILL RUIN  YOUR PIECE! I then went back and applied a second coat of wax using the “Annie Sloan Dark Wax.”


DO NOT apply the dark wax until you have applied the clear wax.

You do have to be careful with your timing with this one. If you start to buff too soon the stain comes off, if you let it get too hard, then the stain is too heavy. I stained the entire box and lid then went back and buffed in the same order I waxed it in. That seemed to be just the perfect amount of time. It was tacky but not hard and adding some elbow grease allowed me to have control over the amount I left on or rubbed off. I then measured the chest to center the lion’s head. I drilled the holes and installed the knocker.


  In order for this to serve as my coffee table, I felt like it needed legs. I planned to mount legs first, then found these hooded ball casters. I thought these were actually perfect…better than legs!


Found these at Lowe’s Home Improvement Store.

I the used 3/8 drill to drill holes in the bottom for the casters. I  created this little template with an index card to make sure they were even all the way around.


  I was able to push the casters through the holes and press the box down to secure them.


My youngest son helped with everything. He calls me “Handy Manny.”


The table is done! I moved it upstairs and rearranged some furniture to make room for my new coffee table. I am very pleased with the outcome. I love it when an idea comes to fruition.


My husband was out of town while I created this. I sent him a picture and his only response was, “I never know what I am coming home to.” True sweetheart, true.

What do you think?



American wife to this Indian life. I am a right-brained, American woman married to a left-brained Indian man. I love art, design, up-cycling and multiple DIY projects at the same time. He loves simplicity and order. Follow us on this cultural collision as I combine our personalities and cultural differences through art, design, food, and raising kids. When I am not working on a craft or project, I co-host a lifestyle/entertainment show called "Daytime Blue Ridge," on our local NBC affiliate, WSLS 10.

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