Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Marilyn Glamour Table

Hope everyone had a wonderful Easter!!! We were busy finishing our latest project and enjoying the holiday with family but now that it's over it's back to business. We originally found this coffee table at a local swap meet held in a high school parking lot near by our house. We had no plans to visit a swap meet that day but fate had other plans. We were on our way to hike at Peters Canyon when I noticed the tents down the street as we drove towards the freeway. We stopped by really quick to check out what the locals had to offer and I'm so glad we did because it led us to creating this beautiful coffee table...

It's so sparkly and glamorous, with a vintage pop art feel and plus it has Marilyn!! When we first found the table it was a very plain white table with evidence it had been abused by children with crayons. The paint was chipping off but regardless I loved the details in the table and knew we could create something really special with some TLC. This is what the table looked like before the glamorous sparkle...

So sad, right? :( I had viewed on another blog called Debi's Design Diary a decoupage tutorial including a dresser and a Marilyn Monroe poster. I loved it and wanted to try it for myself so we purchased a Marilyn poster, painting supplies, and chemical stripper to remove the old layers of paint and start with a fresh surface. We wanted to make the floral detail really shine and I had been hoping to incorporate glitter in one of our next projects. I said what the heck, lets combine the poster and glitter all in one. :D We had a bit of a learning curve along the way and at one point I wanted to toss the table off a cliff but sometimes all you need is a lil break to give your brain some fresh perspective. 

When using chemical stripper always use protective gloves and a mask because that stuff is strong and can burn you really bad. Also use a plastic spatula to remove the paint once it bubbles, it will keep you from nicking the wood during the scraping process.  

The stripper we used began to bubble within 15 minutes but required several layers to complete the job.

Use a paint brush to apply the stripper, cheap disposable paint brushes are fine.

The paint should look something like this when your scraping with your spatula..

We used a brush to scrape around the more delicate areas and flowers. 

Once that step is complete you use an after wash along with an abrasive sponge to remove the left over chemical. 

Once the table was dry we used fine grit sand paper to smooth out the rest of the table.

We decided to use spray paint with a gloss finish, we painted the table top white and the legs black with the intention of painting the flowers red. We also painted the bottom trim white to enhance the curves of the legs.

We cut out the sides of the Marilyn poster so she could stand out in the center of the table. The Marilyn poster is one of her famous black and white photographs posing with a ballerina skirt.

Originally we decided to use a white glitter background (we later regretted this decision) and used about three layers of mod podge with a gloss finish. We began by centering the poster and applying the first layer of mod podge behind the poster. 

We had to complete this process twice because the first poster had a ton of air bubbles and looked horrible (not a happy moment). Once I stopped focusing on the negative (and being a drama queen) we started scraping the poster off the table before it dried. 

Leonel had a great idea and used a spray bottle to wet the left over paper along with a sponge to remove the mess we had made. He totally saved the day, I was so upset we were going to have to sand all over again and start from the bottom.  Now we just needed to purchase a new poster and cut out Marilyn a 2nd time, it ended up working out because the cuts were much smoother the second time around. We took our time and used a burnisher section by section to remove any air bubbles created by the mod podge. The trick is to complete small sections and use the burnisher to ensure the paper is flat and smooth, once the section is mostly dry move on the the next. Once the poster was glued and centered we focused on all the sections surrounding the image. 

We began layering the mod podge and glitter, after the final layer all the glitter was masked by the gloss of the mod podge and looked more like bubbles than glitter. Fail, AGAIN!!!  

Before final layer...

After :(

This time I gave myself a few days to think it over and after doing some research we decided to lightly sand the mod podge and paint the table top black and use black glitter instead of white. It ended up looking ten times better and she sparkles so beautifully, the contrast exceeded my expectations. I guess you can say all the road bumps were a blessing in disguise. Look at the results...

It looks so pretty in front of the fire place...

We're planning to place glass on top to protect the image and it will be perfect and ready to use. Can't wait!!!

Amazing what a lil paint and glitter can do. Hasta la proxima :)

Much Love, V&L


  1. Im in love with this table. One question...when u cut out Marilyn did you smooth out the edges of the image? Otherwise I would think the edges would show? thanks

    1. Hope you can answer my questions. Did you modge podge the top of the image as well? What type of paint did you use?

    2. Hi!!! I'm so sorry for the late reply, life got a lil crazy and I stepped away from the blog. Anyway to answer your question yes the edges were a lil rough but with the black paint we were able to conceal any section we were not happy with. The first try I used a white background and the edges were way too harsh, it looked like a cutout glued on top of a table (it looked tacky to be more blunt) instead of a whole united piece. Hope this answers your question :) Happy Holidays!!

  2. Yes I used modge podge on the top of the image as well and I used black acrylic paint (applied with a brush).