A “Dull” 1940s Console Table Gets a Luxe Makeover with Art Deco Vibes

published Feb 23, 2024
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It takes skill to see a piece of furniture and reimagine it as something with a completely different color, texture, or style, but pro furniture flipper Sheri Abernathy (@brasswalnut) has a knack for it. 

“I love taking something that’s being discarded and making it look high-end and beautiful again,” she says. Her latest project is a 1940s-era sideboard (found on Facebook Marketplace) that was perfectly nice “but the finish was failing and the look seemed a little dull.” And, she adds, “the original hardware was pretty but so dirty.”

Sheri liked the lines of the console and knew she could create something truly special. Here’s how she transformed the plain console table.

Varying varnishes created the stripe effect. 

Sheri cleaned the entire console table, sanded it, and then painted it with “a budget-friendly black,” Krylon ColorMaxx’s Flat Black paint. Although she spent a lot of time prepping the piece, Sheri says if she were to do the project over again, she might spend more time making the surface even smoother. 

To achieve the striped look, Sheri splurged on finishes. “Using quality supplies really helped!” she says. “I used a delicate surface tape for the stripes and that helped to ensure no paint pulled up from the taped surface.” Sheri taped her striped design (thicker tape and stripes on the outside and thinner stripes and tape on the inside) and alternated between a flat topcoat and a glossy topcoat for her tone-on-tone look. 

“I love black furniture, and this varnish stripe treatment really made it pop,” Sheri says. Her advice is to let the paint dry for a full day before taping off the stripes and to paint three thin coats of the gloss over the fully coated dull surface to achieve the look.

The old hardware stayed. 

Because Sheri loved the old hardware that came with the piece, all she had to do was clean it a bit to restore it to its original beauty, and she finished off the piece by wallpapering the inside of the drawers with a William Morris print wallpaper.

“I love that it seems a perfect eclectic mix of styles,” Sheri says. “A little glam, a little vintage, a bit Art Deco, yet modern at the same time.”