From Curlicued Snakes To Flamingo Heads

Before - Rococco Display Tables

Take some old and obviously used, um, I mean well loved side tables. Start removing the odd varnishes accumulated on them, smooth out the dings, chips, and water stains with a fine grit sandpaper, then remove some details from a bygone age. The raw form is what we have left. A Blank tableau to paint upon. Only, what do we do with it?


Originally, I wanted the top to remain naked wood, but following some sanding, I found the walnut veneer was too dry and delaminating in a few places. Too bad, because it was glued on in a fun diamond pattern. Sadly, even the fine sanding was rubbing through the thin surface in some places and forcing more chips in others. I chose to clean and condition as much as possible, then painted the top with a black lacquer that showed some of the diamond pattern when you look closely to it. The legs required a finer touch to clean up.

I started cleaning the years of oils, polishes, and dust from them to find a black shellac. I tested a primer on it and realized I would need a few coats of paint to stop the black from bleeding through. I might loose the finer details of the hand carved wood legs. After several coats of this bubblegum pink paint, the opposite happened; I found more detail in the new shadows found in the carvings, as if the details wanted their transformation. They went from what appeared to me to be snake heads to long elegant flamingo necks and heads.

Modern Rococco Display Tables 3


I showed it to a few close friends and asked them where they saw these pieces. They suggested gift shop displays, beauty salons, and art galleries. An artist friend saw this picture and exclaimed: “it’s  a gallery piece”. Where do you see them living?


I had loads of fun transforming these tables and I’m very grateful to Sandra, Liz, and Gene who trusted me enough to give some love to their Dad’s well loved furniture. Now it will live on and bring happiness to others. Who knows, perhaps it will be Found in your own home, office, store, or gallery.



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