It was a frosty morning to be outside finishing the latest piece for my interiors project, but the deadline is looming. There was nothing for it but a large cup of tea, flapjack and a lot of elbow grease (as my grandfather would have said) to finish the waxing and varnishing. And tah dah, here they are.
I picked up this pair of Uniflex 1960s or 70s bedside tables, along with a similar dressing table at Sunbury Antiques market a few weeks ago. The bedside tables had been given a heavy coat of dark varnish at some point. I sanded them down to reveal the chevron veneer. A light coat of Ronseal quick dry matt varnish, which is low V.O.C. (volatile organic compound) brought out the wood grain beautifully. I sanded around the top of the bedside table to reveal the layers of plywood, as I like the detail and the honesty of showing the plywood.
The tables were still a dark colour, so I painted the sides with Annie Sloan’s chalk paint in Paris Grey to soften them. Once dry, I waxed the sides with Annie Sloan clear soft wax. Finally, I covered the top of the tables in some off-cuts of a linen fabric from Christopher Farr, that was made in England. The fabric, called Carnival, has a vibrant, bold green and blue print. I used a natural latex universal adhesive from Auro to stick the fabric down before giving it a couple of coats of varnish once dry. The bedside tables are no longer pure mid-century modern, but with a gentle refresh will sit well in a contemporary bedroom. If you D.I.Y., you can have just the colour or fabric you want. And be bold, all of the changes I made be undone, and it’s fun to experiment.
Oh and the Guardian article below has an easy step by step. Or look out for local furniture restoration and painting classes, with a quick web search. In London, try the Goodlife Centre (S), Phoenix on Golborne (W), or get a bit of help from Revived London (SE).