Saturday, 4 August 2012

How I Kapowed my way to a new table

So a long while ago this little charity shop landed at my front door, courtesy of one of my Stitchettes and ex-Housemate who had knew I was looking out for a table and saw this beauty in a charity shop. I loved him but knew he needed a bit of a make-over because he had seen better days. In fact I even went so far as to make him part of my Not Really Resolutions 2012 (let's not even talk about those just yet though 'kay?)

I had a few ideas of what I wanted to do with them but none of them seemed quite right to me. I don't know when the idea really hit me but one day it was there. I would turn the table into a comic table - paint it bright red and make a collage of old school comics on it.

And just a few weeks later I had this;

I'm normally a very measured person who weighs up all sides before proceeding with caution. Spontaneity is not really my watchword.

But for some reason, when it comes to creative things I am compelled to throw myself in at the deep end with little thought and just hope for the best. Maybe it's because I'm not particularly creative, meaning that when I do get an idea I feel like I have to just start immediately before it flies out of my mind.

With the vague idea in my head, before I knew where I was, I had purchased sandpaper and red paint and was wielding a paintbrush.

Once the table was red - (two coats, although I used surprisingly little paint considering that this has a million more legs than a normal table - just 2.5 of those small match pots you can get) - I turned my attention to the other part of the project; the comics.

Here the wheels came off a bit. Turns out that modern comics now are dark and grimey and whilst very well drawn, not what I was looking for at all. I went to eBay to try and get older comics. Mistake. Something I probably should have thought of before - old comics = precious comics = expensive comics. After picking my jaw up off the floor at some of the prices these comics were going for I was at a loss of what to do and was now saddled with a random bright red table.

Help came in the form of our trip to London when we went to see the big cats. We came across Forbidden Planet which seemed to me like the kind of place someone who was looking for comics should go. Inside there I had an experience which is a blog post all of its own but to cut a long story short, I went downstairs and found exactly what I was looking for - books of reproductions of comics from the 60s and 70s - and even better they were on offer 3 for 2.

So for £11 I was armed with everything I needed. I went for Spiderman, Hulk and Captain America but I was careful to cut out a little bit of everything. I paid particular attention to looking out for "WHALLOP"s and "KABOOM"s and "POW"s because I knew they would be the best parts...

Then I got my PVA glue and masking tape out and started glueing and sticking like a mad woman until everything was in place.

The curved bits were presented a potential problem but I just carefully went round, folding the tape over on itself and then sticking extra bits on to make a smoother finish. But other than that it was easy peasy lemon squeezey. The only thing I had to keep in mind was to make sure I wasn't getting too uniform with my collage - making sure cartoons weren't all facing the same way etc etc.

Once that was done, it was a case of a few coats of varnish (I went for a satin finish) and I officially had a "new" table.

This is the first time I've ever attempted anything like this and although it's not perfect I am immensely proud of it. And it's opened up so many more possibilities. The plan now is to search for chairs (the only chairs in the flat belong to the estate agents and they might not appreciate my attempts at upcycling) and paint them in equally bright colours - I'm thinking a red, blue, green and yellow one. Having seen how much paint I used to paint a whole table, a chair definitely would only need one match pot of colour.

A rough breakdown of what I used:

Medium Sandpaper 150 grit - just did a quick rub down of everything, I didn't get too bogged down in it
Homebase Home of Colour Matt Emulsion in Flame - approx 2.5 pots - £1.47 each
Homebase Quick Drying Varnish for interior use in Clear Satin - approx 1 250ml pot - but I did 3/4 coats on the top of the table.
Homebase Multi-Purpose PVA Adhesive & Sealer - absolutely mahoosive bottle, I could do another 2 tables probably!

All in all it wasn't a massively expensive project - the comics were by far the most expensive part of it and I have loads left - if anyone would like to make their own table I probably have enough left over. But it wasn't about the money (well it kind of was, I did start and finish this project whilst I was unemployed) it was about having a table that's all mine, that no-one else can say they have.

Now I just have to work up the nerve to actually allow us to eat off it...


Please note this isn't a Homebase sponsored post, it's just the closest DIY place to the flat!


  1. It looks awesome!!! Do a post about your Forbidden Planet experience next haha I can imagine :) x

  2. I love it! I'm massively impressed with the way you've stopped before the edge and left a border.

  3. Holy Moly - that's totally fab! Well done for unleashing your creativity and running with such a fun idea.
    Jill x

  4. Good work! Looks quite professional. You should make comic-style items to sell - I'm sure there'd be the market for them, we are on the internet, after all...

  5. That is pretty amazing! You should give yourself more time to come up with creative ideas because you come up with some whoppers.

  6. Looks fab, and def has a 'kapow' impact!

  7. I love this! It is a great achievement! Something that really stands out and is unique! You should be proud!!! xxx

  8. That's awesome! Maybe you've found a new calling? You could test the waters and see how much it would sell for? Just a suggestion. You did a wonderful job though. The red is the perfect color to offset the comics.

  9. It must have taken forever to cut all those pictures out! Poor blistered fingers! I agree with Nic, I want to hear the FP story!


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