Years ago, my father taught me how to weave cane furniture. He told me it was a dying art, and I have respect for that. But it’s also a time consuming talent and that requires patience…something I don’t have in abundance. I know how to do it, but it’s not my most favorite thing to do.
So when I went to New York recently and he loaded me up with things to bring home to salvage, I told him no woven cane because I didn’t want to replace it, but I also refused to cover it.
But pressed cane was okay.
So he gave me this table…
So after I finished the dresser I’d been working on, I turned my thoughts to this table.
The first thing I did was remove the old cane.
By the time I had that done, I had decided I wanted to try an insert in the center where the cane had been removed.
I traced the center on a piece of pine that my father had given me on my New York trip. I cut it out on the outside of my tracing because while I knew the center had perfect 90 degree corners, I knew my cut wouldn’t.
It’s good to know your weaknesses, kids.
Because I was right.
I sanded it down until it fit snug, but not too tight.
I considered covering the insert in fabric, but I wanted to try something a little different.
I took two full sheets tissue paper, and cut it so it fit the entire board with some overlap for the sides. I wadded it up so it was crumpled and wrinkled, then mod podged it onto the board.
When that dried, I stained it with Minwax Early American and when that dried, I applied a few coats of polycrylic, because that’s what I had on hand.
This is what I ended up with…
I hated it.
With the way the insert took the stain darker in some spots, and then the table doing the same thing, but still different because one was wood, one was paper, it was the furniture equivalent to wearing plaid and stripes together. It was horrible. I didn’t even want a “fail” picture. And, oh it was a fail.
So I decided to paint the table, and went with a dark brown that closely matched the darker areas of the insert.
Once the paint had dried, I tapped the insert into the center of the table with my rusty hammer and a towel so I didn’t dent the wood.
It fit perfectly.
I still need to do something with that groove though…
I added some trim that closely matched the light parts of the insert by hot-gluing it in.
And then it was done…