Bentwood Pedestal Cafe Table (The Makeover That Made Me Nauseous)

Hello friends, I'm a day late with my furniture makeover post. I debated long and hard whether to share it with you. My pride said, don't do it, no-one will be the wiser. My heart said, tell your pride to step aside and show your readers that you're human and make mistakes. Show them that you're not afraid to keep it real but also to help you learn something from my mistake.

And so with swallowed pride and a pit in my belly, I'm sharing the Bentwood Pedestal Cafe Table makeover that made me nauseous.

Bentwood Pedestal Cafe Table

Vintage Bentwood Pedestal Cafe Table Makeover

I started this makeover in haste four months ago during the busyness of preparing for a market. The clock was ticking and I needed a couple more pieces to fill my market booth. I remembered I had this small round vintage beech wood table Mr. Frugalista found at Goodwill for $15.

Bentwood Pedestal Beech Wood Table Before

No time to waste, I had a plan. Slap two coats of turquoise chalk paint on it, stencil the top with a white doily and give it a wash with white glaze. Quick easy peasy makeover and so it began.

FAIL. The paint wasn't sticking to the lacquer finish, being a mineral based paint I thought I would give it a try. With no time to waste, I tossed the table aside.

Fast forward four months...

Vintage Bentwood Cafe Table

Tripping on the table legs in the workshop one too many times I decide rather than sanding the lacquer finish I would add a coat of primer to give the paint some bite.

Painted Bentwood Pedestal Table Base

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience so you can see what products I used or recommend to complete this project. See my full disclosure policy.

Two coats of Peacock by Dixie Belle Paint Company turned it into a turquoise beauty. Next was giving it a wash with white glaze.

But the table, knowing what I did, decided since I threw the baby out with the bathwater...

...had a mind of its own and decided it should have a beach vibe.

Paint Products for Bentwood Pedestal Table Makeover

...and so a beach inspired makeover it was.

Second paint layer, dry brushed strokes of Pure Ocean by Dixie Belle Paint Company.

Third paint layer, dry brushed strokes of The Gulf by Dixie Belle Paint Company. Can't get anymore beachy than the name of these paint colors!

Beach inspired paint layers on Bentwood Table

Back onto the hook went the doily stencil and out came the Compass Rose.

Compass Rose stencil on Bentwood Pedestal Table

Compass Rose On Top Of Bentwood Pedestal Table

Aged Compass Rose Atop Bentwood Cafe Table

Instead of the white glaze, Van Dyke Brown was used, giving the table an aged appearance.

Brown Glaze over layers of paint on Bentwood Table

Feeling happy with the makeover I flip the table over to attach felt pads onto the feet.

Top of Bentwood Pedestal Cafe Table

I gasp.

I feel a pit forming in my stomach.

Out of my mouth came a few colorful words...okay, a lot of colorful words.

Nausea took over along with tears when I discovered this...

Original Label on Vintage Bentwood Cafe Table

I know better.

I always check first.

I have a rule.

I let the lack of time hinder my better judgment. ALWAYS flip a piece upside down and look for a furniture maker's mark. If you find one, PUT THE PAINT BRUSH DOWN and research the piece online. You never know if you are the lucky one to score a valuable thrift store find.

Because I'm a masochist, I went online to see how much it may have been worth if left untouched. Depending on whether it's a Thonet (which I don't think it is) or a J & J Kohn (which I suspect it may be), it could be worth anywhere between $800 to $3800. Excuse me while I go crawl back into my hole.


I'm hoping any of you who are furniture experts or if not, know someone who is, can confirm whether this table is the real deal or a much less valuable reproduction. I would so appreciate having a better idea of what it's true value is - ahem - was.
Bentwood Pedestal Cafe Table Before and After

Being a girl from the landlocked Canadian Prairies, I don't often do beach inspired makeovers. When I came across these Vintage Metal Nesting Tables, they were screaming Florida in the '50s.

You will find this project shared at these fabulous LINK PARTIES.



  1. What did you end up doing with the table( I have been searching for such a table for a while)?

    1. Hi Yvette, I sold it to someone who put it in their lake home.


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