Duncan Phyfe Coffee Table With French Furniture Transfer

Are you familiar with furniture transfers? They add an instant wow factor to painted furniture. I've been waiting for just the right piece of furniture to give them a try when Mr. Frugalista walked in with this coffee table. You guys know how I love anything French and I knew the Chattellerault Iron Orchard Designs transfer would be perfect for this Duncan Phyfe Coffee Table Makeover.

Duncan Phyfe Coffee Table Makeover

Furniture Transfer On Duncan Phyfe Style Coffee Table

I also tried two other new products on this piece that will now be added to my furniture makeover supply arsenal. When I find products that I like, I look forward to sharing them with you and showing you how to use them.

French Country Coffee Table Makeover

Before I get into the nitty-gritty, today is Furniture Fixer Upper Day where my talented furniture artist friends come together to breathe new life into six pieces of furniture. I've included links to their makeovers at the bottom of this post.

Last month I did Mom's Favorite Chair Makeover With Raised Stencils.

I've included a supply list further down in the post. It contains affiliate links so you can see what products I used or recommend for this project. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you.

Painted Furniture With Instant Wow Factor

Mr. Frugalista found the Duncan Phyfe pedestal coffee table on Kijiji, a Canadian buy & sell website. Here it is before the makeover...

Duncan Phyfe Style Coffee Table Before Makeover

That lovely smooth top was just begging for a beautiful furniture transfer.

Pedestal Coffee Table With French Furniture Transfer

Duncan Phyfe Pedestal Coffee Table Makeover

Prepping Coffee Table For Paint

Because this table is mahogany, the tannins in the wood will most likely bleed through the paint, especially because I'll be painting the table white. The top has a shiny laminate finish and needs a light sanding to give the paint some bite. Sanding the wood will open the pores and guarantee paint bleed so the wood needs to be sealed first.

Upcycled Coffee Table

If you've been reading the blog long enough you know how I always prime mahogany or cherry wood furniture first with shellac. I tried something new this time from Dixie Belle Paint called BOSS, it stops nasty bleed through and stains. It lived up to its name and showed those wood tannins who's boss.

Cleaning Metal Claw Feet

The metal claw feet were tarnished and dirty so the second order of business was to bring them back to their brass glory. I used Bar Keepers Friend, an old toothbrush, and a wet rag plus a little elbow grease and it got the job done.

Claw Foot Pedestal Coffee Table

Painting The Coffee Table

After the BOSS stain blocker dried for about an hour, I painted the table Buttercream (a warm white) mineral chalk paint from Dixie Belle Paint. It only took two coats to cover the dark wood. For a nice smooth baby bottom finish, I sanded between coats with 220 grit sandpaper.

Buttercream Painted Coffee Table

Once the paint was dry, I distressed the paint just a little along the edges as well as the details on the pedestal base.

Playing With Artisan Powder On Furniture

Here's another new product I've been itching to try and I completely lost track of time while playing with this gorgeous French Sage Artisan Powder from Prima Marketing. A little goes a long way and it's applied with a brush.

French Style Coffee Table DIY

Artisan Powder Tip:

Wear old clothes and protect your work surface before using this product because it has the consistency of loose powder (like makeup) and the colored dust lands where it may. I used a small art brush to apply the powder in the grooves along the edge of the top and the pedestal base.

Duncan Phyfe Style Pedestal Coffee Table

Adding A Furniture Transfer To The Coffee Table

For the top of the table, I used the French Chatellerault Furniture Transfer from Iron Orchard Design. It comes with three pretty Parisian postal transfers with roses that can be used together or separately. I picked the largest transfer for the coffee tabletop.

Upcycled Table With French Furniture Transfer

How To Add Furniture Transfers Onto Painted Furniture

  • Apply the transfer to a matte finish, like chalk painted furniture.
  • Wait for the paint to cure at least 48 hours before adding the transfer on furniture.
  • Make sure the painted surface is free of dust and debris.
  • Keep the protective backing on the design while aligning the graphic with the furniture.
  • Hold the transfer in place with low tack tape along the top of the transfer.
  • Carefully peel back the protective backing.
  • Tape the bottom of the transfer so it doesn't move while you work.
  • With the handy tool that comes with the transfer, rub over the design until it becomes transparent.
  • Carefully lift the plastic to check where parts of the design may not have transferred and continue rubbing until it transfers.
  • Once the image is transferred, run a clean hand over the transfer to ensure it is firmly attached.
  • Protect the image transfer with a water-based sealer or wax specifically for chalk paint.
How To Add Instant Wow Factor To A Table

Protecting The Painted Coffee Table

To seal the furniture transfer and the painted tabletop I used Gator Hide, a clear matte water repellent sealer from Dixie Belle Paint.

To apply it use a synthetic paintbrush in long uninterrupted brush strokes from one end of the tabletop to the other. Apply two coats with a light sanding in between with 220 grit sandpaper. Use a tack cloth to remove any dust particles between coats.

Second Hand Coffee Table Makeover

The pedestal base was protected with clear Best Dang Wax from Dixie Belle Paint, applied with a round brush, and buffed with a lint-free rag.

Aging The Coffee Table With Glaze

I hemmed and hawed long and hard whether to leave the coffee table a fresh clean white or give it a time-worn aged patina. I went with the later using Grunge Glaze from Dixie Belle Paint. You can glaze before applying a clear coat but my preference is after. It doesn't absorb into the paint essentially staining it when applying it after and gives a more subtle aged look. Also, I was concerned about staining the furniture transfer.

White Painted Coffee Table

Glaze Technique On The Top

  • It's important that you work in sections while the glaze is wet.
  • Use an inexpensive chip brush dipped in water first and dabbed onto a paper towel so the brush is damp (not soaked). Keep the brush wet throughout the glazing process.
  • Dip just the tips of the bristles in the glaze (a little goes a long way) and with a pouncing motion and twisting your wrist left to right, dab the glaze along the perimeter and heavier in the four corners (pictured below).
  • Dab a damp rag over the glaze to remove the excess.
  • With very little glaze on your damp brush and light pressure, run the brush across the top and over the image transfer. Wipe the excess with a damp cloth.
  • There are no rules - keep playing until you get the look you want. You can remove the glaze with a damp cloth before it dries. 

Glaze Technique On The Base

  • Again with a damp brush, add the glaze on the pedestal base and legs.
  • Apply the glaze heavier in the grooves, ridges, and corners.
  • Wipe the excess with a damp cloth.

I should note that after the table was glazed I added more French Sage artisan powder in the grooves along the top and base of the table.

Duncan Phyfe Coffee Table With Parisian Furniture Transfer

I'm so pleased with how this table turned out. One of the downsides of upcycling furniture to sell is that some pieces can be hard to part with. Such is the case with this table because it goes so well with our Duncan Phyfe Dining Table and Dining Chairs but I love our Large Upholstered Ottoman more.

If you have any questions about this coffee table makeover, please leave them in the comment section below or the Contact Me tab at the top. I love hearing from you!

If you enjoyed this furniture makeover, I'd be so thankful if you shared it with a friend and pinned it to your Upcycled Furniture or Coffee Table Ideas board on Pinterest.

Duncan Phyfe Coffee Table With French Transfer

How To Add Furniture Transfers Onto Painted Furniture

Now let's take a look at what my talented friends did with these furniture pieces.
Furniture Fixer Uppers Group September
Press the links below to see the after photos and tutorials...

I share my projects at these fabulous link parties.



  1. That's gorgeous! I have used one of their transfers... years ago. I've been seeing ideas lately and thinking about getting another transfer.... but looking for something I can part out on several smaller projects.
    Love this table!


    1. Hi Gail, thanks, I'm glad you like it! The furniture transfers they are coming out with are gorgeous. Seems to be more and more choices these days. Now they make plain white ones that look amazing on dark painted pieces. So many transfers, so little time! LOL

  2. What do I do if when I begin the transfer the patter is stuck to the paper not the translucent transfer paper . I am afraid to proceed as I fear tearing the tranfer. Is there a secret to this

    1. Oh no! You mean it's stuck to the glossy side of the paper backing? Flip the transfer upside down with the protective side of the clear transfer sheet on a clean work surface. Then gently rub with your fingers on the back of the glossy paper to see if the transfer will stick back onto the clear transfer sheet. I hope this makes sense and that it helps!


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