Burlap Topped Table

Luckily, I had a home sale recently so I have a few things to show you! 
Today I’ll share how I made this burlap topped table….

I started with a standard mahogany finished side table.
It had a shaped top with a routered edge. 

Covering something like that with burlap is more difficult because the edge is not sharp…so off came the top!
Then my hubs cut a plain, square edged rectangular top out of finished plywood….that’s a scrap he had so you could use unfinished plywood or anything else you like since it will be completely covered. He rounded off the corners just a bit so the burlap would wrap smoothly.
Now, I included this pic even though it’s REALLY blurry because it was the only one I had…just so you can see the unfinished top.

I didn’t take many pics of the process because there was not much to see….
I used a piece of printed burlap for this, bought a LONG time ago at JoAnn’s. I made a burlap topped table last year but used plain burlap that I stenciled. You can see that here……
Using the plain burlap and stenciling is a wonderful look, but it means buying a piece of glass for the top to protect the fabric from water and stains.
I wanted to try and come up with a different method so I didn’t have the expense of the glass.

I had been mulling over the idea of attaching the burlap to the table and then coating it with polyurethane, so I decided this small table was the one to experiment on!

First step was to just attach the burlap to the table. I used upholstery tacks along the edge (that’s why it is best if it’s not rounded) pulling it nice and taut. I just folded under the raw edge as I went along. There’s more info on the tutorial link above for the previous table I did. Once it was all attached, I used brush on polyurethane and began applying several coats over a period of 2 days.
Once the poly had been well applied and I felt it was firm and sort of hard, I noticed that it had caused the burlap to “feather” and it felt prickly when I ran my hand over the table. Since I was experimenting anyway, I decided to just take the vibrating sander (orbital or palm sander) and go over the top lightly….praying that I would remove the prickly stuff and not tear through the burlap!
It worked like a charm! Since there were about 4 coats of poly, I was really sanding the poly and not touching the burlap at all. I ended up with a textured feel but no prickly sharpness!
Now I focused on the base. As I’ve said before…I am not being a very good vendor for poor Miss Mustard Seed because I haven’t been using the paint very much! Thank goodness for some of my customers who have sent me pics…I LOVE YOU!!!
Anyway, I showed you the antique table I finished with a combo of chalk and milk paint already and even though I was dying to try another color….I needed to use the Typewriter color again with this one.
Once again, I had sprayed the base with primer because I didn’t want a very chippy look here. Two coats of Typewriter…..

 Some distressing, waxing….and…..what do you think?

Thanks for stopping by today! 
Gosh…I’m so lame…LOL

One last thing…..
Please keep remembering the East coast folks who are still reeling from the storm. The pics are just so sad….


  1. I think that is just wonderful! I absolutely LOVE the way it turned out- xo Diana

  2. What a terrific idea!!…the table is so unique and beautiful!…Great job!!

  3. Good idea! You could do so much with that idea. The other day I was at a Interior Design Fabric store and they had bolts in of some of the most beautiful bright colors of burlap – lime green, yellow, hot pink!! They were so pretty and I was wondering what to do with some of it. Might try one of those tables for my grandbaby’s room in the bright colors.

    Thanks for sharing.


  4. What a beautiful idea and result! It would be my luck to rip right through the burlap, but I may just try this!

  5. WOW Lorraine, I adore this idea. It really turned out great.

  6. I think I love it, (now I’m singing the Partridge Family). I pinned it.


  7. I love her! I have some projects in the works with the MMS paint I just can’t finish them yet. Have you tried using the bonding agent instead of priming?

  8. This is so neat! I love it! I shared it at G+ and pinned it!
    House on the Way

  9. What a clever idea 🙂 Love the burlap top on the piece! I have a damaged table that this would be perfect for!


  10. Great idea! I can use this with my table at home. It turned out very nice! Good job! – belfab.net

  11. How awesome! I love it.

  12. Very nice and very original? I like the patterned burlap with the nail heads. That’s what I call thinking outside the box.

  13. Very cute! I was just trying to figure out if the item I want to cover in burlap would be practical or get soiled too quickly/easily. This would be great. Now that some time has passed, how is it holding up? Is there much sheen to it? One of the things I like most about burlap is the matte texture, worried the poly will make it look to plastic-y. I don’t think your piece looks plastic though so maybe I’ll try.

  14. Tracey House says:

    Please tell me. I have been try to do the burlap table top but my burlap kinda bubbled, in places . What to do?

  15. I was wondering how the table held up. I’ve been looking for a way to attach fabric to tabletops (or any surface bigger than a 1×1 inch square without the fabric bubbling or waving. Mod podge is terrible for that.) I’m thinking the poly is not suitable for surfaces where cups/plates will be placed on it because heat or cold will affect the poly…but if on a decorative table then it may work. Can you let us know how it is now and how you have been using the table? Also, is there any reason you didn’t use an adhesive under the fabric?

    • I sold the table soon after I finished it so I can’t answer that. I knew the poly would go thru the weave of the burlap and act as an adhesive.The reason Mod Podge doesn’t work as well for fabric is once the fabric is wet, it can stretch. Of course burlap is not a stretchable fabric so that wasn’t an issue. It can distort however because of the loose weave so I just applied the poly gently and didn’t try to brush it out too aggressively. To apply fabric to a surface, you can mod lodge the surface, let it dry and then lay the fabric over the top and use an iron to make the mod lodge soften again and attach the fabric smoothly (the iron helps). Let all that dry thoroughly and then proceed with your surface topping of choice.

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