British Tea Chest End Tables

I hope you’re sitting down….
Me…the chalk paint gal….

the milk paint gal

see here and here

The spray paint gal

decided to do a project with NO PAINT

I thought my husband was actually going to do a cartwheel in the garage…..seriously…

I found a pair of end tables that made me think of wooden chests…

They were a lovely shade of brown with some previously done distressing……

lovely for the right customer I suppose….like ME

I envisioned this however……..

I had every intention of painting them…really….
I only sanded the top at first….

I added the graphics …and distressed it back a bit…..
I used stencils which I traced and painted for the top graphics and used graphite paper transfer for the LONDON and Since 1707 graphic portion.

London is courtesy of The Graphics Fairy…..I ADORE this person….

Now here comes the fun part….
I decided to use paint on the body of the chest……
however, the next morning I woke to find it was all bubbled and didn’t take.
I don’t have a picture of that part….
I’ll keep my misery to myself I think….
So, I scraped off the paint and had to sand off the part that DID stick.

At that point I decided I was going to sand the entire cabinet and think about what to do.

In between breaks from sanding and more sanding….
I applied some AS Dark Wax to the top 
and realized I loved the stripped, old look I was getting!

See….working on furniture is like that sometimes…
trial and error…..

Could it be? Was it possible? 
I was going to do an unpainted piece of furniture..
yes I was….

After sanding and applying dark wax…..that was it….
I was finished….

I added some graphics to the drawers……
sprayed the metal legs with Rustoleum’s Hammered Bronze

Oh no….I used paint!!
I’m a big fat liar!!

OK, well ALMOST a non-paint project…..

And my two tables are finished!

Yes, I know the knobs are missing…they weren’t quite dry and I was SO anxious to get the pic because they are going into the shop today!

One day I’ll actually have it all together….


  1. Lorraine, this is wonderful! LOVE LOVE LOVE it!

  2. What a beautiful piece! I love playing around and discovering new techniques.Each piece is always different and unique.

  3. Looks terrific…great choice to not paint..the stenciling is wonderful!!!
    Beautiful piece Lorraine. Have a great week!

  4. Oh I so love dropping by your blog.. Such wonderful pieces and some great inspirational ideas too.. Thank you for sharing your wonderful talent.. Angi

  5. I enjoyed reading your post. Sometimes furniture gets in the way of your plans :>) They turned out great!

  6. Apparently you have it very together. What a great graphic and the result is a huge win!
    Liz @ Quirky Vistas

  7. What a great project! I love The Graphics Fairy too. You did a beautiful job!


  8. That looks SO good unpainted. I just love it-the whole style of it is amazing! xo Diana

  9. Fantastic, pinning, and what transfer process did you use, the citra solve?


  10. Oh goodness, I don’t know if I could pull away from paint LOL! Yours looks gorgeous! Of course people will really pass out when we don’t do a thing!


  11. These are fabulous. I love the unpainted finish with the wonderful graphics you chose. I hope these go in an instant.

  12. LOVE them…perfect 🙂

  13. It looks great, Lorraine! I think that not every piece of furniture has to be painted. Love the graphics you added to the top.

  14. Hi Lorraine,
    WOW it looks fabulous paintless. The dark wax gave it such a wonderful look. Love the graphic.
    You are so talented.
    Happy Painting~ I mean sanding!! Love it.
    Hugs, Celestina Marie

  15. love, love, love. The graphic is perfect and I love the natural look!!!

  16. Lovely piece, I adore the graphic. In fact, had tea there in London, one of my favorite stores!

  17. I would it, the black graphic against the wood grain is fabulous!

  18. Did your whole graphic of Fortnum and Mason London come from the Graphics Fairy…love it..if so can you direct me where to find it on her website, as I have looked and do not see it…tks, Ann

  19. This reply is for Ann…..Unfortunately you are a “no-reply commenter and when I click your profile, no email either. So, sorry I can’t answer you directly. But, the LONDON graphic IS from Graphics fairy…the rest was created by me with stencils. Unfortunately I don’t have the direct link to the LONDON graphic….I saved it in my “to do” file. I think if you type LONDON in her search box you may be able to find it. I LOVE her site but it is not the easiest to find things there. That’s why, when I see something I like….I save it right then!

  20. Love, love it.Thanks for sharing.
    XO Marie

  21. Hooray! Not painted! This is a lovely finish and it suits the Fortnum’s image perfectly. The wood grain looks wonderful through the neutral colour. Smashing. And yes, please, I’d love a cup’o’tea!

  22. Hi Lorraine, Congrats on your table being featured on The Graphics Fairy Brag Monday.
    So deserving.
    Hugs, Celestina Marie

  23. SO, SO CUTE! I think the graphics you shared are perfect, and especially that little table, it looks like it was always meant to be this way. Great work! -K

  24. I think that looks just wonderful. I’m sorry but I don’t understand how you got the Graphics Fairy image onto the wood. There are many methods and I’m curious as to which one you used. btw, that table reminds me of old sewing tables.

  25. This is an absolute hit. I was gawking so hard I did’nt notice the missing knob until you pointed it out…lol.

    Your newest follower, would love you to follow back and be my 60th bloggie friend!:)

  26. I’ve had a couple questions about adding the LONDON graphic and I realize i forgot to say how I did that! I amended the post so you can check there is you have a question. Sorry but the two folks who asked are no-reply commenters so I can’t respond!
    PLEASE remove no-reply from your profile…Pretty Please!!!
    I HATE not being able to answer you!

  27. Try some Briwax, perfect for this type of project. The tint is in the wax, so no staining necessary

  28. Try some Briwax, perfect for this type of project. The tint is in the wax, so no staining necessary

  29. I found you thru link with Graphics Fairy for the Monday brag. I have to say I’m very glad I did find you. Your tables are exquisite and I want them.
    Sure wish I could find pieces like yours. How you made them look is incredible. Sometimes we have to let pieces speak for themselves. You did an awesome job. Whomever gets the tables will be very lucky.
    Happy March and creating.

  30. Great fun to read about your “trial and error”! For me everything is a question of trial and error….hahaha! But i learn all the time!
    You got two great-looking little tables this way!

  31. The table are great. From seeing your other projects you do really nice work. I have to ask you if you don’t mind, what is the difference in the hammered spray paint? I am not quite sure of that. Can you tell me what the difference is? Is it a textured thing?
    Thank you

  32. Debra Inman says:

    I love this! However, I cannot find it on Graphics Fairy. Wanting to do a tea box

  33. Amazon job ! Can you send me the direct link to print the transfer Fortnum & Mason Teas and london. I can’t find them on graphicsfairy. Thanks in advance.


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