How to Salvage a Vintage Leather Top Side Table!

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Have you ever been at a thrift store and run across the old leather top side table and wonder what would I do with that?  How would I paint over the leather?  Well, you just need to think outside the box and think fabric.

Leather Top Side Table - Fabric Accent Tables



 These table tops were is pretty bad shape and had a lot of cracking and small chunks of leather missing from the top.  I have used Chalk Like paint over the leather top in the past, but I felt these needed more.  

Before~ Accent Tables~ Leather Top ~ Casters

Lesson:  ANY time you are painting mahogany tables, use an oil based primer BEFORE painting and sealing.  I did apply a primer before painting, and it was water based, so I had that little thing called bleed through.  I had to go back and spray on an oil based primer in all of the areas that bleed through, repaint and this time I sealed with wax.  

Supplies needed to transform leather top tables

I used Country Chic Paint in the color, Elegance.  This color is stunning!  I measured and cut fabric slightly larger than the tabletop in sets.

Applying Wunda Size

 I applied Wunda Size as my adhesive.  I really like this stuff because it is so thin and very tacky.   You could use Mod Podge for the adhesive part, but I prefer the Wunda Size.  

Trimming the details on tabletopTrimmed the extra fabric and applied 2 coats of Mod Podge to seal the tops.   

Fabric Accent Tables- with Casters


These tables made a major transformation and are now worthy to  place in a living room or used as bedside tables.  

Fabric Top Accent Tables-

I also used “Liquorice” for the inside of the drawers.  I like to add small details to my pieces and sometimes painting the inside of drawers gives the furniture so much more charter.  I also used black spray paint for the drawer pulls to coordinate with the inside drawers.  

Fabric Accent Tables-

Yes, one last detail, fabric on the bottom of the drawers.  It’s all about the details!  


Fabric Accent Tables-pinnable

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20 Responses to How to Salvage a Vintage Leather Top Side Table!

  1. Everything looks great. Question – I have a ‘found’ end table that has the leather or leather-like insert and I want to paint over it. Should I use the oil based primer to cover and then latex paint, or is it better to use the chalk-like paint to cover the leather top?

  2. Your tables look really GOOD. I love the idea of using fabric on them. I was wondering were you get the Wunda Size, I have never seen this product till now. Do they sell it at JoAnn’s or Michaels? Also I have a piece of furniture that has a leather top and I was going to paint over it until I read about waxing.I have never had a piece with a leather top so I really don’t know how I should treat it. I restore and refinish furniture for resale (just started doing this) and I am new to this venture. If I wax it can you tell me what I should be doing and what kind of wax are you talking about. I really would appreciate any information on brands and HOW TO that you can offer. Thank you for sharing your great works.
    Best regards

    • Debbie, I purchased my Wunda Size from Amazon. I am not sure if Joann’s or Michaels carries it in stock or not. To answer your questions about wax. I use furniture wax from companies that make chalk based paint. My absolute favorite is Maison Blanche. When I first started out, I purchased a furniture wax from a local hardware store and I hated it, it was not smooth and creamy like the ones I have used from other companies. I have never waxed my leather top pieces, I have always painted or covered them with fabric or paper. The ones I had were in bad shape, so I never tried to keep them original. You can find a lot of tutorials on how I have finished some pieces by going to my furniture category on my blog. I hope this helps!

  3. Very cute! I like all your little details, because they make a girl stop and say “oooo like at all the little extras”. Where do you buy the Wunda Size? I’ve never tried that before.

  4. These are beautiful DeDe! I love using fabric on pieces but I haven’t done it in a while…actually I’ve had a
    piece half ready, and the fabric for it, for 2 years. Maybe this will be the year I get it done! I also have a huge coffee table with a leather top – not in too bad condition – that I’ve been wondering what to do with. I’ve heard they do well with colored wax. This particular leather is cream colored so I think it might be worth saving?

    • Karen, I would definitely try to salvage the leather with wax and see how it does! You could always bring the piece down and we could paint together! More motivating that way! lol

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