before & after: kitchen table redo + chair makeover

I love the look of old zinc-topped dining tables and often imagine myself hosting large dinners outdoors were I to own one, but the price tag on those antique beasts can be a bit intimidating. I’m so excited to see that Gina has taken matters into her own hands and created her very own version for a fraction of the cost. It looks like she did an incredible aging job on the metal. The piece already has so much character and richness to it, and I’m sure the finish will only become more beautiful with use. Amazing job, Gina! — Kate

Time: 1/2 day prep and sanding; 1/2 day gluing and distressing

Cost: $200 for zinc sheet; $8 for copper solution; $3 for glue

Basic Steps: I cut sheets of zinc and affixed them to the table with industrial adhesive. Then I hammered repeatedly and used copper solution to age. It’s an easy way to get a new “French bistro” look that gets better with age. It also adds a different metal look/texture when your room is full of wood like ours. — Gina

Have a Before & After you’d like to share? Shoot me an email with your images right here! (Low res, under 500k per image, please.)

CLICK HERE for a chair makeover after the jump!

Maybe it’s the spring-like color palette or the delicately distressed edges, but I find myself utterly charmed by this little chair makeover from Carla. True, the frame was lovely to begin with, and while I think it could have been simply refinished to bring the plain wood back to luster, the fabric wouldn’t look nearly as good without that minty green to make it pop. Nice job, Carla!

Time: 2 weeks

Cost: $30

Basic Steps: I had this old beautiful chair, and it was always was my idea to do something with it. The “click” came when I saw this fabric in a fabric shop near my village. I bought a piece and decided to do something with the chair. I tested a few colors and found this green, so after I stripped it of the old varnish and started to paint. In the end, I lined the seat, let dry and that’s it!! — Carla


I love that table. One question,which Industrial adhesive to you recommend using?


The chair is adorable and would look great paired up with that fabulouso table!


Where does one go to buy a sheet of zinc? Also, it looks like you just took the sheet to the table’s edge, not wrapping it around the sides, yes? Looks like this would be great for Ikea’s Furuskog table top.


That table is fantastic! Inspired to try and makeover a pedestal table with a zinc top!


How did you upholster the seat? Did you get a slipseat cut? I have a similar chair and have no idea how to fill the hole.


I love the table and I often dream to make something with zinc.
What about the angles of the zinc sheets, not sharp ?


Can zinc-topped tables go outdoors (assuming the base is weather proof)?

For the chair, how did you get the paint to look slightly scuffed/worn?

Sara L.

Love that table! How were the edges finished off?


My husband did all the work (I’m a fine supervisor, though!) — he purchased everything from — the zinc, the adhesive, the solution… We would have preferred the sheet to wrap around the edges, but zinc only comes in 44-inch wide sheets and he didn’t want to have to weld anything! Thanks for all the zinc love!


I love love the distressed look of the chair! Totally into that..and the fabric adds a ton of character. Looks beautiful!


Wow, what an incredible transformation! Never thought about doing this to an old wood table but I like it. Thanks for sharing this lovely find!


Great table! Did you have the sheets of zinc cut to size or did you cut yourself?


How do you clean/maintain the tabletop? Love this idea! Been wanting to re-do our table set & want something durable for my kids, as they use it all day.

able mabel

How well does zinc “clean up”? Meaning, is it something you’d recommend for those of us with kids?


This is one of the best chair makeovers I’ve seen on Design Sponge in ages!! CUTE!


That zinc table is amazing. Gorgeous. Fantastic. I think I need to do that.

carla valverde

I feel so happy to see my work in a blog as *Design Sponge*. YAAAAAAYAHHHHHHHH HAPPPY HAPPYY HAPPPY, thank You DS!!!

France Geek

The zinc table is fantastic. Thanks for sharing! Gina – how did you use the copper solution to age? Was it sanded at all?


Fabulous job – and thanks for the zinc link!

I did a similar treatment to an old table and also wanted to use zinc. But when I went to the metalshop, I got the reaction, “You want what? Galvanized?!?” These guys didn’t have a clue to what I was after. So I settled for stainless steel and had them fabricate a lip that fit over the edge of the top. Glued it down and it looks fabulous. I’ve had lots of people ask to buy it. (BTW, I got the idea from our not-so-evil bud Martha’s magazine about 6 years ago.)


I like the zinc top, although not how it would look in a conventional home. The matt look of it is really good.


i inherited a set of that same brown floral china. i display it every fall in my china cabinet! seeing the pattern just makes me smile!!!


The table looks amazing. I love the look of zinc topped furniture. I am encouraged to try this now. Thank you so much for sharing!

carla valverde

Hello, I have a sanding drum, so i did it on the corners of the chair, but you can do it easily by hand also!


Hi again. Sheets were ordered cut to size and sanded before the solution was put on top. The solution was diluted with water because we didn’t want the “aging” to be too dark. Wear gloves because the edges are sharp!


Another question for Gina!
What did you do about the edges of the zinc…to make it safe/not sharp? Did you sand them beforehand or was that not necessary? Thanks!


Edges were not sanded but were hammered into the edges of the middle (where the leaf is). The other sides didn’t reach the edge so no sharp edge issue. We would have preferred the edges to wrap around and nailed down but the sheets weren’t wide enough.

Charlene Rice

Lovely. In photos has the soft grey color and patina of soapstone.

Theresa A Strickland

Love the Zinc. Most people are afraid of metal tops; but they can be as warm and cozy as wood. Just surround them with a mixture of wood chairs!


Just gorgeous! I wondered the same thing, how do you keep the edges from being to sharp? Great job and thanks for sharin with us.


For a smaller tabletop I wonder if one could hammer the zinc around the edges. Has anyone ever tried this or worked with bending zinc?


I love the table, it is beautiful. How do you clean and maintain the zinc? I just bought a dining table with zinc, and was told I could seal it with a beeswax sealant, but I am afraid to put anything on it . Would it be better to leave it to wear as it will? I love it, but I am afraid of it. Please help me.


A-MAZING table idea! I’m totally wowed and inspired. GREAT JOB!

Jason allen

What a beautiful job. I want to try this but I am having a hard time finding zinc sheet metal. Where did you get yours?