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Before & After: Hammered Copper Bedside Table

For a long time, Adam and I have wanted to try using copper in one of our furniture redos.  We decided to try it on Adam’s old bedside table.  We love the result of the hammered copper finish!

I have to apologize for the pictures in this post, because most of them came from a cell phone, but I just had to share this project.  It’s one of our favorites and it looks even better in person!

Our original plan was to sand down the table, stain it dark brown and attach a smooth copper top.  But, as usual, the project didn’t go exactly as planned and we made some improvisations along the way.  Being creative when things don’t go as planned is one of the most fun parts about doing these projects.  We have learned to embrace it when things seem to be going terribly wrong!  We started staining the table brown and we just didn’t like it, so we re-sanded it and stained it with Sunbleached (by Rust-Oleum) and we liked the way it turned out.

Next, it was time to cover the top in copper.  We used a 5 mil sheet of copper.  We cut it to fit the top of the table (the 5 mil weight is easy to cut with regular scissors).

To attach the copper to the wood, we used contact cement that attaches metal to wood.  It worked really well…too well actually.  After the contact cement sets, you have to be completely ready to put the copper exactly where it needs to go because anywhere the copper touches the wood, it’s pretty much sticking there.  With 5 mil copper, that creates ripples and bends.  We were able to get the copper on the table and fold over the edges, but it wasn’t pretty and definitely wasn’t smooth.  We used a laminating roller to smooth it out as much as we could and that worked pretty well, but it just didn’t look as smooth as we had hoped.  So, we changed plans and decided to create a hammered copper look instead!

We tried many different hammers, but the only one that creates the hammered look we were going for was a ball pien hammer. Creating the hammered look was definitely a long, loud and labor intensive process.  I hammered a small corner portion and my arm felt like it was going to fall off.  Needless to say, Adam did most (ok ,pretty much all) of the hammering.  I am completely in love with the look of it!

After we got the top done, the only thing left to do was to pick out new hardware.  For this, we went to Anthropologie and spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to figure out which knobs to pick.  I love the selection of unique and whimsical hardware there and I really enjoyed going to pick ours out.  Adam, on the other hand, didn’t enjoy that part as much :).

We’re proud of the bedside table and it turned out better than expected. I wish I had better pictures to share!

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