May 30, 2013

Walnut Serpentine Table - part 1

Well, it's been a crazy few days. But still, I decided to make another serpentine table. And this time I was brave enough to try making it out of walnut!

I love how it turned out. My main concern was that I won't be able to get everything fitted together perfectly and of course I couldn't. But luckily I coloured some filler. Although I didn't need much I still needed it but it did turn out good anyway.

I used a similar design as on the previous serpentine table, although this one is larger. It's 15cm long and 8,5cm deep.

Here you can see the parts that still need some sanding and filling. 

Mixing the filling with a drop of paint. Worked out perfectly!

After all the sanding and filling was done I faced another dilema. How to finish the table? I've been tempted by shellac for a long time, but never got around to quite trying it. We had some flakes and alcohol left over from a while back, when my mum and dad used it for French polishing a few antique pieces of real life furniture. And so I went to the basement and dragged everything out. Not just shellac but also paraffin oil.

They explained the process to me. First use paraffin oil and let it sit for at least 24 hours and after that a few coats of shellac. I won't be able to rub it on like they could but I can still paint it on with a brush. So I decided to try the whole technique on a scrap piece of walnut.

Here you can see the difference in colour, the scrap piece on top of the table is already coated with paraffin oil and the table is not. I love how rich the colour got and the best part, it stays this way!

Shellac flakes. I will have to mix my own shellac but that shouldn't be a problem.

And I also have the alcohol. Thank got we still had this at home, since it's terribly expensive to buy. Who would have thought that something as silly as denaturated alcohol would be so pricey!

Well, now I have to leave the scrap piece to dry and then I can start applying shellac. I decided not to try it straight on the table since I have no idea how this will turn out. I know that shellac finish is amazing but I'm not sure how this will react with being brushed on versus rubbed/polished on. Will have to see and of course I'll report on my progress here :)

Until next time!



  1. Amazing table! The colors is so rich your furniture have the feel of life sized mahogany :)

    1. Thank you Jane :) Maybe I will try making something out of mahogany some day :D

  2. Thanks for show and tell how to do, it is a very exciting technology. Your table has a very nice shape.

    1. Thank you Wyrna! And yes, shellac is a very exciting thing. I remember watching my parents restore an antique cabinet when I was very little and I loved watching them as they went through every step.

  3. Your table is wonerful. Thanks for the explanation of the procedure.
    Bye, Faby