Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Trailer Talk Whatever Day: Table Top Makeover

It's Trailer Talk-Day!  I plan to have these up on Tuesdays, but life gets in the way sometimes.  Last week there wasn't much to report on Jolene, our 1967 PlayMor camper that we are renovating--just more goo-removal.  This week we're 99% done and ready to do some final clean up and paint.  To take a break from the monotony, I thought I would do one of the little interior projects and do a refresh on the dinette tabletop.

This is what we started with:

The formica was stained and scratched and the hinges were a little worse for wear, too.  We unscrewed it from the wall of the camper and removed the hinges.  They got a couple of coats of my favorite spray paint:  

Oil Rubbed Bronze

Then I got busy painting the table top.  I taped it off and applied several light layers of Sherwin Williams 6783-Amalfi.  This color is one I'm planning on using as an accent color on the exterior of the camper.

After the paint had dried and cured for a couple of days, I brought the table into the garage and started the fun part.

The Adventure print is a free printable I found at

Free art is the best!

The vintage looking postcards are from a set I bought from this cool online shop, Anderson Design.
Check out this cool store!

Mister and I chose our top 12 bucket list national parks that we want to visit and I arranged those cards around the adventure printable.

After I had them placed and tacked down with a little bit of glue, I got to work mixing up what will make this table top functional:  bar-top resin.

This is the part where I tell you how to not make the same mistakes I did.  
  • Plan for more resin than you think you will need.  I thought two boxes would be enough.  It wasn't.  
  • I thought the gloves were fine for the mixing part.  WEAR THEM THE WHOLE TIME.  Resin is crazy hard to get off your hands.  Trust me on this.  
  • Find a level place to do the pouring.  Don't trust your eyes--use a level before you start pouring.  It will make your project SO much easier if you do these three things.

If you want a great tutorial on mixing the resin and pouring it, this happy little gal has a good one:

After mixing the resin in my handy Rudy's BBQ cups and stirring them for the required time, I poured the resin over the cards and smoothed it out.  I turned the heat gun on low and passed it over the table top to make sure any bubbles popped.  

All looked great until I realized that my garage floor is not level--it slopes just a little.  Because the postcards weren't completely glued to the table, they started to float--swimming, as it were, in a pool of resin.  I used a popsicle stick to move them back into position, several times, and waited for the resin to set up enough so they wouldn't move anymore.  The cute gal in the video actually leveled her trailer and then poured her tabletop in place. That sounds like a good idea, but resin can run off the edges, so, you have to be ready for that, too.

Anyway, I thought all was good and ran over to watch little sis cheer at a football game.  When I came back two rogue cards had turned almost 90 degrees and were fairly stuck in place by that time.  I was able to move them, but it left a couple of low spots in the resin from where I had to scoot them back as close as I could to their original position, without tearing them.  

I love the glossiness of the table and I think one more coat to fill in the low spots will fix those problems.  The cards on the right side aren't in perfect alignment, but not much on Jolene is in perfect alignment, so, I'm okay with that.  While I was working on this tabletop, I was listening to the Cool Tools podcast and they were interviewing Adam Savage, host of Mythbusters.
cool tools podcast

At some point in the discussion, Adam brought up the Japanese concept of Wabi-sabi, which sees beauty as "imperfect, impermanent and incomplete."  How freeing that would be to so many people, (including me) if we could see the beauty in what was already there.  Our goal should be to just try to make it as good as it can be and perfection gets in the way of all that.

This little tabletop is a prime example of that.  I've never used resin before but have always been curious about it.  I did a lot of research about it, but nothing I ever read said anything about paper floating in resin.  Live and learn!  I love trying new crafts and using new gadgets and this renovation of Jolene is tailor made for that.  The new tabletop brings in color that will tie in to the exterior paint job and also provides a place to display art.  There isn't much wall space in a little camper and I love that these beautiful postcards and Adventure printable are a part of the camper now. 

Renovating Jolene is an adventure--hope you're finding adventure in your world, too!

I'll leave you with this awesome youtube video.  Someone took Dolly's original recording of Jolene and slowed it down to 33 rpm.  It gives me chillbumps and even Dolly said it made her smile.

*Some affiliate links are used in this post at no extra cost to you. 


  1. So cool! I would LOVE to renovate an old camper someday. The postacards are genius!

    1. Thank you! It's definitely been a fun learning experience! I love our 2015 Shasta Airflyte which was made to look like the 1961 versions: vintage with all the new goodies. ;-) Jolene, though, has a lot of soul and I need to get her done and set up as my backyard writing studio!


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