Category Archives: DIY

Upcycled: Treadle Table

Treadle table with birds

My sister is a serious fiber arts enthusiast – always has been – and loves to collect odds and ends related to those endeavors. A couple years ago when she was in transition between homes, she left a treadle base at my house and I somehow forgot to remind her of it…silly me.

My daughter scrubbed it up and gave it a fresh coat of spray paint – in black, of course.

We got a nice piece of pine at Lowes/Home Depot for the top. I searched for a decent piece of wood to re-purpose rather than buying new – but couldn’t find one that wasn’t warped and falling apart.

There were already bolt holes in the treadle base where it would ordinarily hold the sewing machine in place. I bought wood screws long enough to go through the thick bolt casing and half the thickness of the wood.

Treadle table - base coat

The hardest part was figuring out what to put on the top. I put a layer of Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint in Graphite. Because there was no primer coat, I gave it two coats of chalk paint (the first coat soaked in immediately), then buffed a bit with a soft cotton cloth.

I finally decided on a “Birds on Wire” scene. I used Illustrator and some freebie vector images I found online and cut the scene out on a vinyl cutter.


I ran into issues with the border, so I improvised with some painters tape and created the scene on the table with most of the vinyl pieces, directly over the graphite chalk paint.

Once the pieces were in place, and I went over each piece to make sure they were firmly in place and no paint would leak under the shape. I put on two coats of Annie Sloan’s Duck Egg Blue Chalk Paint and waited for it to dry completely, but not long enough that it started to seal the vinyl pieces and tape into the table.

Stencil coat

I carefully removed the vinyls shapes and painters tape – this is seriously the best part. I was giddy when I saw how clean the edge was for the shapes. GIDDY, I tell you!

Then I finished up with two coats of Annie Sloan clear wax and a lot of buffing.

DIY Treadle Table

We put it to work right away, serving as the cake table at a party last weekend – the wax gives a nice smooth finish and cleans up easily. I love it.