Gibson Inspired Sunburst Coffee Table

I acquired a factory produced Queen Anne coffee table some time ago, and it hung around the shop serving as an overflow storage surface, buried under paint cans and unsorted hardware.

I forgot all about it until the day I finally got around to cleaning up.

It seemed to be in sound condition, and well made, but normal use had rendered the finish unsightly and sad.  My contribution of piling debris on it did little to improve that.

It occurred to me that this table would be an ideal subject for a sunburst finish.  I have a 1960s Gibson ES 330 TD with a traditional sunburst finish, which I used as a guide to refinish the table.

I intentionally backed off from trying to match the depth of the yellow at the center, and I opted for a polyurethane finish instead of lacquer.  On the one hand, I expect that the table will become warmer, more yellow with age.  On the other hand, I wanted to avoid the cracked finish that characterizes old lacquer; polyurethane is a much more practical finish for a tabletop.

I chickened out and didn’t bring the guitar out to the shop.  Upon reviewing the photos, I realize that I could have been more bold with the red.  I used pure red, yellow and black pigments in blending my colors, but without having my model in front of me as I applied them, I arrived at a more understated result.

I actually think that will make for a more pleasing effect on such a large surface; easier to live with and to integrate into an actual living space.  As the title of the post indicates, the table was inspired by the original Gibson look, and not intended to be an exact duplicate.


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