In the last Craft post I showed you the first part of how I made my new zinc topped work table for my office. I got up to installing the zinc top. Now I have to walk you to finishing the top up, distressing it and finishing it properly.
If anyone is inclined to give a project like this a shot, I highly suggest you look through the how-to videos that Rotometals has. That is the only source I used when I made my top and it worked out OK for me. I show a lot of photos because I want to show you all of the steps, but all in all this table probably took me 2 days to make of concentrated 8 hour days. It was a very satisfying project though because it yielded something that is so beautiful and useful.
Just to refresh your memory, when I decided to make my own table I started with this industrial cart:
And my finished zinc topped table looks like this:
I purchased the .027″ thickness ‘soft’ zinc that Rotometals recommended for this project, but I was surprised at how long it took to hammer down the edges of the table. I used a rubber mallet, and in order to do it properly, it just took some time and patience, and lots of hammering. Perhaps the arthritis in my shoulder made it seem harder than it really was. Because of the arthritis, I knew I had to finish this in one day because the next day I wouldn’t be able to lift my arms, so I had a lot to do.
I knew I wanted to use a nailed edge, so I marked off where I wanted the nails along every side before I started nailing the galvanized nails in.
Once you’ve got all of your edges nailed down, you’ll want to go around and nail the zinc to the underside of the table, but you don’t have to nail as close together as you did for the decorative edge – you’re just trying to secure it to the table.
It looks great. I managed to finish it in the wee hours of the night thankfully because my arthritic shoulders were sore the next morning and my arms were tired from all the hammering. The shiny surface looked great, but I knew I wanted to put a distressed surface on it. It was quickly proven why this was a good idea.
Rotometals had a good video tutorial on how to do different kinds of distressed surfaces to zinc. Most were created using a diluted solution of water and Cupric Sulfate, which they sell. Those dirty fingerprints convinced me pretty quickly that a distressed top would be great.
Rotometals says you can finish it with a lacquer sealing spray that they sell, or you can use a clear wax sealer that they also sell. For whatever reason I decided to use both methods. It seemed to work. I liked the way the paste wax finish looked, but I wanted the extra durability of the spray finish. I was a bit worried that the wax finish would prevent the spray from adhering, but it seems to be fine.One important thing to remember is if you need to clean the surface off before you apply the wax or lacquer spray, just use a dry cloth! Water or any other liquid products will smear the finish at this point until it’s sealed.