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where's my table saw?
31,498 Posts
it's time for a "distressed" finish

You can save it by making it look old and distressed IF you choose. I probably would save the top for another project or a remake of this same size box.

The red Oak can be dented and scuffed up and then sanded with a disc to create saw swirls. Then take some black spray paint and rub it into the newly created dents and scratches and wipe it out before it dries. You make have to reglue the split with some 2 part epoxy to get it to hold. Bring the dang thin into the house so it will stabilze in a constant temperature..... White paint will work also for a more antiques look. If you can find some crate wood or barn wood that would make a good top.
It not about perfection. It's about learning and making your "mistakes" look intended. Here's some examples of distressed boxes:


Another solution is to make a simple top and then add Decoupage images. You can just cut out shapes or textures from magazines and clear coat them to the top:
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