If you were to tell me a couple years ago that I would have time for, energy for, or desire to do anything DIY in the near future, I would’ve laughed out loud. Besides in the kitchen, creating and crafting has never been my thing. I like just buying what I need and being done with it! But something about buying a house and needing to fill it with things, and wanting to save up for nicer things when the kids no longer destroy everything in their path, gave me the itch to expand my knowledge on the subjects of thrifting, refinishing, and painting. The tasks I’ve given myself do seem daunting at times, and occasionally I just end up buying what I set out to make. But sometimes, my vision actually comes to fruition, much like this dining table project.
I looked around on craigslist and at thrift stores for a cheap table for a long time, and finally ended up snagging this gorgeous piece absolutely FREE! It was exactly what I was looking for with the oval shape (including a leaf), pedestal base, and beautiful detail. It was actually promised to someone else, but they didn’t show, so I got it! Thanks kind lady in Denver!
I found a lot of chairs here and there, mostly at thrift stores ranging from $1.50-$7.00 a piece. I had planned all along to do a set of completely mis-matched chairs. But just last week, I ended up getting a set of four matching chairs from a friend of a friend that was moving and giving them away! A stroke of luck again! I liked the look of them better, and set the other chairs aside for other projects. They have all been sitting either in our apartment or home garage for weeks, until it was finally time to get the project going.
I enlisted the help of my sister Amber, since she has done quite a bit of refinishing herself. Last week we got work, and with the help of my mom who was watching all the kids, we were was able to get all the chairs done in just a couple of days!
This was my inspiration for the table. (I didn’t get a picture before I applied the varnish remover, but I guess it will do.) I tried sanding off the old, flaking finish, but it wasn’t happening how I hoped, so found this varnish remover on Amazon, and decided to give it one last shot before we just decided to just paint the whole thing. I’m so new at this stuff, but it’s amazing what a little research will do! It worked almost instantly, and we were giddy as we effortlessly scrapped away the old stain revealing the gorgeous grain underneath.
Amber had to leave at that point, so I was on my own. The kids were being angels one morning(!), and I was able to do a lot of work while they played happily outside, downstairs, or with friends next door (play dates are a wonderful thing)!
It’s not prefect by any means, and even with all the stripping and sanding, the wood was still flawed, but that’s part of its character. And I takes the pressure off a little, knowing it’s going to get a lot of dings and dents as it gets used. I’m all about keeping things kid-friendly around here.
I think the overall price came to less that $50, including fabric, stain, etc. The paint was all free, either left in the house from the previous owner, or leftover from recent wall painting. Quite the steal.
This is only meant to last us a few years, until the kids are less destructive, and we can buy the dining set that we want for the rest of our lives. But this will do just fine until then.
Many more home project posts to come (bakers rack, headboard, art table, coffee table, kids’ rooms, play room, lots of paint…we’ve been busy around here)!