Monday, August 29, 2011

Renewed CoffeeTable

Shall we start off with the before?

The last week of July is the big moving week in Ames.  With it being a college town, the majority of leases are set up to go from August 1 to July 31 since classes start in mid-August. So it's a great time to troll the dumpster for perfectly good furniture. This coffee table was sitting by the dumpster beside my work. One of the legs was off, but all the parts were there.
I convinced Jesse to check it out with me and he agreed he would help me put the legs back on if I really wanted to give it a makeover.

First off, it was time to scrape off some gunk and stickers the previous owners had added to the table with a razor blade.

I was lucky enough that my father-in-law lent me this handy little sander device.

It's much quieter and it seemed like it was faster than the other sander I borrowed from my parents. After an hour and a half of using the "Sonic Crafter" and 40 minutes of hand sanding, it was starting to get dark and I was pooped from sanding. This is where I ended on Day 1:

Day 2:
More sanding...and I really thought I would be finished with the sanding after the second day (not the case). I started on the legs and 'drawer' with a sanding block. Then Jesse convinced me to give the sander-machine a try on them. It worked well on a good chunk of the legs. It's getting dark earlier these days, so I don't have as much time outside. End of day two, I'm hoping that it really is only one more chunk of time to get it all sanded down!

Day three:
The whole thing started coming together. I finished sanding down those little bits that weren't quite done that you can see in the above photos. Over the entire coarse of this project my mantra became: "Imperfections will give it character and I like character." Pretty much this was just my way letting myself feel okay with the bits that I couldn't actually get sanded down and give up without trying harder than I felt up to. But I also did believe it. While sanding I hoped that it wasn't the day that apartment manager's decided to start using the lawn sprinklers again.

Penny was keeping an eye on me the whole time I was outside. What a loyal pup.

After sanding, I wiped the puppy down and then got to town staining. I used Minwax's Dark Walnut stain. And only needed one coat. As I was almost finished staining I thought I heard a lawn mower start up and hoped that the middle school age kid, that seems to mow every weekend, wasn't here to blow cut grass onto my drying table.

Here is the table drying while Jesse and I went to shop for a new knob for the previous drawer, which is now just for decoration.

Day Four
It really did come together on Sunday. We set it up in the spare room to put on a couple coats of polyurethane. Which I would have thought of something to set the table on while I was sanding and staining. Probably would have prevented a few back and neck aches.

Once the polyurethane was try, Jesse re-attached the legs and drawer using some wood filler and Gorilla Glue.  We let it harden and stick over night and this morning set the coffee table up in it's permanent residence.

Here's a before and after of the table top and closer up on the legs.

A few take-aways from this project. Sanding is always much more work than what I think it looks like in my eyes. It seemed that I had back and neck aches that morphed into headaches the day after I sanded. So, that being said, it will be quite awhile before I attempt another project that involves a bunch of sanding. No thank you. But even with all the work and some pain, I quite enjoy our new piece of furniture. It is such a gratifying feeling knowing that you made (or in this case re-made) something that you will use every day in your home.

I'm linking up at Remodelaholic.


  1. nice job! looks great-- very vintage-y!

  2. Looks great - nice job!