Saturday, April 26, 2014

Before and After: Rustic Farmhouse Table

For us today marks opening day of Garage Sale Season 2014.  While Lance has hit up a couple of sales in the mornings before work, this was the first day we have both been able to get out together and spend an entire day hunting down riches. We started out bright and early in Lodi, WI and the day did not disappoint.  We picked up a new furniture project, the usual mix of pottery, glassware and art prints, and a few odds and ends (drawer pulls, casters, hinges, an enamel top) that we can use for future projects.  Luckily, we had some room in the garage, because another one of Lance's finds from his craigslist mission to Watertown is DONE!

One of his purchases that day was this old farmhouse-style table:

It is a solid piece, and in relatively good shape, aside from the chipped paint and worn top.

The table pulls apart in the middle so that leaves can be put in, but unfortunately the leaves are long gone.  It is supposed to have six legs, with two in the middle to support extra leaves, however ours just had one lone middle leg; luckily not a problem since there are no leaves to add, anyway!

It had old rusty casters on the bottom that Lance pulled off, and then he gave the whole thing a thorough cleaning and removed that pesky middle leg.  We wanted to preserve the rustic/vintage look, so we scraped off the loose chips of paint and gave it just a light sanding.  Then we chose a minty green color from our paint stash...

...and 15 minutes later, the first coat was painted! Have I mentioned how much I love the ease of spray paint?

Our next task was to deal with the table top.  I sanded it down, but only very lightly because I wanted to preserve the wear marks since they are part of the table's history.  I put some wood filler in some of the larger pits and a couple of small surface cracks with the intent of staining them a little darker.

I had seen several articles online saying you can use coffee grounds to minimize and fill in scratches in stained wood, so I thought I'd give it a try.  The appeal here was that using stain means having to wait several hours for it to dry, and coffee grounds would be much quicker AND more eco-friendly.  So I raided the coffee maker and used a q-tip to apply them.

However, after letting it sit and soak in for an hour, I discovered that the wood filler had not darkened at all!  Someone please explain to me how it is that when I spill coffee on myself (which is more often than I like to admit), it has no problem staining whatever I'm wearing, but when I let it sit on a table for an hour, it does nothing!? So, I ended up going back to Plan A and just using regular wood stain to minimize the wood filler.  That worked much better, and I was soon ready to put a coat of Polyurethane on the top.  Lance finished it off with a second coat yesterday, and the table is now done!

And it isn't finished a moment too soon, because we were starting to run out of space in the garage! 

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