Sunday, February 12, 2012

Coffee Table Makeover

One of the things that I love about living in a city is that you can find some pretty nice things in the alleys sometimes. One man's trash is another man's treasure. The winter months are a bit slow with people cleaning out their places, but when spring and summer roll around there's lots to choose from!

My husband used to get slightly annoyed when I'd tell him that I found something in the alley and I needed his help carrying it, but when he saw what I could do with the piece I found, whether is be for our place or to resell for some moolah, he became a supporter.

Over the summer when he's at work (I'm a teacher so I have the summer months off), I've often had to manuever a large piece of furniture into my little sedan. Like this coffee table...I may or may not have not been able to shut the car door all of the way and therefore, I may or may not have driven extremely slowly a few blocks with the door slightly ajar.

For a while, we were thinking about keeping the table and refinishing it to fit into our place, but the lines just didn't fit my style and after months of trying to figure out if I wanted to keep it or not I decided just to sell it.

I originally tried to sell it "as-is" with some dings and scratches. I got hardly any bites. So, I decided to spray paint it white and distress it to see if that would help in selling it. It's amazing what a little spray paint will do for a piece of furniture! I bought a can of spray paint primer and 2 cans of heirloom white spray paint all for about $10.

First, I slightly sanded down the table to help the paint stick better. i used a damp rag to wipe off the dust and let it dry. Before I put any primer or paint on, I took a tea candle and rubbed it around the edges of the table and legs. I learned this little trick from reading around in the blog world. Do this if you want to have a distressed look to your table. After I primed and painted the table (it took me about 2 coats of primer and 3 coats of spray paint) and let it dry, I took a rag and wiped off the wax. The old pieces of dark wood popped through the white paint giving it that distressed look that I wanted. I didn't bother spraying a sealer type paint to finish off the project because since the table had more a distressed look, a few more dings and nicks would only add character to the piece.

Here's the before and after:

I relisted the new table on Craigslist and ended up having several people contact me. I sold it for $45 - $10 for supplies, so I made $35! Do you see why I love driving slowly past alleys???

I don't claim to be an expert at redoing furniture, but for where my husband and I are in life the way I've been doing it works just great for us. There's a ton of different ways to paint and finish furniture and I'd love to learn those ways, but I have to start somewhere and this is where I'm starting!


  1. A girl after my own heart. It's a thrill when you find something "early curb" knowing you can transform it into something. Nice job with the table and even better that you made some cash off it!

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