Stained and striped coffee table

Ahhhh, another project so long in the works.

My dad brought me this old table from my aunt’s house in Cincinnati. I wasn’t crazy about it at first — it is extremely heavy — but it started to grow on me. Plus, it’s way nicer than the Ikea table dad got us from a yard sale. So about a month ago I started to refinish this piece.

I really like the lines in the top of this table. I noticed right away the vertical lines in the table top, sandwiched by two horizontal pieces of wood. I had the idea to stain every other plank a dark gray to give this top some pizzaz.

So I went off to Home Depot to pick up some stain — I tried a new stain, Varathane, which I really liked. The polyurethane is particularly awesome.

I sanded the top of the table and then taped off every other slat with blue painter’s tape.

Once I taped off the table, I stained the contained slats a smokey gray using a sponge brush. I waited 10 minutes, then wiped off the stain.

Once the gray was finished, I started to apply the black stain over top of it. The black stain turned out to be more of a dark brown, which I liked. If I had done a second coat of stain, it probably would have been a bit more black. But I liked the contrast between the gray and brown.

This is where I stopped about a month ago — whoops. Between house-warming parties and jam-packed weekends, I just didn’t have the time to tackle this project.

Luckily, I had time this past Sunday to complete this project.

I took the table outside and flipped it over to stain the underneath.

I scraped the little stain drips off the underneath of the table, then stained the bottom black. I let it dry for a few hours, then applied several coats of matte Varathane polyurethane for the table.

I love this table now… it looks great. It feels great. I love the poly finish much better than glossy finishes I’ve used in the past.¬†And, it looks fabulous in our living room. So pleased.

Side note… Has anyone tried the new panorama feature on the iOS 6 software for the iPhone. Look at this sweet picture of our family room.

Isn’t that fantastic? The room doesn’t look too bad either ūüėČ


Part 2: Dresser refab

My dresser is almost done. Almost. It’s been sanded, stained and¬†polyurethaned. Now all it needs to do is dry! Then I can add my spiffy teal knobs!

The project was rather simple, but I certainly learned a lot along the way. First and foremost, don’t stain outside if there is any hint of a breeze — especially in the spring. I had to bring the dresser inside after the first coat of poly because so much crap had blown onto it and was sticking in the finish.

Second, make sure you sand all surfaces you want to stain. New stain + old stain doesn’t always equal a good combination.

Third, make sure you aren’t doing things the hard way. According to my family friend, John, it would have been a lot quicker to use a varnish stripping agent instead of sanding all of the nooks and crannies of the old dresser. A tip for next time, I suppose!

Here’s the progress so far:

OK, this was the first coat of stain. Honestly, I was super disappointed with how it looked — it wasn’t all that different from what I started with.

And here’s the stain after a much thicker coat. Much better!

Before the poly (and before I moved inside).

Remmy watching from inside because he kept grabbing rocks and/or sandpaper, and then running away.

All polyed up and sitting out to dry.

Looking good!

Maybe tomorrow I can put it all back together, knobs and all. I might play it extra safe and wait an extra day for it all to dry.

In other news, if you follow my Facebook page you know that I spent part of the weekend unpacking my craft room. While that sounds super exciting, it was actually rather overwhelming. As of right now, I’ve got a whole lot of nothing to do crafts on except the floor. I also have a whole lot of nothing to use for storage. I’ve been hitting up thrift stores and Craigslist to see if I can find something the meet my needs, but if I can’t I think I’ll have to custom build something into my craft nook. I’m rather desperate to have a functioning craft room, but all in good time.

While I didn’t find a craft table (or a coffee table or a desk), I did find some other fun things at the thrift store this weekend.¬†

An old dictionary, an old atlas and a nasty silver bowl. Can’t wait to get to work on some projects I have planned, especially with the atlas and the dictionary. Oh! I bought a second atlas, but the hubby loved it so much he claimed it as his own and refuses to let me use it for crafting. Also, I paid $3.50 for it and it is selling for $135 on eBay! Holy cow! Great find, huh, Carrie H. (my thrift store buddy)?