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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Trash to Treasure: Chevron End Tables

Sometimes my life is all over the place.  
A little of this, a little of that, here there and everywhere.  
Well, I like my blog to resemble my eclectic crazy life.  
And I think it does. 

Today I want to share with you one of my dirty little secrets. 
 I love love love old junky furniture.  

The scratched up pieces, drawers full of bubble gum, stopped at goodwill, picked off of someones curb kind of junky pieces.  If you know me you know there is a little thrift shop I stalk frequent and continually shop at.  I tell people "Oh you know... the one by the on ramp with all that useless crap sitting out there in the rain" and they automatically know what place I am talking about.   I love that place... Sometimes it is all garbage and sometimes I find treasures.  I never pay more than 20 dollars for a piece, and usually its under 10.    It's only open a few hours a day but when it is closed, you can take any of the furniture outside and just slip the cash under the door.   
Such character.   And trust.
(One time I left a little less than the tag said because I didn't thing it was worth the tag price and there was no one there to haggle with)  
SHH....Don't tell. 

I like to think I have an eye for unique older furniture and their potential, 
but really I am probably just a hoarder.  
Or at least my dad thinks so.

My love for refabbing furniture started when I was getting ready to leave the nest.   I was moving out of my parents house and into my first rental.  A 3 bedroom 1800's farmhouse in Essex CT.  It was the cutest little old farm house, on an acre, and completely unfurnished.  I could not afford to shop at Ethan Allen, and refused to settle for junk at Ikea.  I wanted solid wood with the price tag of the fake stuff.  So what did I do?  Started yardsailing, stalking craigslist, visiting thiftshops, and visiting curb alerts.  

Redoing furniture takes a lot of trial and error, and even more patience (something I need a lot more of).  I am already in my second rental now, and have a lot of refabbed furniture to show for.  Eventually I will make a page of all of my before and afters.  You know, just to add to the randomness of this blog.  But for now, I want to share my favorite makeover of lately.

I introduce to you:  
The $6 Goodwill laminate wood end tables.

But you just said you hate fake wood?  
Yeah yeah yeah.

But I loved the shape... and that they matched... and how light they were.
I can't tell you HOW MANY TIMES people drive past me watching me trying to shove solid wood furniture from the curb into my car. 

Folks, if you drive past a struggling brunette trying to load someone else's crap into their Nissan Armada, stop and offer her a hand.  

Despite the fact that it was laminate, I was so excited to have two of something, a matching set, 
and I saw some potential in these cuties.  I wasn't looking for end tables.  I wasn't looking for anything in particular.  I just wanted more STUFF to refinish.  I guess I am a hoarder.

I saw these beauties and instantly thought.   
Bam.  Just like that.  

I learned a REALLY valuable lesson with these end tables.  I never buy laminate and had never worked with it before.  Just treat it like wood I thought.  Well, I can't really sand it so I am just going to slather some paint on it and call it a day.

Putting on the first coat I realized... this paint is not sticking.  Lightbulb:  Suffer through this and once I get on the first coat, I will paint on a second coat that will stick to the first coat and everything will be perfect.   WRONG.  The second coat stuck to the first coat, and peeled off in unison.  

Why-why why why do I not do my research first.  Why am I so impatient'?  The cardinal rule in painting is PRIMER-  and when it comes to laminate furniture, there are no exceptions.  Now I had to put in another days work just to get it back to its original state:  I had to sand and clean both tables until all of the first paint fail was gone.  

What felt like years later, I had the first coat off, and two coats of primer on.  I did a happy dance around the apartment and marveled at my little tables.  

I ended up painting then inside because I am lazy.  If you are as lazy as me and want to paint while watching Love It Or List It, go to the dollar store and get the dollar plastic curtains to use as a drip cloth under your furniture- much easier than resorting to cardbox boxes and dog food bags.  

I let the primer dry about 2 hours in between coats-  The windows were all open and the air was cool and crisp allowing these suckers for a quick dry and speedy recovery.

Once I got my two layers of primer on, I put on 3 thin layers of white paint.  Yes that is five layers total, I never wanted to see that ugly black laminate ever again.  

I let these coats dry over night and throughout the day in between coats.  When everything was high and dry, I worked on the pattern. 

If you ever want to feel really stupid, spend some time trying to get an even chevron design on a table top with only a home depot paint mixing stick, a pencil, and some tape.  If I was smarter, I would have done the math, gotten a ruler, and sketched it out to perfection.  After a lot of tape and a few curse words I had a better idea.

I took tissue paper and folded it up to make evenly placed little boxes.  I then drew on my chevron pattern in the boxes (with my mock ruler aka paint stick)  and traced the pattern onto my table.  Once I had the pattern traced I taped some clean even(ish) lines onto my table top.  They aren't perfect but good enough for the first go around.  If you ask me how long this took I am far to embarrassed to admit that and will take that to the grave with me.  

I used 3 coats of Martha Stewarts textured grey paint to paint my chevrons on the table.  I really love the textured thick look of the paint and used a brush and a foam brush to apply the paint.  I used LIVELOVEDIY's little trick and instead of washing out my paintbrush between coats, I stuck it in a ziplock baggie and into the fridge- worked like a charm.  Check out her blog for other life saving painting tips.

After many many hours and many hard lessons learned,
 I finally had one finished.  

And then I had two finished.  
I used a sealing/cover/glossy/enamel spray painty stuff to seal my design and protect the table top from nicks, stains, and anything else it may encounter in its new life as a reborn again end table.  

Don't they look absolutely adorable? 
 The height is a little low for an end table for the couch but I don't care, I am too in love to be bothered by the fact that it's a little vertically challenged.   Pop of pink, and some aqua to match my bar cart (wait for it.. that's another post). 

They are even Kitty Approved. 

I can't wait to share some of my other stuff with you, and thanks for sticking with me through this completely non running related post.

Happy Painting!

1 comment :

  1. L.O.V.E them! And love that you shared your other passion - you're so thrifty! Thanks for the recommendation to use dollar store curtains; so much easier to ball up and chuck when you're done.


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