$25 Upcycled Table

Perhaps one of the most exciting parts of registering for our wedding is the idea that one day we might actually have real, adult-like belongings. True story, Matt eats off of speckled camping plates and my version of ‘fine china’ is my Tervis Tumbler collection.  In my fairy tale of married life, we will have a well-balanced meal every night and eat off of matching plates and silverware that weren’t purchased from Wal-Mart while in college. This vision also includes a dining table and that’s where the fairy tale comes to a screeching halt.

I had a table and 4 chairs that I basically ruined (read that mishap here) and then later sold on CraigsList for $60. That left us with the coffee-table-while-watching-Wheel-Of-Fortune option, and that’s definitely nowhere in my fairy tale.

My sweet coworker Kristi let me know that her neighbor was selling a kitchen table. While the table had lived on a back porch and needed some TLC, it was still a very nice, substantial piece of furniture. Because I have a serious issue with making any type of decision, I sent my Interior Decorator (also known as “Mom”) to check it out. She agreed that it would be money well spent. Matt and I went later that week to pick up the table without knowing it weighed upwards of 200+ lbs.  Our engagement was definitively tested trying to carrying it off the porch ourselves, through the yard, and then lifting it into the bed of a truck. We were able to unload it and store it in the garage of our new place; which is where I was afraid it would stay forever after Matt declared he never wanted to see it again. Lucky for me, my fiance’s long-term memory isn’t the best, and after a week or so he was ready to tackle the table project.

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We had borrowed my Dad’s pressure washer for a few other projects, so we figured we might as well use that to clean off the pollen and dirt from the table.

We first thought we could use a sanding block to take off the finish, at least down to a layer where we could either re-stain or paint over. That lasted all of 10 minutes before we realized we needed the electric orbital sander.

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And just a word to the wise…after 3+ hours of sanding, you’ll think you’re done…but don’t forget you also have to sand the leaf…

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Although it required a lot of elbow grease, the end result was well worth all of the time it took to sand it down to nothing.

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The following day we began the fun part, which was painting the base. Mom and I spent about 25 minutes picking out the color. Who knew there were SO many shades of cream?! The table took three coats of the paint to cover the previous black paint but looked great afterwards.

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Matt’s dad was in town for work so before he treated us to dinner, we asked if he could kindly help us carry the table inside.

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Once inside, we put two coats of Minwax Provincial on just the top and then sealed it with a clear polyurethane.

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My mom scored these two cane back dining chairs from the Habitat Restore for $30/chair. They are Drexel Heritage chairs and great quality. Won’t they look great reupholstered in velvet or animal hide? The options are endless! More to come on this project…

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We are so impressed with the final product. Isn’t she a beaut? All in, we spent about $50 on paint and supplies and then of course $25 for the actual table.




At the end of the day, I will always love this table because it was the first real project Matt and I worked on together and where we will share our meals together. Now I guess this means I need to learn how to cook….


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