Last fall, before my brother made us a school table, I was browsing craigslist and online garage sales to find something to replace the padded coffee table we had been using. Having found a couple items on facebook, I drove out north of town to a woman's house. The table I was primarily interested in was no good, but I really liked this $10 coffee table! Not as it was of course with it's poor, stained, red top finish and ugly forest green legs, but it was a solid piece of wood and I had a vision for it.
I have a little experience finishing wood - our armoire, dining room table and chairs, and the school table. I was about to say this was my first time refinishing something but I realized that wasn't true. I've also done a dresser, bookshelf and end table. I couldn't have done this project, which is superior to the others, without borrowing my brother's rotary sander. It took me a solid two hours during one friday's nap time to get the finish off the top and to degloss and sand the legs.
Look at that pretty butcher block top!
I spray painted primer over the green first and then finished it with off white. I bumped the paint on the drawer while it was still wet and didn't notice until it was dry. So I had to fix that. Otherwise it turned out really smooth and even.
While researching tables for Nathan and I to make from Ana White's site, I ran across this vintage gray/brown stain on pine and loved it.
I tried to imitate it for the school table which didn't work so well. So this time I went out and bought the exact same Minwax stains she used (only $3.45 a pop at Menards) - Weathered Oak and Special Walnut. Here is the top with the Weathered Oak down. It didn't end up turning out like hers, perhaps because this wasn't pine (not sure what it is, but it's pretty hard) but I like how it turned out regardless.
Next I put two coats of Special Walnut and four coats of polyurethane and was done!
This is our living room before with the large square storage ottoman.
It had been really cramped with that ottoman there so we replaced it with the new coffee table. Then we switched the couch and loveseat around to make room for the recliner Terry likes upstairs. I really like how it turned out!