Monthly Archives: July 2012

MY $30 coffee table…


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I saw a Craigslist post for a very hopeful looking coffee table, we hadn’t had one as long as my bf and I had been together and thought I might like having one for the new house.

This table was in sad shape, but thought I might be able to fix it up if i just used some elbow grease…

The stain on the table was a dark red, it was nice, but the table really had seen better days, whomever owned it before me decided to clean it over and over with wood furniture cleaner but when they cleaned it, they just sprayed it all over and wiped it off but not taking the time to clean the cleaner itself out of all the crack and crevices, it was built up for years and stuck in every little crease

I saw the table  in my head in lighter colors, so I went to the store and bought some stripper for the current stain that was on it.

** The stripper is NO JOKE!** you should really wear eye protection and THICK rubber gloves, not doctors office gloves… and long sleeves. I got one TINY little drop on my arm of the stripper and it really hurt for quite a while.

apply the stripper in the same direction as the wood grain is going.

when you apply the stain stripper you really want to glob it on thick. I learned my lesson the hard way with this folks, I put a modest coat on and waited and then found trying to take the previous stain off was a pain in my butt. in my frustration i just globbed a second coat on that was so thick I thought the table top might burn off….

once the stripper was on, you let it sit for about 10-15 mins, and use a PLASTIC scraper, the reason for the plastic one instead of metal is that when you apply the stripper to the wood, it actually raises the grain of the wood slightly, when you go to scrape it off the plastic will still get the job done without ruining the grain where the metal one would lead you to more sanding then necessary, and who wants to have to sand longer then needed!? NOT ME!

once the previous stain is off you can use mineral spirit and wipe the little bit you might have if any, (I did) after using that i also put it on a 3M sanding block (my favorite) and used it kind of as a wet sand. then once that drys you use a rough sand paper on a sander, and then once that is done clean table off (I used a fox tail) then I sanded it again with 220 sand paper just to finish it. when you get to the sanding part you don’t need to sand the same direction as the wood grain if you are sanding with an orbital sander.

once that is clean you are ready for your new stain.

I put the stain on being very careful to go the same direction as the grain and since my table top was an inlay in different directions that was kinda hard, but still could be done. As I would apply the stain to each direction I then would wipe it right off. If your stain doesn’t look like you want it to, or isn’t dark enough you can apply another coat and wipe that off again until you get to your desired color. just make sure you like the color stain you bought. you aren’t going to get a dark stain on your wood no matter how many times you apply it if it is a light stain.

then I picked a color and painted the sides and drawers. distressed it. then apply clear coat! (I will be using poly acrylic)