About a year ago, during my Spring Fling 2013 I spied this table at a local thrift store. It was cheap at only $8. I loved the legs, and the drawers.
As soon as I unloaded it from the truck, I got busy painting it. You can read all about how DIY Chalk paint makes a great primer in my post Big Ole Table. I painted it, and gave it some wipe-on-poly to protect it…. however, being shiny black, showed all of it’s imperfections (water damage). I was unable to sell it.
For months I had big plans for it—to become a large farm type table using 2x6 lumber. In the late fall, I bought the boards, and worked on it a little here and there whenever the weather was warm enough.
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A few weeks ago I started the assembly process. I ripped all the boards on my table saw to get a straight edge to try to prevent the “crumb catcher” grooves.
I used my Kreg Jig to make pocket holes to join the boards together. It’s the same process I used on my DIY Kitchen Island
I recently bought this variety pack of Kreg screws on Amazon.
I sanded, and sanded, and sanded on this dude, the front and the back!
Then…. I got very frustrated with the whole process and apparently didn’t take any pictures (which isn’t all that surprising, since it’s hard to take pictures while you have stain on your hands)
Here’s what I did—1 coat of Hickory Gel Stain by Minwax, and 3 light coats of Minwax Polycrylic. While sanding in between the coats of polycrylic, there were some high spots that got the stain removed. I wasn’t about to start over, so that is why you see the light spots all over. After all the sanding, I can’t believe there WERE any high spots.
I’m so over this table. I just want it g.o.n.e. YESTERDAY! It’s taking up too much storage room.
I am a faithful user of all Minwax products. I’ve used the gel stain before and loved it—even though for the life of me I can’t remember what I used it on. I wasn’t a fan of how the stain took to this wood. It almost looked like the table was paint brown instead of stained.
I took the trouble of installing the drawers to the bottom of the table so they will still operate.
While moving it in and out of the garage, it got some boo boos on it.
I still love the legs, but that’s all I love. I plan to market this on Craig’s list as a craft table. I think it would be awesome in a craft room. I am not sure anyone would want it in their dining room.
Korrie from Red Hen Home does fabulous tables. She knows I worked on this, and I have a huge appreciation for all the tables she makes. I will never do another.
see more table projects here:
You are so right that not everyone has more room than a crowded garage. Not everyone can set up a work space in the master bedroom with the saw dust vents (?) holes (?) facing out the sliding glass door. There's something to be said for living alone!
Hopefully you can find a planer 2nd hand as I did, or collaborate with someone on getting one! Changed my building life! As much as my Jig did!
Ok, Chickie-doodle. It's time to invest in another can't-live-without tool. Particularly for flat surfaces like tables. Shelving. Door and drawer fronts.
I agree with you totally, that one should have a Kreg jig. A jig saw, reciprocating saw, oscillating saw (think Fein Multi-Master), circular saw, and at least a table-top table saw. Don't forget a chop or compound miter saw. Yeah!
Equally wonderful are the different sanders, oscillating sander being THE most valuable. Then we have the next level. I just picked up the Craftsman impact driver (a heavy duty screwdriver, IMHO) that has different attachments. I got a router, jig saw, 3/4" circular, oscillating, reciprocating and jig saw attachments, plus a sander. 20 volt, lithium batteries last 18 hours or more. Am seriously thinking of giving some of my individual tools away.
So, my biggest suggestion to a definite pro like you:
Get your bad self a table top joiner (for smoothing edges) and [drum roll] a DeWalt table top PLANER! I bought mine from someone disassembling his shop. It takes boards as wide as 13". I canNOT explain the difference this makes in smoothness. I use my Kreg Jig, but sometimes I biscuit. (another interesting, fun tool) Either way, the planer creates such a smooth surface that's soooo great to touch! I wish I'd had this when I made a 16' butcher block counter top! The sanding I wouldn't have had to do! I digress. (easily)
These are definitely Christmas and birthday type tools, but worth every hint you can dream up. You work too hard and create too beautiful pieces not to have these in your arsenal!
Love your work and love your processes. Thanks for taking the time to post!
I love the legs and drawers on the table. Maybe you can sand it down and then paint it another color that isn't shiny. ???
I would just distress the top and sand it a bit and then leave it alone, sorry this was stressful. I like your stuff so don't stress out this was good period.
Gail, I really respect your work and I actually find it encouraging that you struggle with your projects as well. You've turned me on to upcycling and have given me many good ideas and tips (Love my mini-Kreg jig!). I'm also working on a table project. I picked it up for $10 but didn't realize two of the leg braces were almost broken down. Will learn a lot as I try to replace these pieces.
I'm actually looking for this kind of table for my craft room. Where are you located?
so much better! i love the new top!
Umm this table is spectacular! And $8... why don't I run into good deals like this!??! Great job!
Paige @ Little Nostalgia
Ugh, tables are hard. The only one I've done so far is the $10 coffee table I got on eBay. It was... well, it was a headache and I'm still not happy with how it looks after hours of working on it. I might try one last thing when it warms up for good, but otherwise I'll just drag it to the curb. Over it!
I would have just put it aside for awhile and gone on to a new project. You could come back to it later with a fresh perspective and maybe a whole different approach and direction. Creativity doesn't like to be forced. It still could turn out to be very useful but maybe not with the original idea.
Awwww Gail, that totally sucks.
I can think of a few ideas for project salvation --but hind sight's always 20/20 and you don't need one more person telling you what to do!
If you don't find an immediate buyer I sure hope you'll just remove the legs to take up less storage and come back to it "later." Maybe use the top's boards in another project until further notice (that will really reduce the storage).
What price btw? I do really love the legs! Remember my farm table? http://freddyandpetunia.wordpress.com/2013/07/12/painting-outside-the-lines/
Yeah, that gel stain is not very workable, but works well if you want to hide the grain of the wood. It takes much longer to set and dry than regular stain, and there is no going back to do touch ups once you put it on. And it does tend to look more painted than stained. But with that said, I had great success using it on my sister's cabinets, but it was a learning curve figuring it out how the stuff behaves. I think I would of gray washed that table top, but oh well, hopefully it will sell on CL.
I hate it when I have a project that doesn't turn out the way I want! I am sorry that is so frustrating! I am guessing either the stain was old or ruined, and I don't know if you used pre wood conditioner, I always use it now... I don't think it is ruined, It is still a beautiful table! I would go with white (and maybe distressed) legs like was suggested above, and try sanding down the top and see if the stain that is left over looks good, sometimes that look is really cool and rustic. Maybe even a vey light whitewash over the sanded down stain might work, just some suggestions. You are amazing Gail! I know you are done with this table, but it has no reflection on how awesome and inspiring you are!
if i had the way to you i'd gladly take your table from you! it is a great size, a tablecloth will always do well. i sew and would love to use that table! great attempt and time went into it.
Is it wrong this post made me laugh? I guess one has to know that frustration to see the humor!
Don't be so hard on yourself, Gail 🙂 I love the table-especially the shapely legs 🙂
I'm sorry this table was such a bear for you! Just a bad combination of factors, I think. Some projects just never work out like they're supposed to, darn it!
Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co.
You know there are just some projects never work out the way we imagine. And we are always our own worst critic. But this table still has potential and hopefully it will find a happy home soon!
What kind of wood did you use for the top?
regular 2x6's from the Home Depot... I guess they are pine? 🙂
Oooops, I didn't read down far enough...that SUCKS about how the top did that!! Uggghhh, no wonder you want it gone! Don't you hate projects like that?!
This is CRAZY! My daughter just showed me a table like this on Craigslist ($20), we were wondering if the top could be removed, but have the skirting still in tact, but because she is Denver, I had no way of knowing! This is exactly what she had in mind. I did a farmhouse table for my other daughter, but I was able to see that the top came right off!
This turned out beautiful!! Too bad she wasn't in your area, I'm sure she would take it off your hands, lol!!
Always amazed at the ideas you come up with....now I have to wonder, I know you did not throw out the original top, what will you do with that?
Julie @ follow your heart woodworking
I love the Minwax Gel Stains. I'm thinking yours looks really dark, did you wipe off after letting it sit for awhile? I would just sand the heck out of it, taking away a lot of the stain and make it really distressed looking.
I think it is beautiful. I love the character it has.
Refunk Junk Chic
I feel your frustration but I agree with the comment above I love imperfections as a piece "owner" but when it comes to me creating a piece I have gotten just as frustrated as you have when it does not turn out like I want it. But every piece has a place 🙂 I love yoir blog it inspires me and keeps me motivatef! And I love rhis table with all it's imperfections 🙂
I discovered using the pre-conditioner prior to staining fresh wood really helps. A lesson hard learned myself!
Sorry to hear it gave you such trouble. Its still a nice looking table. My hubby recently refinished a table that belonged to my grandmother. My sister used it outside to wax their skis on. It also has great shapely legs that thankfully, were not messed with. He was able to send the planks through his plainer (just one side) and got all the wax off. They were all sanded down to bare wood. He put a wonderful walnut finish and some lacquer on it and the end result left me speechless. Don't give up. It's just one table. Give it a weathered finish and sell it as 'rustic country'.
I think you're being too hard on yourself because you had this vision from the start. The table is great and I too love that it isn't "perfect".
Most farm house tables have boo boos. Personally, is distress it a little more. Market it as "rustic". There are no rules to rustic decor.
I enjoyed your blog. Thanks for sharing.
Debra @ MsMoozys Open House
Well if I wan in the market for a table I would have you paint the bottom white and I would take it, I love the fact that it is NOT perfect but then again that is just my silly style I guess. I think it is a cute table but of course I would have to have the table base white. LOL 🙂 Thanks for sharing hun and have a great day. 🙂
Beautiful piece of work. Very tasteful as well!
I would have painted the top black like the rest of the table.
Sad it did not take the stain.
Do you think the stain may have been frozen or over heated in shipment to the store?
Diane the stain was old, and it may have gotten too cold last winter. Since I've never used gel stain before, I'm not sure what the consistency should be. I love the look of paint and stain together, so I was soooo wanting this piece to turn out great. good luck with your old table.
I am following you and your projects for a while now, cause I love upcycling furniture too. I also experienced fails before, but I think this table still can be saved to be a fine kitchen table. Just a suggestion but I would sand it down again. Paint the legs a nice shade of white and just stain the top in a colourless stain or chalk paint or wax it. 🙂