Happy Friday y’all! We finally made it to the weekend!
If you have talked to me at all within the last two weeks then you probably know that I have been redoing some tables for an apartment (that I’m sharing with 5 other roommates) at school. I’m sure some of y’all wished I would shut up about it and now that I’m finished, I will (who am I kidding I’ll probably be talking about these tables for as long as I have them.)
I have had the idea to redo some tables ever since I found out we got into the lodge. But I didn’t just want them for the apartment. I wanted to be able to use them in my future home as well.
I’ve always been crafty, but I had never done anything like this before. However, I was ready to take on the challenge!
The first thing I needed to do to kick-start my project was to find my tables, obviously. I knew I wanted a coffee table and two end tables, so like any great DIYer I did a little Pinteresting to get some ideas of farmhouse styles and paint/stain colors. I found some inspiration pictures which you can see below:
With my vision in mind, I took to Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace. This was the hardest part of the whole process for me. I wanted to find the tables now, but finding exactly what you want on sites like those take time. I had to keep reminding myself to be patient and that I had the whole summer to get this project done.
I found my first table, which was located in Indy, on Craigslist near the end of the semester so my dad picked it up on the way to come move me out for the summer. This table was pink y’all. Pink as can be. I affectionately nicknamed it the pink monster. The main reason I was drawn to it was because of its unique shape: hexagonal. For some people the pink might be a major turn-off, especially since I was planning on completely transforming it. But, I knew that a little TLC could make it beautifully my own. And the best part? It was only $20!!! What a deal!
The second table I found was a coffee table in Georgetown on Facebook Marketplace. It was originally listed at $80, but I negotiated down to $60 (it never hurts to ask!) This was a beautiful table on its own and I was a little nervous about remodeling it, but I rolled up my sleeves and got to it.
I bought the two crates from Michaels for $10 each. I was slightly disappointed because I had seen them for $8.99 a few weeks earlier when I didn’t have the money for it (lol story of my life) and they weren’t eligible for coupons (how tragic!) But at $10, it was still a fair price.
When I had all of my tables, the next step was to buy the materials for the transformation. On my list was:
- Rust-oleum white chalk paint
- Minwax Pre-stain
- Minwax Jacobean Stain
- Minwax Polycrylic
- Paint Brushes
- Elmer’s Wood glue
- 60-grit sandpaper
So I took a trip to Home Depot one Wednesday night after work and dropped $80. Yup, you heard right: $80 for 7 things. I knew it wasn’t going to be cheap, but I had prepared myself for that before. When you think about it though, it really is worth it because you would basically spend the same amount of money if you were to buy the tables that were already done the way you wanted. I do wish Home Depot did coupons like Michaels—I would have saved so much money.
I now had everything I needed to make my vision become reality. Finding the time to do it all was my next task.
I made a check list of exactly what I needed to do on a Friday night and went to bed because I had to be up at 5:15 the next morning for work!
I planned to start on them after I got off of work on that Saturday. As soon as I got off at 1 I raced home, put on some work clothes, put an Ale-8 in the fridge for later, got all my materials laid out and went to work.
I started with the coffee table first. This table gave me a run for my money y’all. I started by sanding off the clear top coat with 100-grit sandpaper using a palm sander. I had never used a palm sander before and had literally no direction other than reading the instruction manual. The edges were difficult to sand evenly since they were curved. The biggest problem I faced was not changing the sandpaper often enough so I had a few spots that got a little damaged, but now you can’t even tell.
Next I applied the pre-stain with a paint brush, which took about 10-15 minutes to dry.
While I waited for the pre-stain to dry, I got my Ale8 out of the fridge and took a break and cranked up the music.
I then applied the first coat of stain with an old rag (I didn’t want to mess up my new paint brushes.)
The stain needed to dry a minimum of 8 hours before applying a second coat. The longer the stain stays on, the darker it gets so I wasn’t sure if it was going to need a second coat so I let it dry overnight.
I then took my sander to the pink monster. This thing took forever to sand because it had at least 3 layers on it. It took me over an hour to completely sand the whole thing, but when it was finished, it sure looked pretty!
I called it a day, took a shower because I was covered in saw dust and spent the rest of my evening relaxing.
The next day the coffee table was looking lighter than I wanted so I applied the second coat of stain. This time I reluctantly used my paintbrush because the rag I used was trash-worthy. Cleaning the paint brush was the biggest pain in my rear end. I eventually gave up and it stained the bristles, but it wasn’t oily anymore, which was what I was the most worried about. While I was putting the stain on I thought it looked very dark, but I figured I would just wait until the next day to see what it would look like.
Next on my check list was to stain the pink monster.
I then started on my crate bookshelf/table. The crates were actually pretty rough in some places so I had to sand it down a little bit before I glued them together I put some of my textbooks on it to add some weight and took another Ale8 break. The glue needed to sit overnight to ensure the best hold so I called it a day again.
The next day I checked on my coffee table and I was not happy at all with how it looked. It was literally black. You couldn’t even see the wood grain. I was very frustrated with it so I just left it alone and worked on the other tables with the idea of resanding the whole thing again when I was finished with the others in mind. I think it actually would have looked fine after the first coat if I had taken the table indoors and seen what it looked like inside because that’s where it’s going to be anyway. However, because it was outside, it was much brighter so it actually looked lighter than it probably was.
After the disappointment with the coffee table, I started painting the crates. It took me two coats, but it dries within 30 minutes so it was super easy!! Table number one=done!!
Next I started on the polycrylic coats for the hexagonal table. The label says it recommends 3 coats with 2 hours of drying time between each coat. With work I didn’t have time to do it all at once, it took me about two days to get all of the coats done.
After the polycrylic had dried, I began painting the legs. I put painters tape around the edges where I had stained to make sure I got a clean line. I used a bigger paint brush for the longer, flat parts and a smaller paint brush for the intricate details of the legs. Again, it took me two coats. Table number two=done!
With the other two tables finished, it was finally time to tackle the coffee table again. I took my sander to it and it was taking forever! I thought it was just because the layers were super thick, but I finally realized when I was almost done I was using the wrong sandpaper! I had the 100-grit on instead of the 60-grit (face palm.) I switched to the 60-grit and things when a lot faster.
The only things left to do were to apply the coats of polycrylic and paint the legs. The underneath had this really ugly green paint on it so I painted that too.
The paint says that it is “one-coat coverage” however, this is what it looked like after one coat. If you were going for a very distressed look (which is common when using chalk paint) I would say this is fine, but I wanted mine to look clean and fresh so I did a second coat.
This meant I was officially done! D-O-N-E! I still can’t believe it. It only took me a week and a half from start to finish (if I hadn’t had the trouble with the coffee table it would have taken me less than a week.)
I’m obsessed with how they turned out and am so excited to put my decor items on them. They give the perfect farmhouse look. I can’t wait to see how they look in our lodge when we move in in the fall!
I loved doing this project and was so proud of myself for how they turned out considering I had never done anything like this before, even if I did have a few bumps along the way.
I hope this inspires you to start your own DIY project! If you have any questions or need advice on your own project, feel free to message me or comment below!