The little table that could.

Happppy Monday! (I guess that’s rare to hear, isn’t it?)

I am pleased to finally share this post with you, as it is loooong overdue. A friend of mine had a table that her (seriously adorable) daughter used in her bedroom.

It definitely was used quite a bit, as seen from the scratches and dried paint (do we have a budding artist in our midst?)
She asked if I could restain it and give it a fresh look that matched a small green chair that they owned,
which is almost as cute as her daughter!
Seeing as it was my first midcentury modern piece, I was pretty excited to try it out. I was also a bit nervous as I have never refinished something for a friend before.
We both agreed that it would be neat to stain the table’s legs a similar green to the chair, and give a more natural stain to the table top. She picked her colours (from Behr’s exterior line), and decided the legs would be Ponderosa Green in Semi-transparent, 
and the table top, Cedar Naturaltone in Semi-Transparent.
My first order of business was to give the table a really good sanding (with medium and fine grit paper).
As the sanding went on, the wood seemed to reveal new layers of interesting shapes and squiggles…
layer one:

layer two:

Some sections of the wood even seemed to warble a bit, but I kept sanding until it seemed even-steven, and until the weird markings disappeared. 
The edging of the underbelly were also sanded down, revealing the difference in colour of the natural wood to the original stain. 
For the round legs, the electric sander proved to be really painstaking (it almost felt like I was peeling carrots, not wanting some sides to be flatter than others), so I just went hog wild with a sanding block, which proved helpful on the rounded legs (and helpful on my rounded arms! lol)

I used a medium grit and finished off with a fine grit block.
After taping off the bases of the legs, 
I brought out my supplies (ventilator mask worn but not shown). Luckily Home Depot sold small tester cans of the stains, which gave me the perfect amount for the small table, and more importantly, kept the expenses lower than originally expected.

I used a small foam brush (not the dollar store kind, as those easily fray and break after use). It proved to be great for soaking up stain and had a pretty good application.

After 10 minutes, I wiped off the excess,

and sanded it lightly with fine grit sandpaper.

I did the stain-wipe-sand dance three times before I was satisfied with the finish (I gave it a bit of a distressed look with some of the original wood peeking through. I wanted it to mimic the green muse chair and give it a bit of texture).

Then the legs received four thorough coats of Varathane, with an hour in between each coat.

For the table top, I originally thought I could do without a wood conditioner as it was a hardwood; however, I just wanted to make sure the stain would be as even as possible and opted to use it anyway (which made me take an improptu walk to the local hardware store & buy their only wood conditioner left… hence the dusty top :)

The conditioner was like liquid gold…

With it dried and the excess wiped,

I got the stain ready. I was surprised the Cedar Naturaltone looked almost butterscotchy, if that’s a word.

And the dance began once more:
Stain (with the grain!).



I did two applications.
{don’t mind all of the shadows… I spent the majority of my time under a partially-shaded area in my backyard}
I wasn’t complaining. :)
When it was dried, I used my Varathane spray again, giving it four coats (with an hour of wait time in between).

And I made sure to cover all of the edges (the view of our flowering trees made the Polyurethane acrobatics worth it!)

Now, the best part:
before I reveal the final product, let’s do a before n’ aft, shall we?
Here we have our homely friend… marked, splotched, and ready for a bit of TLC…
And here she is now with a little bit o’ makeup and a whole lotta’ exfoliation!
showin’ some leg, are we? Her confidence is soaring!
(and unfortunately so is the dust on the floor!)

I am definitely diggin’ the bean shape (I hear they’re a magical fruit… ;)
correction: Kidney shape. thanks, commenter!

It also looks great without the uneven tones and with no markings to be seen.
Now it’s ready for my friend’s little girl…
Also, with her expecting a second child soon, it’s exciting to think this table will be a place of shared creativity, love and spontaneous tea parties (if her future little brother is kind enough to play along, pinkie finger poised ;) 
I don’t really have ‘baby stuff’ lying around, but thought I’d use my chevron frame (tutorial coming soon!), my recent super awesome journal purchases, and a monkey from when my hubby & I were dating :)
I’ll end things off with a good reminder…


  1. says

    WOW!!! What a spectacular transformation. The table was great to begin with but you really gave it new life! I'm sure it will be cherished for years to come.

  2. says

    Bean, kidney, whatever! This is awesome! I've never used any colored stains – the green looks awesome! I love how this turned out!

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