When I went to my aunt’s house to help her clean her spare room, there a ratty old coffee table sitting in the corner that I had never seen before. It was a dingy honey color with areas worn from years of use, deep scratches in its surface, and bite marks from where a puppy had decided that it would be lunch. My aunt had bought it for $10 off of a facebook garage sale group for use in their condo after renovating with some chalk paint and stenciling.
However, after asking me what I needed before my big move to the city, she offered it to me as a thank you for helping her. Despite its condition, I saw that it had good bones. I envisioned it to be a deep chocolate brown color to match the floors of the apartment, and I wanted to bring the original wood to life, not hide it. With a little sanding, stain, finish, and love, it would be the perfect centerpiece in my new apartment.
I had never done a project like this before, so I had no idea what I was doing, but my dad and aunt were helpful in offering advice and supplies. Surprisingly, it wasn’t difficult at all, but it did take a lot of elbow grease.
I first used finish remover, then sanded it down to get the deep ridges and bite marks out of the beautiful, original (I think?) pine.
Next, I went to Sherwin Williams to find a color that would give it a deep chocolate brown hue. I had a hard time with this because I wanted something that would exactly match the floors of the apartment, but nothing fitted the bill. I also learned that the color of the stain can differ depending on the type of wood it goes on. I wanted a dark color, so I decided on the “espresso” stain despite it having more of a green tone to it. Maybe I picked it because I have a little well known problem with coffee.
After staining it twice, I was back at Sherwin Williams to make more tough decisions and find a finish. I choice a gloss polyurethane finish with an amber tone, and put two coats on. This finished it off with the rich, warm brown color that I was hoping for, so I guess I got my wish!
It turned out to be the perfect centerpiece to our apartment.