My Weekend Project


Not this past weekend, but the weekend before, I just got tired of my coffee table. I had just had enough of the orange colored finish.

I've had this coffee table for four years. When I got it the price was right--FREE! Someone had thrown it away at the apartment complex where I lived at the time. I remember how excited I was, because I didn't have a coffee table at the time, and I loved the curvy legs. I know why the previous owners threw it away, though. The finish was marred all over with white water marks. But I didn't care, because I knew a little mayonnaise, baking soda, and a hair dryer would remove those fairly easily.

Anyway, one thing that I was never terrible thrilled with was the orange finish. It's a pine top, and for some reason, all manufacturers seem to stain pine that icky orange color. I lived with it for four years. I had plans to do a cool design on it like this table that my good friend over at Red Hen Home did. I just love it! I even printed out a large scale print of that graphic to transfer to my table... I love the look, and I admire her ability to painstakingly paint each of those letters and design details, but sadly, I just didn't have the patience to do it myself.

Red Hen Home
So...I had Jim help me carry the table outdoors, and I then proceeded to sand off the finish.

coffee table needs refinishing
Before Sanding
Before Sanding 
Do you see how orange the finish is?  Yuck! You also can't see that the finish was starting to wear off on one of the corners, which drove me nuts to no end.  I was always trying to get that one corner to match, but of course, I never could.

Admittedly, this table would have been perfect for the French chocolate advertising graphic...I'm kind of sad I didn't do it. But, on the other hand, my coffee table is usually used as my desk, so I wouldn't have seen the graphic anyway, unless I cleared off the table.

Sanding the finish was a pain! I used our mouse sander, which made it a bit easier, but factory finishes are killer to get off. Of course, it would have come off faster if I had had the correct grit of sand paper, but I wanted to get it done and didn't want to take the time to drive to the store to get the right paper. It took longer, but it did work.  Sorry, no pictures of the sanding process, because I didn't think about it when I was covered with dust.

Our beautiful mahogany library table--inspiration for our coffee table
 Once it was sanded, I used some stain that we had left over from when my dad finished this table for us. This is the first piece of furniture Jim and I bought together. I've shown it to you probably a million times. But it's solid mahogany, and gorgeous. I decided our coffee table would look wonderful that color.


Here is the coffee table stained.  I was really worried when I finished staining it, because the knots in the pine were so shiny and still looked orange!  Ugh! I had ruined it!  I couldn't sand it down any further, because I had already sanded past the veneer in one spot! The only thing I could do was pray that the clear coat would make it look better. But I couldn't do that until the next day, because I had to let the stain completely dry.

Fortunately, the clear coat made a HUGE difference, and I'm thrilled with how it turned out!!!

Newly stained coffee table top
Finished and beautiful!
Well, as always, I try to give you a side by side so you can see the difference, so I'll do it again!

Pine coffee table to refinish
Before

Refinished pine coffee table
After!
Better, don't you think?