Piece Together Your Own Dream Dining TableThe BF had an outdated iron-glass table that had to go. He WAS willing to replace it, but WASN’T willing to spend the money. He laid down a firm no when we looked at stores and saw prices beginning at $2,000.

The game was on. I scoured Craigslist, consignment stores, auctions and moving sales and had a ball. I tore out a picture from a gorgeous dining room in the Dillard’s catalog, showed it to the BF and said I think we can do this for nothing. We did! Here’s how:

  • Sold the old table on Craigslist for $400
  • Bought new-old table in a consignment shop for $175 (negotiated price)
  • Found eight chairs on Craiglist for $250 (negotiated price)

Now that the hard part was finished, all the BF needed was patience and time to transform the piece of furniture into a work of art. It took him a couple of weeks; he broke the project down into smaller tasks, and then tackled one at a time. Here’s exactly what he did:

  • Turn table upside down and start with legs
  • Use paintbrush to apply Behr Wood Stain and Finish Stripper, let set for 15 minutes, scraped off with putty knife
  • Turn table over and repeat steps on top of table
  • For the detailed areas, use a toothbrush instead of a paintbrush, and then use a rag for the even harder spots
  • Let wood dry overnight
  • Use coarse steel wool on entire surface
  • Clean with mineral spirits on a rag
  • Use extra fine wool on entire surface
  • Wipe with wet rag to clean
  • Apply stain evenly with a brush, wipe with dry rag
  • Use high gloss polyurethane for the shiny look, one coat per day for three days

Tips for best results:

  • Use a high quality brush with the polyurethane. I didn’t and the bristles are now underneath the gloss on my feather table
  • If you get too much polyurethane on the brush, it will leave bubbles if it is oil based
  • Get just enough on the brush for one long, continuous stroke across table top, then repeat

One more piece of advice; if you make a mistake… you CAN fix it. If you get bubbles under the polyurethane, or uneven stain, steel wool is your friend. Just wipe it with the wool and try again.