I’m so excited to finally be finished with this project and be able to share it with you!
I really wanted to find an end of the summer re-do DIY project, but just couldn’t find the exact right piece to fix up. Then, one morning after a quick run, I popped into our local YMCA thrift store and stumbled across an old, beat up sewing table. But at $30, the price was still a little too steep for my blood. I kept checking back every few days or so, and luckily for me, it didn’t seem anyone had use for a sewing table, so it was marked down to $15–yippee!
Now, I wasn’t planning on using it as a sewing table either, but as a desperately needed nightstand for our bedroom. I hate spending money on those tiny nightstands with little to no storage–though, ironically, this table doesn’t have much storage either since it’s cabinet space is supposed to hold a sewing machine! But with a basket underneath, and for the price, I figured I could make it work.
I actually set it up in my bedroom for a few weeks before re-doing it, just so I could get a feel for the look of it and mull over colors and hardware options. Unfortunately, this is the only true before photo I have, but you can hopefully get a feel for how beat-up it was. Two weeks before the end of my summer, I decided it was time to get started! I went to Home Depot and picked up some additional supplies to add to my list:
- 1 quart BEHR paint in seedling — $11
- 1 sample size flat white paint –$3
- Paint roller –$5
- Foam brushes –$5
- Martha Stewart Antique Effect –already owned
- Martha Stewart Satin Finish –already owned
- Hand Sander –borrowed
First step: Sanding (remove the hardware first!). The table had a pretty thick finish on it, so I made sure to take my time to get most of it off. I decided that since I wasn’t going to actually use it as a sewing table, I wasn’t going to refinish the inside which made the entire process go a lot faster.
Second step: Wipe down the table with a damp cloth and prepare for the first coat, a thin layer of the white paint. I did this pretty quickly, since my goal was just to add some dimension when I distressed it at the end, being careful to avoid any drips.
Third step: After letting the paint dry completely, I started in on my first coat of seedling. The round, delicate legs of this sewing table made it a bit tricky to cover completely without any drips, so it was a slow process. Once finished, let the first coat dry and repeat with a second.
Fourth step: Distress! I let the table dry completely overnight before attempting any distressing, just to make sure. To save time, I used the hand sander for this part as well, though you can use regular sand paper if you want more control. Over my past experience (not much, this is only the second piece of furniture I’ve done!), I’ve learned that distressing looks most natural when you stick mostly to edges of a table or places that would normally get a lot of wear, like the edges of drawers or bottoms of the legs. I didn’t listen to my own advice at first and ended up with a hot mess in places that looked like this.
Eventually, I decided to go back and re-paint parts where I’d gone a little crazy with the sander, and I love the result so much more now.
Fifth step: I know the directions of the antique effect say to mix it into the paint, but I’ve had success adding it as a finishing layer and that’s what I did here once the sanding was finished. Make sure you wipe the excess dust off again before starting.
Sixth step: Add the stain finish! This gives a nice sheen to the piece, even to the places sanded all the way back to the wood and makes it look so much more finished. Once it’s dry, add the hardware back on, and step back to admire your work!
And then, as I mentioned above, I decided to go back and re-do some of the spots I got a little too heavy handed with the sander on, like the front left leg.
So much better now! That’s the beauty of re-doing furniture yourself–you can always go back and fix your mistakes!
Did you get any DIY projects done this summer?