There are some benefits for working at a big state university and living in a quaint little college town, and one of them is the amount of used furniture lying around the place. Sure, 80% of it is old tweed sofas from fraternity houses… but the other 20% is amazing. We are lucky that Indiana University has a surplus store that sells mostly leftover industrial furniture, but occasionally antiques and other odd items. I walked past a dark, dusty little antique table one week and thought “That would be a cute little plant stand for by the window” until I saw the $40 price tag. Never mind Luckily, their “daily special” the next week was antique furniture, and it was discounted to half the price. I took that as a sign from the mythological gods of second-hand furniture. $20 is still a little steep, considering it had a broken leg and was missing some trim-work but there was something so… odd about the little table, it was charming.
Unfortunately, at the time I bought the table I had neither a blog nor a decent camera… so all I have is this old photo from my iPhone… pardon the message garage, please. It is still just as messy. Here is the before picture:
Didn’t she clean up nice? She didn’t make it easy, though. I repaired the broken leg (it was cracked right in half) with a clamp and some wood glue, and let it sit overnight. It still isn’t quite as sturdy as I would like, but it does the job.
The bottom shelf also had a split down part of it, so I rubbed wood glue into the split and then tied it tight together.
The trim was missing in places, so I removed it along the short ends completely so I had at least enough spare pieces of it to fill in the gaps along the long-sides. You can see the little nail holes a bit in the picture below. Gives it character…
I sanded the short sides smooth, and used Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint in Tricycle Red. I didn’t add any bonding agent, and I didn’t sand the rest of the table. The wood was a little dry, and it was my first time ever using milk paint (scary!) but I had a feeling it would soak in okay.
Two coats of milk paint later, I rubbed two nice coats of Miss Mustard Seed’s furniture wax into it and buffed it to a nice shine. It distressed a little bit on it’s own (as it is supposed to) but I buffed a couple spots with some fine sandpaper (before waxing it) and I like how it turned out. It makes the wood underneath look like it was actually in decent shape!
Paloma the Cat photo-bombs.
For my first time using milk paint, I can say it wasn’t stressful at all, and I love that it is low VOC and safe around the kids and kitty. I’ve used it again since then (will talk more about those projects later!) and am sure I will again… I’m pretty much out of paint, though, so I’ll have to wait until the change jar gets a little more full.
PS: This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own, and I have not received compensation for anything written. Keepin’ it real.
PSS: This post was linked to Furniture Feature Friday At A Time on Miss Mustard Seed‘s Blog. Thank you! Gotta love a link party.