Before and After: A Table (Finally) For Our Coffee

Over a year ago, I took a trip out to Mount Dora to visit the renowned Renninger’s Flea Market. It was pretty typical of these types of overblown things — lots of grimy tables full of rows and rows of salvaged and trash-picked junk that’s priced way too high for sensible matters, a bunch of booth featuring dollar-store-items, a few reasonably priced gold mines, and a really insane and ridiculous antique mall. It was a fun trip, and we did score some awesome items — including a good start to my wedding centerpiece collection.

I was also on the hunt for a proper coffee table. We had been using 3 IKEA Lack side tables, previously purchased secondhand off Craigslist, which were ultra convenient because you could pull one close to you but not the others, move them around easily for working out in the living room, scoot one over to the side of the sofa to hold a laptop, etc. But they weren’t exactly lookers.

Well, as luck would have it, I finally found us a kicker of a coffee table on my final pass through the flea market. It was only 20 bucks and had some sweet mid-C lines with a kind of weird and heavy-as-hell composite top. At first I figured the top would be kitschy. The wood frame definitely needed a little refinishing, but nothing too bad. I was so excited about my $20 find.

And then it sat in our garage until I finally did something with it two weeks before we were scheduled to move into our new house.

I abandoned the heavy, weird top and opted for a nice piece of glass, instead. So here she is: Carla, before.

And Carla, in all of her “after” glory.

I went for my typical, super-simple mid-C refinishing technique, same as our TV stand/credenza: Sand off the old finish and treat with 3 coats of Danish Oil in dark walnut. I used finishing wax on the credenza, but haven’t been super happy with how it’s worn, so I used water-based poly as a sealer instead — 2 coats instead of the recommended 3, just because I got lazy, and we had to move and all.

Oh, and bee-tee-double-u, my $10 estate sale chair.

I’m super happy with Carla, and I think she really likes it here, too. Have you tackled any long-overdue projects lately?


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