Thursday, February 21, 2013

My Dumpster Kitchen Table + Tutorial

Patrick and I got married last June and combined all of our belongings into a tiny apartment. We didn't quite fill it up if that tells you what I had to work with. Though we were stocked with all of the kitchen utensils and gadgets under the sun, thanks to wedding gifts, we were lacking in the furniture department. So, I went shopping for a kitchen table and chairs. WOW! Do y'all know how much a new table and four chairs cost? Let's just say it was a little out of our budget. I stumbled upon a great antique store in SC and found two super cute chairs. I knew I wanted a rustic set with mismatched chairs, so I wasn't too concerned that I hadn't found a table yet. 

Here's where it gets good. 

A couple days later, I was driving down the path to our apartment building and looked over at the dumpster. Low and behold, a small round table and chairs was sadly sitting waiting for a generous soul to save their lives before they were shaved into wood chips. And boy oh boy do I love the price of FREE!

Luckily, it was in good condition. It was just straight out of 1996 with the light wood top and super dirty white legs. 

The chairs were HIDEOUS! That is red, glittery vinyl fabric you see there. I only picked up one. (Which I later regretted. I wish I would've got the other. Silly me.)  


First, I cleaned up the table as best as I could with Clorox wipes, then applied a white wash to the top (1 part water to 1 part white paint). I'm not sure if this step was necessary, but I just felt like the top needed some kind of binding agent before I stained it. 

Next, I wiped on Mini Wax Wood Finish in dark walnut (a personal favorite). I just used a piece of old sheets I bought at Goodwill. I still use those sheets as drop cloths. 

This was after one coat. {I'll explain how I painted the legs in a moment.} It sat like this for a few days until I decided I wanted it darker. So then came the second coat...

Perfect. This was at our tiny place in SC. The yellow velvet chair is one of the two I bought at the antique store. 

So onto the legs. 

I DID NOT have the patience to sand down that awful white paint in those crevices. I read a lot about chalk paint, and learned that it goes on without sanding the furniture first, you can rough it up with sand paper easily, and it doesn't leave any brush marks. Sounds like a winner to me! Boys and girls, chalk paint is expensive. Way too expensive for me to buy a gallon just to paint four table legs. So I went back into research mode. I found a recipe to make my own chalk paint and ran with it. {I'll post about my chalk paint ventures in the next few days, so be looking for it soon!}

So basically, I just mixed up my chalk paint and slapped on a few coats. When I say slapped, I'm not exaggerating. Since it doesn't leave brush strokes, you can literally just throw it on until you've covered up the piece to your liking. I used a medium grit sand paper to rough up the edges to get that rustic look I mentioned earlier. 

Since I finished painting the table, I found a fourth chair at a yard sale for $3 and painted and recovered the two chairs I found with inexpensive clearance fabric I found at Hancock fabric.  

For my total:
4 Chairs: around $85
Table: FREE
Fabric: $6
Paint: maybe $10

This totals:  $101 (Not too shabby for a dining set!)

Here's the finished project nested in our new place in Maine.


I know, I know...I need a rug to go under it, but it's hard to spend that kind of money on something knowing I'll only be here for a few more months. So, I'm waiting to buy the detail pieces until we have a more settled home.

Anyways, I just love it!

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