Two End Tables Get a Sweet Country Makeover - Before and After

2 Materials
1 Hour

The weekend before last I ran over to an estate sale not far from us and scored big. For $100 I picked up a wooden sofa, matching chair and coffee table, a rocking chair and these two end tables. I am planning on refinishing the rocking chair and selling it on craig's list to try to recoup some of that $100 I spent. But the sofa, matching chair and coffee table I have big plans for on my deck. Meanwhile, I went to work on these two old end tables almost immediately thinking that I could really use them in my living room. On top of that, I've just been chomping at the bit to try the refinished top and painted base that I've been seeing online so much lately that I just love.

They were pretty beat up, the previous owners owned cats and the resulting scratches everywhere throughout all of the furniture was pretty impressive. I got out my electric sander and started in on the top and could not believe how easily they sanded down and just how pretty the wood was! I had a moments hesitation when the wood lover in me thought that I should just keep on sanding and refinish the whole pieces but in my house, everything is already wood!

We have dark wood floors and I didn't want these little end tables to become totally lost - so, I grabbed my paint brush and some flat white paint. It took three coats of paint and I probably should have done four but I was so sick of lying on concrete at that point and, honestly, you can't tell the difference. I also grabbed a satin poly acrylic and ended up doing three coats of sealant over the entirety of each table. Paying special attention to the tops, I didn't want to be worried about putting a glass down on them because that's what they're there for!

The tops turned out just SO pretty! And they were unique as well, I've never seen tables with such "slanted down" corners before, makes me wonder whether they were made that way or if they had been refinished before and someone else got very carried away with a sander.

Of the two end tables only one had a drawer so I removed the hardware and soaked it in vinegar for awhile then scrubbed it up with steel wool. Amazing what just a little elbow grease will do!

Because I was using a kitchen table and a plant stand for "end tables" before - these end tables really opened up my living room - I can't believe how big it looks and feels now!

Suggested materials:

  • Paint
  • Stain

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

2 questions
  • Redonnaroys
    on May 11, 2016

    What colors did you use for the paint and stain?

    • GrandmasHouseDIY
      on May 11, 2016

      The stain was "early american" by minwax though it turned out MUCH darker and MUCH more red then I ever would have expected - it must have been a result of the type of wood that these end table tops were made of as I actually did not want them this red or dark. The paint is just the white flat trim and ceiling paint that ace sells by valspar - no specific color- just the white paint that they sell. After that I covered them entirely with satin poly acrylic by minwax :)

  • Dee B
    Dee B
    on May 12, 2016

    Did you have any bleeding from the dark wood bottoms? I painted a dark wood chair (three coats) and still had some bleed through. Didnt plan on it but, let it dry and appled poly. It looks aged and slightly distressed. However, I wonder how to prevent bleeding for future projects.

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