$40 Basement Makeover With a Nautical Theme

8 Materials
5 Hours

I have been getting my parents' home ready for sale because they're downsizing. Consequently, many of their lovely pieces of furniture were sold at the auction. I needed to stage the basement on a very tight budget. I paid $40 for these 2 tables at a thrift store. Sorry, I don't have the before pictures because I was too busy with all the work involved in staging/selling their house.
These are the tables. You will have to imagine them with a very dark brown stain with a thick layer of lacquer on top.
I gave a quick sand. Then, removed any dust particles. I used Krylon spray paint because time was a factor. It dries super quickly. Both pieces needed 2 coats to cover the dark stain. If I were keeping the furniture, I probably would have used a nice chalk paint.
I used Varsol and a sanding block to gently distress the tables. I chose to paint them white because the flooring is so dark and I wanted to brighten the room a little. I used steel wool dipped in Varsol for the round table as it was easier to work with the spindles. I generally distress furniture with vinegar because it's more eco-friendly but I needed a quick fix.
I applied 3 coats of Minwax Antique oil on the coffee table top.
It's super easy to apply with a foam brush. Get rid of any dust particles with a tak cloth, apply a coat with the foam brush following the wood grain. Set the timer for 10 minutes, then buff with an old t-shirt.
Time to accessorize. What would a nautical room be without monkey's fist knots? They are super expensive to purchase so I had my husband make these using some of my Dad's old sailboat rope. I found the salad bowl in Mom's cupboard. There are all kinds of great You Tube videos on how to make these. I tried for hours to master the skill, he had these done in 15 minutes. I made the other ones with Dollar store jute and a glue gun. Much easier process for me!
My last little nautical decor piece are the oars above the couch. They belonged to my grand father. They were covered in several layers of paint. I removed all the chippy paint with Minwax furniture stripper. Now, if only I can find a cost effective solution to fix that ceiling! That's structural so no quick fixes there.

Suggested materials:

  • Krylon white paint  (on hand)
  • Minwax antique oil  (on hand)
  • Rope  (on hand)
See all materials

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2 of 3 comments
  • 4554290
    on Aug 20, 2017

    Thanks for the positive feedback, Wendy.
  • B. Enne
    B. Enne
    on Aug 24, 2017

    I like it, it really brightens things up! Great for a cottage!
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