Saturday, 23 April 2011

Beachy side table

I'm always a little envious when someone posts a picture of a piece of furniture which they picked up at a yard sale or a thrift store for a song.  We don't have either of these in the UK and there are very few bargains to be found at Antique markets.

I've been looking for some pieces of junk to do up in preparation for the Grand Designs Live show I'm speaking at on May 6th and yesterday luck was on my side.

I took my sister to a lovely interiors shop I discovered a few weeks ago and while we were there they asked us what we were doing for the rest of the day.  We told them we were looking for junk furniture and they told us about an antiques centre about 40 miles away where they had bought a lot of things to do up and use for display in their shop.  They gave us directions and off we drove up the Brecon Beacons (the highest mountain area in Wales).  It was a beautiful day and a lovely drive over mountains and hills and past a reservoir.

We both bought loads and came back with the car absolutely wedged full of things just dying for a makeover (much like myself!).
As we were leaving with the car already crammed full I decided to have one last look around the outside and a little table caught my eye. It was tucked away in a corner and long forgotten by the owner. The top was melamine and covered in rust from an old and ugly birdcage left to rust on top of it. However, the base was solid wood and very stable.
I really liked the size and shape and love the little curve of the piece of wood at the top of the legs just below the table top.
There was a price tag of £15 on it but I asked if they would accept £5 as we had bought so much. They phoned the owner and he couldn't even remember the table as it had been left outside for so long. He was glad to have £5 for it so we had to shift things around a little but managed to sqeeze it in.

Here are some photos of the poor abandoned table before her makeover.

The first thing I did was remove the melamine top.  The underside was wood but the rain had taken it's toll on it and I had other plans for the top so just kept the top to use as a template.
I did actually quite like the chippy paint on it but it was literally falling off in the breeze so it had to be stripped and sanded.  The paint came off really easily but underneath there was a thick coating of varnish which I spent ages sanding by hand but gave up and used an electric sander.  I then finished the sanding by hand. 

I mixed up some chalk paint to get a pale grey beachy colour.  I used about a quarter of Paris Grey to one part old white and then painted the whole thing.

I sanded it again and applied another coat of the grey paint but this time added a little more of the old white so that when I sanded it back both shades of grey would show through.

I then sanded a lot of the areas right back to expose a lot of the wood underneath and finished it all off with a coat of clear finishing wax.

My husband then clamped, glued and screwed 4 planks of 6" timber together and used the original top as a template and cut a circle.  I gave it one coat of old white and then sanded that back loads to show the knots in the wood and some of the grain.  I then applied an all over coat of dark oak wax and rubbed it right in.  My husband had to help me with the buffing as by now with all the sanding yesterday and today I have tennis elbow!  I'm such a lightweight!

After all that hard work here she is now....

I think she's a beauty!
One day I'm going to have a sun room and I now have my first piece of furniture for it.

Thank you all for your comments yesterday.  I've tried to respond but Seth's laptop isn't linked to my e-mail account and our computer only works for about 5 minutes at a time so today I've managed to send one e-mail so far.  Anyway, thank you all - I really appreciate every comment.

The weather in Wales is glorious - hope it is in your part of the world too.


  1. Your table looks really beautiful!! That's great that you've found a source for "junk" furniture. I look forward to seeing more makeovers. :)

  2. I do have a sunroom and if I could I would steal that table and put it in there right now. ;) You did an amazing job!!

  3. Loving every inch of this makeover! Sounds like you guys had a great day of junking...

    Take care,

  4. The table is wonderful! You did a great job!!
    Okay I'm going to look at the rest of your blog...have a great day!!

  5. A fabulous makeover. Love the styling of your photo too. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Just gorgeous, what a facelift for the old table. Love it...T

  7. What a bargain, but you really put your heart and soul into it. It looks fabulous, well done,love Linda x

  8. Wow that was in really rough shape, not sure I would have even brought it home. I can't believe how nice and smooth and pretty it turned out. You really did a fantastic job!

  9. Hello,

    It came out so pretty. Such a lovely table with the pretty accessories.
    Thank you for sharing.

  10. What a lovely transformation! I found your blog through Funky Junk's linky party and am your newest follower. Hope you come say hello sometime.



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