As a house-proud housewife and host, I am always looking for ways to update and improve my home decor. At any given moment, I can look around my home and want to discard this or add that and pull the classic “but wouldn’t this or that look so much better here?” I love my home and everything in it but hey, my taste changes! … often. My husband goes with the flow a lot but sometimes it is just silly to fork out hundreds of dollars to buy a new whatever it is that day, which we typically don’t need and in this case barely even use.
This post was inspired by our aquamarine table. THE table. A table that is half entryway table and half console table and serves very little purpose but has been with me for nearly a decade because it just fits perfectly somewhere in any house I move to! I’m pretty sure I scooped this thing up at a flea market for around $100-$150 and it had an icky grandma high-gloss warm brown finish at the time. In our last place, I was all about Navaho-inspired pops of eye-catching color and insisted we could revamp this piece to add just the pop we needed. It totally worked and I loved it until I didn’t anymore. Now, two years later in a new home with a much more polished, muted decor scheme, I can’t take my eyes off of it for all the wrong reasons! This table drove me nuts and I was determined to do something about it. I was on the hunt for a new entry/console table that wasn’t too deep or too short and looked finished but refurbished and all sorts of nit-picky specifications and you know what I found? Squat. At least squat for under $500!!! FYI, a useless table that is just there to take up space and look pretty is bizarrely costly making it a completely unnecessary and unjustifiable purchase. Okay… no biggie, I can deal, it’s not that bad, right? Wrong! Because then we got these new pillows and those indoor plants we’ve always wanted and they’re all great and we love them. As you can likely imagine at this point, my distaste for that aquamarine eyesore grew even more.
Well, plan B it is then! An early morning Saturday start, a quick-ish trip to Home Depot, plus a few extra sweet gestures to the hubby who I dragged into this mess for help and operation DIY Revival was under way!
- Table in Need of Revival
- Power Sander
- Sanding Pads
- White Primer/Paint
- Brushes of varying size for the nooks and crannies
- Stain (optional but recommended to step it up a notch on the chic-scale)
- Old Rag or T-Shirt
- Finishing Spray Gloss
- Drop Cloth (optional, depending on how precious you are about your workspace)
- Eye, Nose and Mouth Protection
First, get your handy dandy screwdriver and remove the top (if possible), remove drawers from body and remove handles from drawers.
The toughest and most tedious step is up next so just pull that bandana over your face, shield those eyeballs and dive in. Think about it too much and you’ll never start but once you start, you can’t really stop because you’ve now messed up whatever finish was previously on the table. Bam! Now we’re sanding and sanding and sanding some more until we see as much exposed wood as possible. Some edges on the body will be hard to get into but make sure you sand away all previous finish on the tabletop as stain will not cover any leftover paint/finish. You can purchase different sander heads if you really want to get technical with it and sand down the entire body as well but hey, this is a Do-It-Yourself project, not Do-It-Professional so you can just paint an extra coat over what you can’t sand all the way down on body and drawers.
Paint drawers and body with white paint in even brushstrokes that go with the grain of the wood. Do two to three coats depending on how much coverage you need!
Follow instructions outlined on your can of stain for the tabletop piece. In most cases, you’ll paint on an even generous layer of stain, leave it alone for 5-15 minute depending on how dark you want the finish and then wipe off all excess stain with a rag.
Once your drawers and body are mostly dry, it’s time to add any finishing touches you’d like! We opted to distress the white paint a little bit with the sander. Taking the power sander lightly to any areas (mainly edges) where we wanted to expose the raw wood underneath. This process can disrupt the white paint sometimes or even expose any residual paint from the previous finish that we couldn’t completely sand down. To fix these minor flaws, I took a small paintbrush and went back in with my white paint to touch up as needed! Once everything is finished to your liking, give the drawers, body and tabletop a few solid coats of finishing spray gloss and let dry!
Once your table is completely dry and no longer tacky at all, screw your tabletop back onto the body, screw your handles back onto your drawers and place your drawers back into the body. Voila! A little sweat and a lot of paint all over you and you’ve got a brand new old table!
I really can’t tell you how happy I am with the results. If any of you get up to DIYing your own table with this tutorial, please tag me on Instagram so I can see your amazing results!!!
Shenae Grimes-Beech is an actor and YouTuber with a highly engaged community of like-minded women who are here to stand up for what they believe in and lean into discomfort, especially when it means doing the right thing.