This coming weekend at Sweet Clover is our October barn sale, and we’re having a friendly vendor to vendor tablescape contest. I love creating tablescapes (you can see all I’ve created in the past here) and was so excited to participate… I had all of the “scape” though and none of the table. My space is on the smaller side, so I was limited with what I could fit, and stylistically, I wanted something that would fit the vibe of my brand. I scoured thrift shops, craigslist, facebook marketplace and under every rock searching for the perfect table. Finally, that quest came to an end when I found “it” on craigslist for a great price. The only dilemma was that it was almost an hour away, but fortunately, I was able to pick it up and coordinate with a friend I hadn’t seen in 20 years to meet for lunch! The trip was well worth it! Today I am sharing with you the furniture makeover: one of a kind midcentury dining table; and tomorrow I will be back with the tablescape I created as well as the rest of my space this month.
I have honestly never seen another table like this one! The petite size paired with the shape made it a winner for me. It also features two leaves which make it so much more appealing to customers in smaller spaces who sometimes wish to entertain larger groups. However, I was told by the seller that it was slightly wobbly and I hoped I would be able to fix it. Below you can see it in its before state. The top is actually laminate but was in such great shape, and I knew would be easy for a new owner to clean and maintain that I decided to keep it that way.
Here it is with its two leaves inserted (which are conveniently stored inside the table when not in use). Look how long it becomes! You can also get a glimpse of how I work…. supplies around, blue tooth speaker playing one of my favorite podcasts, and furniture blanket draped on the trashcan ready to be of service. I am a mess.To work on the base, I removed the leaves and set them aside to make the table lighter, and flipped it upside down onto a moving pad to protect the top. At first glance, I didn’t see what was making the table a little jiggly, so I went around tightening any visible screws. After doing that, I found it was still a little wiggly. The I noticed a tiny fracture in the wishbone leg joint on one side. To compensate for that fracture, the other side had come a little loose as well in the opposing joint. I used my Gorilla wood glue to fill in the crack and joint lines by slightly opening the lines and crack to allow the glue to drip in. I did this on both sides. After the glue had been left to drip for a few minutes, I used a damp rag to wipe off excess and clamped the joints in opposing directions which is important for the strongest hold when it comes to a joint such as this. As you can see, I used two smaller clamps like these to squeeze below the bolt, and then that silver bar you see if a longer clamp similar to this that was squeezing the outside of that “X” base.
I let the table sit with those clamps in place for 24 hours for maximum hold. Once that period was over, I checked the joints and they were in good shape, minus some dried glue residue that I removed while sanding.
Next, I used my orbital sander to sand the legs, and luckily the worn finish came off quite easily. There were several dings in the base, so I smoothed those out in the process as well. I then primed it with 3 coats of water-based primer (I like this one) to ensure durability and a solid finish as I knew I was going to be painting the base white. I used my purdy angled brush to achieve a smooth finish. Before applying the paint, I lightly sanded the primed base by hand with a 220 grit sanding sponge to once again make sure that it was as smooth as I could possibly get it.
Finally, it was time for paint! Because I wanted to stay true to the modern vibe of this table, I chose General Finishes Snow White milk paint which is a beautiful pure and true white. I applied three coats allowing ample dry time in between. Lastly, I gave it a coat of General Finishes Satin Finishing Wax to protect the paint.
After all of this work, there was still another issue to be addressed. The gold bars attached to the base had worn and tarnished over time and were too “distressed” to fit the look I was trying to achieve. If you look carefully below, you can see the blackish splotches along the bars.
Here again, you can see them as well as all of the dings I was referring to on the base.To remedy these blemishes, I used super fine steel wool, and rubbed all along the bars as well as the bolts on the outside of the table. My next step was to use my trusty Rub N Buff, which I have been a fan of for years! It will even make an appearance in the tablescape tomorrow. 🙂 If you aren’t familiar with it, Rub N Buff is a little tube of golden (or other metallic!) magic… you just squeeze a tiny amount on your finger and rub it where you want to gild. After you allow it to dry a bit, you can again rub your finger over it to buff it to a harder finish. Easy peasy. A little really does go a long way. I’ve used it for years and am only now on my second tube. It isn’t as shiny a finish as the brass look of the bars had been, but it’s an even finish and that was more important to me here. The bolts at the end were the only place where it was a little trickier and uneven, but the bars look sleek and gold.