In one of my favorite thrift stores, I found a pub height table and 4 chairs. The table has butterfly leaves and was made of solid blonde maple — heavier than all get-out! I had been looking at new pub tables but was unhappy with the “wood-like” material they were constructed from and the fact that they looked like if I blew air from my mouth they would fall over.
It was in pieces when I found it — the table top was separated from the legs and the upholstered chair seats were ripped and stained all over. I figured, since the set was made from maple, I wouldn’t be able to afford it — even in a thrift store. My heart in my throat, I approached slowly and checked out the price tag. It read: “pub table and 4 chairs $50″
DIY Project Begins
I hauled it back to my over stuffed garage and made a careful inspection at what I had gotten myself into… Another DIY project! Take a look…
I decided to first sand everything. There was a very dull urethane on all the chairs and legs. A light sanding took care of that. The table top, however, was a different story. No amount of sanding was breaking through the think layer of urethane. I broke down and bought an biodegradable stripping agent. It worked like a charm and saved me lots of time.
Now that I had all the pieces ready to go… I had to make a decision on the style I wanted. I really liked the grain and color of the maple but knew I didn’t want the table top natural. So, I opted to re-urethane the table legs and chairs. The gloss finish was gorgeous!
I went to my local fabric store and found some striped outdoor fabric by Tommy Bahama at 50% off and bought enough to re-upholster the chair seats. The image isn’t great but it has greens, pinks, ivory, blues and oranges in it. It’s more vibrant than the swatch looks.
The Table Top
Now came the table top. I bought a primer and an off white color. I painted it all with each and then added a second coat of the off white. It looked okay but new. I was wanting a vintage look so that would never do. I had a can of walnut stain so I experimented with a faux finish. I took a clean, dry brush and dipped it in the stain and then dabbed it on a cloth to take off the majority. With long strokes, I covered the table top. Dry brushing gives the illusion of grain and age. I went back and sanded down to the wood in various spots and areas that would traditionally get a lot of wear. Then, I added a few coats of water based poly urethane.
When I was finished I thought it looked kind of like a piece of beach wood, drift wood or an old barn. I loved it!
I let it dry a couple of days and then attached the legs and set the chairs around it. Upon final approval, I moved it into the house. I love my beachy, cottage-y table and chairs! I love the contrast of the top with the legs and chairs. It’s not so matchy-matchy that way!