Last week, I came across a unique coffee table in our neighborhood thrift store. It was solid – I can’t pick it up by myself – and really cool looking, but in need of some love. It was obviously homemade, and constructed all from 2x4s, with industrial-looking bolts holding it together. I love simple, solid wooded furniture, and this table jumped out at me. We don’t have a coffee table in our living room. We have an ottoman, but my husband has had it since he was in college, and there are some stains that I just can’t get out. One of the things I liked about the new table was how solid it is. You can sit on it, put your feet on it, use it as a table – it will take a beating and still be fine.
Anyway, we bought it and brought it home on the roof of my car. I borrowed an electric sander from my parents and spent the last couple afternoons out in the driveway sanding our new table. It had been stained a dark color and varnished in a previous life. It also had a lot of deep scratches, and we prefer light wood to dark, so I wanted to sand off all of the old finish. Today I put four coats of varnish on it. We already had the varnish left over from the doors we replaced earlier in the month, so all I spent on the table is $15 to buy it and the time it took me to refinish it (which I thoroughly enjoyed, so it doesn’t really count as work). It didn’t occur to me to take a "before" picture until I was halfway finished sanding the top of the table. But you can tell from the sides what it looked like when I found it.