In our neighborhood in Fort Worth, the last week of the month the trash collection will also pick up any junk you put on the side of the road. That means once per month, there is a chance we will spot a gem among the old nasty college student couches on the curb. (Note: junk day was only 2x per year in Tucson. The junk was better, but you had to plan your schedule around it. Life is full of trade-offs, am I right?)
Just before Christmas, we found this old, dirty, double decker oak table on the side of the road. Lucky day!
Barrett, ever-ambitious, thought this would be a good one day project. It took us a bit longer than that (6 weeks, by the time we finished being so distracted with new Christmas toys…) but the finished product is finally sitting in our living room.
To be clear: this is still a funky double decker side table. We think it will make a cute kids’ play table, decades into the future… But for now, it makes a great corner table in the living room!
So here’s how we tackled the project.
- Take it apart and evaluate. This included letting the top level break, learning how the top level assembled, and evaluating wobbly legs.
- Clear away the old & dirty. We sanded the heck out of every single piece and removed the oak veneer on the center plywood piece (that plywood was the only piece that was not full oak).
- Redo veneer. We had a piece of mahogany laying around and wanted to keep costs down for this project, so we used contact cement to put that down.
- Color design. We tested a couple of stain options on the mahogany veneer to see how it would look compared the oak. Ultimately, we decided we needed two separate colors to accent the different woods. We chose a medium mahogany dye for the mahogany veneer (so creative, I know).
- Reassemble. After letting the color dry on the mahogany, we assembled. It took a few steps to glue all of the broken pieces of the “top shelf” and get it level. We chose a clear gloss finish for the whole table and put a few layers on over the course of a couple of weeks.
That’s all! Simple, right? It honestly was not that difficult, but finding the right time to finish with the polyurethane was tricky due to weather and humidity. We are happy with how the final product fills a spot in our living room, and we’ll keep this free table for a while! It goes nicely with our leather chair, though the colors are just close enough in tone that it might go better across the room…
Here are a few pictures of the process itself. Keep an eye on our Instagram @bythelowes for a bit more of the story behind some of the goofy pics!