Friday, July 6, 2012



My parents purchased a very large, wood coffee table back when I was in grade school. Needless to say after one or two dogs and three children, it was a bit loved. It soon made its way to the basement and remained there, getting shoved to various corners and rooms.
Shortly after we purchased our home, my husband and I made the trek to Illinois, where our families live, to visit for Christmas. When I spied the coffee table in the basement of my parents' home, I saw potential. It had good bones! My grin must have set alarms off in Ben's head because he immediately said, "No way." But being the engineer that he is, his mind immediately went to work sizing it up to see if it could make the trek back to Florida in the back of our truck. He couldn't help his oversized brain or my batting eyes.
My parents being eager to get rid of the oversized dust collector gave us their blessing to take it (if we could get it up the stairs, around the tight hallway corner, and into the truck bed).
Darn if we didn't manage that! We not only fit the coffee table, but also a load of tile (from my brick-layer father for a future project :)), rocking chair, suitcases, and other Christmas presents. We then wrapped it in a tarp and ducked tapped the whole package together. My parents dubbed our truck the Florida Hillbilly Mobile. They suggested I attach the rocking chair to the top and sit in it on my way back home.

My dad and I in front of the hillbilly mobile :)
We had to stop about three times on the way down to re-duck tape a few areas and get creative in a few others, but it made the continental journey! So here it is pre-refurbish.

So we went to work to sand the table down to its bones. Needless to say it took a while, but I'm so happy my husband was like a kid in a candy store and purchased every power tool he could convince me was necessary. I'm thoroughly convinced we made the right decision after spending the afternoon sanding this beauty.

Wearing my fancy orange eyewear this time. Should have done that to begin with.

Ben didn't let me have all the fun of course. 

Side note: Notice the kayak on the ceiling??? That is the work of my rocket scientist (literally) husband. He tried to explain to me how the pulley system would work pre-rigging, but I told him I trusted him (and secretly said a prayer to God that it wouldn't come crashing down on him!). He managed it somehow and it's been secure on the ceiling ever since! What a space saver! Maybe I'll make him write a post about it. 

Back on track: After the sanding we blew all the dust off with an air compressor (another must-have on the hubby's list of must-haves) and cleaned the garage as best we could prior to staining. We spent hours staining and when we finished ... we HATED it! It was all streaky, uneven, and bumpy, lumpy in areas. It looked awful, and I was about to despair when Ben spent the next few evenings resanding our newly stained coffee table. He really is the best! 

The second round of staining was done with a brush instead of a rag. HIGHLY suggest using a brush when you want a nice, even coat. We also used the two-in-one stain that has both the color and the polyurethane, saving you a step (or preventing you from screwing up one of the steps). When it was finished, it looked amazing!

The coffee table fit perfectly with our new couch and inspired some of the wood grains in the frames I hung on the wall. The frames are an ongoing project that will be added to over time. Should result in a wall full of memories! Right now we have our coffee table, which is also full of childhood memories and ready to be instilled with new ones in our new home.

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