Tag Archives: hairpin legs

Contemporary Dining Table

In the last post, I mentioned the dining table we were working on. I had uncertainties about how this would turn out, but Nik was persistent about moving forward with this project, and I’m glad he was! To remind you, this is how the table started out:

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The top had tons of water damage to the wood and the finish, and the pedestal was gross and missing two of its support legs, making it unusable.Then Nik stripped it, reattached the board and we sanded it a bit. IMG_0781

At the end of the day (weeks?), this is how it ended up:

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Here’s a few pictures we took outside, to have some different lighting on the weathered wood:

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After stripping and sanding through the water-damaged finish, we noticed that the wood actually looked kind of cool – more of a “weathered” look than a “damaged” look.


It was still a little incomplete looking, so I stained it with a very light stain (golden oak) then sealed it with multiple layers of water-based polyurethane. We attached the legs, and decided we’d try to sell it like that! If it doesn’t sell, our other idea was the paint it and glaze it. Glazing can mean a lot of different things, but the kind we’d use would be glaze mixed with a dark stain or dark tinting. From my understanding, glaze looks like runny Elmer’s glue, and basically thickens the stain so it is more workable. We’d paint the table a lighter color and glaze over it to put some dark dimension into the cracks and imperfections, kind of like this dresser or this instructional guide. So that’s our backup plan if no one goes for the weathered wood look!

Works in Progress

I was originally planning on doing a post for every piece we completed, but somehow we’ve found ourselves working on FOUR pieces at once! This means it’s a little progress here and there on each piece, but we probably won’t have anything completely finished for a while. So today I’ll write about these four pieces and the progress (or lack thereof?) we’ve made.

Nik has been on a bartending kick lately, and  has purchased a collection of unusual alcohols to mix drinks. Unfortunately, our kitchen and pantry are small, so most of these bottles and the fancy kitchen gadgets used to make the drinks have been cluttering our counter tops for the past few weeks. We decided we are in need of a bar cabinet to hold everything. We bought this old tv/stereo cabinet for $20. It’s a mix of solid wood and particle board with veneer, so it should be a workable surface to sand and paint or stain. Right now we’re thinking some sort of dark paint for the body, and maybe stained wood on the top.

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It has a neat little drawer that pulls out too, so that can be used for glasses and gadgets. Bottles and a wine rack will go inside the cabinet. Nik decided the top needed a rail for containing things, like this but more like the metal rail on this bar. We made a lengthy trip to the plumbing section of Home Depot on Saturday to see what we could fashion from copper piping. We ended up buying connectors, some end caps, and 10 feet of 1/2″ copper pipe, and a copper pipe cutter device.


By the end of the night, Nik had designed this scheme:


…and constructed this:

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It came out great! He then cut little 1.5″ lengths of pipe to lift the rail off the bar a bit and I buffed all the piping with steel wool to shine it up and remove the printing that was on the pipe. To attach it to the bar, we’re planning on gluing a small piece of wooden dowel into the base pipes and screwing it down into the top of the bar. We’ll probably do that last, after we’ve refinished the bar top, so there’s a lot to happen before the rail is on!

For our next project, we’ve wanted to replace our coffee table for a while because it’s cheap and old. While I was away one weekend Nik bought a modern-looking table from someone in Carrboro for $50. I thought the price was a little steep, and when he brought it home and I looked at it, we realized its not even real wood. We still like the design though, and it’s a heavy duty table. It was used as a kid’s craft table by the previous owner, so we planned on just cleaning it up, restaining any imperfections, and sealing it with poly since there’s not much else we can do with not-real wood. I spent last night sanding glitter off of it, but I accidentally sanded through some of the finish. Now we’re rethinking this project, and we’re maybe leaning towards spray painting it in a sleek high gloss white, but we’re not sure yet.

Next, when Nik was buying that coffee table, he spied a dining table that was being discarded in the neighbor’s yard. He grabbed the table and the disassembled pedestal legs and toted it home. Once he got home, he realized it was being discarded because not all of the pedestal parts were there…


It needs four of those bottom foot pieces, and there are only two! But, the table was free, so after searching craigslist, we found 4 metal table legs for $40, and Nik worked on stabilizing the table base and screwing the legs into the table bottom yesterday:


After that, we’ll probably sand and paint the table and put it up for sale.

Our final project is an unusual little vanity we picked up for $60. Its an old piece, but it’s interesting and I think it will work nicely as a little girl’s desk (people pay a surprising amount of money for kid things on craigslist). It was a lot shorter than we were expecting when we picked it up, so we found some legs at the lumber store for $45 to attach to it to get it to a more reasonable “desk height”. You can see the lighter color legs we added in this picture:


It has 4 drawers and a large mirror, and we also bought a little kid’s chair at the Raleigh flea market to go with it for $10. The desk is currently primed with paint, and the flat surfaces are painted a very light blush pink color. The trim and chair will be white.

So, those are the 4 seemingly endless projects we’re working on at the moment. It was so hot this weekend we didn’t make much progress, but hopefully we can work on things during the evenings this week!