Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Small Budget? No problem!

At my casa, small budget is the name of the game.  Since we're still newlyweds (kind of-we've hit the 2 year mark) and I've been in school most of our marriage, we have not yet had the luxury of 2 full-time incomes.  But because I am a designer I have a constant itch to have the house fully designed, like, RIGHT NOW!  Obviously that is not going to happen anytime soon, so we've slowly been buying pieces here and there and I have been stalking places like Home Goods and Goodwill for inexpensive accessories and furniture that I can revamp like my chairs that I recently shared with you. 

I do really like how our humble abode is coming together though and it has been fun to try to figure out how to turn pieces of furniture that I don't really love into something that I do.

  So last weekend I decided to take control of our dining room table.  This table has actually become a funny story for us.   When my husband and I first started dating we went to IKEA together because he wanted some help picking out an inexpensive table for his house which he shared with 3 other guys.  So of course we picked out the most basic table that sat 4 and could be banged up by a bunch of single guys.  Indeed it did get banged up a little, but we decided to keep the table when we moved into our home together because we wanted to spend our money on a sofa and other accessories instead of a table.  Little did I know that the table I picked out for him years ago would get stuck in our home a few years later!  If only I would have known....  ;)

Anyways, I wanted to make a change that would be big impact with low cost.  I chose a mahogany stain that I had left over from a previous project and went to work!  So here is the table that I started out with: 

The table had been lightly stained with a few coats of poly so I began by sanding the table down to rough it up so the stain would adhere.

Next, I applied the stain, making sure to do long strokes across the entire length of the table going with the grain of the wood.  The stain I used had poly already mixed in which allowed me to skip the final step of a separate poly and was a great time saver.

As you can see the table definitely needed a second coat.  I let the table dry overnight, then lightly sanded any drips or rough spots again and made sure to completely wipe off using a tack cloth.  I then applied a second coat of stain and let dry.   I think it turned out great and it is amazing what a difference it makes in our dining space.


I really like how my white dishes stand out against the mahogany tabletop now.  It feels much more contemporary and gives this piece a whole new look for cheap, cheap, cheap! 

If you feel yourself getting tired of the furniture in your home, but are not ready to replace it, staining or painting is such a quick and easy fix to instantly update your home.

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