curbside treasure: stained coffee table

One of the best parts about living in a college town (as you can tell from my last post) is move-out times. Usually during the summer, plenty of students are moving in and out of town. The ones that are moving out also have the convenient habit of leaving behind a TON of salvageable stuff.

I spotted this gem on the curb one day when I was out purchasing a dining room table from Craigslist. With a small tin of PolyShades from Walmart (which if I recall correctly was under $4) it's as good as new!

Want to see how I did it? Click read more for photos galore!

I started out using a finer grit sandpaper. It eventually got a little beat up, but I was able to sand the entire surface of my coffee table with just one piece. Not bad. If I were to buy this separately it probably would've set me back maybe another $5 at most? But I already had this in my bag of craft supplies.

After I got it finely sanded (working in circular motions) I went in with a little coarser of a grit. I've never actually stained a table, so this was all trial and error for me, but it worked out fine in the end!

Make sure you do this outside, by the way. There will be lots of dust and dirt flying around and you probably don't want that all over the inside of your house. I laid a tarp down (which ended up getting blue flakes all over me... woo) so that I could wipe down my table and immediately begin staining without getting cherry red stain everywhere.

After you're done sanding, wipe your table down GOOD. I used a dry paper towel first, then went back in with a slightly damp and dry together. Do this until your towel can be swiped across the surface and remain dirt-free (dirt will make the stain not stick as well, from what I've gathered)

It might be a good idea to buy some sponge brushes and just use those for this project instead of a paintbrush you care about. I got this package for cheap with a 40% off coupon at Joanns, which is available 99% of the time. That way, instead of trying to rinse the stain out of your brush (listen... it's called stain FOR A REASON!) you can just throw your applicator away.

It's time to put on your game face and get to staining! Pump some jams, crack open that tin and get to work. I started out by soaking my sponge brush and working in quick, uniform motions, keeping with the grain of the wood. As soon as you know it, the table will be finished and ready to dry.

I left my table out overnight, just because I wanted to make sure it was completely done before I brought it inside. If possible, I'd leave it outside for another night. Bringing it in while it's still fresh will make your entire house stink, so be wary. I opted for one coat and I must say, for ~$10 I couldn't be happier! 

Best wishes & good luck thrifting!

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