Welcome to the 10th of our 12 Days of a DIY Christmas. For my day I wanted to share a way you can use those awesome DIY skills to give to others. I love the Christmas season with all of it’s lights and activity and festivities. Of course, it’s also easy to get caught up in the rush, the millions of commitments, and the barrage of sales. This season I have been feeling the need to really focus on the meaning of Christmas, and on giving back instead of focusing on material things.
The LDS church here coordinates with Catholic Charities to work with refugee families. A conversation with our local coordinator confirmed that families make due with hand me down furniture for years after they arrive. I thought it would be nice to provide a table for a family that would be a little better than what they typically receive. My idea was that it would be something that would last for years, and which would provide a place for friends and family to gather. They say the kitchen is the heart of the home, but I think the table is truly where families gather and connect.
Hold on just a cotton-picking moment! This isn’t a simple project I can make before Christmas!!!
No? What would you say if I told you my husband and I made it in one night? Whaaaa?!
My schedule right at this moment doesn’t allow for crafting a table the way I like to, so I came up with an alternate plan that makes use of a table we’ve all seen before.
These tables are everywhere. College apartments, Craiglist, your local Restore… But you know what? They are solid. So I decided to upcycle one and give it a little more refined, grown up look.
I’m telling you, you can pick up one of these and have it ready for a Christmas feast in plenty of time.
Here’s what you’ll need:
Optional tools that will get the job done a lot faster if you have them:
Step 1: Remove the varnish and any scratches and other surface damage
Step 2: Cut off the rounded edges
Step 2: Keep sanding
You’ll need to sand the aprons and the legs. Don’t you hate it when someone is like “Oh, you can do this so easy!” and then you find out they are using a crap ton of tools that not just anyone has, which is totally annoying?!
Bear with me for a moment. We had the benefit of sanding the legs using our lathe, and I ran those apron boards through a planer rather than having to sand some more. That did make it go faster. But, for real, how many of you are really going to try to do this in one night? (And how many of you wonder why in the world we did? There’s a story there. But I digress…)
Paint stripper is a great way to get the paint off those turned legs. Sanding would flatten all of those lovely curves, so put down that sander and back away slowly.
Here’s what the legs looked like before and after sanding. The grooves on that left side one are due to burning, which was a look I was playing with that I ultimately (sadly) could not keep.
Step 4: Reassemble the table and finish as desired.
We choose a darker stain for the top (Jacobean by Minwax). We used the stain on the base of the table as well, but as expected it looked pretty blotchy on those legs where some paint hadn’t come off during sanding.
I added a couple coats of white paint after the stain dried. A light sanding in some of those grooves reveals a bit of the dark stain beneath for a great distressed look.
That’s it! It looks like a brand new table. I wish you could come feel how smooth that top is.
A final word
I loved getting this table ready for a family that I hope will love it, and look forward to crafting future tables from scratch for other families. My challenge is that you’ll take that awesome DIY knowledge and think about how you can give back to others around you, this holiday season and beyond. Thank you so much for reading, and don’t forget to check out the other amazing projects that are part of this 12 Days of a DIY Christmas!