Thursday, October 13, 2011

Before and After: Dumpster Side Table

One Sunday morning I awoke, opened the blinds to our balcony that overlooked the pool and the complex dumpster (nice, huh?), and saw a small table sitting by the dumpster.  I rushed out of my pajamas, got dressed and ran down the stairs as if the furniture piece would have wandered off by the time I arrived.  I examined the piece for flaws and tested its sturdiness.  The legs were wobbly but upon further examination it was only because the previous owners hadn’t been smart enough to just screw them back on.  I looked around to see if anyone was watching and stole the table from the dumpster. 

I had been missing a coffee table since we moved in and decided that, while small, this table would be a perfect coffee table.  And even more perfect because I scored it for FREE!

After cleaning the table and living with it for a few days, everything just looked too brown.  My sofa, dining set, book shelf, and desk were all brown, brown, brown.  I craved more color and set out to paint the little coffee table and apply some faux finish to it.  First I needed a really bold color and decided on Better Homes & Gardens Flaming Roasted Pepper.  (If you’re going to faux finish something you probably want to pick a bright color so it doesn’t get too dark afterward.) 
I was really new to the whole sanding-and-painting thing so after reading a few blogs on the topic, I just tried my best.  I used light-grit sand paper and then cleaned all the dust from the surface before painting.  To get the best finish you want to do thin, even coats of paint.  I think I did about four because I’m just that meticulous about things.

Don't mind the cellphone picture, doesn't do the color justice.
After allowing significant drying time I applied my faux finish:

I had this leftover from another project, $15

I used a clean paint brush to apply the faux finish in a light fashion.  I just applied the amount that was appropriate for the look I was going for. 

I hand-painted the standard wooden knob for something a little more interesting... and also free.

It was still a little tacky so I put it on coasters before going on the carpet but I think it turned out great!  Just a little splash of color in a pretty neutral room.

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