I found this small (20.75” tall and 24” wide) solid wood table at a flea market about a year ago.
It was in good shape, but dated. It needed a makeover. We had sanded the top almost all the way, but it still needed a bit more to get it down to bare wood.
However, life got in the way and so it sat in our basement waiting patiently for its makeover.
A few days ago, it happened. I took the heat gun and stripped away the rest of the residue on the top, then sanded it smooth and hand scuffed the base. I cleaned it well.
I couldn’t wait to try out the DIY wood aging stain recipe I found and mixed up. It had been sitting waiting to be used for several weeks. I had tried it right after I mixed it up on a board. I think it reacts differently on different types of wood and it really hadn’t had a chance to darken the wood much. But, it turned out with a beautiful, natural wood look that I loved.
The stain is a mix of used coffee grounds, vinegar and steel wool. It doesn’t look very pretty in the jar, but wait until you see it on this oak table top!
Here’s the link to the DIY tutorial I found and used: https://www.familyhandyman.com/article/how-to-stain-unfinished-wood-with-used-coffee-grounds/?_cmp=stf
The interesting thing is you don’t see how it is working until it dries. At first it looks like it is just darkening the wood (and it darkens more as it dries) but when it dries, ahhhh….there is that beautiful grayish cast….just like old barn wood that has been left out in the weather for years. And this photo doesn’t even do it justice.
Hmmm…..At this point I happened to notice a strange formation in the grain going across the top. In my eye, I saw a llama head and neck. There are actually 4 of them, seeming to march in a line across the table, but this one stands out more than others. Still not seeing it? Let me help you. Lol
So now I had the stain on, but I wanted to really enhance the old wood look so I sealed it with a mix of liming wax and clear wax.
I wanted to open up the grain for the liming wax to get into it and stay so I used a wire brush and carefully ran it across the table top, going with the grain.
The liming wax I used is by Briwax. I mixed some of it with Howard’s Chalk-tique light wax. You can use any brand of clear wax, though. Mixing them together gives you a little more control over the liming wax and provides a nice finish. I think you can purchase both of these products from several places like Amazon online.
The next photo shows half the table top with the liming wax combo and half without. What a difference the liming wax makes!!
Can you see my 4 marching llamas? I know…. they are hard to see. Lol
Let me help. 🙂
Here is the top all waxed and buffed. Again, pics don’t really show just how beautiful this table top is. The sheen of the wax is gorgeous!
By the way, did you know wax helps repel dust? So using wax on furniture that isn’t going to get a lot of heavy use will save you dusting time, too!
The little metal feet needed a makeover, too, so I took them off and spray painted them a metallic gold. So pretty now!
Now it was time to paint the base. Sometimes I use primer, sometimes I don’t. I didn’t on this one. I had just cleaned and scuffed it up really well. In retrospect, I wish I had primed this and I wouldn’t have had to use as many coats of chalk-style paint, especially since I wasn’t going to distress this piece. I used 4 coats of Missouri Limestone Paint Company “January”, a pure white. You tend to need more coats when using white or very light colors.
But all is well as chalk-style paint dries so quickly. Once the paint coats had all dried well I sealed the base with several thin coats of Varathane Crystal Clear water based polyurethane. I never have had a problem with yellowing in the 6 years I’ve been using it.
The secret is thin coats and no drips or pooling. I use a round damp car wax sponge to put on a thin coat and follow it with a sponge brush if needed to clear up any drips or pooling. For long areas I go in one direction only and work quickly. You can’t go back and forth or overwork the sealer or you will have a mess as it dries so quickly.
And now…. drum roll ….. My finished “llama table!” 😉 What a difference, right?