April 10, 2012

Trashed Table to Aqua Treasure

Have you had a chance to check out my latest room redo?
If not, head over to check it out here!!

I mentioned in that post that one of the pieces shown in the room was literally trash before it came to live there.

Did you guess which one it was?

I had been telling hubby back when the warm weather started up that I didn't think our neighborhood was ever going to start putting out their curbside treasures!
But I was completely proven wrong because within a couple of weeks, my garage was full of amazing pieces that people had thrown to the curb.

One of the pieces I shared on my facebook page was this gem:

It wasn't looking much like a gem though.
Hubby was not at all thrilled when I begged him after work to head over to where it was and load it up.
It was HEAVY as all get out and nasty.

I found it by the dumpster of a nursing home with a pile of broken furniture around it.
There was a matching hutch to this but it looked like someone had literally taken a sledgehammer to it.
There was really no saving it :/

But I managed to persuade sweet hubby to get this beast loaded as well as a couple amazing pieces of hardware from the splintered hutch.

Look at the details on this guy!!
That beaded detailing is to die for!

When I say this piece was nasty.
I'm not talking about just a little nasty.

I'm talking the I-almost-gave-up kind of nasty.
I must have cleaned this guy ten times over with clorox, windex and any other cleaner I could get my hands on. Ick.

This piece was tricky in a lot of ways.
There were several moments when I nearly threw my hands up and walked away.
But I'm so glad I stuck with it becuase it totally ended up being worth it.

One of my problem areas was that bottom drawer.
It was completely missing in the furniture pile so I had to figure out something to fill that gap with.

I pried the drawer track out and then wandered around my garage a bit for inspiration.
Then my eyes landed on these:

Some pretty weathered wood that had also been found curbside last year.

I used my miter saw to cut them so they filled the bottom section.
I decided not to paint them because I loved the greyish natural color they had.

I just sanded them smooth and set them to the side.

My next HUGE barrier was when I went to sand the body of the piece.
What I thought was just scratched wood on the top was actually peeling veneer.

Someone had taken some sort of wood-grained contact paper and covered the top of the table with it.
Talk about weird and dissapointing.
What I found underneath was nasty, water-damaged MDF.
Which means it had bubbled up to the point that no sanding would work and paint would look weird over it.

I was so frustrated at this point.

I went back and forth between covering it with fabric, scrapbook pape, cutting a new top...
nothing I thought of seemed to fit the image I had in my mind.

At this point, I just needed a break from looking at it.
Do you ever feel that way?

I left it alone for the rest of the day with the plan to attack it again in the morning.
But really, in the back of my mind I kept whispering that it was most likely hopeless.

Luckily enough, my self-doubt didn't win this time.
The next morning I randomly saw my container of joint compound.
I love that stuff.
It's thinner and easier to work with than regular spackle.
Cheaper too.
Plus paintable and sandable.

On a whim, I slapped a ton of that stuff all over the top of that table.
Smeared it all over that nasty, bubbly top and then left it to dry...

Amazingly enough, when I came back to sand it, it sanded down nice and smooth.
I nearly jumped up and down.

But the true test was how it would take paint.
So I grabbed the color I scoured FOUR wal-marts to get, Blue Ocean Breeze, and started spraying.

It worked.

I couldn't believe it.
If you look closely at the table now, you can see some of the outline to where the damaged parts were.
But it's pretty much a miracle in my eyes.

Here it is getting all gussied up in blue:

This project was full of mishaps, guys.
Aren't you loving seeing all the craziness??

I think it's nice sometimes to realize that not everything goes perfectly in the DIY world.
It's easy to think that it does when all the pictures are up and everything looks pretty.
But the real-life process just isn't always pretty.

Somehow, in the midst of painting, I thought that the wooden divider would be covered up.
I know, I know.
Don't ask me why.

But it didn't get painted.
Or noticed until it was already moved inside the room.
Did I mention this thing is heavy???

No fear though.
Somehow, I happened to have the exact shade of blue in my acrylic paint stash.
So it got a touch-up in the middle of it's photo shoot :)

Much better.

The boards that I had cut before for the bottom slid in easily.
The last piece was super snug so I tapped it in place with a hammer.
No need for any nails.
They are not going anywhere.

The inside of the drawer was another process.
Are you sensing a theme here??

Here's the quick run-down with the steps below:

1. Nasty drawer pretty much needed to be burned.
I cleaned and scoured and still couldn't handle the thought of putting anything in there.

2. I had some scrap MDF pieces from my parent's remodel and I cut them into squares with my miter saw. They fit like a puzzle into the drawer.

3. I painted them with trim white paint and then hot-glued them onto the bottom of the drawer.
Easy enough.
I also added some scrapbook paper to the inside.

4. The outside was painted the same Blue Ocean Breeze and glazed.

Now I can finally shush a little and let you just look at how pretty the pesky little piece turned out to be!!

I'm pretty sure I collapsed into an exhausted heep after finishing this one.
It took every last patient, creative bone in my body to get it back to being functional and pretty.

And now it gets to hold all my current favorite reads.
(I'm reading 'Water for Elephants' right now and it's ah-mazing!)

I definitely think it was worth all the craziness.
I love unique pieces and this one was a huge labor of love :)

But I love seeing it in the room so I'm happy it didn't end up in a landfill somewhere!

It was also glazed with my favorite black antiquing glaze and the knob is a piece I had on hand that I painted white.
I distressed it down to show some of the original antique brass underneath.

I think my favorite part about it is the weathered wood contrasted against the bright blue.

Didn't it turn out lovely?

And just in case you forgot how bad it all started out's one last look:

What do you think?
Was it worth all the sweat and work??

It's definitely my toughest 'trash-to-treasure' piece done so far.
By a landslide. 

I'll be back later today to give you the inside look of how I updated my lamps in the easiest way ever!!
You really won't believe how quick it was.
Hope you're having a great week so far!

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  1. This is gorgeous! I LOVE how it turned out!

  2. I love how it turned out. All that hard work was definitely worth it :)

  3. Wow...that turned out great! Paint(and the people behind the paint) can do amazing things. Looks awesome!

  4. Great job chica!! I love that blue color and the detail in the wood! Sometimes our toughest redo projects end up our favorite because they were such a labor of love! :) Love it!! {And the new room!} Have a great week! xo, Reannah

  5. HOLY COW!!!! Girl, you amaze me. Not only am i IN LOVE (and im so serious when i say that) with your aqua redo but your bedroom!!! AAHHH!!!! So So So beautiful.

  6. So worth it! This piece is a one of a kind- and it's perfect in this room! Love the style and detail on it! You have such talent and perseverance, way to do it lady! Looks amazing!

  7. o my gosh! this is sooooo pretty! :) I just love how it turned out! I also love to pick things up from the curb...but don't yet have my husband totally convinced...and I really want a truck so I can get everything I see!!! :)

    Brie @ BreezyPinkDaisies

  8. i love it! You did a great job. I am actually working on a piece like this right now. I hope to have it done soon! New follower here :) Visit me soon at so you can give me pointers on my creation!

  9. It turned out SO SO good! I love it! I Just found your blog today! I will def be back for another visit! :)

  10. That is amazing!! I can't believe you turned that piece of junk into something fabulous! I really like the weathered wood in the bottom, too. Great contrast!

  11. I think it came out amazingly! What an awesome piece of furniture. So jelly.

  12. That is amazing! I love how blogging has gotten me to look at furniture like that for the details not the color. Color can change easily but you can't just add that kind of wood detail. Love it and I hope you are having a great weekend! And I am a new follower!!


  13. That is amazing! I love how blogging has gotten me to look at furniture like that for the details not the color. Color can change easily but you can't just add that kind of wood detail. Love it and I hope you are having a great weekend! And I am a new follower!!


  14. Wow - that turned out to be a gorgeous table. I love it!

  15. I really love this makeover. Great job.

  16. This looks awesome. I love the detail and the color. Good job finishing it out...I know what you mean, I feel like I do most of my projects two or three times, that's how often things go wrong. I'm always glad I stuck it out though!

  17. I love this color! The table is wonderful too! I would have given up a while ago, I'm glad you stuck it out.

  18. Love this! so beautiful! When I have done my furniture transformations i am so scared to use colors other than white but this color is beautiful!! great job


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