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Refinished Table for Awkward Attic Space

Ah fall, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways. I love thee as much as Forrest Gump loves Dr. Pepper, as much as my son loves graham crackers, as much as Sherry @ Young House Love loves paint. Few things excite me more than candy corn (which I’ve already consumed a whole bag of), skinny jeans with boots, layering clothes, pumpkins, family time, and my birthday. And while it’s not technically fall yet, the temperature has changed and decently allowed me to work outside, a lot, on projects over Labor Day Weekend.

Labor Day evening, we attended a lovely wouldn’t-believe-you-were-in-the-city BBQ at the home of the Rock Star’s drummer (Bill). He is a newlywed and we love his wife Rachel, who happens to be a farmer who works with refugees. You won’t find much cooler or more interesting folks and we’re blessed to know them. Rachel has this insaaaane knack for shabby chic country decor awesomeness, as evidenced by their wedding, and last night’s backyard BBQ in the middle of the city honestly made me reminisce about fireflies in jars and Rachel’s homemade peach pie was to die for. It was an evening well spent, and I learned that the Rock Star’s lead singer gets cooking advice from his mom via The Pioneer Woman, which I find hilarious and I hope it doesn’t ruin his “rock star” image. I put that in quotes just to make him mad. 🙂

But on to the big news! My table, which I previously posted about here is finally finished! When I last left off, the stripping fiasco had led me to a conundrum and finally convinced me to buy a nice electric sander.

This is where it all began.

After stripping fiasco

So on the advice of my friend Kari @ Foreclosure 2 Fabulous, I hooked up that sander and went to town. After A LOT of work, the top looked like this:

And then after a lot MORE work, and removal of the legs, it looked like this:

The legs were the hardest part. I knew I couldn’t get them down to bare wood easily, and frankly I knew I wanted to paint the rest of the table, sans the top. Much like John and Sherry did with Clara’s dresser at, but you know, opposite. So the legs got the best-I-could-do treatment and then a layer of primer. The bottom of the desk also got primer and I taped it off because at this point I had already stained the top.

Ater sanding, beginning to prime



I stained the top with two layers of Minwax Ebony finish. I love, love, love, the dark color and the contrast with the white. Before staining, I used tack cloth to remove any dust particles. I also finished the legs and table base with semi-gloss white paint. It took about three coats. I also added two coats of Minwax polycrylic to the table top, sanding inbetween.


I assembled the table in our workshop before carting it up to the attic and accessorizing (the best part). It fit perfectly in the awkward attic space.

Accessorizing was easy. I had dreamed this entire project up as a place to display my vintage Underwood typewriter. I love the color and it has special significance seeing as how I’m an editor/writer in real life. I also needed to fill the vertical space, so I quickly grabbed some sticks (which are plentiful thanks to some recent storms) and sprayed them flat white. I placed them in my Pinterest Challenge painted Mason jar, which is matte black and I love. The cases underneath are actually the typewriter’s carrying case and a vintage suitcase I’ve had lying around.


I am so glad this project is over. I walk upstairs to my home office and smile now. It’s the first thing I see. I tend to find projects require so much more work than I expect, but the end result is so very worth the effort.

I spent $5 on this table. I purchased stain and polycrylic, tack cloth, and a new knob. Everything else I had on hand.

Cheers to repurposing what may have ended up in the dumpster!

P.S. Since I’ve been spending so much time there lately, I thought I’d give you a peek at our workshop. It was almost a reason not to buy our house since it takes up about 1/3 of the yard, but for storing my projects and working on them, there’s nothing better! The left side is a shed with gravel floor, great for storage and lawnmower/ladder duty, the right side is electrified featuring power tools, paint, screwdrivers and random projects too precious for the shed side. 😉 Please ignore the been-dead-for-a-year Topsy Turvey tomato planter. It should have been taken down a long time ago, but it’s too darn heavy, and there’s an albino spider living inside it.

It’s OK for girls to love workshops, right? Cause I sure do!

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8 responses »

  1. Very cool Erin!

  2. Great job, Erin! Very nicely accessorized as well. Is that vintage suitcase one of Grandma Great’s? It looks kinda familiar.

    • Thanks Aunt ‘Chele! Nah, it’s not Grandma’s; I found it at an estate sale. The guy practically begged me to take it away. I wish I had they eye I do now when we were looking through Grandma’s things. I’m sure I would have taken more!

  3. LOVE IT! I love typewriters too. If I get around to making some digital art, I’m planning on using a little typewriter graphic for my Keep Calm and Edit On sign.

  4. Looooove the table! A perfect solution for the legs. 🙂

  5. Love the two tone look and how you used old suitcases and an old typewriter! Looks fabulous.

    Thanks for linking to Totally Tutorial Tuesdays.


  6. oh so FINE now! Love all the accessories on the top! A black mason jar – awesome! 🙂


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