Craigslist Find: Duncan Phyfe Dining Room Table, Part 2
Just thinking about this dining room table rehab I get exhausted. I’m so thankful I did it, but man oh man I wasn’t prepared. We bought the dining room table and the dresser and nightstand set at the same time and having both of those monster projects staring me in the face everyday was very intimidating.
So, you’ve all seen the cushions for the chairs in part one. After I wrapped up that piece of the project, I started sanding. I hate sanding. There is no one on this earth that even has a molecule inside them that enjoys sanding. Everything was in worse shape than I originally realized. The chairs were a disaster with broken spindles and were rickety. Not to mention the table had more scratches than the floor of a roller rink.
I thought using an electric sander would be the answer to all of my problems but it really wasn’t. I found I was a more effective sander doing it the old fashioned way. Don’t get me wrong, the electric sander was a great assistant, but it didn’t make my life 100 percent easier.
As for the stain, I knew I wanted it to be slightly darker than the original color for two reasons: less sanding and to cover up the marks and scratches. I also wanted a nice contrast with the other furniture pieces I was picking out for the open concept living/kitchen/dining room in our new home.
I was able to get through sanding the table relatively quickly, at least a lot faster than I thought. It was the chairs. The chairs, the chairs, the chairs. I would get done sanding one and then revisit the next one about three days later (or more). It was exhausting, but my saving grace was the Minwax two in one stain and polyurethane I chose by accident. I had no idea it would actually make my life easier.
Once I had sanded everything (very lightly because it was so much work) with fine sandpaper #220, which the Minwax directions on the can recommended, I started staining. I did the table first because it seemed easier and more straight forward than the chairs. I did two coats on the tabletop and the legs. After the second coat I realized there wasn’t that much of a difference from the first, so I decided to only do one on the chairs (also because once again, the chairs kicked my butt).
I tried to do two chairs each time I worked on them, but that only happened the first time. It took me over a month to finally finish this project. The last two chairs stared at me for a while so I convinced my boyfriend to do them with me. This was the day before we moved. Yes, THE DAY BEFORE we moved. Then, with the help of my lovely, Dad, Shawn (see wild game made tasty), we screwed (with new, larger screws) the reupholstered seats back onto the chairs. DONE.
This was the longest and most intimidating project I’ve completed so far, but I’m so glad I did it. The table and chairs look beautiful in our dining room and every time I look at it I just feel so proud. (Insert blushing smiley emoji here). I highly recommend the Minwax two in one stain I used. If anything made my life easier during this project that was it. I also recommend forcing someone to help you. The extra hands will save you many hours and tears.
Table & chairs on Craigslist: $150
Minwax two in one stain and polyurethane: $15
Multiple foam brushes: $5
Fabric for reupholstered chairs: $30/yard (but 50% off at Jo-Ann’s), three yards
Approximate total = $221
Most dining room tables at furniture stores are hundreds, if not thousands more than this cost. If you’re willing to put in the work, you’ll see some major savings! Tell me about your furniture savings from thrifting and refinishing!