Friday, August 5, 2011

Bedside Tables - After

They're FINALLY finished!

Silly me, I thought this would be a fairly quick job. (Don't I always think that?)  Unfortunately, they took two weeks to complete from purchase to listing - but that's what happens when it's 108 degrees.  I didn't want to move my workbench (who are we kidding - it's an air hockey table in the garage) into the house, so that meant my time was limited to really early and really late.  And I don't wake up really early if I can help it.  I don't even like waking up kind of early.

Remember the before?

Here they are now!

As I mentioned in this post, the wood was incredibly dry and the finish was peeling and flaking off.  I completely sanded the old finish off the tops and stained them a beautiful color:  Minwax Jacobean.

It was my first time staining and one top looks fantastic (pictured below), the other was a little splotchy.  I probably should have used wood conditioner.  Live and learn.

The goal was to use supplies I already had on hand to maximize potential profits.  I'm a big fan of color, so the only white I had on hand was a quart of custom-mixed semigloss from four years ago.  I kid you not.  It was one of those cans I probably would have discarded long ago if I ever bothered to find out how to properly dispose of paint.  (I think latex is okay to just throw out, right?  I mean, I wash it down my sink.)  Sorry to disappoint you if you needed the paint color, but it's just white with gray undertones.

(Totally off topic:  Did anyone see that episode of Sarah's Summer House where her husband Alexander is joking that all of her off-whites are really just white and Sarah was trying to keep her cool?)

The bedside tables definitely needed a coat or two of primer.  But since I didn't have some on hand (and I was trying to be cheap), I skipped that step.  Which meant that I had to do about 3 1/2 coats of paint.  It stuck well because the wood was so dry, but the dryness also meant the wood soaked up the paint like a sponge.

I spray painted the original hardware with oil rubbed bronze.  I also spray painted the grates, but you can't really tell, so that was a complete waste of a couple of yards of Frog Tape (which the boyfriend brought home as a present - isn't he the best?).  I went back and forth between glazing them or not, but in the end I think the details look pretty nice without the glaze, so I skipped it.  Honestly, I'm a little hesitant to try glazing on a product I want to sell since I've never done it before.  And sometimes things are better left undone.

I listed them this morning for $150 for the pair and hopefully they'll sell around that point.  That's on the high end of what I usually sell things for, but they are very solid, wood furniture and I put a lot of work into refinishing them.  In the end, I did buy new brushes and the stain, so my total investment (not counting my time) is $45.  As a rule, I always try to get about three times my investment.  I don't always get that - especially if I resell a piece without doing any work to it (love the flip pieces!) - but it's a nice place to start.

This brings up a topic I've been wanting to kind of address.  I'm obviously not at the point in the furniture rehab business that I'm making a living.  I hope to one day make more money, but right now I'm still learning and amassing supplies, so I'm happy when my profits cover groceries for the month.  One day I'll get a paint sprayer and be able to turn over a piece in a couple of days rather than two weeks, but right now I'm okay with doing a couple of pieces a month.

I've had a few private debates with myself about detailing on this blog the amount of money I buy and sell furniture for.  I don't want it to come off as braggy in any way (although I love bragging about a good deal I scored).  I would hate for someone who bought a piece of my furniture to one day find this blog and feel like I ripped them off because they paid $150 for something I paid $45 for.  However, I'm not running a charity and profits have to be made.  I don't think this blog will ever be a go-to source for tutorials, but I want to be upfront about the money so that another mom reading this blog who is maybe thinking of rehabbing furniture themselves will be able to learn a little from my experiences.

Anyway, sorry things got so wordy.  Have a happy Friday and I'll be back on Monday to show you my latest awesome Craigslist score (this one is for keeps... I think.)

Furniture Feature Fridays 


  1. This post is so helpful! I have debated selling some of the furniture I rehab but have been a little intimidated to start. So keep posting all your great tips:)

  2. Love the tables, and your honest post! Good Luck, your work is beautiful!

  3. Just found your blog and love it and all the redos you've been doing. I've been thinking about maybe doing this as a fun side job, so all the prices and the time you've put in refinishing the pieces are SO informative. I think your pricing is fair - refinishing furniture takes a lot of work, time, and talent.

  4. Just found you through "Fingerprints on the Fridge" blog party from last week.
    I am a new follower. #10!