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Second chances: a sweet yet rustic furniture restoration

You know that feeling when you take a chance, not necessarily knowing how it's going to turn out, but you are filled with courage and decide to go for it because it feels like the right thing to do?

That's exactly what led me to my most recent project, which I'm so excited to finally be able to share! About a month after I decided to start my interior design business, I went to The Great Big Home + Garden Show in Cleveland to get inspired, do some research, and see what opportunities might be in store. I came across a display of beautiful, unique furniture that had been refurbished by local designers and was up for auction, with the proceeds all benefiting ReStore for Habitat For Humanity. All I knew was that I wanted to be a part of it, and remember saying to my husband, "I would love to do that someday!" Feeling bold, I reached out to the show, introduced myself, and asked to be considered for a future opportunity... and they said yes! It was one of my proudest wins as an entrepreneur and designer, and I share that just as a reminder of how good things can happen when you believe in yourself, have confidence in your abilities, and take the chance of putting yourself out there. Sometimes it's much easier said that done, but at the end of the day, what do you really have to lose?

On that note, here's the piece I chose to restore for this feature: a classic, American-made wood table with quality craftsmanship and a timeless style. Whether functioning as a coffee table, side table, or even a kids craft table, this piece could easily transition over the years. I had saved a few inspirational photos from Pinterest, so after deciding what style I wanted to go for, here's what I did next:

First things first: sanding, sanding, and more sanding. Luckily, this table was only varnished and didn't have an existing layer of paint, but sanding allows you to get down to the grain of the wood so the paint will adhere much better.

Next, I painted the base of the table. I chose a matte French country blue shade, but as can happen sometimes in design, the vision you had in mind just does not seem to translate.

Let's just say, between running out of paint, being hit with a polar vortex and below freezing weather in Cleveland, and feeling like the color just wasn't giving me life, I searched through the leftover paint samples we had from redoing other rooms in our home and found this bright, cheery aqua to cover it with instead: Sherwin Williams Breaktime.

Typically if you are refinishing furniture, you want to use spray paint - it provides a smoother finish, and takes less time to apply. But given the extreme cold and being unable to spray paint outside, I had to go with traditional paint. It does make more work as you may need to apply the paint even more carefully, check for and sand away drips, and follow up with touch ups, but that's the true goal, right?

To create something you love, while designing within your means and conquering unexpected circumstances?

After repainting the base, I wanted to try out a new technique for the table top using a buffalo plaid pattern. I found this super helpful, super easy tutorial on Pinterest, and choose Sherwin Williams Agreeable Gray for the base and Online for the plaid stripes.

I definitely wanted to add some vintage charm with lived-in, distressed hardware, and found these perfect corner brackets from Amazon:

I added two on each corner: one right underneath the table top, and one towards the end of each square post:

Finally, I sealed it with a light coat of Valspar Limewash Glaze.

Now, for the styling! I wanted to find a few rustic, farmhouse style pieces to compliment the table's design and aesthetic. I pulled together decor items from different rooms in my house, and played with a few different vignettes and options mixing florals, candles and wood and metal accents.

I ended up going with a white chalk painted Mason jar with twine trim, a farmhouse-inspired black and white vase with greens, a wire basket and tin display stand for pears, and a twine wrapped tin candle on a wooden serving tray:

So, here's the finished piece! A sweet little table refinish, with classic, vintage appeal and a hint of fresh personality.

I'll admit, after all of the time spent on this one, I was a bit sad and hesitant to let it go...but being reminded of the good cause it's in support of, and hoping that its new owners will love it as much as I do, made it easier to move on. Now I'm totally ready to take on the next project...and feeling empowered to take that next chance.

*This post contains affiliate links to some products used in this post.