Coffee Table Top Makeover

My son Blake will be changing apartments soon, which prompted me to dig this oak coffee table out of our barn. Actually, I should say “partial” coffee table, I made this coffee table for an HGTV show more than a decade ago, but the green tile top had since been dropped and broken.

I started by cleaning off years of dirt and grime using Minwax® Wood Cabinet Cleaner. Later, I would mist it with a coat of Minwax® Clear Aerosol Lacquer to give the wood more protection and bring the earlier finish back to life.

For the new top I selected a piece of half-inch oak plywood, but rather than stain it a traditional brown, I decided instead to apply a coat of “Classic Black” Minwax® PolyShades®, a one-step stain and finish that still allows the grain of the wood to show.

The problem with plywood, however, is that the edges and end grain are unsightly, so I wanted to disguise them with a band of trim.

To disguise the rough, layered plywood edge, I took four pieces of 1” x 2” poplar and stained them with Minwax® Wood Finish™ in “Sedona Red” to also serve as a frame around the black top. I then glued and nailed them around the four sides.

With the new top now attached to the 15-year-old base, what had nearly been forgotten and discarded is now a sturdy, durable coffee table ready to withstand the use and abuse any medical student can dish out!

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!

Bruce

A Cure for Rotted Wood

Many people often confuse Minwax’s Wood Putty, a soft, tinted material used to fill nail holes, with Minwax® High Performance Wood Filler which is used less often, but plays an important role in repairing rotted wood, such as what I found in this pine table which has sat on my deck since 1998.

High Performance Wood Filler consists of two substances:  the filler in the can and the hardener in the tube. Following the directions on the can, I mixed the two together…

… then packed it into the void where the rotted wood had fallen out.

After it had dried and hardened, I used a coarse file to remove most of the excess Wood Filler, then followed with #120-grit sandpaper to level the Wood Filler with the surface of the surrounding wood.

Quick Tip:  To make my patch look more realistic, I used a hobby knife to cut grain lines into the smooth, hardened Wood Filler.

I then applied a fresh coat of Sherwin-Willliams WoodScapes exterior house stain to my deck table, and, as you can see – or not see – the Wood Filler made the rotted section (front right) nearly disappear.

Until next time,

Measure twice, saw once!

Bruce

Is it Old — Or a Reproduction?

I was in a hotel lobby recently when I heard two ladies exclaiming how much they loved this antique sideboard. I looked around and saw three more identical sideboards, which confirmed my suspicion:  this was a reproduction. But what made it look old?

First, fake wormholes. You can do the same on one of your projects using a hammer and a small finish nail. To highlight your new wormholes, simply rub on Minwax® “Dark Walnut” Wood Finish™ Stain after your final coat of clear finish has dried. The stain won’t penetrate the Polyurethane finish, but will lodge in the holes you have created.

Next, pegged joints. Like wormholes, you can add a fake antique peg to any new project by using either a narrow chisel (for a square peg hole) or a 3/8-inch drill bit (for a round peg hole). Create the hole, add a drop of glue, tap in your peg, and sand it flush with the board. Again, just a little Minwax® stain will make the peg stand out — and will fool your guests, too!

Final Tip:  Before doing any “faux antiquing,” study some authentic antiques, like this 1910 sideboard, to see exactly how — and where — you would expect to find wormholes, pegged joints, and worn areas.

Until next time,

Measure twice, saw once!

Thanks –

Bruce

 

 

 

Repurpose Wooden Crates with This Project

Wooden crates are very popular right now, both unfinished and vintage, for in addition to being inexpensive and sturdy, they are also versatile.

My latest project involved two unfinished crates, which I stained using Minwax® Gel Stain in the “Coffee” color. I selected gel stain because its thicker consistency helped me control the stain in and around the many slats in each crate.

I then picked up one of my latest favorite components:  a pre-glued, non-plywood, wide panel of pine boards. They save time and they save you from making a mess when gluing narrow boards together. They also stain much better than plywood.

I could have left it natural for a contrast to the crates, or stained it a different color, but this time I opted for a more traditional look. Once again, I reached for Minwax® Gel Stain in “Coffee” and finished the crates with two coats of Minwax® Fast-Drying Polyurethane for the protection.

By standing the two crates on end, I created a table tall enough to go against the back of a sofa or the end of a bed, and the crates provide great storage for magazines and books. But you could also do something a little different ….

Simply by turning the crates on their sides, I could create a lower coffee table to sit in front of a couch – and I still have the storage space inside each of the crates.

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!

Bruce