Category Archives: Tables

Refreshing a Forgotten Table

Several years ago I used this round end table to demonstrate two Minwax® products: Water Based Wood Stain in Classic Gray and Polycrylic® Protective Finish. For some unknown reason, when I returned home, the table was placed in storage, where it soon became dirty and started falling apart.

Feeling guilty, I put the table on my workbench and started by cleaning off the dirt, grime, and cobwebs using  Minwax® Wood Cabinet Cleaner, which I knew would not harm the stain or the finish I had applied.

I then turned over the top, for I knew from experience that most wobbly tables do not need to be clamped and reglued. Instead, they just need the screws underneath that hold the legs in place tightened.

While I had originally applied two coats of the brush-on version of Minwax® Polycrylic® Protective Finish, I also knew that another light coat using the aerosol can would both give it more protection and bring the earlier finish back to life.

And as soon as it dried, I brought the little round table back into the house, where it will be far more appreciated than it had been in storage!

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!



Two Tone Stained Telephone Table Makeover

By: Guest Blogger

Taryn of Design, Dining, and Diapers shares her experience at the Renegade Craft Fair in Seattle with Bruce Johnson. See how she created a beautiful and personalized telephone table with Minwax® Water Based Wood Stains.

If you’ve been following me for while, you know that I love working with wood stain. I’m a stain girl. I typically stain projects versus paint them. Just my preference. I love seeing the natural wood grains shine through and I love the rustic look you can get with stains. Anything from a rich Dark Walnut for a polished look, to a weathered gray for a more farmhouse look. Which is why you can find all shades of Minwax® stacked in my garage at all times.

A few weeks ago the team from Minwax® came to Seattle for the Renegade Craft Fair and I had a chance to hang out with them for a bit and chat with Bruce, the ultimate stain master. I learned so much from him and I can’t wait to try out all the new techniques I heard about. After they event they sent me home with this adorable “Telephone Table” to play around with. It started out as a natural wood and I used the Minwax® Water Based Wood Stain to give it a personalized look.

Finished two tone telephone table

Minwax® recently launched their Made With Love campaign that’s all about giving a personalized look and feel to your pieces. Whether it’s refinishing a family heirloom, giving a personalized gift or making something meaningful for your home. I refinished this piece while keeping those things in mind. I wanted something personalized so I used tones that reflect my personal style and then added a personalized graphic to the top (keep scrolling).

Table with vintage bicycle knob

I switched out the basic wood knob and replaced it with a fun vintage bicycle drawer pull for an added touch of detail.

Close of table top

And here is where I personalized my piece. To some they are just number, but I actually used our area code to create a more industrial style for the “telephone table”. :)

Two tone telephone table finished

This piece was fun to create and I loved working with the water based stains. It was my first time using them so I thought I’d give a little tutorial on how I got this look.

Wood conditioner and sanding


Since the table was in pieces and hadn’t been put together yet, I laid all the pieces out first and worked on them before assembling the table. This gives everything a really great all-over stain. It started with the Minwax® Water Based Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner and let it dry. After this dries you will want to gently sand the surface down with a higher grit sand paper. 220+ works great.

Wood stain colors

Minwax® has TONS of beautiful water based stains to choose from. They even have lots of vibrant colors. But since you all know me I only work with neutrals and was drawn to their Sea & Sky color palette. For this piece I used a combination of the Pure White and the Slate. Also, the Water Based Stains need to be mixed at the hardware store. So you will pick up the tint base and take it to the paint counter to be mixed.

Staining the telephone table

I love the subtle look of the pure white. It really gives it a nice white washed look. I did 3 coats on my piece. I brushed the stain on and then you can use a paper towel to wipe off any excess stain.

Stencil and Minwax Express Color

For the top of the piece and the drawer, I used the Slate color. I will say, I expected this color to look a lot more gray and it turned out to be a lighter brown in my opinion. Maybe if you used multiple coats it would darken it and pull those gray tones out a little more.

For the personalized touch, I used my Silhouette to create a quick stencil and then used Onyx over it. Here is tip, if you are wanting to put stencils over stain, the water based stains are the way to go. When working with oil based stains the adhesive has a hard time sticking, but with water based it worked perfect.

To finish the piece, give it a coat of Minwax® Wipe-On Poly. It sealed it beautifully.

Everyone seems to know Bruce from Minwax®, he is so incredibly knowledgeable and talented and it’s always great to chat with him. I heard him speak at a conference a few years ago and it was great to get some 1:1 time together to talk stain.

Bruce Johnson at the Renegade Fair

Bruce let me in on a big secret (ok not really a secret) about using Wipe On Poly over chalky paint. It gives it a beautiful finish and you don’t have to use all the elbow grease putting on wax.

Minwax Wood Finishing Cloths

They also just came out with Minwax® Wood Finishing Cloths. These are awesome! They look and feel just like a small container of baby wipes. They come with 8 wipes of stain and they would cover a small piece of furniture. For only $8.99 this is a great way to go if you need just a little bit of stain.

Wood conditioner sample

We also chatted about the importance of using a wood conditioner as it helps the stain and really brings those wood tones out.

Minwax Water-Based Wood Stain

And if you are interested in working with the Minwax® Water Based Wood Stain, here is what they look like so you can spot them on the shelf.

Facebook Live at the Renegade Fair

Bruce and I also did a little Facebook Live session at the event, so click to view our chat!

What are your favorite ways to use stain?

Check out Taryn and Design, Dining, and Diapers for more DIY projects, home decor, seasonal and kid’s crafts and gluten-free recipes. Follow her on TwitterFacebook, Instagram or Pinterest for more. 

Create Your Own Contemporary Coffee Table

I helped my oldest son Eric move from his apartment in Utah to another in Georgia, where he has accepted a university teaching position. Unfortunately, his coffee table was no longer worth moving, for it had been made of painted particle board that crumbled under the slightest stress. In its place I offered to make him a simple table from real wood, and began by gluing together three boards: clear pine on the outside and a contrasting strip of cherry down the center.

After a light sanding and vacuuming off the dust, I brushed on the first of three coats of  Minwax® Polycrylic® Protective Finish, selecting a gloss sheen for a more contemporary look.

To continue in the contemporary vein, I decide to stain the pine base black. Minwax® offers a black stain in five different formulas, and for Eric’s table I selected Onyx in the  Minwax® Express Color™ Wiping Stain & Finish line. You apply it with a soft cloth and, unlike paint, the stain still lets the beauty of the wood grain show.

After staining the two ends, two side supports, and the lower shelf, I let them dry, then glued and screwed them together to form the base for his coffee table. Afterwards, I applied two coats of the same  Minwax® Polycrylic® Protective Finish I used on the top.

After everything had dried, I attached the underside of the top to the inside of the base with small L-brackets that no one will ever notice. As you can see, the strip of cherry helps relieve the large expanse of natural wood on the top.

But in our house no project is complete until Daisy gives it her wag of approval. “Just the right height for dog snacks” is what she’s thinking! In case you are wondering, this table measures 40” l., 22” w., and 16” h. And, yes, I softened the corners on Eric’s table after bumping my shins on my own coffee table corners too many times!

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!


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!