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Topic: Ugly old night tables get a new life!  (Read 18431 times)
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« on: August 05, 2011 08:27:02 PM »

Teaser photo!

So, I'm a lady on a budget.  A tight one.  But!  I am also a resourceful lady who likes to thrift shop, likes a challenge, and likes to make ugly and neglected things beautiful.  Ain't that lucky?

For about four years, I have been using some very ugly, very damaged, unmatching particleboard end tables as bedside tables.  They don't have drawers and are too short and too wide and too wobbly, and are just altogether unpleasant!  My cat chews on my glasses and my earplugs sometimes because I don't have a drawer to put them in.  Isn't that a sad story?  And I don't need to tell you how else a bedside table with a drawer might come in handy, am I right, friends?

I have been keeping my eyes peeled in stores for a pair of matching, petite night stands, but haven't been able to find anything in my super-teensy price range.  So when I came across an ugly, 1970's plasticized laminate set at the Salvation Army, I thought, "Dare I...?  Do I have the hubris to think I can solve a problem like Maria 1970's plastic laminate?"


The Sally Ann guy tried to sell me this set for $20.  Pffft!  I beat him down to $10 for the pair, citing their extreme unattractiveness, and we were off to the races.  While very ugly, the tables actually appeared to have been well cared-for... the drawers were clean as a whistle, and at some point, some 80's dude cared enough about them to replace the legs, and the pieces were nice and sturdy.  So I handed over my ten bucks and loaded them into the car.

First I cleaned the tables all over with rubbing alcohol, to remove any dirt and grease.  I then disassembled the tables as much as I could and sanded the laminate until it wasn't shiny anymore.  Sanding down the laminate was one of the most disgusting experiences of my life, you guys.  I inhaled more of the 1970's than Bill Clinton.  Hyuk!  Anyway, not to put too fine a point on it, but I was blowing plastic laminate boogies out for a week.  Don't be a hero, Craftsters... wear a dust mask!  I was outside on my apartment deck, so I didn't think I needed one, but boy, was I wrong.  After the sanding and the boogies and the tears, I primed the tables with BIN water-based primer-sealer, which has to cure for 7 days to really adhere well.  Longest week of my life!  I have no patience, at all.  After that painful waiting process, I finally rolled on a couple of coats of latex paint, and replaced the ugly old tarnished brass drawer pulls:

with new, modern pieces that cost me $3 apiece at the hardware store (see teaser, if you've forgotten).  Then I reassembled the pieces.  Ready?  Okay, LOOK!

I love the way they turned out!  I think they're well-worth my labour, and $16 plus paint.  I'm excited to see them in my new grown-up lady bedroom.

I would like to give shout-outs to two blogs that gave me a lot of great tips, and most of all, the courage, to attack a laminate revamp.  Censational Girl's incredible project gallery (http://www.centsationalgirl.com/project-gallery/) was so inspirational to me!  And a post from Living with Lindsay (http://livingwithlindsay.com/2009/05/how-to-paint-laminate-furniture.html) also provided some sage advice.  Yay, internet!

« Last Edit: August 05, 2011 08:45:36 PM by grammardog » THIS ROCKS   Logged
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2011 08:29:54 PM »

I want to see!!! The photos didn't show up though!
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2011 08:37:04 PM »

I want to see!!! The photos didn't show up though!

Oh, jeez... I am a master of messing up HTML.  I fixed it!
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« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2011 08:43:57 PM »

What a great update!   They look fabulous. 
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2011 09:18:04 PM »

Very impressive.  They look amazing.

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What a piece of work is man!

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« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2011 11:31:07 PM »

These look fabulous and I love your story. The Bill Clinton line cracked me up. I, too, need to use a dust mask when I sand/cut stuff!

« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2011 01:27:11 AM »

Thank you guys so much!
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2011 02:27:43 AM »

Awesome work! they look fab and you've given them years more useful life.
Well done for thrifty and craftiness!
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2011 05:45:13 AM »

From super ugly to super stylish!  Well worth the effort, I think!

« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2011 06:20:43 AM »

Awesome refurb! I think they would love some really bright paint or fabric on the inside, too.
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