General Finishes gel stain - $19
Rags and gloves - $2
Refurbished castoff finds a new home in my living room – Priceless
I found this old, abused coffee table at the thrift store on a day Jeff happened to leave me the truck. It had been marked down several times and I had a coupon, so it was dirt cheap. Given its distressed state, I assumed I could always paint it, but the lovely diamond wood grain inlay seemed too pretty to hide. So I tried my favorite brand of gel stain over the original finish after cleaning and lightly sanding the whole piece (just to smooth the grain and spiff it up a bit after its hard life, not really removing all the original finish).
I only did two coats so as not to hide the grain, but I would have liked it just a bit darker. Yesterday I removed and spray painted the original pull with Rustoleum Oil Rubbed Bronze, reattached it, and now it takes its place in the living room among the thrift store leather sofa, Craigslist accessories, mill end fabric remnants, flea market armoire, and cast off free chairs. I think it will fit in just fine!
I've been using this one quart of gel stain all over the house, so I'm sure there will be some future posts of all the updated woodwork; it works wonders with old 70's orange-y oak trim!