This photo inspired me to change our too big, rectangular breakfast table to a round one, hoping to relieve the traffic flow in the small area.
I knew the next breakfast table had to be exceptionally strong and stable as my 15 year old son leans and rocks away from the table in his chair. Everyone has complained that it’s like eating at sea! It also had to be affordable as I would be needing new chairs.
Luckily, this item (below) came up on Craigslist. When I bought it for $60 I told them they could keep the chairs as I had other plans.
I wish I had the original picture as this table came with four chairs that were your typical 1970’s / 80’s variety – extremely solid, thick chairs with low backs that really dated the entire table. The original chairs were similar to these in this photo of another table – I’m sure you’ve seen something like them!
Looks can be deceiving so you have to keep focused on the bones of a piece. Some things I immediately liked about it:
Image wise it fitted my inspiration photo pretty well.
Pedestal – I really liked the curves of the pedestal. A central pedastal, as opposed to legs, allowed a lot of leg room.
The diameter of the tabletop fitted the space nicely and it comfortably sat four.
Extremely solid and stable. The surface is at least two inches thick.
Price – $60. I mean can you beat that?
Color – I could clean it up, re-stain in a similar color which would limit the amount I would need to sand. Honestly, I am always looking for projects that are easy to sand and prep; if they are close to the original color I want to redo it in that means a lot less prep time. If they have one coat that would be easy to take off that is even better.
Remember, one problem with a stained piece is that you will seldom get it to the exact color that a stain chip offers; you have to factor in the original color that is seldom completely sanded from a piece.
Because I wanted a bit of definition from the original stain, I used the Mouse Sander to bring down the tabletop to almost, but not quite, bare wood.
I started with Cabots’ Black Walnut, mixed with some Valspar Antiquing Glaze (Asphaltum). After two coats of stain it was topped with Valspar Clear Mixing Glaze tinted with Valspar Antiquing Glaze (Asphaltum).
For protection, I went with three coats of matte Wipe-On Poly from Mini-Wax with two coats of glossy Wipe-On Poly for an extremely durable finish.
The bottom section was lightly sanded. This turned out to be a bigger job then I anticipated because the curves made it a slow, by hand, job. Beauty had it’s price!
After sanding, the pedestal was painted a chocolate brown and topped with Valspar Clear Glaze tinted with Asphaltum. The advantage of a glaze is that it has a slow drying time, giving you more time to work it.
The tables’ original chairs had backs the same height as the table. With thes new chairs, the higher backs give more visual interest. They contemporary design also nicely updates the table.
Although, normally, I love chairs with arms this breakfast nook didn’t have the space. Instead these armless chairs snugs into the table, providing more walk around room. The chairs’ black finish provides a contrast to the brown, brings out some of the black glaze, and isn’t matchey-matchey.
Price: Table ($60), four chairs ($160), stain, sanding papers, glaze, tint etc… were divided between several projects so I’m guesstimating it was about $40 or less. This project was easily less then $300 for the table and four chairs.
And glad to report that husband is also very happy with the result.