The coffee table of retro-ness


I love old stuff, vintage, retro, whatever. Old. I like it. That's why I like you.

I also love that you're reading this thinking, she thinks I'm old?!

Course not, I didn't mean you, I meant you!

Anyway, onto the dude of it.

A while back I bought a coffee table for £5 in the charidee shop here called Too good to waste. It sells old stuff cheap.

I thought it'd be perfect to go with our settee and armchairs which are very 70's. But it was orange.

Don't believe me? Here ya go.

2012-11-17 15.13.32

Orange isn't it. Told you so.

I love the shape of it though so I decided to sand her down and varnish her dark. In my mind I had a dark walnut colour but I chose dark oak in the shop so that's what we had.

So we got her outside, unscrewed the legs, unscrewed the leg plate things and got to sanding. I did the underside and Dus did the top. This was my first time sanding.....eee!

Essential pre-DIY drink preparation

Scraggerdy clothes, pink marigolds, Dus' pollution mask. It's a good look!
The area all around the working area was orange with sanded off varnish, icky! What's that? You think I posed for this photo, you don't believe I really did sanding?

Aha, how's that for proof! I thought Dus was taking photos, didn't realise he video'd me. At the end you can almost hear him say, "Good work Baby". Cute huh?

Anyway, so it was all sanded and lovely and so then I started varnishing. I did 3 coats of dark oak then three coats of clear. Just to be sure.

I forgot to take a photo of it sanded so here's a couple that I took just as I realised and before I'd finished doing a whole first coat!

It was quite nice sanded but I wanted it dark, dark I tell you!

Due to the fact that it rains here most of the time, and that week it rained EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I had to varnish it in the house. Plastic on the table and newspaper on top. 

Thou shalt bake cake for thine husband whilst coats are drying. (There's white chocolate stars in the jam in the middle). Serve said cake on a suitably manly handbag shaped plate. 

Okie doke then, the big reveal.


It's not raining today, it's been finished all week but I had to wait to take it outside to take photos! I did run up the garden to see the thermometer though. 1 degree C at ten to eleven. That's 33 degrees F. Brrr!

And because we all like a good before and after:

And then in the interests of keeping it real, here's a photo of it before I emptied it to take it outside to take a photo of it finished.

One day I'll get around to re-doing my settee too!

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  1. This looks great! I always love to see the re-do photos.

    I was laughing about the old business, too :)

  2. That coffee table came up a treat! I love its retro-ness and you brought it up to date while keeping it cool. The furniture restoring thing can be a bit addictive... you were warned. My first piece was also a coffee table and I have gone on from there. I like timber furniture (not that sawdust and glue stuff) but can't afford new. Hence I started buying old pieces and restoring them.
    The 'real' pic isn't quite real enough for our house... you can still see some of the actual table. lol.
    Oh yummo, that cake looks divine ...and the plate - perfect! And so manly ;) Dus must love it.

  3. I wouldn't advise varnishing the settee... The table looks great, I hate sanding with a passion. I started sanding our coffee table about 3 years ago. It's still half sanded...


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