Monday, July 21, 2014

The "Free" Craigslist Table

One rainy weekend this past spring, I was going through withdrawals because all of the garage sales and flea markets were rained out. So I did something I don't usually do. I looked at the strange but wonderful world of "Free Stuff"on Craigslist.

For those of you who don't know, there are the most amazing free things on Craigslist. You can get free sofas that look like they have been through Armageddon, with really disgusting stains and torn fabric.

You can get dressers with missing drawers and broken legs. You can get "free" items delivered with a $200 delivery charge. And my personal favorite, free clean dirt. An oxymoron if I've ever heard of one. (I'm sure it's probably some sort of construction term, but I still chuckle every time I see the term.

And then my eye caught this listing. "Cleaning out rental house - come get this round table and chairs". Since it was less than a mile from my house, I grabbed my keys and youngest son (he was really thrilled with this adventure) and prayed the whole way the table would still be there.

It was. Sitting out in the rain. A beautiful table with leaves and four chairs. A little worse for the wear, peeling polyurethane, layers of dirt and grime, but structurally intact. My son and I loaded them in the car and proceeded home. About halfway home, my son turns to me and says, "Mom, this thing really smells." We roll down the windows and the whole way home I'm thinking to myself, "Now what have I got myself into?"

I put fans on the furniture for several days to dry it out. Fortunately, the water damage was minimal and there didn't appear to be any warping. Here's the table and the chairs in all their beauty:

I sanded, vacuumed, bathed the table and chairs in gallons of TSP, and then put two coats of shellac on the pieces so the "smell" would stay put. Then after several layers of primer, I stained the top with a "kona" colored stain that had built in poly. I honestly don't remember what this product was, but I know I'll never use it again. It was really troublesome and difficult to work with because the poly set up so quickly.  (I threw the remainder of the tube out so I wouldn't be tempted to use it again!) Then I painted the base of the table and chairs in ASCP Pure White and sealed everything with wax.

I sold the table and chairs within hours of placing it on Craigslist. I probably didn't ask enough money, but I figured that since I got the table for free, it wouldn't be good karma to gauge the price up. I know it's in a good home with the young family that bought it.

The moral of the story: sometimes "free" stuff on Craigslist isn't really free in terms of the time and effort spent into restoring it!

 photo signature_zps552cb1e1.png

I'm joining:

Metamorphosis Monday
Wow us Wednesdays
Furniture Feature Friday


  1. That's a beautiful makeover - lucky family who bought it!

    1. Thanks Suzy-Q! Your makeovers aren't too shabby, either!

  2. Awesome makeover...I just love the power of paint!

    1. And the power of sweat labor! Did you notice my backlinks are working? Thank you SO MUCH for your help! xoxo

  3. This looks great! I too am in the business of refinishing furniture, Sassi Trash! I know different areas get different prices for their pieces, some higher some lower. I was wondering how much you sold this piece for. Just wanting to see if I am in the right ballpark figure! Thanks so much!