After we finished our family room renovation, I have been looking and looking for a table. I had my heart set on a really thick, slab table. But, my budget wasn’t really wanting to spend the thousands they are selling for!
Here are some examples of some slab tables I have been looking at…
Of course, my favourite ones are the ones over $10,000.
But… this is what I bought!
So, as you can see, I didn’t actually buy a table… I found a guy on Kijiji that hand picks wood from South America, and then ships it back to Canada. He sold me this unfinished slab for about 1/4 the price of the ones I had been looking at! But… the catch was, it was just a hunk of unfinished wood. Lol
So, we started by sanding it down. I started with about an 80grit sandpaper. I used my rotary sander. Sorry, didn’t take a picture. The man who sold us the table was kind enough to come over and give us a hand with the sanding, and I didn’t want to freak him out by taking pictures. Trust me, sanding is not that exciting…
I really love the natural imperfections of the wood, like the worm holes. The table is also 3 inches thick, which makes a huge difference to the feel and quality of the table. The first step was to do a coat of wood conditioner. I have never used this before, but it did seem to bring the grain of the wood out…
Then, I let it dry for a day. It probably didn’t need to dry for that long, but this March/April when I did it, the weather was not exactly cooperative. We had to wait u TIL it was above freezing for a few days in a row before we could start.
So, when it finally got warm enough, I started with the first coat of varnish. I used a satin finish varathane. It was so exciting putting the first coat on… ok, maybe exciting is a bit of a stretch, but it was really cool to see the wood grain coming out.
I forgot to mention that I did the underside first. I did two coats of varnish to the bottom, but didn’t bother to sand in between. But when the underside was dry, we flipped it over and I started on the top.
I was a lot more careful with the top. I used a rag to apply the varnish, then wiped off all of the excess varnish immediately. In between each coat, once the varnish was totally dry, I sanded with 400 grit sandpaper, then wiped down with a clean cloth.
While I was waiting for varnish to dry, I spray painted the table legs. I decided to go with a hammered dark finish. I wanted the focus to be on the table top, so I picked a colour close to the colour of our wood floors so it would blend in.
Just a warning, as usual, painting, staining and varnishing are not good for keeping your manicure looking nice…
I ended up either putting 6 or 7 coats of varnish, and sanded between every coat. Honestly, I think it was 7, but the whole process took about a week, so who knows! We set up in the garage, because the varnish does smell quite a bit when it’s wet.
Anyways, we moved the table inside, covered the floor in a blanket and flipped it upside down to attach the legs.
I had to add washers because the holes were too big. And, I added plastic floor protectors to the bottom. The only tricky part was figuring out how far apart to put the legs. I ended up measuring so the two chairs would easily fit between the legs.
So, drumroll please…. here is the finished table! The great news is that I love it… the not so great news is that I decided I didn’t really love the old kitchen chairs anymore!
The good news is that I found some new chairs for a great price on Kijiji….
But, then (more bad news) I decided I didn’t love them as much as I thought.
But good news again, I sold them, and found some even better ones!
Sorry, to put you through the emotional rollercoaster of my chairs dilemma, but the great news is that in the end, everything worked out great! I love the table, love my new chairs, and ended up saving quite a bit of money for my time!
I’m really looking forward to the summer…I’ll have lots of extra time soon! Only 13 more days of school left!
I’ll share what I’ve been working on soon, I somehow became in charge of all the props and costumes for our school musical… want to know how to make a swan costume out of old tshirts, or make seven dwarves costumes out of sweatshirts? Then I’m your woman!