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Side Table Redo & A Craigslist Adventure

January 20, 2014

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This project has been a long time coming.  I kind of feel like I am taking my whole family along for a ride with my design challenge.  I had been scouring Craigslist for actually MONTHS for side tables for my living room.  Finding the right combination of style, size, location, & price can take patience, and in my case, it finally happened, although it does have a funny story behind it.

Craigslist can be an interesting animal, at least with my experiences.  Bringing people together who would otherwise not meet can bring out some personality quirks.  This time did not fail me.  As I declared the first week in December that “I FINALLY FOUND THEM!” to my husband, he went along with my antics as I proceeded to email the anonymous person with MY side tables in a neighboring city.  We are both very cautious when it comes to Craigslist, so I was still a little skeptical that we would end up with them.

In the end, we arranged to meet to view them (high finances taking place here!)   With my husband in tow and my dad driving his truck for transport (thanks Dad!) I could hear the judgment in his voice asking where I knew this person from.  You have to picture this; I am in my late thirties, been married for over 18 years, and my dad in his 60’s.  I guess you never stop being a protective parent.  Back to the story at hand, we entered the apartment of the side table seller and there they were: two of the most hideous blond oak tables known to man.  I glanced over at my husband and the look I got was not reassuring.  He actually said out loud, this is your deal.  The funny part was that I could tell from the apartment that the man was single and was very proud of his place.  He claimed these pieces had been in the family for years, but he had purchased a new set to better suit his place.  I looked around, and the new pieces looked almost identical to the ones for sale.  I smiled and asked for a discount.

The looks of confusion did not stop when I got to the car where my dad was waiting to load and again at the house when family came to visit.  We were due to leave for a trip the next week so the tables were destined to wait as my head wondered if I had made the right decision.

Now, on to the design part: when I created the design plan for my living room I found a pair of designer tables that retailed for $1000 each.  I fell in love with the simple lines, color, and two tier design.  With several stand-out furnishings in the room, I wanted these tables to take a supporting role.  Hence, a $2000 price tag did not stand to reason.  Here is my design concept sheet for the side tables showing the designer table on the left.

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I ended up paying $40 for the tables and $40 on two sanding pads and 6 cans of spray paint.  So my $80 was a gamble I was willing to take to make this happen.  These 24”x24” tables are solid oak and have a similar detail at the top to the designer table.  The legs are not as refined as the designer piece, but for the price, I could not pass it up.

Here was my simple process: I sanded down the tables lightly with a 180 very fine grit contour sanding sponge.  With a damp rag, I wiped down the tables removing dust and debris.  Next was the painting with Rust-Oleum Satin Paint & Primer in One in Espresso Brown.  I ended up using one can per table for the first coat, let it dry for one hour, then applied a second coat using again, one can per table.  I let them dry overnight, then the next day did some touch ups using a 1/2 can on each of the tables.

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I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE them!  My instincts were right with the lines of these pieces.  They fit perfectly into my design and my living room.  I am glad I took the chance and trusted my designer mojo.  My Hurry Up & Wait Challenge has been so rewarding to me and my husband.  I even have him excited to look for items off the list for killer prices.  Every purchase has an intention and I have confidence that it is not money wasted.

Another one bites the dust!  Check.

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One Response to “Side Table Redo & A Craigslist Adventure”


  1. […] Most people are lacking an ample amount of light sources.  In a room with no built in fixtures, I needed a fair amount of lamps to illuminate the room.  You already saw the two blue lamps from my entryway that is essentially in my living room here.  I also posted about a floor lamp here.  To round out the lighting I was looking for some mercury glass table lamps for my end tables that flank the sofa (the same ones I purchased on Craigslist and did a redo on here). […]


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