Do It Yourself- Pedestal

The Find

I found a pedestal side table a while back that really needed some work done to it.  The table top was dirty, faded and was white with green flecks coming through where the white paint was chipped. The pedestal base was finished in a glossy dark stain and it was chipped and was looking worn.  With further inspection I realized that the previous owner of this piece had made this side table out of the bottom half of a tall wood coat rack and the seat of a counter stool. The top part of the coat rack was cut off and the seat of the stool was unscrewed from the base and affixed to the bottom of the coat rack. I thought it was pretty creative and it deserved a new life.

The Plan                                                                                         

It is very easy to get carried away with painting things white. I had completed this pedestal the same time as the vanity and I thought I better broaden my vision and move past the white finishes. I did something that I have never done before; stain wood.  My plan was to sand the old paint off the table top (the old seat) and stain it and also do the same to the legs (base), sand the old stain finish off and re-stain it.

What was needed

  • 1 can of MinWax stain
  • 1 foam brush
  • Drop sheets (large piece of cardboard works great)
  • Face mask
  • Electric sander
  • 80 grit sandpaper
  • Star nose screwdriver
  • Tack cloth

The Task

The longest part of this job was sanding the table top. There were 3 coats of thick high gloss paint on it. First the white, then an avocado green, then a peach colour, and they all had to go. I took the table top off and sanded for what felt like hours and hours but once the top and bottom of the table top was done, it was a fresh piece of wood waiting to be stained.  Then I did the base and legs. I took the base apart and sanded each leg individually until they were ready to be stained. The stain on the legs came off a lot quicker and a lot easier than the tabletop which made up for some time.  Once the stain was dry, I put the table top and the legs back on the base and I was done.

Finished Product

The finished product after I was done!

Lessons Learned

  • I read somewhere that a foam brush was not suitable to use while staining, I used one on a smaller piece and it was fine. That being said, I’m not sure how it would be on a larger job such as a floor or really expensive high quality wood.
  • When sanding something that has a lot of thick layers on hard wood, as opposed to a soft wood such as pine, use low grit sandpaper so you can get through the job faster.


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