I have to apologize for being away for a while. We have been in the thick of the homestudy portion of our adoption. We had our last meeting with our case worker this past week. She had to do “the house walkthrough.” This is where she looks at every room of our house. So needless to say, Grant and I have been working our booties off trying to pick up and clean faster than our boys made messes and destroyed. I was actually kind of disappointed that she didn’t snoop around at all. I took a lot of time organizing our medicine cabinet and color-coordinating the clothes in our closet. Okay, only half-kidding on the color-coordinating thing. But seriously, our house is the cleanest and most organized it’s been in a LONG time!
Okay, on to the real reason for this post. We finished the bedside tables for our bedroom. So I’ll give you the lowdown ahead. We wanted an industrial yet rustic/shabby look. Where do I go for ideas? Yup, you guessed it – Pinterest. I found this beauty online, and it was just what I wanted:
If you read their tutorial, this one table cost around $300, and that was the homemade, knockoff cost. Ouchers!! So what is a girl to do when she really wants to make these tables, but the cost is unacceptable? Simply make it work for less dough!
The tutorial used butcherblock, which can be hefty in price, about $100 or more for a slab of it. Instead, I went to one of my favorite places in the world: Lowe’s clearance section!
I found these bad boys, which kind of had the look of thinner butcherblock. I didn’t really like the color of them, but I had plans for that. And for the price, you can’t beat it! So I snatched two of these up and had the Lowe’s guys cut them for me (for free!).
I got them home and sanded them down. This is what I had to work with:
The wood looked way too new and brown for me. I wanted them older looking with a bit more character. I did a lot of research on aging wood. I decided to give vinegar and steel wool a try – who knew??!
Here’s what I started with:
I put a piece of steel wool into an old glass jar, and then filled the jar with vinegar and let it sit over night. I’ve read you can leave it for a week, or even up to months in the jar to give it more potency. But I’m no where NEAR that patient, so one night was hard enough for me!
Here it is all together:
And here it was the next day right before I was going to use it:
Gross, right? But amazing what this little mixture can do! Now I read to just take the steel wool out and use it to paint on the vinegar mixture. I tried that, and it left little tiny pieces of steel wool in my wood. So for the rest of the pieces I used a paintbrush.
Here is a piece of the wood as I was putting the vinegar on it – started changing right away!
And here’s a couple of hours later:
Cool, huh? I really liked how it started to take on an aged and weathered look!
Here’s another one:
So after the pieces dried, I really liked how all the grains stood out, but it was a little dark for me, and still too brown-tinted. So then I decided to white-wash. Now white washing has become my new favorite painting technique. Because you really can’t get it wrong, and there’s no perfect way to do it. Basically, I got an old yogurt container, filled it with a little white paint, added a hint of old gray paint, and then watered it down. It was maybe half water, half paint. Like I said, not a perfect science. This is how I do most of my cooking, by the way. Add a little of this, maybe a little more of that…..drives Grant nuts, but I hardly every use the measuring spoons. Anyway! Here’s what my mixture looked like:
So here was the fun part – paint on, wipe off! It’s that easy!
I waited about 3-5 minutes before wiping off the paint.
And now you can see a big difference between the one that’s done and the one that isn’t. If you can’t, I did a bad job.
Then it was on to the legs. These parts were the most spendy. I shopped all over town, and I even shopped in Fleet Farm while I was in Iowa recently. I must give a shout out to Fleet Farm, they did have the parts the cheapest, but Menards wasn’t far behind. I got what I could at Fleet Farm before I ran them dry, and then got the rest at Menards. Usually we find things cheaper at Lowe’s for our home improvement, but Menards surprised us this time! So I went to the plumbing section, and bought galvanized metal 3/4″ x 10″ nipples, and 3/4″ flanges. I was making two tables, so I needed 16 nipples and 32 flanges.
Not all my pieces are shown here, but I just want you to notice how new they look. Remember that I was going for an older, weathered look. So these things were way too shiny for me. If you go up to the link under my inspiration picture, you’ll read that they aged their pieces using all kinds of chemicals and a blow torch. First of all, we don’t own a blow torch, and second, we don’t know how to run a blow torch. And third, that just sounds like too much work. So that was out. Back to the internet I went for new ideas. Then I read about this miracle bottle:
Yup. Toilet bowl cleaner. Again amazed that the smelly blue stuff inside this bottle can make not only my toilets beautiful, but my tables beautiful as well!
Basically I dowsed the pieces in the toilet bowl cleaner and let them sit for a few hours. I would recommend wearing gloves when playing a lot with these sorts of chemicals!
After a few hours, wash them off well with soap and water, dry them as much as possible and then let them air-dry. And here’s what I was left with:
See how the shiny is all gone?
Now here’s where you get the hubs involved. And he’s usually pretty willing to help me out when it involves using his power tools!
Just simply screwing the legs on went pretty fast, and we were done in no time!
So here is the finished product:
And now here is what they are doing for us today:
I’m really happy with how they turned out! We are reaching toward the end of our bedroom work. We have one last big project left, and it is the biggest in that room. It involves the wall to the right of the table, and these: