Friday, January 11, 2013

Refurbished: Toddler Table

We were on kind of a tight budget this Christmas.  So I did quite a bit of shopping at thrift stores and watching the sales.  During my trips to a local thrift store I came upon this table and chairs.  You know the kind with padding and vinyl seats (usually some cartoon all over them).  Well it was in horrible shape and all the vinyl was ripped and padding falling out.  But it was $5 so I gave it a second thought.  I wanted to do a table for our twin girls and this price tag screamed "take me home and fix me".  So I did.  It took a few nights and a couple of naps and an extra $15-20 in supplies but in the end it saved me over the $45 price tag of a "cartoon table" and gave my girls an original without it being branded (which I absolutely love).

- junk table and chairs set (I have seen these at thrift stores a couple times since)
- wood filler/putty (large container $10 at Lowes)

- putty knife (on hand)
- paint ($1.50 on three different colors of acrylic paint and some leftover paint from my sister)
- stencils ($3 with a coupon at Hobby Lobby)
- spray paint (1 can primer and 2 cans color; I think I could have done one of each had I primed first...ooops;  total $8-10)
-painters tape (on hand)
- small detail art paint brush (on hand)
* I want to clear coat my finished product but haven't yet...table seems to be holding it's own without this

Step 1.  Get your table and chair down to the bare bones.  Tear all of the vinyl and stuffing off using a utility or Xacto knife (with great care of course).  I was lucky enough to have the vinyl in one piece for the back of the chairs.  This was left on and spray painted without issue. 
Table after the vinyl and foam had been stripped off

Step 2.  Use wood filler to fill in all the uneven and gaps on the table top and chair seats.  If you are fixing up a nicer table or one without particle board then you could skip this.  Using a putty knife or straight edge layer this on pretty smooth.  It doesn't have to be perfect as you will be sanding it before you paint.  Let this dry overnight.
Chair with wood filler spread over the seat...does not need to be smooth at this stage

Table with wood filler partially covering.  Wood filler was about 1/4"-1/2" thick.
Step 3.  Sand everything smooth.  I suppose you could sand before doing the wood filler.  I didn't do this as I thought the roughness would help the wood filler stick.  I also had some uneven cracking in the wood filler on the seats (I think because truthfully they had seen better days and were pretty beat up when I bought it).  I had run out of filler though and decided to not reapply more.

Blue chair has been sanded smooth...Red chair has wood filler that is still rough
Step 4.  Cover up anything you don't want painted with painters tape.  I cover up the plastic feet on the chairs and table.  I had read that spray painting these can leave paint scuffs and streaks on your floor (yikes!)

Step 5.  Prime.  Prime.  Prime.  You will save yourself the heartache I didn't.  This will help your spray paint look and apply better as well as (most importantly) give you even coloring that you chose.  My first round (with one red and one blue chair and a blue table) came out looking purple not pink and I knew my chair would be two different colors.  Please for the love of everything prime people!!

Painting in the basement...awesome advantage to an unfinished basement

Step 6.  Once your primer has dried...apply your spray paint color to both chairs and table.  Obviously you only need to paint the metal (I painted the wood underneath to cover up the prior owner's name and artwork).

Step 7.  Carefully paint your latex paint onto the wood table top and chair seats as to avoid painting the metal with it.  Let this dry completely.  

Primed, spray painted (pink) and latex paint (aqua)

Step 8.  Stencil your design or artwork onto the table.  You could free hand too of course but I am definitely not at the level and opted for the stencils.  Some people tape or use spray adhesive to do professional stenciling.  Once again I opted to simply trace the design with a sharp pencil and then fill in the design with paint.  This made it easier for me to see the whole picture before painting.  I did wipe off a couple things with light soft scrub and start over (so it never hurts).

Step 9.  Clear coat or shelac(?) once everything is complete.  I plan to do this still once the weather warms up here.  But in the meantime this table is holding up pretty well against two little two year olds who love it and use it everyday. 

Thanks for stopping by.  If you like this tutorial or project please leave comments.  If you actually use it to complete one of your own I would love to see pictures...share a link in the comments or email me. 

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