Posts Tagged ‘Craig’s List’

In the last almost 4 years we’ve been married, we’ve never really gotten around to buying bedroom furniture.  For the most part, that’s been fine.  It’s not a room that most people see (well, except blog readers and us!).  We bought the essentials, a queen mattress and box spring, and a metal frame to pick them up off the floor, an inexpensive dresser, and a freestanding full length mirror from Target.  Combined with a handed down armoire and nightstand, and we had the basics.  Other rooms ranked much higher on the furnishing priority list.

As the last few years have gone by, though, my satisfaction waned with the situation.  I really wanted a bed.  A real bed.  With a headboard to lean against to read, and a footboard to keep the comforter off the floor (and ahem, out from under Guinness’ lounging furry self).

I tried really hard to convince myself not to give in, to wait until we were ready to buy an actual bedroom set.  It’s inefficient to bring in an imperfect piece of furniture only to replace in a few years.  But the last couple years since we’ve been in this house has made clear that we aren’t getting much closer to shopping for that bedroom set.  New priorities – house related, and non-house related – keep cropping up.  And that nagging want for a real bed remained.

So, after months of trolling Craig’s List, and a few listings that I lost out on to someone faster, this weekend we found, saw, and bought a bed frame!


I’d been looking for a slatted mission/shaker style bed, preferably with an arched head- and footboard.  Those don’t seem to come up very often.  I saw this one, though, the price was right, and it was awfully close to the target.

After we got it all set up, I was really glad we did it.  It is delightful to have side rails that take the place of a bed skirt.  What with sharing a bedroom with this character:

ease of vacuuming is a big plus.  The too-long bedskirt that we’ve used for the last few years was not a win on that count; it needed to be hoisted up to vacuum under.  Plus, it just looked sloppy and too big.   It just wasn’t working for me.  The footboard keeps the comforter from slipping off the foot of the bed and becoming a de facto dog bed, and the headboard keeps the pillows from doing the same thing at the head.  Reading in bed is a lot more comfortable, too.

There were a few things that surprised me, though.

– the headboard is really tall!

– it’s a lot bigger than the bare metal frame was.  There’s less room to walk around, even though it’s exactly the same mattress & box spring we’ve always had.  I was not anticipating that.

– we’ll need even tinier night stands than I’d expected as a result.

All in all, though, a very exciting second hand purchase!  Another score for Craig’s List.


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Continued from here and here

The legs of my end tables took 3 coats of paint to cover the primer completely.  Partway through the project, it occurred to me that it might not have been a well thought out decision to use a high gloss black paint and a satin finish polyurethane.  Alas.  I decided to finish them, bring them upstairs, and see how I liked them once we’d lived with them for a while.

Amerock  Antique Nickel 1-1/4" Leaf Knob

Once the enamel paint hardened, I replaced the knobs on the drawer fronts with new nickel pulls, and we were in business.

Admittedly the tables spent a couple weeks in the basement while we worked on the living room that they’d ultimately go into.  Now they’re upstairs, so it’s time…

Ta Da!  World, meet our “new” end tables:

I think the verdict is that I probably wouldn’t combine the high gloss and satin again, but they’ll be fine as they are.  Overall, I’m happy with how they came out, and very pleased with my first staining project.  This part makes me even happier with it:

Total cost of the project:

  • 2 end tables listed on Craig’s List – $30
  • 2 antique nickel pulls – $8
  • 1 half pint stain – $5
  • 1 half pint polyurethane – $5
  • 1 quart primer (to be shared with other projects) – $15
  • 1 quart black paint (to be shared with other projects) – $15
  • sandpaper – about $8 worth

So we’re looking at a total cost, excluding hours of my time, of about $86 for these tables, or $43 each.

Then and Now

Beat that, overstock.com:

L to R: Talisman 1-drawer End Table, $146.99 each; Yarra One-drawer Side Table, $159.99 each; Mission Solid Oak End Table, $327.99 each.

or Target:

Unfinished End Table with Drawer, $159.99 each (!!)

Game, set, and match to Craig’s List and my refinish job.  Sweet!

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Last spring, we really needed some end tables, so I picked up a pair on Craig’s List.  They weren’t particularly pretty, but they were inexpensive, and at the time I figured that, in the abstract, I could do “something” with them later.

As purchased

In their favor, they’re reasonably sturdy (or will be with a couple extra screws in the leg joints).  The con is of course that I don’t love the stain, the wood pulls, or the green legs.

So, I decided to make them over:  refinish the tabletop, paint the legs black, and replace the pulls.  Let me be clear, I have no real clue what I’m doing.  Painting, ok, I’ve done walls and cabinets, so this can’t be that hard.  But staining is definitely outside my repertoire of tricks.  But I figured, how wrong can it go?  The unlikely worst case scenario is ruining tables that cost me $15 each.  A middling scenario includes the staining not working out and the tables just getting primed and painted all black.  Still not a big loss.  For the win, I could learn a little about staining and come out with a pair of more attractive end tables.

So I embarked.  First to Lowe’s, to buy stain and related paraphernalia.  (We already had paint and primer.)  I checked out the sample pieces of wood, and opted for Cherry #235 – only the half pint size, since this could still be a colossal disaster in the making.  I liked the sample piece of oak stained in that shade at least as well as any other shade, and I gravitate toward cherry (or maple) furniture generally, so it sounded reasonable enough.  I also picked up polyurethane (half pint again, same rationale), foam brushes, and 220 and 60 grit sandpaper.  (We already had 100 and 120.)

First, I sanded down the tops.  And wow, was I unprepared for the effort that would take.  It was pretty brutal even with a sanding block and the loan of a power sander from our next door neighbor (who rocks, by the way).  Whew!  Several straight hours with the sander and 60 grit sandpaper, followed by the sander with 100 grit sandpaper, and finally hand sanding with 220 grit brought me here:

Happily, they sanded down pretty nicely and evenly.  I put the first coat of stain on, and it soaked right up:Ah!  Potential!  Not bad, huh?

Coat 2 darkened up the table top:

Hoping for just a little darker, on day #3, I applied a 3rd coat:

Ahh!  So much prettier than the original yellowy oak stain.  Onward with the polyurethane to protect my handiwork.

I opted for a satin finish, mostly based on my experience with paint that anything much glossier will show every imperfection in the surface.  Having a lamp on the surface can’t possibly help with that.

Like the stain, I’ve applied the first two coats of poly with a foam brush.  It’s coming along nicely, but there’s not a whole lot to see.  Coat 1 left the table top surprisingly rough, so I lightly ran the 220 grit sandpaper over it and wiped it off before coat #2.  It’s now starting to look much smoother, and the sheen is looking much more even.  It will be at least 3, but maybe more coats until it’s finished and I’m ready to move onto the legs of the table.  So far I’m pretty excited about how it’s turning out.

Painting and new hardware, coming soon…


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