Friday, September 2, 2011

Awesome Possum!

Don't worry, Possums have nothing to do with this post, just so you know. (And yes, I know that that is not how you spell Opossum--gosh. stop looking at me with your judging eyes. ;)


Alrighty, so my living room is a bit drab because my one roommate moved away and took away all our fun decorations. So now I have to come up with stuff for the walls. Fortunately I have couches already and they are awesome. I've been debating on whether I should get a coffee table or an ottoman because we, okay, I desperately need something to put my feet on when I watch TV in the living room. I finally decided on a coffee table. The next day I got an IKEA catalog in the mail.

So I found one for $40 that I liked okay and figured that I would probably spray paint it or something to change the color (it was a dark color, and I want something fresher and brighter in the room). I had decided I was willing to spend the money and planned to go to IKEA this weekend to pick it up.

Then inspiration hit. Maybe I should go check out Goodwill first, just to make sure I'm not wasting my money.

You see, I follow several blogs (like this one and this one) that frequently spotlight DIY projects like re-finishing various wood thingys, like chairs, tables, mirrors, etc. that they found at garage sales and thrift stores. They strip, sand, stain, and paint them and the pieces are so beautiful afterwards. The ladies are so talented and make it seem like it's so easy to do. So I can do it too, right? Right!

I've thought for months it would be really fun to try re-finishing something. But I didn't have the tools and didn't want to pay for them, so it's always just been in the back of my mind that I would do some day. But "some day" has finally arrived! I could do something small, like a coffee table. So I checked at Goodwill for and found a coffee table. After talking to 5 different employees and 25 minutes later, I found out it was only $15! Sold! And it came with these baskets that would have been cute if they were in good condition. I think I'll just replace them.

I love the top of the table. I actually really love the color, but it doesn't really match the room, so I'm going to paint it. I think I want it to be a creamy, warm toned white.

Now all I had to do was track down a sander. I called my sister and talked my awesome brother-in-law who said he was borrowing one from work, but had to return it soon. He said I could borrow it if I could return it in a couple of days. I didn't know if I would have time (I'm helping some friends move this weekend) so I was kind of bummed. I went across the street from Goodwill to Home Depot to find out about paint. I thought maybe I could hand sand it. But that was crazy talk and decided against it. The girls in the paint section at Home Depot were incredible helpful and gave me great tips about sand paper and types of paints. I explained what I wanted to sand my table and they suggested that I look into renting a sander from their tool rental place.

I went over and another helpful guy showed me their rental sander, but it was a belt sander and was a bit big and didn't have a way to do detail work. He suggested that I look at the ones that they had for sale.

"Maybe I could buy a sander," said a little, naughty, voice in the back of my head.

"Oooooooooo" said the loud craft voice in another part of my head. "If I did, I could re-finish my kitchen table and chairs like I've been wanting to for years. Oooooooo!!!" So I tempted fate and went and looked.

I browsed for a few minutes and looked at them. I don't like to buy the cheapest things because there is usually a reason they are cheap, I usually by mid-grade, mid-priced items--which in this case was $50-70! Ack! No way I could afford that. I looked around a little more and then saw it. A $60 Black and Decker Sander that had various detail attachments for only $25! YAHOO! I asked an employee to help me find it, but the display was their last one and it was missing the dust filter and the box. He kindly checked local stores and saw that the Lincoln store had one. Done!

I drove over to Lincoln to pick it up. I did stop at Lowes to see if they had anything on sale and nope. I quickly drove over to Home Depot to get my sander. I found the aisle and looked around. I didn't see it! I was so sad. I was able to flag an employee down and this adorable elderly man came over and helped me find it! And then we chatted for a few minutes and he showed me how to use it and made several suggestions about techniques on how to sand the table. He was so nice and helpful.

So now I am the proud owner of a electric sander! My first power tool. Yeah, baby!

So hopefully this weekend I'll have time to start working on my table. And I need to decide on a color.

Now, maybe if I get a staple gun...I could make my own ottoman...hmmmmm........

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