7th House on the Left

This week, you may have noticed that we’re experimenting with a new, more organic approach to blogging – something we’ve been wanting to try out for a while, but just didn’t have the guts to, haha. Admittedly, we originally planned on part 2 of the roadside table to go up yesterday, rather than early this morning (we had some last minute family come in out of town to stay with us). We’re just going to see how the new blogging vibe goes and reassess in a few weeks.

Happy Weekend | 7th House on the Left

Another new thing we’d like to implement around here are what we’re calling “happy weekend posts”. For us, Fridays are relatively low visitor traffic days compared to the rest of the week, so rather than squeezing in a post with a project that some of you guys might not even notice, we thought we’d have some fun and talk about randomness and our plans for the weekend. Sound like fun? Good deal.

Pomeranian Summer Cut | Bentley | 7th House on the Left

Bentley got his summer cut a few days ago and I must say, he’s looking rather dapper. Whenever he comes home from the groomer, he’s so tired that he pretty much just naps for the rest of the day. The next morning is a totally different story. It’s like he realizes he has a new look and wants to brag about it to anyone who will listen. Greg thinks he looks like he has a farmer’s tan, haha! He’s so cute. And he knows it.

We’ve got a packed weekend ahead of us. Tonight, we’re getting together with my cousins from Charlottesville and Los Angeles (whom you might remember from this post). Greg and I see all of them individually a few times throughout the year, but we all try to get together about this time every year when Danny, Sarah and the kids come to town from LA. It’s always fun to catch up, talk and see everyone’s fast-growing kids. Greg and I are the only ones in the bunch without kids, so we’ll just be the fun cousins that bring crayons!

As for the rest of the weekend, we’re tackling the carport ceiling. We may not get anything hung/painted/stained before Monday rolls around, but we’re going to make a decision on what treatment we’re going to use and gather the supplies we need. To say I’m a bit nervous is an understatement. This is the kind of DIY project we haven’t tackled before, so we don’t really know what to expect. Regardless, here goes nothing. Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Top image background via.

This is part 2 of the roadside table saga. Check out part one if you haven’t already. After we got the table into the carport and started analyzing it, I realized there were a few things that were going to be issues if we were going to get any serious use out of this find:

Roadside Table Find / 7th House on the Left

1 // Part of one of the legs fell off during “transport”. And by “transport”, I mean me man-handling this monstrosity into and out of the back of the truck. It was easy enough to put back on, but I didn’t want it to happen again, so I drilled some pilot holes and screwed the bottom part of the legs on using 4-inch decking screws. I don’t think they’re going anywhere at this point!

Upcycling a Roadside Table / 7th House on the Left

2 // Once I had the legs securely fastened, I realized the top was seriously not level–no corner was at the same height. I’m sure this was due to a combination of building imperfections (it is pallet wood, after all!) and my not-so-gentle methods getting the table in and out of the truck. After putting a level on pretty much every piece of the table, I decided the best course of action was to simply take the top of the table off the legs and work from there.

Upcycling a Roadside Table / 7th House on the Left

Ash thinks this is the “cutest photo ever” because Bentley looks as though he’s really into the leveling process of the table project. Though, in reality, it was his dinner time and he wanted to be fed.

On one side, I noticed that one of the angled supports was just a little short, so I pulled it off, adjusted the top crossmember so it was level, and reattached the support with screws. Oh… did I mention I am terrible at driving long nails into anything other than drywall? Screws are just so much easier. I actually tried using nails to begin with, and all I have to show for that effort is a pile of pretzel-shaped metal.

Upcycling a Roadside Table / 7th House on the Left

The sanding process was relatively straightforward. I used 80-grit sandpaper on my father-in-law’s vibrating sander to start, then worked my way up to 220-grit by hand. For knots like the one above, I actually ended up breaking out the Dremel. This was a super-exciting moment for me, since I hadn’t had a good reason to use it since Ash gave it to me for Christmas, haha. I think the tip I ended up using is actually for grinding metal, but it was the perfect size and shape to get into the small holes in the planks. After I got rid or most of the splinters, I ran over the hole with some high-grit sandpaper, just to smooth the edges.

Upcycling a Roadside Table / 7th House on the Left

Once I was done sanding the top, I used a shop vac with the brush attachment to suck up all the sawdust. It took 30 seconds and got the surface much cleaner than wiping it off ever would.

Upcycling a Roadside Table / 7th House on the Left

For the table’s legs (supports?), I just used some 120-grit sandpaper and went over it by hand. I wasn’t looking to make them extremely smooth, but I didn’t want anyone’s clothes getting caught on a splinter when they sat down at the table.

For the stain, we used Minwax’s Special Walnut. This is one of our favorite stain colors to use around here because it has a deep rich brown color without any red undertones. Obviously, the final product totally depends on the type of wood you’re staining, but we haven’t run into anything that came out anything other than a rich brown so far. I’m a big fan of using sponge brushes to apply stain for two reasons: 1) At less than $1 apiece, I can throw them away when I’m done. 2) They’re a happy medium between a brush and a cloth. Especially in this case, cloths get hung up on this rough wood, even after it’s sanded, and brushes just don’t hold enough of the stain for my taste.

Upcycling a Roadside Table / 7th House on the Left

The stain soaked right in and was dry to the touch within a few minutes. I guess that’s one of the advantages / disadvantages of staining pallet wood. When I finished the coat of stain on the top, Ash and I thought it might be a bit too dark, but it lightened up a bit when it dried completely.

Upcycling a Roadside Table / 7th House on the Left

Since polyurethane is a lot thicker than stain, I used a brush to apply it to the table. One word of wisdom, though: If you are using an oil-based polyurethane like I was, be sure to have some paint thinner on hand. I didn’t, so I tried (and failed) to clean it using other methods. I ended up having to put my brand new brush in the trash after the first coat. Lesson learned.

Upcycling a Roadside Table | 7th House on the Left

And here’s our new outdoor dining table! We’re really pleased with how it turned out and still can’t believe it was on the side of the road for free.

Upcycling a Roadside Table | 7th House on the Left

The poly really brings out the character in the wood, protects it from the elements and seals it so that the once-rough table is now relatively splinter-free.

Upcycling a Roadside Table | 7th House on the Left

In the future, we’re thinking about adding a bit of length on either end of the table so that the table could seat 8 people comfortably. Before we do that, though, we’re going to be working on getting the carport-turned-covered patio area finished. Then, we’ll circle back around to the patio proper and dress up the table with some chairs and maybe an umbrella.

All in all, it’s definitely not bad for a $20 roadside table and the extra elbow grease was totally worth sprucing it up. Definitely a roadside find to remember.

Greg and I were driving down one of the well-traveled roads in Hanover a few days ago when we spotted a table sitting on the side of the road. I didn’t think much of it, but Greg said, “Did you see that table? It looked pretty cool.” I just agreed and went back to singing along to whatever 80′s classic rock song playing on Lite 98. All of a sudden, Greg decided to turn the car around to go check it out. He parked on the nearest side street, which was about a quarter mile away, and walked down to the table, only to find a crumpled up piece of wet paper next to it that said, “Free Table”. Greg quickly walked back to the car, opened the door and said, “It looks decent. I think I lift it into the back of the truck!” Good thing we happened to be driving my parent’s SUV.

Because the table was on the other side of a huge ditch, we basically had to park the SUV inside the ditch. I couldn’t even open the passenger door. Greg was determined to get this thing in the car one way or another, though. I don’t know how he did it (this table is solid and heavy), but he loaded it into the back of the SUV all by himself. The back doors wouldn’t close because the table was a bit too long, so we very carefully drove down the road to the nearest CVS with the back doors open – I know, totally illegal. We don’t recommend it. When we finally got to CVS (it seemed like it took forever even though it was only a few miles down the road), he went in, bought a nylon rope for $2, and tied the back doors shut.

Free Roadside Table / 7th House on the Left

When we unloaded the table, I finally got a good look at it and realized I was extremely happy that Greg was so determined to get it home. It looks like someone started it as a project, but just didn’t finish it or else it’s been very much weathered. The lines are strikingly similar to this outdoor Restoration Hardware table - which I love. It definitely needed some TLC, but that made us happy because we’d be able to make it ours.

Roadside Table Find / 7th House on the Left

We’re planning on putting the table on the uncovered aggregate patio adjacent to the carport. Since the patio is a light tan color, we think the table would really pop if it was stained a medium dark color like Minwax’s Special Walnut. It’s right at 72.5″ long, which should seat 6 people comfortably. We might even be able to squeeze in one more person on either end if we extend it by a plank or two.

Roadside Table Find / 7th House on the Left

The top has a lot of character with all of the different types of planks. You can’t really tell from the photo, the top was nowhere near level. The back-right and front-left sides are both higher than the others, and some of the boards are popping out. It also needs a good few sanding sessions to make it smooth and splinter-free.

So, here’s our plan for this bad boy:

  • Take the top off and level it out.
  • Nail down the loose boards.
  • Sand all the surfaces to prevent splinters.
  • Sand some more.
  • Stain with Minwax’s Special Walnut (our favorite color).
  • Seal with a weather-proof polyurethane.
  • Bask in the awesomeness of our new $20 (for sandpaper, stain, etc.) patio table.

And that, my friends, is that we’ve been up to the last 24 hours. In a day or two, we’ll be back with a progress post with lots of pictures and how-we-did-it info. Here’s hoping we don’t encounter any problems!