The Basement Beauty

My parents’ basement is like a free antique store. Before I moved out I went shopping down there and outfitted almost my entire apartment with things from down there. One item I had been eyeing up was the table my dad was using as a bench for his circle saw. Dad had started to sand it down but had other more important projects and it sat there sad for years. My parents are now in the process of selling their house and wanted to get rid of as much stuff as possible. My mom even “re-gifted” me things from the basement this past Christmas. Wish I was kidding. The last time I was home my mom had bags of things prepared to give me and forced me to walk around the basement with her and pick out things to take. I had gone home for 3 days with just a weekend bag and came back to North Carolina with 2 more dining room chairs, 2 wooden storage boxes, a huge lamp, a set of bagpipes, an antique typewriter (because “It looks like the kind of thing you can sell for money, Kate!”), but I also snagged the basement beauty. I had to reorganize my tiny storage closet just to fit everything.


I was torn between using it inside or outside on my patio, but I don’t have enough space for something inside so I decided to re-stain it for outside use. Since Dad had already started on the top I could see how much sanding was going to be needed. I borrowed my friend’s palm sander since I hadn’t bought myself one yet and went to town. This kind of sanding isn’t bad because it’s just this easy flat service and the curvature of the edges wasn’t hard at all.


I had never stained anything before and somehow I ended up at Lowe’s with no directions since this was my first non-Pintrest project in a looong time! Luckily the men at Lowe’s somehow know when I’m totally lost for what to do and I had the help of nice man who explained to me what kinds of stains I needed and what to do. He directed me out of Lowe’s and over to a wood craft specialty store a street over, saying that the stuff Lowe’s carries isn’t as quality (eh, debatable). Over at the wood craft store I ended up buying at least 3-4X times what I needed because the sizes they carried were much bigger than Lowe’s sizes (see! but due to my inexperience I allowed myself to trust this random stranger’s expertise over my own wallet’s guidance). I spent way more than I needed to. Hindsight is 20/20, right?

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I like dark, warm wood so I went with a red mahogany color and a clear satin exterior polyurethane. I used a normal paint brush for the dark stain and a foam brush for the poly. There were no bolts that came with it so I went to Lowe’s and bought 4 bolts and nuts which I then spray painted black to match the base.


I love the end result. It looks great on my new patio and is perfect for when I have friends over! This took probably two days because  I had to wait for things to dry, but it was a very easy project. Total cost was about $50 because I was suckered into buying too much stain. Ugh.


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