We made furniture (it's a coffee table).

new coffee table

I saw Elise's diy coffee table post back in April, when Ian was lamenting the slow demise of our 4-year-old particle board IKEA coffee table. It had a good run, but was beginning to come apart after three moves and Boston humidity.

When I first suggested making one ourselves, he was skeptical. We don't have woodworking tools and he thought it would be complicated. I explained that E&P made it in their apartment. Surely we could manage.

After more debate, we settled on our ideal dimensions and purchased hairpin legs. A few weeks later, we dedicated a Saturday to errands. We expected to pick up wood at Home Depot, but went to IKEA for other items (like a real chair for our desk that doesn't leave holes on your bum) and happened across an unfinished pine tabletop in the exact dimensions we wanted (well, off by a few fractions of an inch, since the Swedish use the metric system). After some post-shopping free frozen yogurt courtesy the IKEA family program, we were on our way to Home Depot to pick out stains and paint. We went with Minwax wood finish in English Chestnut, water-based Polycrylic protective finish, and Rustoleum's Oil Rubbed Bronze for the legs, which receives Young House Love rave reviews.

Ian took care of sanding/staining/finishing the tabletop, and I took care of spray painting the legs. No process photos, unfortunately. I didn't want the camera to get speckled with paint.

I used Sherry's spray painting tips and did three light coats, waiting 10 minutes between each. Ian lightly sanded the tabletop, wiped it down, then applied two coats of stain with a rag, waiting 10-15 minutes before wiping off the excess with a clean rag. He let each coat completely dry before moving to the next coat/step. We got a cheap paintbrush to apply the two coats of finish. As recommended, after the first coat had dried, Ian lightly sanded and wiped down the tabletop before applying the second coat. It was a hot day, so we shortened the recommended drying wait times. We finished the tabletop and the legs in one afternoon.

painted hairpin legs
stained/finished ikea tabletop

After several days of drying (outside for an afternoon, then inside for a total of at least 48 hours), Ian assembled it while he waited for Verizon's technician to show up (between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.). Who was unable to fix our 6-months-and-counting issue, which now will involve utility work. Our internet still intermittently drops, but we have a beautiful coffee table!

new coffee table