Thursday, January 14, 2010


When D.J. got his first apartment, he bought a small cheap table from Wal-Mart.

That was quite a while ago and that table has seen better days.

We tried to sell it on Craigslist, but no one wants a table this beat up! Yesterday, I had a stroke of inspiration and decided to rip the top off and paint the table underneath.

Some of it came off without a problem. Some of it refuses to be removed.

So here's what I need:
  • How do I get the rest of the glue off the edges?
  • How do I get the rest of the plastic fake-wood stuff off?
  • My plan is to prime and paint the top, then try to re-sell it on Craigslist. What should I paint on top? A solid color? A design? Flowers? Color blocks? Should I do pencils and notebooks and make it a homework table? Should I do a small checkerboard around the border and make it a cute kitchen table? What would have the most appeal?
  • Once it's painted, how do I seal it to prevent chips in the paint?


Angela Pea said...

For loosening the glue, try nail polish remover first, the acetone kind. Use a plastic or silicone scraper (think of that little brown Pampered Chef scraper) to remvoe the remaining veneer. If acetone doesn't work, step up to benzene, but use extreme caution, good ventilation and wear gloves!

Sand the entire top with fine sand paper to remove all of the glue residue and leave a smooth surface for painting.

Sealant depends on what kind of paint you start with. If you are using a water based paint, such as acrylic paint or laytex paint, then use a water based sealer, such as polyurethane sealer. Apply two coats, sanding between coats. (Instructions will be on the sealer that you buy.)

However, if you use enamel paint, such as a spray enamel or super high gloss trim paint, then you will need to use an enamel based sealant.

Ask the folks at Home Depot or Lowes, and they can point you in the right direction on selecting a good sealant. Read the labels carefully for compatibility with your paint.

Paint on top? Plain, or very simple color blocks in muted colors would probably be best if you're trying to sell it on C.L. Not everyone is into lovely decorated borders, and most of your C.L. shoppers will be college guys looking for a cheap table. They WON'T want flowers!

Him and Her said...

I have no idea about fixing it or anything. But I do have opinions! I agree a solid neutral color is best. For me I only click on things on CL with pictures. And it's amazing how a good picture can make the sale. I've seen furniture all cruddy with junk hanging around and makes me think it was not well taken care of it that's what their home looks like. Now, I know your home nice so I don't worry about that. But make sure you take some nice pictures, maybe with it functioning as a kitchen table, with it set and nice looking. Take some pics from different angles and not so much a dead on shot. And try to get it in natural light, flashes are not flattering. And I bet how you list it is important too. See what posts grab your attention and try to mimic those. Like capital letters or fancy stars (***), I don’t know. Just sharing my opinion! =)