14 Jan

A Beautiful Side Table Reborn

I thrifted this side table all the way back in June 2012 from an interesting furniture store no longer in business on The Drive. I was walking past the shop and the table was sitting outside with a note on it asking who would be the one to make it beautiful again. At a $15 price tag, I decided it was going to be me.

Flash forward six and a half(ish) years to October 2018 when I finally took an orbital sander to this piece. It was my last project during the Tools for Women Residency at MakerLabs in the fall. I did the bulk of the sanding over a few hours one afternoon, removing a yellowed varnish, and smoothing out all the nicks and scratches. I have no Before photo to prove it, but this little table was in rough shape when I bought it.

Upcycled side table
Upcycled side table

My work with the orbital sander (and three progressively finer grain sand paper) brought out the beauty of the natural wood. I did the fine details of the concentric circles on the door and the lines on the legs by hand. Hand-sanding is my least favourite thing to do, so I procrastinated this part of the project for another month and a half.

Upcycled side table

I was determined to finish this off before the end of the year, so over Christmas I finished sanding and moved on to staining it with a natural varnish to emphasize the beauty of the wood.

It looks incredible now, and I’m proud of the work I put into it.

Upcycled side table

I regret that it took me so long to tackle this project, but it was my introduction to an orbital sander through MakerLabs that was the key to finally getting it done.

© Rachael Ashe