You know. I just can’t seem to forget about an old piece of furniture that has potential when I see it. Vintage pieces just seem to talk to me and follow me around until I pay attention to them and decide to give them a second look. Before I know it, I am inspired by a detail or the possibilities and am tackling projects that I didn’t plan to work on. Like this vintage table project that I am getting ready to work on. The BEFORE isn’t necessarily pretty- but I thought I would share it before making any changes. And here is a pretty AFTER photo of a recent project to start the post off.
Vintage Table Project
Was I looking for a vintage table project? Kind of. So I can’t say it came out of nowhere. The old farmhouse table I have been using for outdoor shoots is a little worse for the wear and so, I have been keeping my eye out for a similar sized table that was solid wood rather than veneer. We actually had to peel the rest of the veneer off the top of the table for this recent outdoor shoot to make it work.
And we also were looking for something that could expand if needed since sometimes the shoot requires a table in between small and loooong. And you know me. I want to find that treasure NOW- but I also have a list of details, size ideas and specifics that I am looking for. Requirements if you will. I want carvings. Fluting. Curvy aprons and pretty little details that make something special. I basically want something antique that looks like my friends from Eloquence would bring over from Europe – but for a bargain price. I mean- who wouldn’t love that right? haha.
So I perused listings daily to see if anything popped up that spoke to me. I saw some tables that were small and cute- but not the right size. Some that were bigger – but felt more 70-80’s in details (which is fine- just not what I was looking for). Some with orange finishes and patina, some that looked very English or American in style and some with carvings but not carvings like I was looking for. I wanted an antique European charm and aesthetic. Or at least the potential to make it have antique European charm with a little work.
I saw one pop up that caught my eye. It wasn’t as much a European table necessarily but it was the right size, had details that could be super charming and it was solid- so it had potential. I saved the listing and kept looking a bit.
Well, as you know, I decided it had potential since I had saved the listing. Which meant I also saw the listing updated when it was marked FREE. And then I took another look. Since I am trying to mindful about not bringing home every single thing that talks to me… (there are a lot haha) I asked myself a few questions. Was this a table that would work? Yes. Was it EXACTLY what I was looking for? Not sure about exact- but it is pretty close. And it was charming and I liked it and I did see some potential with it. So I reasoned with myself that we could donate the chairs and extra large top to the Re-Store if the table worked for what I have in mind. I figured for Free- it likely might be too damaged to use for anything other than an occasional outdoor shoot- I mean when you find things online- you see a photo and have no idea of their condition in person. But I thought either way, it might work for a last minute upcoming photo shoot need even so- and I figured we could tinker with it.
But… when my husband brought it home- I was actually pretty surprised.
What arrived in my husbands truck: An old oak table and chairs that needed a bit of work. Yep- pretty much. BUT- the table had charm in person that you didn’t really get in the photos. It had dentil moulding and a curvy apron. Fluted legs and carvings. Extra leaves that pulled out to make it longer. Though- I was not looking for chairs and definitely didn’t need any more chairs- it also had oak chairs with it. And so, it did have 5 things that I thought could work for the photo shoot table I had in mind.
- This table is Solid Oak. As in solid oak wood pieces- not veneer. A BIG YES there.
- It has carvings that are much cuter in person than the photos showed. The apron and dentil moulding are delightful- and the details underneath add another charming layer.
- There are fluted legs. I love barley twist, fluted and detailed legs of any kind of a table.
- And those old worm holes. Which I will be honest- kind of put us off at first after the antiques we refinished before haha- but they sure do look good! (good news- No sign of any current beetle inhabitants)
- There is a lot of Patina with the character in the wood grain And the imperfections in this little piece. I can see how beautiful this table will look when it is finished.
Yes, I say finished – because you know I have a makeover in mind. The finish is damaged – thought it doesn’t look bad in the color it is. I actually snapped a few photos for something just as is- but it is worn, there are rough areas and I am fairly sure they had a puppy who enjoyed the taste of it at one point. This isn’t as old as the other pieces we brought home over the summer. Thinking from what I can tell- probably around 1920-40 as it looks similar to some of the pieces left in our house when we bought it – but that is just a guess- someone else might know more about them.
The Makeover Plan
This table is my inspiration piece. It is actually a table I tried to purchase from Eloquence- but it was already sold so I brought home that drapery table that is currently in the barn instead.
I am OBSESSED with the details and the lovely pickled finish.
Admittedly, it it just a wee bit of a stretch… but do you see some similar details to the free table? The dentil apron, curvy corner apron details, straight legs with block bottoms. And of course- oak.
A new old world weathered and worn vintage look. One that brings out details and character and keeps all that charm. I am not 100 percent sure what I will do with the chairs just yet- if anything. Depending on how difficult it is to redo the table- I may tackle them.
I have a confession. This is not the only thing I have been searching allllll the ads for daily. I almost brought home a huge project last week. My husband was not feeling it -but I am kicking myself even now. It wasn’t the ideal fit size wise and it was honestly a bit more project than we wanted take on right now so we paused to think about it. But between you and me- that pause made me even more obsessed. 🙂 I am hoping to have more to share on that project very soon.
Stay tuned for the AFTER on this table and how the makeover goes. Would love to know… would you have brought this home?
Courtney, I think you have found a diamond in the rough. I love the table and chairs. If you sand it down good. a touch of paint and use beautiful fabric it will be a show piece I can’t wait to see what you decide.It is going to be epic. The details are lovely.
franki parde says
Absolutely!!! “When” it’s finished…you will know. franki
Absolutely!!! I just wouldn’t know what or how to finish it! I have an antique table of my dads that i want to redo. That finish looks just like what i had in mind. Please leave details for those of us who don’t have a clue where to begin. Any idea when you will get started? I can’t wait to see it!!!!!
Linda Scott says
In a minute!! it’s beautiful!!
I actually like your table better than the one that got away. with your expertise and taste, it will be captivating! Looking forward to the reveal and more of your wonderful blogs. Thank you for sharing your talent and tips!
Love it. I can so relate! I lOve a furniture project.
AWESOME fInd!!! Looking forwArd to the redo 😁
Barbara C says
I’m sure you will turn this table into a gem! I remember what you went through with the worm holes on the last piece. So, how will you determine if this table needs to be treated?
Love it–can’t wait to see the redo!
I volunteer in an upscale benefit shop in pacific grove and drool over some of the pieces that come in there! right now there’s a beautiful french looking cabinet complete with the original key—wish i had room for it in my home!!!
Teddee Grace says
I like it but it looks like a lot of work! Best of luck!
i too think it is a big project to tackle but it will be (without a doubt) gorgeous when you are done!
Jill Wendt says
Wow. She is a beauty! I love the wholE set. I buy all my furniture from 2nd hand stores and Craigslist, but i have yet to see a table and chairs for free.
I cannot wait To see the reveal..
I Can’t wait to see the after, you exceed anything i can imagine with all your projects i love it 🥰
YOU’RE going to turn it into an incred thing of BEAUTY. Cant wait to see!
GORGEOUS! I cAn’t wait to see the reveal
Just received my eloquence catAlog today. There are several beautiful artisan finisheS to consider for yOur table to rEplicate. I painted a table And FoUr chairs with anne sloan chaulk paint during the pandemic and i am very happy with the results. Have fun Experimenting. Love your books. Jane
Karen B. says
With your and your husband’s refinishing skills, YES, I would always bring something like this table home. I know you’ll make it beautiful, and the price was certainly right.
Mary A. Gavin says
I would but I’d paint it white….
Whew! Stripping and sanding that back to bare wooD…it will be beautiful. My hands ache thinking about it! When you use it for outside use, will The oak age to a gray as in your former table or will you put a sealant on it to look like bare wood? And if you put a sealant on it, does it affect tHe color? looking forward to your posts about this table!
Patricia Fly says
I brought home an 1800’s hunt cubbard from an estate 1/2 price sale that my husband threatened to put out on the curb!
My white brimstone collection is in it.
Have considered Annie Sloan Chalk paint & wax- no sanding needed. Need to finalize color selection.
Enjoy your beautiful table!
Patricia Fly says
That is White Ironstone
Spell check 😂😂😂
Suzette Bannister says
When finished will the table stay outdoors? Have always wanted an old wood table for outdoor dining but assumed it will completely rot away.
Terri Pennell says
I can not wait to see what you do to this piece of furniture.
Just wanted to leet you know that I can not see your blog very well for the top section and the bottom section the pictures between are very hard to see.
Hmm so sorry about that Terri- not sure what is going on. I will ask my tech folks to check into it. Thank you for letting me know!
Yes, I would totally bring it home and use oven cleaner on it, scrub it down, hose it off, and keep doing that until I got it to the finish I’m looking for. Such a fun piece for sure!
CoUrtney, yes I woul have brought it home and found a place for it. Great choice. Jean
Please excuse the tYpos. Jean
Mary Alice says
Oh I hoPe you don’t paint it! I would love to see it in that pickLed finish where the wood looks raw. It is a BEAUTIFUL, rare, and wonderful find. Lucky you! Can wait to see what you do with it! I know you will bring out its beauty!
Connie Brown says
What a treasure you have found. I def would have brought that home. The price was “priceless”.
I love this table! I also think it’s prettier than the one from Eloquence.
Lori Wilbins says
i have the exact chairs and matching china cabinet. No table. they belonged to my grandmother who gave away the table to someone back in the 1960″s. i cant wait to see how you refurbish them!
Laurie Stacey says
have you tried using lye on wood? It’s fantastic for getting the orange out, (I don’t mean from finish, I mean from the wood ITSELF). I recently took a mid-century table back to raw, using lye. It now has true blonde and true ‘WALNUT-COLORED’ GRAIN. Your table is GORGEOUS, and once you get it to raw wood /pickled, it should have the feel you want.