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Drop-Leaf Table Makeover

A couple weeks ago my son and I spotted this table resting next to a garbage tote at the side of a garage in our neighborhood. It was a tell-tale sign that it was going to be thrown out that week. There were four days between our sighting and garbage day.

That night it rained. Poured. Really hard.

A Garbage Picking Acquisition

The next day was beautiful and we went for a bike ride. This time we dared to check the almost discarded drop-leaf table out closer. We quickly inspected this shabby table and found it was not broken, just a host for numerous spider eggs.
So we left a short note for the owner, expressing our interest and leaving our name and number.
They called us back the following night. They said we were welcome to come get it. My son and I were so relieved that we didn’t have to stalk them, waiting for the moment that they dragged it to the curb. We wheeled it home on our dolly.
We decided to sand down and stain only the top. The pedestal bottom and edges of the table were best suited for paint in our opinion.

An Easy Makeover – Wood and Paint Combo

We started by applying primer, then the paint. I used blue masking tape to mask off the inner edges of the drop-leaf. The rest of the edging I did by hand with our new Purdy paint brush.

Next we sanded the tabletop starting with 60 grit and moving up – 100 grit, 150 grit 220 grit, 330 grit and finally 600 grit. It reached a smoothness you just want to pet.

Then came the wood stain, applied with a clean cloth in circular motions smoothed out with linear strokes that matched the direction of the grain.


I think drop-leaf tables are one of the most practical pieces of furniture. They expand and reduce so easily as your needs and space demand. You can dress them up or make them casual and approachable. They work anywhere from the dining room to the den to the front entrance to the porch.

What other home decor furnishings travel well throughout the home?

I’d love your thoughts!

Eve of Reduction: Free Seasonal E-Newsletter; Extra tips and wit on Facebook; Reduction Beauty on Pinterest ; The debut DIY lifestyle book (includes 10 upcycling tutorials); and the guide to creative streams of income ebook (only $2.99).

I’m Cristin Frank (AKA Eve). I love all things frugal and crafty. My mindset is always on upcycling, repurposing, reducing waste and saving money – and Eve of Reduction is my roadmap. You might also want to check out my book, "Living Simple, Free & Happy."

3 Responses to Drop-Leaf Table Makeover

  1. Tuula @ The Thrifty Rebel September 13, 2012 at 3:59 pm #

    What a lovely makeover. I like that you stained the top. It looks really great with that gorgeous blue. You’re right… drop leaf tables are really flexible. I have a thing for half moon tables because they also don’t take up much space and can be used in so many ways. Or you can put 2 together as a round table.


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