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Tuesday, July 17, 2012


While thrifting recently, I came across this little coffee table.  I've been looking for a new one for a while, and something about this one drew me to it.  I left it there that day, knowing that it would most likely be 1/2 off in two more days when the sale cycle at that store changed, so I took a chance. 

It worked!  I left with the table for $20.  

Originally when thinking about if I would purchase it or not, I had grand ideas in my head about how to redo the table.  But after I actually bought it, it grew on me as is.  Of course I loved the green top and the bamboo-style legs.  I didn't even notice the brass trim around the top until I was buying it (it was really discolored and gunky!).

All I decided to do was clean it up good.  I started out with some Brasso on the rim, and after 20 minutes of vigorous scrubbing had about 3 inches clean.  At this point, I could almost hear the Keno brothers screaming in horror as I scrubbed off the "patina".  But, I decided this wasn't really a good patina or really an antique piece (at least I don't think so!), so I continued on. 

Time to call the pro for advice...a.k.a. my dad.  He said that the brass most likely had a lacquer coating and suggested rubbing it with a bit of paint remover or lacquer thinner, then scrubbing with a fine steel wool pad.  I didn't have any paint remover, but I had nail polish remover!  I rubbed a saturated cotton ball over a section at a time, let it sit for a few minutes, then went back over that section with the steel wool and Brasso.  It still took a while to work my way all the way around, but it came off clean.  

I also ran a super fine piece of steel wool along the wood edge and rim on the top just to clean off a bit of waxy build up, then went over all of the stained parts with Old English Scratch Cover.  That stuff works wonders!

I couldn't resist one little upgrade...the feet were begging for a gold accent!


If you've never used it, Rub 'n Buff is such a versatile product.  It is a waxy type paste that comes in a large variety of colors.  A tiny amount goes a long way and it can be used on wood, metal, frames, and many other surfaces.  I loved it for this project because I didn't have to tape anything off, I just used a little from the tube and it spread very easily and dried to a permanent finish quickly. 

Now those are some pretty legs!

My spiffed up tray has a much larger scale on this little table than my old coffee table, but I think it still works.

Now, if I could just come across this kind of a deal on a china cabinet for my dining room, I'd be set!

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  1. I absolutely love your find and can't believe it was only $20, Jennifer!!!!!!!! That is CRAZYYYYY! I have a similar table, rectangular with the bamboo shaped criss cross legs, I love the style. So pretty with the brass trim and the gold feet!! Is there any end to Rub & Buff's magic?
    Ok I think it's time for a Rub & Buff party - don't you? I'll get one on the calendar.

  2. Fabulous score! I can't believe it came with your favorite color and the r & b puts it over the top! Love your ikat pillow, too! :)

  3. Absolutely wonderful ~ $20 and an upgrade! I didn't know that Rub 'n Buff worked on other textures than wood...thanks for sharing. The table looks fantastic along with the tray!

    P.S. This is probably foolish to ask but did you make the black & white pillows? LOVE them!

  4. I absolutely love it! What a fantastic find.


  5. I love that stuff myself. So easy to use. Loooks great on your new score of a table! Love your couch pillows!

  6. Ok, this is the nicest coffee table! I ordered some of that Rub & Buff but so far the only thing that its done is been spread on the carpet by my little darlings. I'm hereby inspired. Thanks!
    Just discovered your awesome blog - love it.

  7. Are you kidding me????? I can't believe that table was still there (and at half price)!!!!!! what a great find! That table is stinking cute and you did a great job with it. I love the brass and bamboo!!

  8. I met your mom today at Fabric Outlet while she was buying lining for her new draperies and she told me about your blog. I love this table!! Where do u find the best treasures? I used to find great ones at thrift shops but not so much any more. Guess I need to find some new digs!! I would love any suggestions or tips you would share with me. Margie

  9. Beautiful work! I love that you spent the time to uncover a more beautiful piece and the gold-tipped legs are a great contemporary touch. It looks great in the room!

  10. I LOVE that table! Ack! What a find! The accent on the legs is perfect!

  11. How did I not know about this rub n buff sooner. Can't wait to be saved from the stinky spray paint smell. Thanks for sharing.

  12. I agree, it is absolutely perfect! And I like the little detail that you did decide to add! Amazing find.

  13. Oooh! I just love it! Great makeover!xo Kristin

  14. I really think you did an awesome job on that nice quality table. It looks like a quality piece of furniture and you brought it back to life and didn't ruin it with paint. Awesome job! I am going to be on the lookout for the same table, so I can do the same detail to it! :-)


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