before and afterchairsfurniture

before & after: camila’s table + traci’s chair makeunder

by Grace Bonney

this week’s before & after submissions were packed with great ideas, so i’ve got a full afternoon of makeovers coming up, running a little later today until 2pm (don’t miss the 2pm project, it’s my favorite). first up is a gorgeous wooden coffee table project from camila. camila found this table at a thrift store for only $8.99 and decided that it had great potential. with the help of her husband, she was able to build a new top out of plywood and wooden pallets to get a brickmaker’s table look. when the top was finished camila made a custom finish by mixing flat white paint, water, and a water-based stain. the final result is beautiful and proof that with a little vision, any find can become a treasured piece for your home.

[have a before & after you’d like to share? just shoot me an email with your images right here! (low res, under 500k per image, please)]

CLICK HERE for traci’s chair makeunder after the jump!

i love a good furniture make under. i enjoy a nice paint job and upholstery project as much as the next person, but sometimes all a piece of furniture needs is a little cleaning, sanding, and staining to come back to life. this chair makeunder comes from traci fontyn at simple huis. she found these chairs at a resale shop in portland for only $15 each and decided to buy them with the hope that some beautiful wood was underneath that chipped white paint exterior. after stripping the paint and sanding down the wood*, traci added a rich tung oil finish and new cushions to complete the look. great work, traci!

*during her sanding traci accidentally sanded through a veneer layer on the chair. but she managed to find veneer to match the chair and reapplied it. well done!

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  • Oh Grace my husband will be so happy that you picked his after shot with his manly styling!!!!!

    He loved taking out all of his favorite things to prop it!


  • holy COW those are both really great but the make under is so surprising. i like to think i have a good eye and i would have passed those by. great job!!!!!

  • Cra-zy! I was thinking yesterday that using pallets for a table top might be nice! I’ve seen pallets as tables, but the spaces allow things to drop through, so a piece of glass is necessary. This way works so nicely! Bravo!

  • I love the way the color turned out on the wood of your table, Camila. About what ratio of paint/water/stain did you use? I would love to refinish the oak-colored wood of my kitchen table to look more like this. To you who are more pro at this than me: would I need to make any modifications to make the wood of my table able to withstand the wet rag treatment three times a day?

    LOVE the chair! Helps me realize that I can broaden my horizons when thrift shopping. :)

  • I have a set of teak chairs JUST like that one, and they’re all banged up. I’ve been intimidated to start the process of refinishing them. Do you have any references or advice on how to do it well?

  • I am always impressed with the creative makeovers people pull off. I’m delurking here to beg for instructions from camilla. I would love to make a similar table top for some small outdoor tables. Please??? :)

  • That table is GENIUS! I’m kicking myself for not taking shop class in high school (again and again). It’s amazing what creativity and skill can do to an under-appreciated table.

  • Visited Portland for a week – cried for more then a week that there aren’t those lovely thrift shops near me.

  • Bravo on those chairs! I was hoping and praying that the painted version was not the after. These are beautiful. Well done!

  • So happy everyone is enjoying the table. It was really easy to make. The table we purchased had the base we liked so we just removed the tabletop (it was screwed on) and made a template for a top to be cut out of plywood. Once that was done we cut apart some pallets and laid them down in a subway tile pattern. Then we just attached them with liquid nails. That’s it!

    For the stain you’ll have to eyeball it depending on the size of your piece, but for us we did about a cup of water, 1/4 pint of water based stain and then a dollop of flat white paint.

    If you have another other questions email me at cpavone0107@gmail.com I would be happy to try and help! :)

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