As far back as I can remember, this table sat in my Grandparent’s garage right outside the door that entered into their house. My Grandfather built it with some simple materials for a place to store his butchering equipment. After my Grandparents passed away and their house sold a little over a year ago, the auction company came to look at some of the furniture pieces that were to be auctioned off. They wouldn’t even take this table because of the condition it was in. I was very happy about that because I saw the potential it had to be refinished in some way and because it held a lot of memories for me. My Grandparents and I spent many hours just hanging around that old table, talking and visiting.
My Grandfather built this table years ago with some 2×4 boards, a plywood top trimmed with quarter round, and a board made of pressboard at the bottom. He kept a very large cutting board on top which is the very thing that gave me the idea to use this as an outdoor buffet and grilling station. I thought it would be a nice place for my husband to prepare food fresh off the grill. And, since the table is stored right by the grill, it would make a nice serving area for family gatherings and parties.
I had to do a bit of prep work especially since it was going to be used as an outdoor piece. I washed it well with bleach water, filled the holes with Elmer’s wood filler, then I primed the bottom with an all-purpose primer. I also removed the pressboard shelf at the bottom since it was going to be exposed to the weather conditions.
After going a little crazy on the paint samples, I finally settled on a color for the bottom. It is an exterior paint from Olympic Paint called Safe Harbor. I decided to stain the top so that it would give the piece some contrast and so that I could still see some of the marks on the wood from all the years of use from my Grandaddy’s work. I thought keeping those marks visible would show more of the story behind the piece. The stain is Minwax’s Wood Finish stain in English Chestnut. I added two coats to get to my desired color, and coated the top with an indoor/outdoor polyurethane for added protection.
The next step was really a last minute decision. I decided that brick wall above the buffet needed some sort of decoration and happened to remember a wood framed mirror I bought at a used furniture store for $5.00. I intended on using it for my living room décor but never used it for what I initially planned. After seeing several mirrors used to create chalkboards on Pinterest, I thought it would be perfect for that very project. I covered the entire mirror with Stix Waterborne Bonding Primer which gave the mirror a really good coverage to prepare for the chalkboard paint.
After the painting and staining was complete, I added hooks to the side for my husband to hang his grilling utensils and a brushed nickel towel bar to the front. The basket with the lid that sits underneath the buffet has been great for storage. I purchased the basket along with the decorative kitchen towel at World Market. The lantern and the green planter were a few pieces I found at HomeGoods. The candles have been nice for a little light when we sit on the deck at night in the summertime. I’ve really enjoyed cutting fresh flowers from the yard and placing them in mason jars to add more color to the chalkboard background.
I am really pleased with the results and I am so happy that this piece that was once seen as junk, has now been repurposed into something we all can enjoy. It makes a nice conversation piece as well since so many people have enjoyed hearing the story about it. I think my Grandparents would be happy with how it is now being used since they both felt that family pieces were important and loved entertaining guests in their home.