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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