Mr. Mimsy's Coffee Table

I wanted to share a little furniture journey with you involving my husband, his welder, some wood, and a certain inspiration picture.

A couple weeks back, I came across an inspiration picture I'd ripped from a magazine years ago of this rustic coffee table I really liked.

House Beautiful

With the ivory couches I planned to get for our living room, I thought a table like this would be a wonderful complement to the cleaner, softer look of the sofas. However, after pricing and checking for availability, especially considering the size I would need to fill the space, it wasn't happening.

So I settled for this little cutie when I saw it posted on Craigslist last year.

And it's been a good coffee table.

But when my hubby happened to see my inspiration picture sitting on the counter the other day, he paused to look and remarked quite confidently, "I could build that."

To which I responded, "Really??" (and to which I thought: Oh, how I could have used this information two years ago!....But in his defense, he didn't have a welder two years ago.)

So after a little humming and hawwing and sketching out a design, this is what we produced:


I'll show a few shots of the process, although I don't have near as much intel on the actual welding part.  I just know he built this frame in almost no time at all with 1 1/4" tubular steel, then painted it was a hammered finish Oil-Rubbed Bronze spray paint from Home Depot.

Fitting the boards got a little tricky since he wrapped the ends with metal.  We debated on whether we wanted the boards to be glued together in order to prevent gaps, but then decided to go with the more rustic gapped look.

He secured all the boards from beneath with screws (this is where I know some of you would like to see a close up of the underside ~ sorry!) He says it's so secure, I could park my car on it if I no longer wanted to use it as a coffee table.

Yeah, that won't be happening~

While he screwed in the boards, I played around with stain and paint on a sample board to see what we could produce from the pine lumber we'd selected.  I mixed three different paints with a 50/50 solution of water, brushed them on different sections of board, and then wiped them off to see what undertones I would get.

Not really happy with either the yellow-tannish undertones, nor the darker brownish, I tried SW Mourning Dove on my last sample board, and hit the money:

This grayish undertone was exactly what I was hoping to accomplish in order to mimic old barn wood/drift wood left to the elements.

Then I applied a Dark Walnut Stain over the top of the washed paint....again, just experimenting.

I was really liking where this was going, so I applied another coat of dark stain, just rubbing it in and wiping off as I went.  That's when I knew I wanted to go this route with my color. 

Now it was time to distress the boards.  I used a few different tools, ie hammer, chisel, screw, edge of a castor, and just banged and chipped and distressed all over.

Here's a close up of the screw distressing.  I just laid it on its side and hit it with a hammer.

Here's a close up of the screw marks after the boards were stained.

After sanding all the boards smooth, I then coated them with a 50/50 solution of Mourning Dove and water, then wiped it off.  This produced the grayish, driftwood, old barn wood color, which I may just leave like this on our next table.  I really like this look.

Next, I stained the whole thing with Minwax Dark Walnut to warm it up a bit.

I let the second coat sit awhile, trying to get the darkest color I could, then wiped off the excess.This picture is right before wiping off the excess stain.

Finally, happy with the results, I brushed on two coats of Minwax Polyurethane in Satin, letting it dry thoroughly between coats, then lightly sanding before the final coat. It looks shiny in this picture because the poly is still wet.

And now, ta-da! ~here it sits in our living room, large and rustic and quite the contrast to our tufted, ivory sofas.

Which is exactly what I'd pictured so long ago.

Mr. Mimsy so enjoyed the challenge of this project he's already in the middle of two more tables, one similar to this but smaller, and one on castors for my sister.  Now they both just need a little tlc from Mrs. Mimsy on the wooden portions, which I hope to get to by the end of the week.
What a joy it's been sharing a furniture passion with my husband these last two weeks.  I wish I could've shared more about the welding, but he may just have to start up his own blog for that kind of information ~

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