Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A Dining Room on a Dime

So I know that Craigslist is not for everyone but I just have to show you what you can do with a little Craigslist, paint, stripper, stain and fabric.

On Mother's Day, I dropped the dreaded words to Dan right after he got home early from church to spend the day with me:  Craigslist.  Dreaded because we have learned several lessons like don't send Dan alone -- he might come home with a bed with missing parts.  Don't drive too far.  Again....might come home with bed with missing parts that he drove 2 hours to pickup.  And of course Dan has always been insistent that I not go alone or worse with the girls. I have begged and pleaded several times and then always had to say "Thank you for not letting me go, that was creepy".

This one was risky because it involved driving 30 minutes.  I now kind of have a rule against driving that far.  But someone had listed a dining room table, 6 chairs and china cabinet all for $150. I was in love with the chairs and thought $150 is a steal even for 2 chairs.  Let alone a table and china cabinet.  But it was a dilemma because I was losing my special day to pile the whole family into two cars and drive to Lee's Summit.  But we did and I was very grateful.

After painting the first table white and living with it upstairs for a while, we decided that it would eventually need to be replaced.  We then found a second new table for the dining room for $60.  Another lesson learned: always go with lots of smaller bills.  We weren't entirely sure we wanted to take it because the leaves didn't have an apron but the guy was desperate to get rid of it and would have taken $50.  But we didn't have change ARGH!!!!

Lastly I had been looking at buffets since Mother's Day to go with my furniture but either they were all more than $150 or they were selling an entire dining room set and didn't want to split it up. Then to my complete astonishment one day someone was selling THE MATCHING buffet to my china cabinet.  All my friends said how did you know it was the matching piece.  Well take a look.  Same color, same lines, same hardware.  I was floored.  These are stanley pieces from the 1950s.  What are the chances.

So then after buying the new table in October and with hosting Thankgiving quickly approaching it was mad refinishing time.  The only thing that started to cost was I could not decide what color to paint the china cabinet.  First it was white, then it was yellow (yes had a wild haired moment).  Then it was black, then it was gray then back to black.  Phew.  Final product is done and we LOVE IT.

Here was what the dining room has looked like for the last 2 years - Playroom:

Here was the china cabinet and table and chairs that we got for $150.  (Ignore the cute little white china cabinet in the picture with the table.  That is a piece from my grandmother that I have had for 15 years that is now in my room.)  What a deal huh!!!

Second new table before picture.  The first table we just couldn't stand the trestle legs all down the middle and the leaves would split apart.  It is now in our storage room as an extra table, when needed, because it folds down to nothing.

The matching buffet for $85.  So so crazy!

And last but not least, the finished product.  After tons of hours of labor, paint, stripper, sanding, bondo, stain, more paint and new hardware.   You can hardly recognize it huh?

One more note.  If you want to learn how to make these cheap shelves.  Check out one of my FAVORITE websites: 
These are a fabulous way to fill up a large wall.  However Dan and Mia keep asking what happened to all the pictures that use to be in the office and in my bedroom.  Oops. 


pam said...

Wow, you do a great job. You could open a booth down in the West Bottoms for First Friday...or at one of the antique places like River Market Antiques. You can really turn old stuff around. Well done! Or hire yourself out to refinish other people's stuff. Cause I'm sure you have sooooo much free time. lol

dan and elise said...

Pam, thanks for the encouragement. My sister keeps telling me the same thing. There are two problems though. One I can't imagine the margin being worth it and secondly whenever I have a project like this my husband and I can't park in the garage. But so funny you said that because I am building the girls a stage for Christmas and when I told two girlfriends this morning they were practically begging me to make them one too. So funny but apparently I could get into the stage making business. lol

Jen said...

You are super talented! Your dining room is gorgeous! I checked out the shelf website. I've been thinking about making some of those for quite some time! Thanks for posting that!