One man’s trash…

One man’s trash…


Some call it dumpster diving, others call it garbage picking. I call it seizing the opportunity! I cruise the curbs looking for awesome discarded stuff that I can take home and put to good use. Once, my Dad found this awesome table just sitting out waiting for the garbage truck and now it’s where my family eats most of our meals. I love it! Free, beautiful and, well, ok, free is the best part. I also love scouring yard sales for stuff people sell cheap that I know can be turned into something lovely. Like these tables I snapped up last year.

Last week, I found the most incredible solid oak dresser at Value Village. It’s huge (and ohmygod heavy!) and I can’t wait to get to that project, but it needs to be sanded really well, painted and I have to find new hardware for it, so it’ll be awhile. The price? $25. Twenty. Five. Dollars. You can’t buy anything awesome for that price, and I scored the most amazing dresser!

See? Great bargains give me a buzz.

This past weekend, my new neighbours had a huge yard sale, and at the end, they put their remaining “junk” on the curb with my favourite sign ever, “FREE! TAKE ME!”. And so I brought this worn and wobbly wooden patio table home with me.

wooden tableFirst, the bolts holding the legs onto the table top needed to be tightened. Easy! Then, I lightly sanded it all over. Then I painted it using milk paint, which is my go-to for easy use. I used Homestead House’s “Laurentian” for the base colour. Because the wood was so porous, I ended painting three coats, but the great part about milk paint is that it dries SO fast that by the time you’re done one coat, it’s ready to apply another. So you paint it until it has the opacity you like.

I used a dollar store paint brush, nothing fancy. And to mix the paint, I find a whisk works best (one dedicated to paint, not shared with the kitchen). I follow the mixing instructions right on the bag, and adjust a bit more pigment when I want a more intense shade. I also added bonding agent since it’ll be outside in the elements.

Then, when it was dry, I went over the whole table with a rag soaked in hemp oil to seal it. It soaked that up like crazy because the wood was so parched. I waited about a half hour, then gave the top of the table a “wash” (a light coating) with Homestead House’s “Midnight Blue” to add some depth of colour.

Here’s the end result — a beautiful table in my backyard for my herbs and vegetables!

milk painted table

milk painted garden table

Cheap and cheerful DIY. Thanks, neighbour!

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