My Three Legged Table


I hate to shop, absolutely hate it.  Going to a shopping mall is torture and my wife is gracious and doesn’t ask me to go very often. However, I absolutely love to thrift.  Cathy and I spend a good bit of time combing through second hand stores, thrift shops, auctions and garage sales finding pieces to upcycle.  Why?  Simply because thrifting is all part of the creative process.  The thrill isn’t in the hunt, well not only in the hunt, the thrill is in seeing possibilities in something that someone else views as being past its prime.  So, we are always on the search.


And we love it.

Every piece of furniture in this “junk” pile represents a new set of problems and a new opportunity for creative thought.  Often when we first see a piece we will discuss the possibilities.  “This could become a ….”, or “We could do……to this piece”, or “You might have to fix…….”  This discussion and negotiation is all part of the creative process and one of the blessings of doing it as a couple.

Well, our feature piece for this article was a rather different journey.  I first saw this beauty in a thrift shop and noticed two things about it, the skirt and legs of the table had great lines and some really nice carving, and sadly, one of the legs was missing. Now, who would buy a three legged table?  Not me.  I am not that desperate for a challenge.  But, it was disappointing as the rest of the table looked great.  I complained to Cathy.  “Darn, I love that table and it isn’t expensive, but one of the legs is missing”.  We split up to complete our shopping and my cell phone rang.  “Hurry up, come back to that table”  When I got there Cathy was grinning from ear to ear.  The missing leg was tied under the table and I couldn’t see it when I first looked at it.  Score…I had to have it.

Oh, it had some other problems…there was some damage to the underside of the table, and another one of the legs needed some glue, but nothing I couldn’t handle.

The top was covered in other thrift shop items so we cleared the top to discover that it was inlayed.  Oh no.  I had already painted the top in my head.  I was thinking of a color scheme and a floral design but the table was telling me to “leave well enough alone”.  It was already lovely and artistic.

Sure, the top needed to be refinished but to paint over that lovely inlay would have been terrible.  I love painted finishes and art work on furniture but sometimes that is not the best choice.  Let the item speak to you and let it tell you what is best.

So, it was time to explore the possibilities with Cathy.  We eventually decided to paint the legs in a toned, chippy white, and lightly glaze this with a warm brown to “age” the legs.  We would also apply a natural stain to the top to bring out the grain a bit and apply a clear, non-yellowing, uv protected polyurethane varnish to the top.  This varnish is by Heritage MultiMedia and is some of the best polyurethane varnish in the business….and as a bonus, it is odorless and you can order it through us.

So, our three legged table became a four legged table with a glazed white distressed bottom and a gorgeous refinished inlayed top.  We couldn’t be more thrilled with the results but we don’t know if we are going to keep this one or sell it.  Too soon to tell….

Thanks for visiting. Please come back again soon,


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