The Dining Table That Almost Wasn't
Over the winter, we transformed our spare bedroom into my new home office and flipped our antique, family heirloom dining table into the most beautiful farmhouse desk/work space! But since then I've been on the hunt for a new dining table and we've been living with a very empty dining room.
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First of all, I had no idea what style I wanted to choose for this space. Our dining room has modern Farmhouse vibes with our white cabinetry and black Windsor chairs. But the space also feels fabulously moody with dark painted walls and chunky wainscoting. And then there's the best Facebook Marketplace score of all time - my $25 antique wall candelabra that gets asked about daily on Instagram.
So let's just say our dining room is Vintage Moody Farmhouse and pretend like that's a real thing. After going back and forth between a French Country marble top table and a herringbone plank style, I just started stalking Facebook Marketplace for the right inspiration. After several months I thought I had found the perfect table made of solid cherry wood with a beautiful grain and gorgeous inlay detail.
We happily handed over $120 for this beauty, which mind you, is the most I've EVER spent on a piece of furniture from FBMP. But I believed it was worth it. And then I started sanding it.
The dang table top was MDF covered by a very thin layer of veneer. So while the rest of the table was cherry, the top was not solid wood and looked AWFUL after 5 minutes of sanding. I felt betrayed, bamboozled, and $120 poorer. And for the record, this table fooled everyone. I truly believe the seller believed it was solid cherry and was not maliciously trying to swindle us.
So I pouted and vented on social media and then went back to FBMP feeling a little jaded but optimistic.
When this gorgeous oak table with beautifully detailed turned legs and a top that had already been stripped popped up for $25 INCLUDING 6 chairs, I snagged it as fast as I could! I crammed all 7 pieces into my car and proudly brought my prize home. Tim and I set up the table in the dining room knowing it would be a few months before I could strip it...but I didn't care. I needed to admire my treasure on the regular.
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And then...2 days after bringing my score home, my husband called me over to break the news we had yet again purchased a table with an MDF top. The finish had already been stripped off the top leaving the raw wood exposed, BUT in the corner it appeared the surface had been sanded too far and the familiar black speckles of wood particulars mocked me.
I know this is all a bit dramatic, but I was so defeated in that moment knowing how much effort I had put into finding the perfect table. I made the choice to continue refinishing because this table checked all the boxes in so many other ways. I'll take you through the process of how I refinished the table in another post, but because I was careful with my sanding, the raw wood veneer remained intact for the rest of the top and I was able to achieve my dream table, MDF and all.
So why am I telling you all of this rather than just sharing my tutorial and calling it a day? Well, I think it's important to know you have to take risks to create a beautiful home. The benefits of taking something old from Facebook Marketplace and turning it into something beautiful far outweigh the struggles I encountered on my table quest. I may have lost my $120 but I would have spent thousands purchasing the brand new table that inspired my search. Plus, I sold my cherry table full of lies for $10 and those 6 chairs for $30 so at least I got a little of my money back!
Take chances, my beautiful friends. Get your hands dirty and make treasures out of trash. And keep your eye out for that sneaky MDF!