You know we love ourselves some furniture tweaking…
But first, guess what arrived?! I’ll give you two hints: this and the photo below. Admittedly, both are very strong hints. Maybe I need to work on being more mysterious.
Despite Sherry’s promises to throw a ticker tape parade when our new outdoor sofa showed up, its arrival was unceremonious. Sherry was on a conference call. A big truck pulled up. I handed off the baby to Sherry and ran outside. A big box came out of said truck. Yada yada. Clara was out with Grammy, but when she arrived home she declared it “perfect!” and said “I love it!” and that was that, as you can see in the video below.
What you can also see in the video below is the last appearance of that old white coffee table, which has been a staple in all of our sunrooms to date.
The table is actually a big thrift-store tabletop that we screwed onto an Ikea Lack table, so it was a temporary solution that has long overstayed its welcome. Keeping it outdoors for nearly a year finally put the last nail in its coffin. So if you ever wondered how Lack tables respond to moisture…
We had been planning to replace it with another table that has been with us through three houses, but were just waiting for the sofa to arrive to get started. It’s the metal + glass thrift store table that anchored our first living room and enjoyed a brief stint outside at our last house.
The time that it spent on our old patio taught us two things – the metal is great outside, but the glass is not. We were constantly cleaning pollen / dust / watermarks off it, so it always looked foggy and dirty. So we decided to make a wood top that might be a bit more durable (and will hopefully hide a lot more dust/dew/etc). We kept the glass in case it ever comes back inside, but for now the metal frame is the only part coming out of storage.
At Lowe’s we found this $19 pre-cut panel that was the exact width (20″) and depth (3/4″) we needed, so we happily accepted the shortcut from having to cut a board to size (although this one did need a little trim on one end).
Our main concern was keeping the board from warping – either in moisture or under the weight of items on the table. If we used something thicker, the top wouldn’t sit flush with the metal frame – so I did my best to reinforce this panel with some x-bracing underneath.
I ripped a 1 x 3″board in half on my table saw (any thicker and it would have poked out below the metal frame) and cut it to length so that it would sit in the X-shape that you see above. To make them nest together in the center, I marked where they crossed and used my table saw – set very low – to notch out a groove on each board. They weren’t perfect, but it worked!
We loved the look of the raw wood against the metal, but in the room it just looked unfinished in combination with the new sofa. Since we knew we’d need to stain and seal it for protection against the elements, we decided to be a bit adventurous.
So yeah, we got blue. Specifically River’s Run Semi-Transparent Stain in Olympic Maximum, which is not only used for outdoor furniture, it can also be used on decks and fences.
Since going with a colored stain was new to us, we did some tests on the spare piece of tabletop that I had trimmed off. After applying some Minwax Prestain Wood Conditioner to the whole piece, we tested out what one coat of River’s Run would look like vs. two coats. And then for kicks, we brushed a quick coat of Dark Walnut stain on the end of each swatch to see if we liked the slightly warmer, more aged look of those two stains in combination.
We decided to go with the simplest option: just the one coat of River’s Run. Two coats felt a bit too intense (almost like it was painted, not stained) and the Dark Walnut overcoat was too brown against the metal table to the point that it sort of looked muddy/dirty when we held it up next to it.
With that decision made, we just followed the staining instructions after applying the same Minwax Prestain Wood Conditioner to the wood (remember when we learned how much of a difference that made back here). You basically just brush it on, and it looks crazy-blue and scares you (see below) but once you let it soak in and dry, it ends up being a nice subdued tone…
… like this:
Oh but after our single coat of stain was applied and had dried (on both sides) we did elect to brush on three coats of Safecoat Acrylacq as a sealer (to the top and bottom of the board). We really want this thing to hold up well outside, and when it rains really hard the table in here does get coated with a fine mist of water, so it felt like nice added insurance.
Going back to the sofa for a minute, we’re really happy with it so far. We love the slight color variation/striping in the wicker and the whole things feels very sturdy while still being comfortable. The cushions are nice and dense, so they don’t feel flat or too floppy (which hopefully bodes well for their durability). If anything, they feel like they need to be broken in a little, but we’re already hard at work on that task. Burger takes his job very seriously.
I was a little wary of how the blue tabletop would work out, but I’m pleasantly surprised at how well it works with everything out there. It brings out some of the blue undertones in the tile while still looking rustic enough to contrast with the metal base. And maybe it’s just the sky reflecting off of it, but even the woven part of the sofa seems to have a hint of blue going on.
It’s pretty exciting to finally have some real furniture out here. We pretty much live out back in the warmer weather, so having a nice shaded place to lounge is well overdue.
The rest of the sunroom is still looking pretty empty (which is why I opted to photograph these so tightly) but we’ve already set a plan in motion for filling things in and adding more function/seating. After all, if we ever plan to reclaim the sofa for ourselves we’ll need to give Burger another alternative.
Not at all related to the post, but I was so excited to see you guys pop up on Style Me Pretty this morning! Can’t wait to hang up my octopus and bee hook in our new house! xo
Thanks Alison! It was fun to chat with them!
Love the couch & the idea for the table! Colour choice is great and the whole look gels together nicely. Very comfy looking! :O)
I agree with Clara…. it’s perfect. :)
I love everything about that table! Excellent job! And the sofa looks great too!
Cathy M. says
I am pretty sure Burger thinks you buy the furniture for him. He’s just kind enough to share it with the rest of your family. :-)
Oh yeah, Burger thinks he’s the master of this house. If we gave him a bell I’m pretty sure he’d ring it whenever he wants us to bring him finger sandwiches and feed him grapes.
Nicole @ Liberty Belles says
wow blue stain…never thought of that. looks awesome though!
I just want to sit in your backyard and sip lemonade! Is that weird! :)
Nope, come on over ;)
Liz || Shopping My Closet says
That looks awesome (and practical)! Loving the unexpected blue color!
Liz @ http://www.shoppingmycloset.com
Melissa @ HOUSEography says
Wow!! Looks really great. Was about to recommend the WM chairs but I see you already saw them (of course!). Several of my clients have bought them and LOVE them. Supposedly very comfortable!
I like that couch! But why not an ottoman, when I’m relaxing I like to put my feet up…you not agree? Maybe just me and mine. ha I usually use side tables for placing my drink.
We have an ottoman in our living room, so maybe we just missed having a coffee table surface? It has been handy for drinks/snacks and stuff like that – and we definitely still find ourselves resting our feet on it :)
It looks great!
Pat S says
Everything looks great and Burger certainly looks at home. :D
There are plenty of online tutorials for making pillow covers with a hidden zipper. The zipper is really REALLY easy. Here is one place – just scroll down for the zipper instructions.
There are also plenty of YouTube videos on how to do the zipper. Have fun.
tara e says
I love it all! You guys always think of such creative things to do :) It’s why I love ya! Can’t wait to see what you fill up the rest of the veranda with!
PS Clara looks SO grown-up suddenly- it’s the instagram of her in her “gown” that just made her look 8 ha! And how cute is Teddy?? You two are so blessed!
Thanks Tara! It’s crazy how big Clara looks now that Teddy’s here. Nothing like a little guy to make the big sister look huge!
Awesome! I was just debating River Run vs. Blue Sapphire for the platform floor of the playset we are refurbishing. I chose Blue Sapphire and it came out lilac. Boo. Good thing I have two girls. I love how the River Run turned out for you and when I have to restain the playset in a few years, I am going to switch to that color.
So fun that you have Blue Sapphire a try! We eyed that one too!
I love it!
Emily @ Life on Food says
What a dramatic redo with that table! The color works really well with the floor tiles.
Love all of it! And of course the styling is what polishes it all off. Where did the carafe and cups come from??
Thanks Joy! Those are HomeGoods a while back. Anything wrapped in straw cup-wise is a “get in my belly” moment. And by belly I mean cart.
Roxanne M says
LOVE the table (and the sofa!). My husband recently made me a coffee table and did the sides of the tabletop/legs a dark cherry stain and the middle of the tabletop a grey stain. We also opted to do just 1 coat. Looks similar to yours and we love it!
gah, i was hoping you hadn’t finished so i could offer a warning! i did the same thing with a metal table frame last summer, but after living on our deck for a few weeks, the board shrank considerably. i wish i would have left the wood on the deck for a while to let it acclimate and then build the tabletop.
but overall, huge fan of the style :)
Oh no, thanks for the tip! We had the board in our garage for a while before we got around to cutting and staining it, so I hope that means it’ll work out. Will keep you posted if it shrinks up or bows or we have any other issues :)
I LOVE the stained wood for the table. We have a glass top table for our outdoor dining table and it always looks dirty. Replacing the glass with wood is brilliant and adds wonderful character. Great idea!
I am in love with the blue on the table top and the whole table. It is stunning! Once again, great job!
Emily S. says
I think you mean “Guess what arrived” and not “Guest what arrived” in the first sentence.
Thanks Emily, all fixed!
I love how your table turned out! Which leads me to the following slightly shaggy-dog story and a question: I’m refinishing a nightstand and thought it would be nice in blue, but transparent so you can see the grain. I bought some Minwax Water Based wood stain in Deep Ocean, basically hoping for a similar effect to the one you got, and, in a moment of unusual foresight, decided to try it out on a junky chair first. Not so hot. Lots of blotches, and it generally just looked like clumpy opaque paint. The Minwax is supposed to be painted on and then quickly wiped off, which sounds different than the Olympic you used (?). Am thinking maybe I should ditch the Minwax and try something different. So, would you recommend the Olympic, and do you know if it comes in different colors in an indoor stain as well? Thanks!
So glad you tried the chair first! We really liked this stuff and we just had to brush it on (no rubbing it off, but other colors might have different instructions) and let it dry. I would recommend using wood conditioner too if you can – it really seems to help. Olympic had a number of other outdoor colors but I don’t know offhand if they have indoor stain too, but if they do it might be worth a try!
Love all of your ideas! You are awesome guys!!
My Blog: Sarisfashion.com
Our back garden is pretty wild at the moment but I hope one day we’ll have a nice space like this to relax. Love it as always :) If you ever want to donate your house to someone… ;)
Come on over ;)
My Crappy House says
“Guest what arrived”? Unless I’m missing a hidden pun, I think you meant “guess”.
Just a guest. Er… guess.
Thanks MCH! All fixed :)
I am an absolute fan of the blue stain and you all just cemented that love for me..Love what you did here..
I love it!! Such a bold choice that turned out perfectly!
I got a great deal on a wicker loveseat and chair from Target this weekend. Used the cartwheel app and got the floor model and saved 60%! Plus I found these awesome throw pillows at home goods to go with it. Makes such a difference on the porch!
Sounds like an awesome deal!
Sarah @ Sarah's Daybook says
Fancy shmancy! I LOVE that stain color! Would have never thought of that!
Looks like Burger is claiming the new sofa.
Love the new look, but I’m laughing at your swapping out the glass top so that dew, etc., won’t show. It’s still there, you know! Love my outdoor glass tabletops – they’re so easy to keep clean with a swipe of vinegar and a rag.
Amazing!!!! Love it!! I bought your book yesterday and I am in love! Your blog has inspired me to make a table behind my sectional!! Love it!!! :)
Zareef Hasan says
I love that couch! Blue stain idea is great. Carry on fella!
I love the colors!!!! Do you mind if I ask who did the portrait of Burger? We just lost our pup and I was looking for something funky/cute like that!
I’m so sorry for your loss Gina! That was done by an amazing reader’s husband (we met her on the book tour too, so I got to gush about how talented her husband Joe is). Here’s his site: http://www.sitstaypainted.com/gallery.html
What a beautiful space already. Is the wicker brown or grey? It looks grey in your pictures but when I inquired on HD website, they said it was brown. I have been looking for grey, similar to the Arhaus. Is it similar? Thank you for your help!
It walks the line I think! It’s not brown like chocolate (more of a cool gray-brown, sort of like the Sparrow wall color we used in the guest room upstairs). The Arhaus furniture that we used in the showhouse is more gray, so this is more of a cool brown with some gray/blue undertones I think. Although I bet it looks different depending on the light/background too. We checked out the chair in the store to make sure we liked it beforehand, so maybe that’s helpful before making a purchase?
Erin B says
You guys are ridiculously talented. That looks like a $250 table!
Rachel W says
I love it!! The couch, the blue in the table, the video of Clara! It’s all great!
I love how much you guys reuse/restyle/recycle things to fit in different spaces. It inspires me to work with what I have instead just going out and buying new stuff.
Looks great! Was wondering how is Burgers shedding? I just adopted a chihuahua and can’t believe all the shedding. Is it an issue for you?
His belly is bald and his top coat is short hair, so it could be worse, but I’m pretty much covered in tiny blonde dog hairs at all times. Doesn’t help that I love wearing black…
Two tips: brush your dog outside a few times a week to get it off out there, and buy things that match the fur color like our sofa upholstery, ha!
We have a chihuahua/corgi cross (adorbs) but you could practically knit your own chihuahua every day from the fur that gathers in the corners …
I seriously just did this with a cool metal glass top coffee table from the 40’s (? it was old enough to have straw cushions). I used cedar 1×4’s and 1×6’s instead though, since I had them left over from a shed building project. LOVE the stain!
A nice outdoor rug would really tie this space together and really make it feel like a room.
Oh, I love how it turned out!
The blue is beautiful. I would have gone full monty and done the second coat of blue, but it looks so nice.
Thanks for the inspiration! I’m going to make some Adirdondack chairs (which I can never spell) and am going to get bold and do a colorful stain.
You guys are genius! I can’t stand glass coffee tables because they need constant dusting, even indoors. I’m definitely copying you :)
I recently found out from my dad (who has 30+ years wood working experience) that it’s actually more important to seal the ends of boards (in addition to the surfaces) to prevent warping because that’s where wood soaks up the most moisture. So you might want to slap some of that sealant on the ends, too. :-)
Thanks Heather! We did the sides while we were at it as well. We didn’t want any unsealed wood exposed :)
Love the table; what a great idea! Question – Is the table top exterior or marine grade wood? Like to have a table like that, but I live in Florida and would need exterior/marine grade due to the humidity.
It’s not, but I think you could find something that thick and get it cut right in the store (maybe at Home Depot?). Then you’d just need to stain it and lay it over a frame.
Looks great…What are your plans for the day bed?
We put that up in the unfinished storage room for now, since we figure it could come in handy for Teddy’s room down the line (or the bunk-room we want to make from the unfinished storage room someday).
I’ve been a reader from the beginning, but don’t leave comments. You have many smart ideas, but I thought this one was VERY smart and easily duplicated on so many levels. congrats. M. P.S. Love how you keep this blog honest.
Oh wow! Love how your coffee table turned out. I have been scared to use a colored stain on anything yet, but after seeing how yours turned out, I just might get brave enough! Also, your couch looks amazing and super comfy.
Everything is so happy and inviting! I also couldn’t help but notice the bright turquoise garden stool/side table. I’m enamored with them since I read on Houzz about how they’re the “most helpful furniture piece you may ever own,” and of course yours is perfect!
So funny! I’m in love with garden stools. As in, I might need someone to remind me not to buy anymore since we already have 12,000. But really, can one more hurt…?
That looks blue-tiful!! I love that you took a risk and went with a color stain! I wasn’t sure if I’d like it.. but I love it! I’m constantly trying to think what you two would advise for my house when I’m decorating and remodeling! You always have such wonderful ideas!