You know I have a thing for pedestals! I’ve talked about them here on the blog in this post! A few years ago, I pulled five or six pedestals out of a dumpster at Emmett’s work. They were made of HEAVY oak wood, were great varying sizes, but definitely had a modern 90s kind of vibe, which doesn’t quite fit my personal aesthetic. I rescued them anyway, knowing they had potential, and with my office renovation underway– this felt like the right time to give one a much needed makeover for my vintage marble horse (we’re just waiting around on other materials right now). Click through for a fun DIY, to scroll through the process, and to see how one of my dumpster pedestals got a glow up…
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This is actually my largest pedestal from the batch, and this is what it looked like before. It was showing some wear and tear, had radius edges, and felt pretty basic.
I knew with some added millwork pieces and an updated finish, it could be really lovely. This is what we used for this project…
SUPPLIES + TOOLS:
- Minwax wood finish solid color stain (in pure white)
- 18 gage nail gun
- wood glue
- wood filler
- cove moulding
- tape measure
- miter saw
- table saw
- red oak lumber (1 x 3s)
- orbital sander
- 120 & 220 grit sand paper
I really wanted to try a different type of stain for this pedestal- something that was more opaque, but still allowed that beautiful oak wood grain to shine through, creating a nice texture. There will be a lot of visual interest happening in my office once it’s finished… custom built-ins with intricate millwork, a custom wood credenza, and of course we have our herringbone hardwood floors. There will be quite a few wood tones in the space and there will also be lots of dimensional millwork. I thought it would be best to keep the pedestal simple and let the sculptural horse take the spotlight. That’s how I landed on the minimal, yet traditional design, as well as the opaque stain finish. I bought a can of Solid Color Stain by Minwax in Pure White (which matches our pocket doors).
Our first step was to sand the pedestal down, removing the existing finish, and plan our millwork pieces. I knew I wanted a heavier base and symmetrical, clean lines with a simple edge profile.
Emmett cut all of the pieces and test fit them, making sure the miters were perfectly aligned. Next we applied wood glue, and applied the pieces to the existing pedestal.
We adhered both vertical and horizontal pieces- ensuring to hide the radius corners. I really wanted the edges to be a sharp 90 degree corner that felt more timeless and had better staying power.
As we glued the pieces on, we followed up with our 18 gage finishing nailer. This pedestal is HEAVY and we wanted to make sure everything was solid and well secured.
Once all of the millwork or trim pieces were installed, we used Minwax Stainable Wood Filler to fill all of the tiny nail holes.
We proceeded to sand the pedestal until it was perfectly smooth, then we carefully wiped and cleaned it in preparation for the fun part… stain!
We used a sponge to apply the stain (because we had it on hand), but I’d recommend using a stain pad! It’s really a thick product that goes on nicely. Since it’s opaque, you can easily see where you’ve stained thanks to the high contrast. You’ll want to apply an even coat, ensuring to get in all of the intricate corners and edges.
I would definitely suggest tackling this project indoors, in a shaded garage, or in cooler temperatures. We were set up in our garage (with the door open, sun beaming in) and it was a 100+ degree day, which made the stain set quickly. We ended up closing the door, which really helped make the process easier. My point? Keep it out of the sun, and make sure you’re not in crazy temperatures trying to apply stain!
Once the stain is applied, simply wipe off the excess immediately- using your paint pad. It’s really an easy process. We started with the top of the pedestal, and followed with one side at a time for the sake of consistency.
This solid color stain is actually tintable- there are over 200+ color options. We applied two coats, and gave it an hour to dry in between coats- which was more than enough time.
Ready to see the before and after? It’s pretty right?! It feels more representative of our aesthetic, and the finish turned out really nice.
For a piece I pulled out of a dumpster three years ago, I’m thrilled with this pedestal! I think it makes a gorgeous and functional display for my vintage marble horse, which will eventually live in my renovated home office.
I’m happy we didn’t lose that beautiful woodgrain altogether. The stain really enhanced the texture and gave it a downplayed cerused sort of look. It was difficult to capture in photographs- but it’s beautiful in person! Here’s a better closeup…
Sometimes these small projects are the most fun. They’re quick, easy, can be tackled in a day, and feel very rewarding. It certainly has me excited to style the office someday and fill it with my favorite things! These pieces that Emmett and I tackle together are always super special to me. Not only do we make memories together, but it’s something I know I’ll keep forever because he made it for me.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on our little pedestal makeover! I also tossed a blanket over our entry table to create a temporary skirted table look. It’s scratching my itch until the one I bought arrives. Let me know if you have any woodworking or stain questions, and we’ll do our best to answer them!