Over the summer, I spontaneously snagged a really beautiful coffee table on Facebook Marketplace. At the time, I didn’t have plans for it, but I really liked the shape & details. Fast forward to now, that little table has seen a LOT of change and found a home in the guest bedroom that I’ll be sharing with you soon. It perfectly fit in the window nook, in front of the sofa. Click through for a wild makeover, a new favorite product for bleaching wood, and for some DIY drama, ha!
This is what the table looked like the day I bought it home (above and below)… really pretty, but it has some water damage, and was more red than I would have preferred. We cleaned it, took it downstairs to my prop closet, and agreed we’d tackle it at a later date. Anyone else do this far too often? Yeah, me too.
About a month after I grabbed the table, one of my favorite brand partners reached out to see if I wanted to work together on a furniture DIY. I’m thinking to myself that the stars have aligned and the timing couldn’t be perfect to bring that table out of storage after having just put it downstairs. I agreed to test a new stain product and Emmett got to work stripping the cherry coffee table…
We used this multipurpose paint, stain, & epoxy remover. It required a couple coats, but did a fantastic job- and helped saved us a ton of time from sanding those intricate braided, twisted, and carved details.
It gums up like the photo above and below- then you scrape (or towel) it off and repeat. It’s messy, but such a time saver. Well worth it, in my opinion.
Once the stain was lifted, we were left with raw cherry wood… which still has a strong red undertone- where it gets the name “cherry”. Emmett decided to grab some wood bleach from the shop at his work and give it a go… especially since we were using a lighter stain color.
We will definitely be using this stuff again! If you’re trying to lighten wood or remove warm or cool undertones- this stuff works wonders.
It goes on pretty thick, like the above photo, and it lifts color from the wood. This was especially helpful for our cherry table. Here’s a closer look…
You can see how much cooler in tone the table looked after the first pass… pretty incredible. I wish we would have discovered this product sooner!
Once Emmett was finished bleaching the table, we were left with a blonde beauty. At this point, it was looking pristine and set for stain…
Given we were working with a brand partner on this project, the color was decided- which was a white stain. I’ve used white stain in the past… remember our pedestal makeover? It turned out really lovely and I was fully on board to commit to a similar color again. Emmett got going and stained the tabletop white, albeit a little premature because I hadn’t been given the formal “go ahead” just yet. I bet you know where this is headed- here’s where the DIY drama comes in.
The brand changed the product color, our table had already been finished in white, and it turned out the new project deadline interfered with our trip to Indonesia. We tabled the table and decided to figure it out after vacation (as one does after copious hours have already been spent on said table). We honestly just laughed about it… totally my fault for trying to knock things out quickly before our trip. I finally decided (months after this fiasco) I wanted the table to live in the guest room I’ve been working on, so Emmett repeated the stripping & sanding process to start all over. He was a better sport than I would have been, bless him.
I’ll spare you the same process photos over again, but being able to choose my optimal stain color for this space- I landed on a warm walnut finish. We used our favorite gel stain again! Here it is drying…
Emmett followed the stain with a quick-dry poly to give it a nice gloss and durability- especially since it’s living in a guest room that is frequently used.
Ready to see the finished table? I wanted to give you a good look, but only close-ups so I don’t give away the entire room. I’m still waiting on my artwork and haven’t properly styled it yet.
Isn’t the color so lovely and rich? It’s warm, has a deep walnut tone, and doesn’t feel overly red like it used to. I think it pairs perfectly with our guest space… like it was meant to be here all along!
The lower stretcher and those intricate details are so beautiful in person. Emmett really did a fantastic job bringing this little table back to life. The finish is pristine!
Probably an unpopular opinion because they are said to be “difficult” to style, but I just love an oval coffee table. We have one in our formal living room as well and I think they’re so versatile. They save space, balance corners and hard edges within a room, are family friendly (no pokey edges), and have a gorgeous feminine look to them.
Hopefully you enjoyed this makeover post… it has been a long time coming! Now that our family has stayed in the space and used it in a “finished” sense, I can definitely say the table worked out really well. I’m happy we were able to pull everything together before they arrived. Have you scored anything great on Facebook Marketplace lately? We’re due for a new roundup post soon!