Unfinished Wood Hack Furniture Flip

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Watch how I easily transformed a dated-looking 80’s coffee table by using this unfinished wood furniture hack without sanding.

Sometimes happy DIY fails happen!  I just had one and I’m so relieved it actually turned out to be a good thing. No, a great thing because I love the outcome.

Where do I begin/ Well, let’s start at the beginning.

I walked into a thrift store…pretty much all of my most exciting design stories start this way, but wait, I found this table on Facebook Marketplace. So anyway, I was scrolling, scrolling, scrolling and there it was. The perfect round coffee table I had been looking for.

furniture flip hack easy

Transforming a dated 80’s coffee table to look like unfinished wood.

Perfect except for one thing, the 80’s orange finish. Nope, didn’t like that at all, but I bought it because I knew I could change it and love it.

Initially I thought I would sand this coffee table down to the bare wood and then seal it getting that great trendy naked wood look.

But then my designated sanders, my sons Duncan and Isaac got to busy with school. I had to come up with another plan so I thought let’s just spray paint it a soft taupe.

Tried that and did not like it at all.

It needed to be wood!

Removing wood finish with over cleaner.

This is when the story take an ominous turn because I bought a can of over cleaner!

If you don’t already know oven cleaner can be a very quick way to remove wood finish, but it’s toxic. It bad for humans and bad for the earth.

I tried it anyways.

furniture flip paint technique

furniture flip coffee table furniture flip oven cleaner

Using a metal scrubby, oven cleaner and dish detergent for your furniture flip.

Not proud, just a little too lazy and impatient to put in an hour of mind-numbing sanding on this coffee table.

The oven cleaner took off the spray paint but it barely touched the 80’s wood finish. They don’t make’em like they used to.

furniture flip painted wood

Faux unfinished wood paint finish with paint stain and a stiff paint brush.

This is when I realized I had paint stain from a prior project that I could use to get a faux unfinished wood look!

I used Mini Wax Wood Finish Solid Color Stain.

You can go into Lowes and choose you own color or buy online. I choose their tan stain.

I painted it on thinly with a stiff paint brush and was amazed by how much it looked like wood,

furniture flip unfinished wood look furniture flip faux wood

Sealing your painted furniture with a protective finish.

I sealed it with two coats of Mini Wax Polycrylic Protective Finish. Good stuff.

Not one piece of sand paper was used in this project, and I got the unfinished look I wanted.

Won’t be using oven cleaner again. Instead I’ll use good old Citrus strip. Messy but worth it.

furniture flip before and after

I am so relieved this coffee table looks like something I drool over on Jennie Kayne Home.

It was a rough start, but a happy DIY fail that made good in the end.

furniture flip quick furniture flip 80's wood finish

furniture flip natural wood

If you were inspired by this project let it be your sign to should try it!

If you do let me know, I’d love to know how it turned out.

xo maria

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6 Comments

  1. Donna

    I tried using oven cleaner on a wood mirror and it was a fail! So glad you were able to come up with a way to cover the old finish! The light color stain looks amazing! It turned out so great!

    Reply
    • Maria Kamara

      Thanks Donna, I thought this might be a fail, but it turned out! The fails do teach us so much though. 🙂

      Reply
  2. Cindy

    I tried this on chairs and I’m going to do it again to see if it works this time. I used fume free and after doing research I read that fume free doesn’t work, UGH.

    I’m going to buy extra strength and if it doesn’t work the paintbrushes will come out.

    Great save

    Reply
    • Maria Kamara

      Good for you Cindy, I’d do the same. Whatever it takes, right?! High quality wood furniture it worth the time and effort. Also a huge money saver.

      Reply
  3. Linda

    glad to have a clear description of how you make this jewel of a table so [pretty And to know over cleaner isn’t the way to go!

    Reply
  4. Rachel - Tea and Forget-me-nots

    Glad to know about the oven cleaner fail. I haven’t tried it and now won’t bother. So disheartening when you buy a product and it doesn’t work. Worked out well in the end though!

    Reply

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Welcome to Pure Happy Home! A home design and DIY blog encouraging and helping you to design spaces you love. Here you’ll find budget makeovers, design tips and creative ideas you can apply to your home. Follow along as our family of 7 works to make our home more beautiful and our relationships closer.

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