During the winter months it can be hard to work on furniture projects that require chemicals and make big messes if you don’t have a heated workspace. I was determined to make a new sofa table and decided to build it right in the living room.
I’ve had my eye on this plan by Rogue Engineer and I adjusted the dimensions to fit our couch by making the table lower and narrower. Getting the wood cut at the hardware store and using the Kreg Jig (which makes pocket holes for easy and secure joints) made it come together quickly. I am a total beginner but thanks to the great plans available by talented people it is so easy.
After building the table this is what it looked like unfinished. I decided not to add the x braces in the original plan because I liked the simplicity of it like this.
Since it’s too cold to do a wood stain in the garage and I didn’t want to leave it unfinished until spring I did a steel wool and vinegar stain. It’s not an exact science and from my experience there is not a lot of control in the colour. Each board takes the treatment differently and I’ve even had some cedar turn black. To make the mixture just put steel wool and vinegar in a lidded container and wait a couple of days. Then brush it on the wood.
The photo above shows the contrast of the wood that has the vinegar and steel wool and the bottom part doesn’t.
I learned the hard way that if you miss spots and try to go back after and fill them in it doesn’t work too well.
These pine boards took the vinegar pretty well but the board used for the legs was different than the rest of the table so I did a dry brush whitewash with leftover house paint. I went pretty conservative with the white dry brush because I plan to do a proper treatment in the spring with some stain over it. If you’re hesitant to use wood stains or don’t have the proper space to work then the vinegar can work if you plan to do washes of paint over top.
Doing a dry brush treatment or doing a light wash of paint over top of the wood is the way to control the finished look and conceal flaws.
This is a detail of the finished product and it’s already being put to use as a prop for photographing my spring pillow collection.