Transform a Curbside Find with Fusion

Curbside finds have made some of the most stunning and impressive transformations! Finding a discarded piece and giving it a new look or function can also be some of the most rewarding projects we bring into our home. Sometimes the vision comes to us immediately, and others take a while to develop but we knew this 80’s coffee table would make the perfect shabby chic addition to a soft cottage or European-inspired home using Algonquin and SFO.
Old and well used coffee table with scuffs and scratches

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Prep your foundation

The first thing we noticed about this curbside find was it’s solid structure and bones. It had this wonderful scroll shape to the base that begged to be highlighted. As it was, the wood just made the base blend into the background when it should have been front and center. 

Zoomed in photo of the coffee table emphasis on the wooden legs that have an intricate design

Another thing that really stood out was the beautiful grain on the tabletop. Because this tabletop is longer than the average coffee table, we wanted to make sure that the grain was also highlighted, but not overdone. It made the perfect candidate for a whitewash. So the plan was to remove the orange-brown stain from the top with stripper so that we would start with a raw base.  And as with any project, you want to make sure you start with a clean surface, so make sure to give it a thorough cleaning first. 

Stripping and thoroughly cleaning the top of the coffee tables
Top of the coffee table after being stripped to raw wood

Paint it beautiful

Now that we have a piece ready for finish, we want to work our way from the top down.  We applied a thin coat of Stain and Finishing Oil (SFO) in “White” to go for a whitewashed look.  The best thing about SFO is not only that it’s a stain and sealant in one product, but that it provides durability and water resistant finish as it penetrates the wood. It seeps down into the fibers and strengthens them from within rather than leaving a filmy finish on the top. Leave the SFO on your surface for 10-15 minutes and wipe away the excess with a clean rag or towel. You can continue to add more layers of SFO for a more opaque look, but allow 12 hours to dry between coats. For this look, one coat provided a lovely weathered and washed look. 

can of stain and finishing oil with paint sponge leaning up against can
Brushing on SFO with paint sponge
Edge of coffee table after being brushed with SFO

The next step is to apply your paint finish. We chose Algonquin as a complementary match to pair with the whitewash top. Algonquin a neutral taupe with hints of grey and brown perfectly offsets the wood tone underneath. Can you believe the coverage? We achieved 100% coverage with just one coat. After the paint has dried for 12 hours, we lightly distressed it and allowed some of the original finish to peek through. 

Painting the coffee table legs in Algonquin
Distressing edges of coffee table legs with sand paper after being painted

Transform a curbside find with Fusion Algonquin

After your project has cured at least 24 hours, you’re ready to start pulling your room together by seeing it in the space and dressing it up with your décor. The finished product gives us a cozy, European look that brings out warmth and texture. 

Completed coffee table painted in Algonquin, staged with a love seat & table decor
Up close photo of painted and staged coffee table, photo emphasizes the legs of the coffee table and there is a basket of books sitting on top

The original wood coming through the distressed areas gives the piece a bit of character that most shabby-chic and farmhouse enthusiasts love to bring into their home. 

Photo of the coffee table legs after being painted and distressed
Coffee table painted and staged with a couples photo in a white frame sitting on top

The icing on top, is literally the buttery smooth whitewash that SFO was able to achieve.  It sinks perfectly into the crevices of the wood grain and the oils even give us a bit of a subtle sheen.  

Up close photo of painted and staged coffee table, photo emphasizes the legs of the coffee table and there is a basket of books sitting on top
Up close photo of top of coffee table which is white washed
Completed coffee table painted in Algonquin, staged with a love seat & table decor

This coffee table went from 80’s orange wood to European-chic with a little bit of elbow grease. Can you envision this finish on your curbside finds?

Completed coffee table painted in Algonquin, staged with a love seat & table decor

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