Two Dollars!

I recently found a couple of items at thrift stores for a whopping $2 each. Happy dance! The first item was a wooden TV tray and the second was a chair. Both were quick and easy projects. I don't plan to use these two together, nevertheless, I think the photo is a great illustration of how to coordinate two separate styles with a painted finish. In this case I used Graphite on both.

TV Tray

TV trays make me think of the metal trays from the 1970's that were flimsy and tipped quite easily. But this tray table is wood, and although it's not heavy, the weight of the wood gives it a little more stability. I purchased it to use in my garage for placing supplies on it while working on other projects, and it came in quite handy over the past few months. However, we had a few family movie nights over the holiday break and I realized we don't have any tables in the family room. Imagine that -- I sold all our side tables! So I did a quick re-do on the TV tray and now it can be brought in for use when needed or tucked away when it's not. Any bets on whether or not it goes to the booth for sale?

Underside of table.

Top view.

Close up.
I worked on both the chair and TV tray over the holidays, but came to a standstill while working on this project. The temperatures here in southern Ohio plummeted below freezing and it was too cold to sand outside. Weather forecasts weren't looking better anytime soon, in fact it looked to be getting even colder, so I finally bit the bullet and sanded the table while we still had double digit temperatures. It was 13 degrees Fahrenheit when I sanded, and let me tell you it was the fastest job I ever did! Not the best job; just the quickest, ha ha. Sometimes done is better than perfect. 

Rustic Black Chair

The next item was a lone chair that was marked "$2 as-is". It was actually sturdy, but what caught my attention was that it had a broken spindle. I immediately decided that it would be a good learning piece. I would much rather practice a repair on a $2 item than a more expensive piece. The legs are worn at the bottom making the chair about an inch shorter than it would normally be. But it would work very well in an entryway or mudroom.

Broken spindle
For the repair I used Gorilla Wood Glue to affix the broken wood and then filled it in with wood filler. Once the wood filler was dry I sanded it off to reshape it to the curve of the spindle. Overall the repair went well and wasn't difficult. But after painting the chair I did notice there was still a small crack in the wood filler. It doesn't seem to impact the stability of the spindle and a second round of wood filler would have taken care of it quite easily. But since it's a $2 chair I decided it wasn't worth the investment of my time, so I decided to leave it and moved on with the project.

Repaired spindle (1st small spindle on left).

The original black paint on the chair was quite thick and shiny with floral decals. And by original paint I mean the paint that was on it when I bought it; I don't believe it was the original-original paint. I sanded off the decals and lightly sanded the rest of the chair. I painted the entire piece in two coats of Graphite, sanded it, then applied both a soft and dark wax. When sanding the Graphite it turns a grayish color, but once the dust is removed and wax applied it darkens right back up.

This chair isn't a dramatic transformation, but I think it is an improvement on the previous finish.
Two dollar chair; after.

No trace left of the decals.

Close up.
Did you notice this little fella in the first photo? I cleared out unsold holiday items from my booth and this was one of those items. I think he's adorable, so I decided to add him to the vignette before putting him in storage. I was surprised he didn't sell, but maybe next year he will find a home!


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