Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Curbside Dinette

Driving home last week, I found this 1940's dinette table in pieces and put out for trash at the curb of a home in Webster Groves.  It was in the same neighborhood where I found these curbside treasures.  The legs were already off, so it fit fairly easily into my hatchback.  Not that I needed a table, I just couldn't stand to see it go to the trash.

There was a grocery bag with parts in it and I grabbed that as well.  I didn't spend too much time looking around for anything else that might have fallen out of the bag.  While I'm not above digging through someone else's discarded trash, I don't like to linger too long.  I would regret that later when reassembling.

I broke one of my cardinal rules for restoration projects and didn't take any "before pictures".  The chrome plating on the legs was peeling badly and one leg was severely rusted and pitted.

It appeared to have been used as a work table as there was hardened epoxy glue spills in several spots along with paint spots.  Goof Off cleaned it up nicely, although the glue took a little elbow grease to remove.  While cleaning it up, I found a manufacture date.  Unfortunately, I couldn't find any manufacturer's name.

The original leaf was still tucked under the table.  It has a little laminate separation which I'm fixing with glue at the moment.

The table has stainless beaded edging.  Some chrome polish did a pretty good job of cleaning that up.

It has a wooden fluted skirt which I left in original painted condition and just applied a coat of polyurethane.

I completely sanded what remained of the chrome plating off of the legs and primed it, sanding between coats.  For the badly pitted leg, I had to put numerous layers on to build up the pits, sanding down over the pitted area completely each time until I had filled the pits with primer.  I then painted the legs with Rustoleum brand Specialty Metallic Silver spray paint.  It was a pretty good substitute for chrome and an easy DIY. 

My wife polished the table top with Johnson's Paste wax and an orbital buffer (another garage sale find).

I regret not looking around for more parts because it was missing a couple of the tubular leg braces and there was only one of the metal corner details.  I might be able to fashion the leg braces (more for decoration than support) from some aluminum tubular stock.

Now if I can just find a place to put it.  It's too small to use as a kitchen table for our size family.  Right now our plans are to use it as a game table.


  1. you did all this work in a WEEK??
    jeez. it took me three weekends to build a simple composter... : [

    1. Well, it was early in the week and I had a couple days off to work on it. Really, the biggest part was repainting the legs.

    2. i was beginning to wonder if you sleep any more. : )


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