End Table to Planter–DIY

My last post dove into my most recent thrift store excursion, as you might’ve read, and I noted somewhere in there that I had walked out with only one thing that day.  This was that one thing:planter (3)
Only it didn’t look like that as I walked out the doors of Goodwill that day. planter2 (2)

For one thing, it was a bamboo end table in its former life.  A bamboo end table that had much to be desired, I think, in the color arena.planter2 (1)
I mean, I’ve got nothing against a light wood but this little table plus that light wood read “western” to me.  Western just ain’t my style, as great as it can be, so I had to switch things up a little. 

Originally, I had intended to keep it an end table on top of which to set some of our indoor plants to keep them up, up, and a little farther away from Gianna’s curious fingers but then another lightbulb went off and I decided to go the same plant stand route with a small detour.

I started by removing the top of the table.  There was a small round trim piece holding the table platform onto the table so that went first.

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I don’t know where our pry bar is at the moment thanks to our semi-move but a hammer worked just fine.

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Once the table top was gone, I went around the top perimeter and removed all of the rogue nails that were still popping out.planter2 (5)
Then I sanded the whole thing down pretty lightly (read, lazily, because our fine grit sandpaper is packed away so all I had was a pretty rough grit to work with and so. many. round. parts) just to get most of the shiny off.  After a quick vacuum to get all of the fine dust off post-sanding, I handed the kids some wet wipes and they went to town “cleaning” our new little plant stand.planter2 (7)
I can’t tell you how elated they were.  Truly.  They love cleaning with wipes!  But, they’re only allowed when I give the go-ahead because I don’t feel like spending hundreds on wet wipes on a weekly basis…though it would make for a spotless house.  Hmmmm…

This is where things got a little dicey…  I grabbed a pint of Cabot wood stain + sealer at Dirt Cheap last week for $1.50 and an old paint brush in hopes that I could turn this light wood westerner to a darker hued mid-century moderner.  I knew the bamboo probably wouldn’t soak in the stain since I hadn’t sanded it down to bare wood so my intention was to use it like more of a paint or like what you’d use a wax for – just to add a little bit of color and make it look like it was actually a darker wood by keeping my brush strokes straight.plantertoo
I started brushing the wood finish onto the stand and by the time I was two minutes in, I was already annoyed at all of the curves and round features I had to brush.  AND, it wasn’t looking how it had looked in my head.planter2 (9)
It was super splotchy in some spots and in all of the other spots, there were tiny bubbles forming.  About halfway through, I was already writing a DIY fail post in my head. 

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But I kept at it and found that, if I brushed over the bubbling spots again a minute or so after the original application, they’d brush right out and stay out.  Things were still a little splotchy but the more I finished, the better they seemed to fit in.  The key of the whole process though, was making sure I painted with the grain of the bamboo.  There were lots of drips that showed up thanks to using a big paintbrush on little posts but I just tried to make sure I went back over them to sweep them up before they dried and all was well.

Let’s hop, skip, and jump over to the other half of this planter though, shall we?  You can’t have a plant stand without something to hold the plant!  I had planned on finding a terra cotta pot that fit inside our new stand but didn’t get to a store that carried them before I found this hot pink number from Dirt Cheap for $6.planter2 (6)
I probably could’ve found something a tad cheaper had I been a little more patient but I really wanted to get this thing done.  Pinky is plastic and therefore, not a super good candidate for spray paint, but I grabbed this Zinsser spray primer also at Dirt Cheap for $2 and just decided to go for it.  I figured it wouldn’t be something that was touched much once it was set inside the plant stand so that upped it’s chances of holding spray paint a little better.  I gave it two thin coats of the spray primer and it’s holding up great so far!  Another move might tell a different story but we shall see, won’t we?

I didn’t have a plant ready to be potted for our new stand so I grabbed one that fit perfectly inside from out on the front porch and, in a happy turn of events, I LOVE how it turned out.planter (4)
Things were iffy for awhile, like I said, when I first started brushing on the wood stain but once it was entirely painted and had dried, it look a hundred times better.planter (6)
I am so impressed with the Cabot stain I used.  I didn’t use it as a stain per say, but it dried rock hard and when I tried scratching it off, it went nowhere.  AND, it’s water-based which equals easy clean-up and not as smelly.  Unfortunately, I can only find it here and it’s pretty expensive.  It looks like it used to be sold at Lowe’s but it’s not in stock anymore.  Bummer.

Back to that plant though, does anyone know what it is? planter (2)
I bought it two summers ago at Lowe’s on clearance for $3 and thought it had died when it didn’t show any signs of life this summer.  Call it Lazurus though maybe because it started shooting up mid-August and now it’s flourishing!  I’d love to keep it going by bringing it inside during the colder winter months ahead but I don’t know if you can just do that to any plant.  Yes?  No?  Tell me all you know.

Anyway, here’s a quick budget breakdown:
  -end table – $6.99
  -pot – $6
  -spray primer – $2
  -Cabot wood finish (in Aged Leather) – $1.50 (and I still have 75% of the can left)
Grand Total:  $16.49

It’s not really serving it’s intended purpose of keeping Gianna out of our plants but that’s ok.  I just keep telling myself she’ll grow out of it. 

And she will.

Until then, I’ll keep the vacuum handy and my supervising eyes peeled.  Disappointed smile

planter ba

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  1. Always so resourceful. Looks great!

    1. Thanks Lisa! I've found that creativity flourishes when you're desperate to do something (because you live in a rental house you can't do anything TO!!!) Haha!