I needed a table for my first apartment but I am a poor college student and I wanted a cost effective option. The table also needed to look reasonably nice. It also needs to hold up to the abuse it might experience in my apartment with careless roommates. Along with not being a cheep card table or folding table.


I bought a table from a friend of a friend for $5. The table was solid and perfect for a small apartment. The only issue was the varnish was peeling and there were some scratches in the table. It’s 42 inches in diameter with an 18 inch extension.


I wanted to clean the table up before I moved into the apartment. So with the help of my father, I stripped the old varnish off, sanded the stain and scratches out, and re-stained and sealed the table.

This process took about 2 weeks with about 25hrs of work.


Total cost: $35 usd

This cost includes: table($5), varnish(donated), Paint stripper($15), Brushes ($5), wood stain(donated), Misc. items ($10).

Items I learned:

  • How to stain and seal wood with varnish
  • How to remove scratches and strip varnish

Timeline: May 12, 2018 to May 30, 2018

Partners/contributors: Thor Hanson, Tyler Vetter